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Easy Tiramisu Recipe: Quick & Yummy Dessert!

We love a good tiramisu recipe here at Presto, and there is a bit of a competition going on within the team to see who can make the best one. After much debate, we have finally settled on our favourite tiramisu recipe so we can share it with you.

What Is Tiramisu?

Tiramisu, a luxurious Italian dessert, has captured the hearts of many around the world with its rich, creamy layers and distinctive coffee flavour. Originating from Italy, this beloved treat is renowned for its unique combination of tiramisu ingredients, including mascarpone cheese, coffee, eggs, sugar, and ladyfingers, all topped off with a dusting of cocoa powder.

What makes tiramisu stand out is not just its indulgent taste but also its elegant presentation and the perfect balance of flavours, making it a favourite dessert for countless aficionados. Whether it's served at a sophisticated dinner party or enjoyed as a sumptuous treat, tiramisu continues to be a symbol of culinary elegance and comfort, embodying the essence of Italian dessert traditions.

What You Need to Know About Tiramisu

Tiramisu is not just a dessert; it's an experience that melds together a rich tapestry of flavours and textures. Here are some key points to understand the essence of this beloved treat:

  • Origins and Popularity: Tiramisu has roots deeply embedded in Italian culinary tradition, believed to have originated in the Veneto region. Its global popularity is a testament to its universal appeal, transcending cultural and geographic boundaries.
  • Tiramisu Ingredients: At its heart, tiramisu consists of layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, dusted with cocoa powder. Each component plays a crucial role in creating the dessert's signature taste and texture.
  • The Role of Coffee: The choice of coffee, be it fresh coffee or the Best Coffee Beans, is pivotal in tiramisu, infusing the ladyfingers with a deep, aromatic flavour that contrasts beautifully with the creamy mascarpone.
  • Alcohol Content: Traditional tiramisu recipes often include tiramisu alcohol, such as Marsala wine, adding complexity to the dessert's flavour profile. For those concerned about does tiramisu have alcohol, it's worth noting that the alcohol can be optional or substituted with a substitute for Marsala wine or a Marsala liqueur substitute, making the dessert adaptable for all ages and preferences.
  • Cultural Significance: Tiramisu is more than a dessert; it's a piece of Italian heritage that symbolizes hospitality, celebration, and the joy of sharing. Its name, meaning "pick me up" in Italian, reflects the dessert's delightful and uplifting nature.

Understanding these aspects of tiramisu enriches the appreciation for this classic dessert, revealing the layers of tradition, craftsmanship, and cultural significance that make it so special. Whether you're enjoying a slice at a local trattoria or making your own at home, tiramisu offers a taste of Italian sweetness that's beloved worldwide.

Choosing Your Tiramisu Recipe

When it comes to whipping up tiramisu, there's a whole world of recipes out there to suit everyone – from baking beginners to culinary experts. The trick is to pick a tiramisu recipe that matches your cooking skills, tastes, and the occasion you're making it for.

  • Start Simple: If you're new to the tiramisu game, kicking things off with an easy tiramisu recipe is a smart move. These recipes tend to cut down on the fuss without skimping on flavour, using fewer ingredients and simpler steps. They're ideal for getting your feet wet.
  • Go Traditional: If you're all about keeping things authentic, then a traditional tiramisu recipe is your best bet. Expect to see top-notch ingredients like mascarpone and proper espresso in these recipes, sometimes with a dash of tiramisu alcohol (like Marsala wine) for that extra zing. It's all about those classic layers of coffee-drenched ladyfingers and velvety mascarpone.
  • Explore Variations: Tiramisu isn't just a one-trick pony; it's got plenty of variations to keep things interesting. Whether it's mixing in a bit of chocolate or fruit, or swapping out the booze for a non-alcoholic version, there's a lot of room for creativity. It's a great way to tailor the dessert to your own preferences or dietary needs.
  • Consider the Occasion: The setting plays a big part in choosing your tiramisu recipe. Are you laying on a spread for a special do, or is it a laid-back dinner at home? If you're aiming to impress, you might lean towards a more intricate or authentic tiramisu recipe. For something more low-key, a quick and easy "no-bake" option could be just the ticket.

In the end, finding your perfect tiramisu recipe comes down to what makes you happy in the kitchen and at the table. Whether it's sticking with the classics or shaking things up with a twist, tiramisu is a dessert that's all about bringing joy.

How to Make Tiramisu: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making tiramisu at home is easier than you might think! Follow this simple, step-by-step guide to create a delicious dessert that's sure to impress. Here's what you'll need:

  • Mascarpone cheese
  • Fresh eggs
  • Sugar
  • Espresso or strong coffee
  • Ladyfingers (sponge biscuits)
  • Cocoa powder for dusting
  • Optional: Marsala wine or a similar tiramisu alcohol for an authentic touch


  • Prepare Your Coffee: Brew some strong coffee and let it cool. If you're using espresso, that's perfect; otherwise, any fresh coffee will do.
  • Mix Mascarpone and Eggs: In a bowl, separate egg yolks from the whites. Whip the yolks with sugar until you get a creamy texture. Then, gently fold in the mascarpone cheese until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  • Whip the Egg Whites: In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. This will add lightness to the mascarpone mix.
  • Fold in Egg Whites: Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the mascarpone and yolk mixture, being careful not to deflate the mixture.
  • Dip Ladyfingers: Quickly dip each ladyfinger into the cooled coffee, making sure not to soak them too much, or they'll get soggy.
  • Layer It Up: Start by laying the dipped ladyfingers at the bottom of your dish. Then, spread a layer of the mascarpone mixture over the top. Repeat these layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with a mascarpone layer on top.
  • Chill: Pop your tiramisu into the fridge for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best. This lets the flavours meld together beautifully.
  • Serve: Just before serving, dust the top with cocoa powder for that classic tiramisu look.

And there you have it, your very own homemade tiramisu! Remember, this is an easy tiramisu recipe UK style, so don't worry if it's not perfect the first time. The beauty of tiramisu is in its rustic charm and delightful flavour. Enjoy the process, and soon you'll be whipping up this classic dessert like a pro! 

While you enjoy this classic dessert, why not try making whipped coffee as well? Learn how to make whipped coffee for a perfect after-dessert treat.

Nutritional Insight: Tiramisu Decoded

When indulging in a slice of tiramisu, it's helpful to know a bit about its nutritional profile, especially if you're mindful about your intake. Here's a quick breakdown to keep you informed:

Calories and Components:

  • Calories: A typical serving of tiramisu can range from approximately 240 to 400 calories. The variation largely depends on the ingredients used, such as the type of coffee (be it Ground Coffee, instant coffee, or brewed from the best coffee beans) and the presence of tiramisu alcohol like Marsala wine.
  • Carbohydrates: Expect a fair amount of carbs due to the sugar and ladyfingers, contributing to the dessert's energy-giving potential.
  • Fats: The creamy texture comes at a cost of higher fat content, mainly from mascarpone cheese and egg yolks.
  • Proteins: Eggs in the recipe provide a modest amount of protein, making it more than just a sweet treat.
Nutrient Approximate Amount per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 240-400 kcal
Carbohydrates 30-50 g
Fats 10-20 g
Proteins 3-6 g
Sugar 15-30 g
Sodium 40-80 mg
Cholesterol 80-160 mg

Lightening It Up:

For those looking to enjoy tiramisu with a bit less guilt, consider these tweaks:

  • Reduced-Fat Dairy: Opt for a lower-fat version of mascarpone or mix it with some light cream cheese.
  • Sugar Alternatives: Cut down on the sugar or use a natural sweetener like stevia to lower the calorie count without sacrificing sweetness.
  • Alcohol-Free: Skipping the tiramisu alcohol can reduce the calorie content slightly and make it suitable for everyone.

Remember, enjoying tiramisu is about balance. A small portion as part of a balanced diet allows you to savor this delightful dessert without overindulging.

Fun Fact:

  • Did you know that tiramisu means "pick me up" in Italian? With its coffee content, it sure can give you a little energy boost – but remember, everything in moderation, especially when it comes to sweets!

Common Tiramisu Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Over-Whipped Mascarpone:

  • Issue: If you mix the mascarpone too much, it might split and get runny.
  • Solution: Just gently fold it until smooth and stop right there.

Soggy Ladyfingers:

  • Issue: Ladyfingers shouldn't swim in coffee; too much makes them mushy.
  • Solution: A quick dip in your best coffee mix will do. No soaking!

Weak Coffee Flavour:

  • Issue: Tiramisu needs that coffee punch. Weak coffee won't cut it.
  • Solution: Use strong fresh coffee or Instant Coffee to ensure a rich taste.

Too Runny:

  • Issue: A tiramisu that doesn't hold shape might not have set long enough.
  • Solution: Give it time in the fridge, ideally overnight, to firm up.

Missing the Alcohol Note:

  • Issue: Some like the depth tiramisu alcohol brings, but what if you can't use it?
  • Solution: A marsala wine substitute like a splash of rum extract or alcohol-free vanilla can add complexity.

Remember, making tiramisu is a bit of an art, but even the most common slip-ups have simple fixes. Keep these tips in hand, and your tiramisu recipe will turn out great!

Role of Alcohol in Tiramisu

Flavour Enhancement:

  • Alcohol, particularly Marsala wine, adds a rich, complex depth to tiramisu, complementing the boldness of the coffee and the sweetness of the mascarpone cheese.


  • The inclusion of tiramisu alcohol contributes to the dessert's aromatic profile, offering a subtle warmth and fragrance that enhances the overall sensory experience.


  • When combined with the coffee for soaking ladyfingers, alcohol helps to achieve the perfect moistness, contributing to the dessert's layered texture.


  • Using alcohol like Marsala wine or marsala liqueur ties the recipe back to its Italian roots, honoring the traditional methods of making tiramisu.


  • The choice of alcohol can vary, from Marsala wine to other spirits like rum or brandy, allowing for different nuances in flavour and making each tiramisu recipe unique.

Alternatives and Substitutes

For those who prefer to avoid alcohol, whether for personal or dietary reasons, there are several substitutes that can mimic the complexity that alcohol provides. Options include alcohol-free vanilla extract, coffee syrup, or a marsala wine substitute like grape juice mixed with a bit of brandy essence. These alternatives ensure that the tiramisu retains its rich flavour profile while being suitable for all to enjoy.

After enjoying our tiramisu, try another authentic Italian treat. Check out our classic Italian affogato recipe for a refreshing dessert experience.

Dietary Adaptations

Dietary Need


Substitution Ideas


Use gluten-free ladyfingers or alternative base.

Gluten-free ladyfingers or almond flour.


Substitute all animal products.

Vegan mascarpone, aquafaba, and vegan ladyfingers.


Omit or replace tiramisu alcohol.

Alcohol-free vanilla extract or coffee syrup.


Reduce or substitute sugar.

Natural sweeteners like stevia or erythritol.


Replace dairy ingredients.

Coconut cream or cashew cream for mascarpone.


Use lower-fat alternatives.

Light mascarpone or low-fat cream cheese.


Eliminate or find egg substitutes.

Silken tofu or commercial egg replacers.

Variations of the Classic: Tiramisu Cake and More

  • Tiramisu Cake: This tiramisu cake recipe transforms the beloved tiramisu into a stunning cake form, layering espresso or ground coffee soaked sponge with a lush mascarpone cream, with the classic tiramisu recipe but with a cakey twist.
  • Tiramisu Cupcakes: A fun, portioned take on the traditional tiramisu recipe, these cupcakes infuse fresh coffee or instant coffee into the batter and are topped with a mascarpone frosting, drawing inspiration from the best tiramisu recipe principles.
  • Tiramisu Trifle: By layering coffee-soaked ladyfingers, mascarpone cream, and a dusting of cocoa in a clear trifle dish, this version showcases the layers more dramatically, staying true to the authentic tiramisu recipe while scaling up for a crowd.
  • Vegan Tiramisu: This adaptation respects the tiramisu ingredients but swaps in vegan alternatives, ensuring those following plant-based diets can still enjoy the essence of a traditional tiramisu recipe.
  • No-Bake Tiramisu: Perfect for those seeking an easy tiramisu recipe UK style, this no-bake version simplifies the process, focusing on layering and chilling without compromising the core tiramisu flavors.

Pairing Suggestions

  • Espresso or Americano: Pairing tiramisu with a robust espresso or Americano can enhance the coffee notes in the dessert, especially if you've used best coffee beans in your tiramisu recipe.
  • Moscato d'Asti: This sweet wine is a delightful complement to tiramisu, especially if you've included a hint of tiramisu alcohol like marsala wine substitute or marsala liqueur substitute in your recipe.
  • Berry Compote: The acidity and sweetness of a berry compote can offer a refreshing contrast to the creamy, coffee-laden layers of tiramisu, especially if you're exploring a fruit-infused tiramisu recipe variation.
  • Dark Chocolate Mousse: For an indulgent pairing, serve tiramisu alongside a dark chocolate mousse, which can complement the dessert's cocoa and coffee flavors, making it a hit for those who love the combination of coffee and chocolate.
  • Nutty Amaretto: If your tiramisu includes tiramisu alcohol like a substitute for marsala wine, pairing it with a small glass of Amaretto can highlight the almond notes and the dessert's layered complexity.

Embarking on the journey to craft the perfect tiramisu is a delightful adventure, and with each version you try, from the original recipe for tiramisu to the authentic Italian tiramisu recipe, you'll find joy in the nuances that make this dessert so beloved. At Presto Coffee, we take pride in providing the finest coffee, a key ingredient that can elevate your tiramisu to new heights.We're proud to supply top-quality Coffee Bags, ensuring your tiramisu has that essential, rich coffee flavour regardless of the recipe you choose..

Whether you're experimenting with a tiramisu recipe Mary Berry style or adhering to a recipe for authentic Italian tiramisu, the quality of coffee you use can make all the difference. Share the fruits of your culinary experiments with friends and family, and revel in the satisfaction that comes from mastering this iconic Italian dessert, all while enjoying the exceptional coffee that Presto Coffee offers. Love Tiramisu? You might enjoy a Baileys Coffee too. Check out our easy 'How to Make Baileys Coffee' guide for a delicious coffee treat.

Pair this classic dessert with a homemade pumpkin spiced latte for a truly indulgent treat.

Frequenlty Asked Questions 

1. What is the original recipe for tiramisu?

The original recipe for tiramisu typically includes ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar, coffee, and cocoa powder, often enhanced with a splash of tiramisu alcohol like Marsala wine for depth.

2. Can I make tiramisu without alcohol?

Absolutely! You can easily skip the tiramisu alcohol or use a marsala wine substitute like a coffee syrup or non-alcoholic vanilla extract to keep the rich flavour profile.

3. What coffee is best for tiramisu?

For the best flavour, use high-quality Fresh coffee or best coffee beans. Ground coffee or instant coffee can also work well, ensuring a strong, rich coffee base for soaking the ladyfingers.

4. Is there an easy tiramisu recipe for beginners?

Yes, there are many easy tiramisu recipe UK versions that simplify the process, perfect for beginners wanting to try their hand at this delicious dessert without the complexity.

5. How can I make a vegan tiramisu?

To make a vegan version, substitute the traditional ingredients with plant-based alternatives such as vegan mascarpone, plant-based cream, and egg substitutes, maintaining the essence of an authentic Italian tiramisu recipe.

6. What's the difference between tiramisu and tiramisu cake?

Traditional tiramisu is a no-bake dessert with layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone cream. Tiramisu cake adapts these classic tiramisu flavours into a more structured cake form, often featuring sponge cake layers infused with coffee and frosted with a mascarpone-based cream.

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