How to Make Tiramisu

Tiramisu is actually very easy to make, and is excellent dinner party dessert because you can prepare it the day before so that you don't have to worry about dessert while entertaining.

I have two recipes for tiramisu. The first is a classic tiramisu recipe, which is flavoured with Marsala wine, and uses egg yolks and whites to create a fluffy, creamy filling. The second recipe is a much richer, indulgent tiramisu, which uses Amaretto instead of Marsala wine, and cuts out the egg whites. With this recipe you get a smoother, creamier filling. I love both of these recipes, but the indulgent tiramisu recipe is my fave.

Classic Tiramisu Recipe

3 eggs separated
½ cup caster sugar
¼ cup Marsala wine (available from Mediterranean food shops, or try your local bottle shop)
400g mascarpone
200ml coffee
2 tablespoons brandy
1 packet Savoiardi biscuits (from most supermarkets, or definitely found in Mediterranean food shop)
Good quality cocoa for dusting

Right. Start by finding a pot that fits a metal bowl in the top well so you don’t burn your fingers on the steam. Or, if you have a fancy proper double boiler, use that.

Heat up water in the pot. In the metal bowl (off the heat), put the egg yolks and sugar and whisk these together briefly, then add the marsala wine and whisk again.

Now put it on the pot with the hot water, keep the water hot but not boiling. Whisk quickly before the egg starts to cook, and keep whisking until it has changed consistency – it becomes quite thick and changes colour. This takes around five minutes. The mixture that you have just made is called Zabaglione, and is actually a dessert in itself that you can serve with fruit. But, alas, we are now going to destroy the Zabaglione by adding enormous amounts of mascarpone.

Remove the mixture from the heat, add all the mascarpone, and whisk up until all the lumps of mascarpone have smoothed out. Put this aside for the moment.

Now you need to beat the egg whites, until you get soft peaks. 

TIP: Room temperature eggs are easier to beat.

Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture and set aside.

Take out your tiramisu dish. The dish is quite important – you want to have a look for one that is the perfect size to fit two layers of Savoiardi biscuits in. You want a glass dish that is around 16cm by 21cm, and 5-6cm deep.

Mix the hot black coffee with the brandy, and dip the Savoiardi biscuits in here one at a time (give them a good little roll so they soak up some of the liquid), and layer them in the base of the dish. One whole packet of biscuits should be enough for a tiramisu with two layers.

Once you have created the bottom layer, take the mascarpone & egg mix, and spread about half over the top of the biscuits.

Now create the second layer of Savoiardi biscuits, dipping in the coffee again, and then cover the biscuits with the rest of the mascarpone & egg mix.

Coat the tiramisu with a generous dusting of cocoa. Alternatively, use finely grated dark chocolate. 

Cover, and refrigerate overnight if possible, or for at least 4 hours.

I have stretched this to serve 12 people… but ideally this probably serves around 8.
Serve after dinner, or for breakfast on your birthday.


Indulgent Tiramisu Recipe

6 egg yolks
½ cup caster sugar
¼ cup Amaretto
500g mascarpone (the smoothest you can find, I used the Italian brand Granarolo)
½ pack savoiardi
¾ cup strong coffee
Good quality cocoa (I used Green & Blacks)

Place the egg yolks in a metal bowl that fits over a pot. Add the sugar and whisk until it grows paler in colour. Whisk in the Amaretto.

Heat water in a pot on the stove, and place the bowl over this. Whisk continuously until the mixture thickens to a custard-like consistency, about 5-7 minutes.

Remove from the heat and continue to whisk for a few minutes. In a larger metal bowl, place the mascarpone, and add the cooked egg-sugar mix. Use the whisk and blend this all together until completely smooth. Set aside.

Lay the savoiardi out in the bottom of the dish (use a dish approximately 25cm by 15cm). Put the coffee in a jug, and pour this all over the biscuits, making sure you cover each individual biscuit.

Spread the mascarpone mix over the biscuits and smooth the surface. Use a sieve to sprinkle cocoa liberally over the top, until you can’t see any white showing through.

Cover, and refrigerate at least overnight. Once ready to serve, you can cut into squares and carefully place each on a plate.

Serves 8-10

If you wish to make a larger tiramisu, with more savoiardi, you could increase the mascarpone mix by half and you would have enough for two layers.


  1. I made your Classic Tiramisu- nicest recipe I've found. Though I am yet to try the other! Thanks

    1. Thanks! So glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe.. It has been quite a few months since I have made this, might have to make it again soon I think. I haven't yet found any tiramisu in London as good as this recipe (Italy of course is a different story).

  2. Wow, wow, wooooow!
    The indulgent recipe seems YUMMY! But I'm not sure my mum would really appreciate it, she's more in the classic one (duh, she'e italian!!! ;) )
    I've been comparing my classic recipe with yours, and they are pretty much similar! Check mine out here, you'll see they are nearly the same:

    I would love feedback! ;)

  3. I've made the induglent one as had a bottle of Amaretto. Looks amazing. Now have the long wait till dessert tomorrow night. Thanks for putting this recipe up.

    1. Oh yum, hope it is amazing! I'm currently on a detox; no dairy, alcohol, wheat or sugar = no tiramisu! =( Enjoy for me.

  4. I have made the Indulgent Tiramisu Recipe. Fail big time. Creme was too soft and never hardened enough. I had just to throw it away. My first dessert fail after 15 years.

  5. This looks so good! :) I adore tiramisu- it is probably my most favorite dessert. And this looks so easy to make.

  6. Use the amaretto in the classic recipe and you have best of both😏

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  8. Why no eggwhites in the indulgent recipe? Maybe that's why it didn't harden for Thor above? I did the classic one but forgot to put the Marsala wine in the egg/mascarpone mix. Instead I added it to the coffee (no brandy), as is recommended in other recipes. Came out great, everyone loved it! Thanks!

    1. Hi Susanne. Leaving out the egg white in the indulgent recipe gives a denser & creamier result. You really do need to make sure you cook the egg yolk enough so that it thickens like a custard so that it holds together; also some mascarpone is probably runnier than others - that might have been what happened with Thor.
      Glad everyone loved your tiramisu :)


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