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Easy Tiramisu Recipe {Elegant, No-Bake Dessert!}

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A lovely layered presentation and rich coffee flavor may have you thinking tiramisu is difficult to make. This easy tiramisu recipe will show you how to assemble the best tiramisu in just a few minutes!

easy tiramisu recipe, sliced to show layers

Darlings, it recently dawned on me that I only have a single tiramisu recipe on the blog. It’s my always seasonally-popular pumpkin chai tiramisu. That recipe is a treat my family loves, but I make more tiramisu than just that! In fact, the Godfather almost exclusively requests tiramisu for his birthday cake each year. One year I got really ambitious and made the ladyfingers from scratch. Not doing that again. But I am – and do – make this tiramisu at least once a year. And when one of the littles requests tiramisu, I make it, because as far as no-bake desserts go, this one should definitely be on your shortlist.

Can I make this easy tiramisu recipe in advance?

Absolutely! One of the reasons I love this recipe is that it’s so easy to make in advance.

Fun fact, did you know most restaurants make their tiramisu in advance and freeze in portions? Then they just thaw the portions as needed for each day’s service. So if you want a jump on a holiday or special event dessert… now you know. 😉

I don’t typically freeze my tiramisu before serving though. It’s just as easy to make the tiramisu the morning of the day I plan to serve, or the day before. It keeps nicely in the refrigerator up to 2 days before serving. Leftovers we do frequently wrap in individual portions and freeze.

Thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes and it’s perfect! Since the Godfather’s birthday is in early January when most people swear off sweets for a bit, this is a great way to space out the desserts. We’ve enjoyed tiramisu up to 6 weeks after freezing with great results.

Is it safe to make a recipe with raw eggs?

This is hands-down the first question I’m asked when I make this recipe with extended family around. For context, they don’t really bake, but they love watching me and eating treats when they visit. Also, this is totally a valid question because food safety is important!

Yes, it is safe to use raw egg yolk in this recipe. First of all, any eggs you purchase at the store have been treated and refrigerated. If you purchase your eggs from a farmer, they probably take good care of the eggs they bring to the market, so it’s fine.

Also, tiramisu is kept refrigerated or frozen, so you’ll never have the recipe out so long that you are outside the “safe zone” for food handling.

Can I use something other than coffee in this easy tiramisu? What about the liquor?

Well, tiramisu is a coffee-flavored dessert. So while you can get a lovely variation on a tiramisu (like the pumpkin chai tiramisu linked above – first sentence), it’s not a classic tiramisu recipe. If you don’t really drink coffee and aren’t sure how to make it, you can either buy a cup at a coffee shop and use that or use instant coffee. I know some people are groaning at that suggestion, but in a pinch, it works! You just need some good strong coffee flavor for good tiramisu.

golden fork vertically positioned in a slice of tiramisu, poised to break off a piece

While this recipe does have alcohol, it’s definitely not a boozy dessert. But if you don’t want to use any at all, you may increase the amount of coffee to replace the liquor. If you’d like to keep with the classic flavor, adding a splash of rum extract (found in the baking aisle) should do it.

Where can I find ladyfingers at my grocery store?

This might seem like a silly question depending on where you live, but let me tell you. Having lived all over the United States (except the Midwest), the location of ladyfinger cookies can vary wildly. Some places will put the cookies in the cookie aisle with all the others. Ladyfingers are usually near the more “classic” cookies like your wafers and gingersnaps.

If they’re not there, check the deli by the specialty cheeses. I’ve sometimes found the cookies with the specialty crackers and charcuterie spreads in this section. At first I couldn’t figure out why, but since you go there for the mascarpone, I suppose it makes sense.

Finally, if ladyfingers aren’t in the cookie aisle or the deli by specialty cheeses, check the international section. I’ve found ladyfingers in the international section too. Hopefully this saves you a few laps around the grocery store.

Can I serve this in individual cups?

Of course! If you don’t want to make one large tiramisu, you can make single serving tiramisu cups. Make the layers as directed, but layer in individual cups, breaking the cookies to the needed size for your containers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until time to serve. This is great if you are making tiramisu for a dessert table or serving with a plated dinner. Much cleaner and less fuss than letting guests try to cut their own individual slices.

angled picture of a piece of tiramisu with a corner broken off and sitting on a fork at the edge of the plate

I hope you love this easy tiramisu recipe, darlings!

angled picture of a piece of tiramisu with a corner broken off and sitting on a fork at the edge of the plate

Easy Tiramisu Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

A lovely layered presentation and rich coffee flavor may have you thinking tiramisu is difficult to make. This easy tiramisu recipe will show you how to assemble the best tiramisu in just a few minutes!

Ingredients

Easy Tiramisu Cream:

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 8-ounce package mascarpone cheese

The Remaining Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened espresso or strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup coffee liquor (or spiced rum or cognac)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 7-ounce package of ladyfingers
  • optional: chocolate shavings

Instructions

  1. Brew your coffee and allow it to cool to room temperature or place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until no longer hot.
  2. In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar and the egg yolks on high speed for about 2-3 minutes. The yolks should be very pale and the mixture should be about tripled in volume. Transfer to another bowl.
  3. Wipe the mixer bowl you used for the yolks and add the heavy cream and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Whip until medium peaks form.
  4. Fold the egg yolk mixture into the whipped cream gently.
  5. Dust the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch square pan with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder.
  6. In a wide bowl, combine the coffee and liquor. Dip a ladyfinger cookie into the coffee mixture, flip, and place into your prepared pan. Don't soak the cookie as the liquid will cause it to fall apart easily. Repeat until you've filled the first layer of your pan with a single layer of cookies. A little space between cookies is okay. Break cookies as needed to get them to fit.
  7. Pour half of the tiramisu cream over the ladyfingers. Use an offset spatula to evenly spread it over the cookies.
  8. Repeat the cookie dipping process with the remaining cookies to form a second layer. Top with the remaining tiramisu cream.
  9. Dust the top of your tiramisu with the remaining cocoa powder. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to a day.
  10. When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator, slice, and serve. Top with chocolate shavings just before serving, if desired.
  11. Leftover tiramisu can be stored in the refrigeration 2 more days, or you may individually wrap portions of tiramisu and freeze for up to 6 weeks. Unwrap and thaw at room temperature 10-15 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • If you don't want to use liquor in the recipe, substitute with an equal amount of coffee.
  • This recipe slightly adapted from the NYT

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