Tiramisu (Chef recipe!) (2024)

This is how to make a real Tiramisu the proper Italian way! The cream layers are luxurious and rich, but not greasy and heavy like simplified versions made with whipping cream.

It’s simple to make, fun to construct, and tastes even better the next day – and the next!This is a traditional Italian recipe by Vanessa Martin, a well regarded Australian Italian Chef.

Tiramisu (Chef recipe!) (1)

Tiramisu – proper Italian recipe!

There are many, many Tiramisu recipes out there in this big wide world. Some are complicated. Some are very shortcut, made using cream in a can.

This is a proper Italian Tiramisu recipe. The way it’s made in Italy and the GOOD Italian restaurants.😇

There is no whipping cream.

And it’s made usingraw eggs.

I know that concerns some people. And in fact, somewhere along the lines of history, someone (non Italian!) got scared about eating raw eggs so they decided to start making Tiramisu using tempered eggs (eggs whisked over a water bath).

While food safety may have been a valid concern in the past, these days in Western countries (certainly in Australia), the quality of eggs sold in reputable stores is good enough such that you won’t need to worry about consuming raw eggs.

And if the thought of raw eggs is icky – well, chances are you’ve eaten raw egg without realising it in the form of:

  • chocolate mousse(in a traditional or nice French restaurant)

  • Pavlova(what do you think that marshmallow centre you know and love is?Raw egg whites!)

  • Homemade mayonnaise, hollandaise and bernaise (raw yolks!)

  • All those cake batter and cookie dough bowls you’ve licked clean!!

And of course, that Tiramisu you swooned over at that rustic little Italian restaurant??Raw eggs!

Safety note: for extra precaution, it is recommended that young children, pregnant women or people with fragile health issues avoid foods made with raw eggs. And yep,that includes all the foods I’ve listed above!

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The unique thing about the Tiramisu cream is that it’s rich yet light, it sets so it’s cuttable to show the layers, yet it’s soft and creamy.

What goes in Tiramisu

So, other than the eggs, there’s a few more ingredients in Tiramisu worth chatting to you about!

  • Lady fingers aka Pavesini or Savoiardi biscuits – pretty widely available nowadays, at least here in Australia. Sold at grocery stores in the biscuit aisle, delis and fruit ‘n veg shops. They are crisp, sweet sponge fingers that taste like vanilla;

  • Mascarpone – it’s a very thick, rich Italian cream that has a consistency like cream cheese (see video for consistency).Australians –do NOT use Woolworths or any generic home brand as they are too thin and won’t set, so your cream layer will be too thin. Use good brands such as:

    • La Casa Formaggio Mascarpone (Woolworths)

    • Montefiore Mascarpone Cheese (Coles)

    • Formaggio Zanetti (Harris Farms)

    • Latteria Sociale Mantova (Harris Farms, pictured below)

    • Any from an Italian deli

  • Coffee – Tiramisu ain’t Tiramisu without coffee for dunking the biscuits! You’ll see me using an espresso machine in the video, but in my pre coffee machine days, I always used coffee granules; and

  • Frangelico or other liquor – I am actually not really much of a fan of liquor in my sweets, but Tiramisu is the exception! I like Frangelico because it’s a hazelnut flavoured liquor, and also very partial to Kahlua which is coffee flavoured. Other options:Rum, brandy, Bailey’s – go wild, use what you love, or even keep it virgin (almond essence, vanilla extract!)

Tiramisu (Chef recipe!) (3)

This is an easy Tiramisu recipe – it’s made the traditional way so the eggs are not tempered.

How to make Tiramisu

The key to a rich-yet-light Tiramisu is to beat the egg whites until fluffy, then fold it through the rich cream mixture of sugar, yolks and mascarpone.

This technique creates a Tiramisu cream which has a consistency like whipped cream (ie soft and spreadable) but it sets in a way that cream never can so you can cut through the Tiramisu to reveal the layers.

I say it “sets”, but it’s still very soft and creamy – it’s a unique texture that sets proper Tiramisu recipes apart from quick version made with whipping cream!

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Layering up!

My favourite part! And it goes down like this:

  • Dunk biscuits in coffee-Frangelico

  • Cover base of dish

  • Top with half the Tiramisu cream

  • Repeat!

TIP: Dunk quickly! 2 seconds total for each biscuit. Any longer and the biscuit will literally disintegrate in your hands!

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The one other thing worth noting about Tiramisu made the proper way –it is far less sweet than most desserts. There’s only 1/2 cup of sugar in this whole recipe and the only other sweetness is the biscuits, but they aren’t that sweet!

In fact, I sometimes fret that it’s not sweet enough – but everybody (and I really do meaneverybody) I have ever made this for says it’s the perfect as is.

So in the many years I’ve been making this, I haven’t change the recipe at all! – Nagi x

If you’re thinking about an Italian Dinner Party…

Typical Italian Dinner Party at mine involving proven favourites that are largely prep ahead would have a menu like this:


  • Bruschetta DIY spread made with tomato (when in season) or grilled/roasted Marinated Veggies(which is basically homemade antipasto) with soft ricotta (Australia – avoid Perfect Italiano, it’s powdery and borders on inedible)

  • Tuna or kingfish carpaccio (want the recipe? Drop me a message below!)

Main and sides

  • Shredded Beef Ragupasta (a proven, low maintenance winner I make a LOT! Also great to take camping)

  • Garlic Bread – yep, I do carb blow outs for company! (Sometimes I go all out with CHEESY Garlic Breador even Cheese and Garlic Crack Bread)

  • Rocket/Arugula Parmesan Salad – toss rocket/arugula with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Pile into bowls, drizzle with balsamic reduction (store bought fine!), shave over parmesan (using veg peeler). I make this a LOT for everyday purposes – super fast, no dressing to make separately!

Dessert – This Tiramisu!

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Watch how to make it

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Tiramisu (Chef recipe!) (7)

Easy Tiramisu (Chef Recipe)

Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats

Prep: 30 minutes mins

Total: 30 minutes mins



4.94 from 162 votes

Servings6 -8

Tap or hover to scale


Recipe video above. You will be amazed how silky rich and yet LIGHT this Tiramisu tastes! This is slightly adapted from this recipe by Vanessa Martin, a well regarded Australian-Italian chef. This is a traditional recipe made using raw eggs that are not cooked or tempered, and with only mascarpone - no cream! You just can't achieve the same mouthfeel if you use normal cream. 🙂 (Read in post or note about raw egg concerns)


  • 3 eggs , yolks and whites separated
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz / 250g mascarpone , good brand (Important - read Note 1)
  • 1 1/4 cups black coffee , hot and strong! (Note 2)
  • 2 tbsp (or more!) Frangelico or Kahlua , or other liquor of choice (skip for alcohol free)
  • 6.5 oz / 200g (24 - 30) lady fingers, pavesini or savoiardi biscuits (Note 3)
  • Cocoa , for dusting


  • Beat yolks and sugar in stand mixer or electric beater on speed 6 to 7 for 10 minutes or until it changes from yellow to pale yellow (almost white), and is thick (see video for consistency).

  • Add vanilla and mascarpone, beat until just combined and smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl, set aside.

  • Clean bowl and whisk. Add egg whites and beat until it's stiff (3 minutes on speed 7, should be all white foam, see video!)

  • Add 1/2 the cream mixture into the egg whites. Gently fold through. When most incorporated, add the remaining cream mixture and fold through until just combined - don't bash out all the air in the egg whites! (Note 4)

  • Mix coffee and liquor together. Quickly dip biscuits in and line the bottom of a 8”/20cm square dish. (See video or step photos above to see how I arrange them).

  • Spread over half the cream, then top with another layer of coffee dipped biscuits.

  • Spread with remaining cream.

  • Cover, refrigerate for at least 4 - 5 hours, preferably overnight

  • Dust with cocoa powder just before serving - either before you cut or after placing onto serving plates.

Recipe Notes:

1. Mascarpone is an Italian cheese/cream which has a consistency like softened cream cheese. It's not pourable - see video. It tastes like a rich cream.In Australia (I'm in Sydney) you will find it at most supermarkets in the refrigerator section alongside tubs of ricotta cheese, cream cheese etc. Sometimes it's in the cream section.

IMPORTANT: Cheap brands (such as Woolworths and generic home brands in Australia) are cheap imitations that are too thin,so your cream layer will be too runny and won't set. Use good brands such as:

    • La Casa Formaggio Mascarpone (Woolworths)
    • Montefiore Mascarpone Cheese (Coles)
    • Formaggio Zanetti (Harris Farms)
    • Latteria Sociale Mantova (Harris Farms)
    • Any from an Italian deli, anything made in Australia

2. Coffee - I use an espresso machine, and I fill a double filter basket 4 times to make a strong brew for 1 1/4 cups of coffee.

I used to have a Nespresso machine and used 3 to 4 capsules. If using coffee granules, use 2 - 3 tbsp (taste, you want a strong coffee flavour).

3. Lady Fingers aka Savoiardi biscuits - You need enough for 2 layers for a 8”/20cm square dish. I use these ones from Harris Farms in Sydney, Australia and find that 200g/6.5 oz - 24 biscuits - is just right. I also use these ones or these ones from Woolworths, these are slightly larger but still work just fine (it just makes the Tiramisu slightly higher).

4. Tiramisu Cream - once beaten whites and cream mixture are combined, it might not be perfect smooth. It will look a bit "lumpy", being the egg whites, which means your cream mixture is lovely and light. The "lumps" smooth out when you spread the cream, and also while resting overnight. You just don't want yellow/white streaks.

5. Raw egg note - Many recipes make tiramisu by beating eggs over a double boiler but this is not the traditional way to make Tiramisu. The history behind that is that in the past when the quality and freshness of produce was not as good as it is today, people were scared to use raw eggs for fear of getting sick. And because of this, the version of Tiramisu where the eggs are cooked over a double boiler evolved. Nowadays, using raw eggs in cooking is so much more acceptable because the quality of fresh produce is so much better - think mayonnaise (raw yolks), lemon meringue pie (raw egg whites under the browned top). However, the real traditional way to make Tiramisu (and this is an Italian Chef recipe) is to use raw eggs. So that's the way I make my Tiramisu!

PRECAUTION:To be extra cautious, it is recommended that very young children, pregnant women, elderly or those with fragile health conditions do not eat foods made with raw eggs. This includes: tiramisu, chocolate mousse, mayo, hollandaise, bernaise sauce, pavlova, lemon meringue pie, cookie dough, cake batter.

6. Nutrition per serving, 8 servings.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 127gCalories: 306cal (15%)Carbohydrates: 32.2g (11%)Protein: 5.9g (12%)Fat: 15.8g (24%)Saturated Fat: 8.3g (52%)Cholesterol: 121mg (40%)Sodium: 88mg (4%)Potassium: 41mg (1%)Sugar: 18.7g (21%)Vitamin A: 600IU (12%)Calcium: 70mg (7%)Iron: 0.5mg (3%)

Keywords: tiramisu, tiramisu cream, traditional tiramisu

Did you make this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @recipe_tin.

Tiramisu recipe originally published March 2016. Updated August 2019 with new photos, new step photos, brand new video and most importantly, Life of Dozer section added!

Life of Dozer

Off to Vietnam today to film thefirst official RecipeTin Food Travels video! Very excited to venture into this new direction which will bring together FOOD along with TRAVEL tips from the RecipeTin Family.

The travel videos will be accompanied with posts that will list exactly where we stayed, where we ate and what we ordered. And the most exciting part (at least for me!) is that I’ll sharerecipes for the foods I film on the streets of Vietnam!

As for Dozer – unfortunately I am yet to find an airline that will let me take him in the cabin with me, and yet to get the Australian government to relax the rigid 6 week quarantine laws upon return of dogs to Australia.

So until such time, Dozer stays behind for international trips…. and this is what Ihave to deal with when I’m packing to go away without him….

Oh the guilt! It’s almost too much to bear!! Might be smiling on the outside but I’m crying on the inside 😩

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Tiramisu (Chef recipe!) (2024)


What is the summary of tiramisu? ›

Tiramisu (Italian: tiramisù) is an Italian dessert made of ladyfinger pastries (savoiardi) dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar and mascarpone and flavoured with cocoa. The recipe has been adapted into many varieties of cakes and other desserts.

What can go wrong when making tiramisu? ›

12 Mistakes You're Making With Tiramisu
  • Using the wrong kind of biscuits. ...
  • Over-whipping the mascarpone. ...
  • Forgetting to bring your eggs up to temperature. ...
  • Waiting too long to mix the sugar and the eggs. ...
  • Not correctly whipping your heavy cream. ...
  • Using instant coffee instead of something stronger.
Nov 15, 2022

What is traditional tiramisu made of? ›

What is traditional tiramisu made of? A Classic Italian Tiramisu is a coffee-flavored Italian dessert that dreams are made of. It's made of ladyfingers dipped in espresso, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese and layered with cocoa powder.

What is the best alcohol for tiramisu? ›

Most recipes use Marsala wine in tiramisu, however, I have always loved Kahlua since it pairs so well with the espresso that's already in the recipe. Use any of these or your favorite liquor: Marsala wine. Rum (dark rum would be best!)

Does tiramisu mean I love you? ›

What does Tiramisù mean? Tiramisù translates as the Italian for pick me up. It's a compound of three words: tira (pick or pull) mi (me) su (up). Think of granny feeding you something tasty to pick your spirits up after a long hard day.

Can kids eat tiramisu? ›

A whole 12 portion pan of tiramisù contains around one shot of espresso and one of booze. A child eats a half portion. The amount of alcohol and caffeine in that portion is negligible. Yes, though I wouldn't let them eat a couple of slices.

Is tiramisu very unhealthy? ›

The high-fat culprits in this dish? Lots of whipping cream, boatloads of mascarpone cheese and the cake-like ladyfingers cookies. Some recipes call for several cups of whipping cream, but just one cup contains a whopping 414 calories and 44 grams of fat (28 of them saturated.)

Why is my tiramisu not creamy? ›

The right biscuits

As a result, the consistency will be less creamy and slightly more compact. Whichever biscuits you choose, make sure not to soak them too much, otherwise the excess coffee will make the mascarpone cream runny.

Why is the bottom of tiramisu wet? ›

The cookies that make up the “cake” layers of a tiramisu are called Savoiardi, or lady fingers. These cookies are incredibly absorbent because they are made from a sponge cake-like batter. That's why when you dip them in coffee if you dip them for too long they will make your cake very soggy. Sponge cake absorbs.

Is tiramisu better with whipped cream or egg whites? ›

In most tiramisus, you would be able to find the use of either heavy whipping cream or whipped egg whites. I've tried both and they worked well for me. However, my family and friends tend to prefer the whipped egg white version as they're less fattening, and has a lighter aftertaste.

What kind of rum is best for tiramisu? ›

Tiramisu can have a variety of different types of alcohol inside, however the most common alcohol in tiramisu is dark rum. Other common types of alcohol used in tiramisu is marsala wine, amaretto, or coffee liquor.

What does the word tiramisu mean in Italian? ›

The literal meaning of Tiramisu in Italian is “pick me up” or “cheer me up”.

Can you substitute Baileys for Kahlua in tiramisu? ›

This irish cream tiramisu is made with bailey's liqueur instead of rum or kahlua. It adds a nice little twist to such a classic, fun dessert!

What drink pairs with tiramisu? ›

Tiramisu: You are looking to complement the tiramisu chocolate and its subtle coffee and liquor flavours and the combination of sponge and cream texture, making it an ideal for a 20yr Old Tawny Port, as it offers characters of dry fruits and nuts, with subtle coffee notes.

Can Muslims eat tiramisu with alcohol? ›

Is Cooking with Alcohol Halal? What do beer battered fish, Bolognese sauce and tiramisu have in common? The answer is their recipes contain alcohol. Most people know that alcohol is not Halal for Muslims to consume.

How would you describe tiramisu on a menu? ›

Tiramisu is an elegant and rich layered Italian dessert made with delicate ladyfinger cookies, espresso or instant espresso, mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar, Marsala wine, rum and cocoa powder. Through the grouping of these diverse ingredients, an intense yet refined dish emerges.

What is the importance of tiramisu in Italy? ›

Tiramisu in Classic Italian Cuisine

Tiramisu's role in classic Italian cuisine extends beyond being a beloved dessert; it embodies the essence of Italy's culinary traditions. Its enduring popularity is a testament to the harmony of flavors and textures that Italian cuisine is celebrated for.

What is tiramisu famous for? ›

Today, Tiramisù is the world's most famous dessert and it is considered a modern dessert par “excellence”. The word Tiramisù literally means “pick me up”. It comes from the Treviso dialect, “Tireme su”, Italianised into Tiramisù in the latter half of the 20th century.

What's the origin of tiramisu? ›

Tiramisu, also known as “Tuscan Trifle,” is a delicious Italian custard-like dessert originating in the region of Treviso, Italy.

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