Skip to Content

Best Tiramisu

  • Save Recipe
  • Prep 35 min
  • Total 7 hr 35 min
  • Servings 8
  • Save
  • Print
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Email
Ready to Make?
  • Save
  • Shop
  • Share
  • Keep Screen On
If you’ve never had tiramisu, you’re in for a treat. This classic Italian dessert is full of decadent flavors and luxurious textures. Just look at this list of tiramisu ingredients: rich, incredibly creamy mascarpone, heavy whipping cream, exhilarating espresso, ladyfinger cookies, cocoa powder and a splash of rum. Perfect for any occasion from dinner gatherings to special celebrations, this indulgent and crowd-pleasing dessert is the stuff that dreams are made of!
Updated Feb 1, 2024
  • Save
  • Shop
  • Share
  • Keep Screen On

What is the best liquor for tiramisu?

There are a few different liquors that can be used in tiramisu, including Marsala wine, Madeira wine, kahlua and rum. This recipe calls for rum, which many home cooks might already have on hand.

Should tiramisu be made the day before?

Tiramisu was made for making ahead. Because the ladyfinger cookies need time to absorb all the delicious flavors, this treat is better after at least four hours in the fridge and can be refrigerated for up to (but not more than) 24 hours.

What’s the best way to store tiramisu?

Tiramisu is best stored loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. This makes it ideal for preparing the day before serving. For an optimal eating experience, we do not recommend making this dessert and then freezing before serving. The tiramisu’s texture may be adversely affected during the freezing and thawing cycles, causing it to be soggy or watery.

What’s the difference between tiramisu and tiramisu cake?

In traditional recipes like this one, the tiramisu ingredients include ladyfingers. On the other hand, tiramisu cake often uses layers of sponge cake soaked in espresso and a little bit of liqueur, giving the cake a different structure and texture. Both tiramisu and tiramisu cake include mascarpone cream, which plays so well with the coffee and cocoa flavors.


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 lb mascarpone cheese or 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping (heavy) cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso or very strong coffee, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 packages (3 oz each) ladyfingers
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking cocoa


  • 1
    In 2-quart saucepan, beat egg yolks and sugar with wire whisk until well mixed. Beat in milk. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly; reduce heat to low. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Pour into medium bowl; place plastic wrap directly onto surface of custard mixture. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until chilled.
  • 2
    Add cheese to custard mixture. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth; set aside.
  • 3
    In chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream and vanilla with electric mixer on high speed until stiff; set aside. In small bowl, mix espresso and rum.
  • 4
    Separate ladyfingers horizontally; brush with espresso mixture (do not soak). In ungreased 11x7-inch glass baking dish, arrange half of the ladyfingers in single layer. Spread half of the cheese mixture over ladyfingers; spread with half of the whipped cream. Repeat layers with remaining ladyfingers, cheese mixture and whipped cream. Sprinkle with cocoa. Refrigerate at least 4 to 6 hours to develop flavors but no longer than 24 hours. Store covered in refrigerator.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    Mascarpone is a sinfully rich double or triple cream cheese that originated in the Lombardy region of Italy. It has a delicate, buttery flavor with just a hint of sweetness. Look for it in the cheese case in large supermarkets, specialty cheese shops or gourmet food stores.
  • tip 2
    If you don’t have rum, you can substitute in 1/8 teaspoon rum extract mixed with 2 tablespoons water.
  • tip 3
    2 packages frozen (thawed) pound cake (10.75-oz each) can be substituted for the ladyfingers. Place each pound cake on its side; carefully cut each into 3 lengthwise slices for a total of 6 slices. Brush each slice with the espresso mixture (do not soak). Arrange 3 slices crosswise in the baking dish. Layer as directed in step 4, adding remaining 3 slices.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is tiramisu made of?

There are some essential tiramisu ingredients—add-ins that make a tiramisu a tiramisu—including mascarpone or cream cheese, ladyfinger cookies, brewed coffee or espresso, chocolate or baking cocoa, and a splash of alcohol (most typically rum or Marsala wine).

What is a substitute for mascarpone in tiramisu?

Can’t find mascarpone? You can use cream cheese instead. Cream cheese does not taste quite as sweet as mascarpone, but it still makes a great substitute!

How do you keep ladyfingers from getting soggy in tiramisu?

In our Best Tiramisu recipe, we brush the ladyfingers with the espresso mixture before layering them in the baking dish. This gives the ladyfingers just the right amount of moisture and helps them absorb the delicious coffee and rum flavors without getting too soggy.


540 Calories, 38g Total Fat, 9g Protein, 39g Total Carbohydrate, 32g Sugars

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
1 1/2g
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 7 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
2 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • Ever wonder where tiramisu came from? This delicious Italian dessert most likely originated in the Treviso region of Italy during the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. Also known as “Tuscan Trifle,” it is rumored to have been created accidentally in a restaurant and it was more custardy than cake-like in texture. The recipe quickly gained popularity and went through several variations as it traveled throughout the country, across Europe and eventually to America. Fun fact, the name “Tiramisu” actually means “pick me up” because of the espresso—share that tidbit, along with our Best Tiramisu recipe, at your next dinner party! And if you’re craving more popular Italian desserts, try our Italian Cream Cake or our Italian Orange Cake. Each one has easy-to-follow instructions.
© 2024 ®/TM General Mills All Rights Reserved