Tiramisu Recipe ~ two ways


Tiramisu~ the ultimate “pick me up”!

And ~pick you up~ it will!

Once you taste this delicate mousse cake made from Italian soft mascarpone cheese, laced with Kahlua and Coffee dipped lady fingers and a hint of rum, this dessert is the ultimate classic of classics.

The Tiramisu Recipe has been prepared so many different ways by so many different chefs over so many years, with interchanges of the types of liquor or cake being used.

Tiramisu cake


I have seen many people use the harder cookie or biscuit type lady fingers for this dessert, but I use my delicate sponge cake version of lady fingers instead.

I was first taught to make Tiramisu with Marsala and egg yolks~ the zabaglione method~and most authentic Italian recipes will be written this way.

I later gravitated towards the Meyers Dark Rum and I have stuck with the Kahlua / Rum combo for quite some time now.

I have also eliminated the egg yolks since so many people are terrified of using egg yolks in desserts that are not going to be baked….so I guess my version is more of a tiramisu mousse.

Traditionally this dessert is made in a casserole and served family style, but when I owned my bakery I prepared it in cake form.

You can use this recipe anyway you like~ cake or casserole, but if you go for the casserole style then you can leave out the gelatin~ it’s not necessary, but it won’t hurt either.

Many people ask if the alcohol can be left out, and sure you can ….just replace with more brewed coffee where the liquor is listed in the recipe.

Now some folks go so far as to ask me if they can also eliminate the coffee?

Ummm, well…. then what exactly are you making?

I would suggest to forgo the Tiramisu Recipe altogether in that case!

For those who know and love Tiramisu, try this recipe you will be transcended~ I promise!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Tiramisu Recipe
Prepare your base recipes ahead of time before beginning, this is a Building on Recipes dessert
Decide whether you are making a casserole style or cake style dessert and prepare your molds accordingly. As shown in the video instruction
Serves: 1 9X13 Casserole OR 1 8" Cake
  • 1 Recipe Lady Fingers
  • ½ Recipe Whipped Cream with the vanilla Jell-O variation
  • ½ Recipe Simple Syrup
  • Strong Brewed Coffee ½ cup (120ml)
  • Unflavored Gelatin 1 package (2½ teaspoons)
  • Meyers Dark Rum ½ cup
  • Kahlua ⅓ Cup
  • Confectioners Sugar 1 cup (125g)
  • Mascarpone Cheese 1lb (454g)
  • Heavy Cream 2 cups (475ml)
  • Cocoa Powder as needed
  1. Divide simple syrup into separate portions of ½ cup and then another one of 2 tablespoons.
  2. Add the brewed coffee and the 2 tablespoons of Kahlua to the ½ cup of simple syrup and reserve the other 2 tablespoons of simple syrup for later.
  3. Combine the Rum and Kahlua in a small microwaveable bowl or in a sauce pot and sprinkle the gelatin over to bloom
  4. In the meantime put the mascarpone cheese into the work bowl of your mixer with the whisk attachment and blend on low speed.
  5. Add the sifted confectioners sugar all at once and mix on low to blend well. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl often
  6. Once the gelatin has bloomed in the alcohol mixture you will melt it gently (either in the microwave or in a small sauce pot on the stove) DO NOT BOIL
  7. Add the reserved 2 Tablespoons of simple syrup to the melted gelatin mixture
  8. Slowly pour the warm (not hot) gelatin rum mixture into the smoothed out mascarpone on the mixer while blending on low to medium speed.
  9. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl often
  10. Add the heavy cream in a semi rapid-steady stream into the mascrapone while whipping on medium - high speed.
  11. You will see the mixture start to tighten from the gelatin working along with the heavy cream get whipped. Watch closely so you do not over whip.
  12. You want a soft peaked mousse like texture.
  13. Pour the mixture over the prepared lady fingers in either a casserole dish or cake mold as shown in the video instruction.
  14. Allow to set in the refrigerator (or freezer) and garnish with the stabilized whipped cream with the vanilla pudding variation
Tiramisu is highly perishable and must be kept refrigerated at all times.

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week

Can be frozen for up to 1 month

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  1. Gretchen, I have 4-year-old daughter. She loves watching your videos and aspires becoming like you!!! We both are going to make this delightful recipe together. Thank you so much for all the recipes and videos you share.

  2. Thanks for the recipe. Tiramisu is my favorite dessert and I have been searching for many years for this recipe. Mascarpone cheese is not only hard to find but also very expensive. How would you recommend to replace mascarpone for cream cheese? Equal amounts?
    Once I read to add some lemon to the cream cheese. Would you recommend it?

    1. Great! I hope you get a chance to make this! yes to cream cheese straight up substitution.
      I have not tried the lemon addition so I cant say, but I have tried the cream cheese version and did not think it was missing anything (like lemon – hehe)

      1. Thanks. I am hands on this recipe cake for tomorrow’s party. There will be about 20 guest. I am thinking to make it a 10 in round cake version.
        Do you think I will have to double or triple the recipe?

  3. Love the homemade lady fingers, they are so much better for this recipe. I had made them before from your old recipe and they were delicious, so now I must make this Tiramisu. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. What does “Whipped Cream with the vanilla Jell-O variation” mean? I know whipped cream but does it mean I add in vanilla jello to it!

    1. Hello! If you click on the highlighted part in the recipe where it says Whipped Cream you will get to a whole other recipe/blog post/ video where I show how to make stabilized whipped cream with Instant Jell-O pudding!
      Whenever I do a Building on Recipes recipe- it is always easier for everyone to have all the individual BASE RECIPES made ahead of time, just like when you build a cake at home, you have to be sure you have all your components made up before you begin, so by linking to the other recipes, you can do that at your own pace and then when you are ready to make the Tiramisu! Viola! You are ready!

  5. Love, love seeing your videos! You have been a true inspiration to me. Was just wondering what happened to the Woodland Bakery? I made a “file” to save all your recipes, and I can’t tell you how often I’ve made your cakes!! This tiramisu is a must have! i’ll be making the “casserole” version next week when my husbands, Hard Core Italian family comes over our Labor Day cook out. What a great way to show them, this Polish girl loves them!! Thanks for sharing .

    1. HI Sandy! the Woodland Bakery Blog business has been shut down due to some major business dysfunction since February,
      I know much of the content that you are used to seeing is gone 🙁
      But I have been forced to start over again from zero and I am working as hard as possible to get the most popular and most requested videos and recipes done first.
      I can’t wait to hear what your Italian family thinks of this recipe! I bet they will fall in LOVE with this non- zabaglione recipe! Please do keep me posted!

  6. Hi Gretchen! Had to tell you I just found your blog last week, I already made the To -Die-For Chocolate Mousse,OMG! You made it sooo easy to do ,flawless! On Sat. I made the Crumb Buns, again” Out of this World!” I love this blog!!! Thank You for all of the wonderful recipes & all the time and hard work you put into your blog & posts . I can tell you put your heart and soul into it , it shows . I will be a forever follower. But right now I got to go and start my market list for the ingredients for Tiramisu! Thank You again, Tina

  7. Hi Gretchen,
    Very happy to see you again on the net. Has never seen clearer instructions . You’ll make a baker out of any self proclaimed klutz . I called my folder ” Gretchen University / Baking” . Just looking at you in the videos, one can tell you are a very generous person and you know and love what you do.. Stay positive and all the greatness that is yours will come in due time when you’ll be able to understand better its true value..God bless you.

  8. Hi Gretchen,

    I have enjoyed watching and using ur videos/ recipes over the yrs. I wanted to make this cake but it doesn’t say how many ppl it will serve. How many slices would I get from the cake versus the casserole?



    1. HI Thanks! I always hesitate to write how many people it serves since everyone serves differently- my mom and I and stepfather ate this whole entire thing just the 3 of us 🙁
      So I can’t really say it serves 3 people now can i?
      But it SHOULD serve about 9 people

  9. Hi Gretchen,
    Enjoy seeing your videos and love the way you make different cakes. Also, thanks for your whip cream stabilizing video.

  10. Dear Gretchen,
    I am so glad you are back. I was a customer at your bakery. I use to love standing waiting for my order and watching the videos.
    I really didn’t understand what happened when you left, but I am so happy I can learn from you this way.
    My best to you.
    Mary Gannon

    1. HI Mary! How wonderful to hear from you! It’s great to know some of the Chatham folks could appreciate the video tutorials as well!
      Nothing really “happened” when I left except that after 10 years I was utterly exhausted & decided to sell the bakery!
      Now I have the time and energy to focus on my blog and youtube videos which was my ultimate retirement goal! If you can all it retirement- since I am working just as much as ever LOL!
      But loving every minute of it!
      Thanks for the comment!

  11. Hi Gretchen I have never made tiramisu but you have inspired me to try it look delicious my next event we will have tiramisu thank you for the recipe thank you for sharing I am grateful.

    1. Hi Gretchen everything is so beautiful I especially like the strawberry cake .I would like to know do you have and ideal for baby shower

  12. Hello Gretchen!
    I am 11 years old and you have inspired me to bake from yhe age of 9 . There is a couple of shefs on the internet who I trust,Ramsay,and you are#1 in baking! So why can’t I find the best website ever, woodland bakory blog?and I don’t know if you made it or not but if you search “woodland bakory tiramisu” you get a pic of a bey title tiramisu on a colorful orange table cloth. If you can, may you please tell me what is different about that version. I notice that the cake is taller and the ladyfingers are thinner and longer. If you know what do you have to do or change in the recipient of anything to acheve that style? Thank you so much!

    1. HI Daniel! Thankyou! What an honor to be named among such a great chef as Gordon Ramsey is also MY fav!
      AS for the WBblog I’ve had to shut down anything related to that old business and everything with it was deleted, so I’ve started over here at Gretchens Bakery trying hard to refilm and reblog everything that I have lost.
      Thanks for your loyal following it means the world to me!

      The old version of the cake is the same as I show you here except you would put ALL this recipe into an 8″ cake ring, versus the 6″ + casserole I showed you here

  13. Hey Gretchen,
    I just wanted to say I love your site it’s definitely my go to baking site. I tried making the mousse for the tiramisu the taste was awesome its just my mixture came out very currrdled and watery I followed the recipe to way you had it I didn’t change anything I’m just not really sure what I did wrong. Any help wold be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Jake

    1. HI Jake thanks! Im sorry that happened to you, curdled hmm….. was the cheese fresh? Ive had curdling happen only when the mascarpone was on its way out- if you know what i mean
      Also some people experience what they call “curdled” when the gelatin doesnt get mixed in fast enough and it starts to set the cream or make it look curdled

      1. Hey Gretchen,
        I just wanted to let you know that I made the tiramisu again today and it came out perfect! The taste and consistency was awesome! Thanks for sharhing such a great recipe keep it up your doing an awesome job!!


  14. Hi Gretchen,

    I have been a fan of yours for quite some time and I think that your recipes are great! I wanted to try this Tiramisu recipe, but I don’t eat gelatin, is there another method, or something that I would be able to substitute it with?

    Thanks for any help,


  15. I was wanting to make the Teramisu recipe. You have mentioned that you used 1/2 recipe whipped cream with the vanilla jell-o variation. We do not get Vanilla pudding variation here. Can we just use plain heavy cream with gelatin as you mentioned for the decoration? Did you sprinkle cocoa powder on top?

  16. OMG! that was awesome. I love the way you focus the camera on the bowl to see how it whips up. Now I know what it should look like when I make one. You are my Baking Angel. Thanks again. I will show a pic when I make mine. The church folks are gonna love this one.

    Thank you so much

    Chef E

  17. Hello Gretchen. Let me start by saying you are truly awesome. All this help says a lot about the kind of person you are. Thank God for sending you my way.

    I’d really appreciate it if you could post recipes of your cookie dough buttercream, tower of death cake and one where you used cream cheese filling with real cake for a cheese cake.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. HI Beatrice! Thankyou so much for the kind words of encouragement! I so DO LOVE sharing with you all it is my favorite thing to do! I plan to refilm the cookie dough buttercream as well as the tower of death cake, there just doesnt seem to be enough time in a week for me to get it all as fast as Id like to- 400 videos was quite alot! But Im doing pretty good at 70 so far, with only 3 months under my belt here at the NEW Gretchens Bakery!
      In the meantime though if you go to my Gretchens Bakery facebook page in PHOTOS I have alot of the most popular recipes and also there are so many people who
      have saved the recipes and can share with you right away! Just ask on the main page! Thanks!
      Im not quite sure though, what you are referring to the cream cheese filling with real cake?

  18. Great baking I have made almost everything you have done over the past 2 years, this one is just a little confusing for me. We drink no booze so I just add coffee in place of it plus the simply syrup added to that?

  19. Hello Gretchen, I’ve followed the steps all the way to #9 every thing is perfect, once I add the whipping cream it curdles and get watery, I’ve done it twice and twice has reacted the same way. what I’m I doing wrong??

    1. Oh no that’s awful! But it does sound odd. Perhaps it is your whipping cream?
      Since you say everything is else is going good until that point
      Next time try to whip the cream in a separate bowl and then fold it into the Tiramisu cream

    2. Hello Gretchen I did what you suggested I prepared the alcohol with gelatin sauce and in another container I stabilized the whipped cream then I fold them. The result was amazingly delicious. Thank you!!

  20. hello gretchen!
    this is daniel once again, and thank you so much for getting back to me! it still feels pretty crazy
    to be talking to you because you are like the master at the arts! thankyou for getting back at me in the FERERRO ROCHER dream cake, and now i know why it curdled. but, i rememberd, that when it was whipping, it looked pretty smooth, and actualy, very good. but a second went by and it gou all lumpy. do you think it can be because I overwhipped too? and where can I get champagne mangos? thank you so much, and im looking foreward to making the mango mousse cake!

    1. Hi daniel, yes it sounds as if you could have whipped it too long
      I was able to find champagne mangoes when I was in NJ- so it depends where you live I think, some stores dont carry them
      THANKS!! 🙂

  21. Hi, Gretchen.

    I need to make tiramisu for 130-ish people for a banquet. I’m going to use your recipe since I don’t have a particularly favorite one of my own and the restaurant doesn’t have a house recipe. Do you know approximately how many average servings this one recipe has? I’m going to layer these in hotel pans and wanting to figure out how scale your recipe up to size to accommodate a hotel pan (and then figure out how many pans I need to make and how much mascarpone to order this week).


    1. awesome! You will love this recipe!
      I would say 1- hotel pan is going to serve 30 people? (is that your estimate?)
      if so you need 4 or 5 hotels
      My recipe here is for a 9X13 casserole which is about 1/3 of 1 hotel pan.
      So- I would multiply this recipe here by 12 (lady fingers probably just do 9 or 10X recipe)

  22. Hi Gretchen,
    Hope you are doing well. I can’t tell you how much I love your videos and how much I have learnt from them.
    I have been making Tiramisu using the egg method but you are right, this is so much easier and better.
    The ladyfigers were so soft and melt in mouth.
    I have a few questions, if you would be so kind to answer:
    1) is the amount of alcohol right? i made it last week and even though the texture and everything was perfect, i could taste a lot of alcohol in there.
    Maybe I added too much cream between layers?
    2) i wasnt able to bake all the ladyfingers at once and while i waited for the first batch to finish, the remaining batter had started to become watery. Did i do something wrong or is it supposed to go into the oven straight away?
    3) are we supposed to use the entire coffee syrup in soaking the ladyfingers?

    Thank you so much once again. Please keep up the good work.


    1. HI! Thanks and you are welcome too!
      AWESOME! thanks for the feedback!
      You can cut back on the alcohol if you think it is too much, some people are more sensitive to it, and even though I am not a drinker at all, I did not find this to be offensive, but just right!
      As for the lady fingers, yes you must bake them all at once or the delicate sponge will deflate and what you saw was the separation of the batter, CLICK HER FOR MORE
      Hmmm, the entire coffee syrup? Its possible you had extra – did you also brush the cake layers?
      The thing about cutting the base recipes like when I say ” Simple Syrup ¼ recipe” – thats the best I can do really without getting into advanced calculus LOL! But you are right, I should have mentioned you may not use all the syrup

  23. Hello Gretchen …your recipes are always awesome… I’m trying everything one by one so far it’s best . Hope you invent new recipes…
    What does kahlua mean ? Is that a drug ?? Any substitute for kahlua
    How to make simple syrup at home. Please help as i am non alchoholic .

  24. Hi Gretchen,

    I love your creations. I wanted to try this dessert ever since I viewed it. I made it the other day. I didn’t put a lot of presentation to the cake since it was just for me and my hubby. But the taste was just want I imagined…..divine! thanks for sharing.

  25. Hello Gretchen,

    This is a fabulous recipe… I want to make it for my daughter’s birthday, she loves tiramisus. I just wanted to ask you how tall is your ring mold… I have to buy one, but not sure which one to choose. Should I buy a cake mold, a mousse mold. Also, some are adjustable… but I am not sure if it is a good buy. Thank you!

  26. Thank you so much for this recipe!
    Would love to try it as a 10 inch round cake.
    Should I double the recipe?
    Can I use a spring form pan instead of a ring mould?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. I list all of my recipes in both cups & grams, so it is your preference whichever you wish to use (however use only 1 method, don’t get caught up worrying about converting both- stick to 1 way – cups or grams and weight measure is always superior)

      The ½ that I state in my recipe here is a clickable link where you will go get that recipe but you only need HALF since a whole recipe is too much

      This is my BUILDING ON RECIPES method which once you get the hang of it you will LOVE it and see how efficient it is for creating endless recipes this way

  27. Gretchen, my whipped cream and mascarpone mixture curdles and all my ingredients are fresh. I’m assuming it’s the water content in the cheese or the coffee. Next time I’ll try mixing the coffee in without the water… What do you think?

    1. I added them the same way you showed us. I added the coffee gelatin mixture slowly (im not using alcohol)…and poured the heavy cream in semi fast. The mixture doesn’t curdle up until it’s a soft peak or a a tad bit more than a soft peak..

      But actually the tiramisu turned out just fine.. The curdling just annoyed me since it doesn’t look appetizing.. But after it was set in the fridge, I guess the excess water was soaked up by the lady fingers.

  28. Hi Gretchen!
    In your past video for Tiramisu you used cream cheese and that how I had made it. Can you give me the amount of cream cheese I would need?
    Thank you 🙂

  29. Hi Gretchen, I am one of your Patreon supporters. I hope you can still take just a moment to respond to a question on this recipe that I want to make for my daughters 30th birthday. I want to make your cake but instead of using the lady fingers sponge cakes to trim it, I want to cover it in the red mirror glaze. I want something that looks very classy. I hope to decorate it with a white choc, lace that’s only halfway up. Here is the photo: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VexvZUj_pyU/U4di1pJFgfI/AAAAAAAAB8s/c8TTz2o-Huo/s1600/DSC_0039-550px.jpg. I guess I want to know if this mousse is the right consistency to make the smooth top required for the glaze to flow over the cake. I love the look of your red mirror glaze, would the flavor distract from the tiramisu flavors? Would you have any suggestions for changing the glaze flavor profile?

    1. hi Lisa! of course, I will always be here to help with baking of any kind! Yes this tiramisu will be great for a mirror glaze (be sure to pour when the mousse is frozen though for the smoothest and cleanest edges.
      I dont feel the mirror will distract it will play nicely since to me it simply tastes like a white ganache

  30. Hi Gretchen!
    Just wondering if instead of the Meyers/kahlua combo if I can just do kahlua? I don’t drink and don’t want to spend the money on the Meyers if I don’t have to. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  31. Gretchen i broke the mousse twice! Im so discouraged! Im down to cream cheese now since i used all my mascarpone. It just seems to not make it to soft peaks then bam it breaks. .

    1. Hmm, broken typically means you are overwhipping, so remember the gelatin in the recipe is going to firm this mousse. I stop at very soft peaks (I know you are saying you are not quite getting there, so perhaps you will need to whip the cream separately and them fold it in rather than do it the way I show here)

      1. Gretchen, First of all I really appreciate you! What Im about to tell you may not be in your way of thinking but I am hard pressed to speak it! I went to bed after being up all night, so upset mostly about wasting money on the ingredients for the mouse, but Gretchen I woke up knowing what the big issue was. I am making this cake for my daughter’s 30th birthday party, which her future mother in law is hosting. The lady has been bugging me if I need any help and maybe it would be good for her to buy the cake to take the pressure off of me because during the holidays I work a ton of hours. The point is Ive been very prideful about this. The Scriptures say that pride goes before a fall (Proverbs 16:8) and fall I did. I retried this when I got back up this morning and I asked God to forgive my pride and reminded myself that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! (Philippians 4:13). I had to use cream cheese and was low on Kahlua so I used part Kahlua and part coffee. I followed your instructions again (asking my husband to pray for me) and then as soon as I saw any sign of things setting up I stopped. I did it Gretchen and I wanted you to know that God is Great! May he bless you in all your endevors and throughout the changes in your life. You have encouraged so many people and I know God will bless you for it!!!

        1. Hi Lisa!! I love this message and I am so happy you shared! What a wonderful break though and I am so glad you realized this and went for it again! Excellent excellent! Congratulations!! and thankyou again!

  32. This Cake looks so delicious and I think its going to taste like one too. The beauty of the cake is its flavors and ingredients that are used. I love to bake cakes and this one is definitely on my cook list. I really wanted to bake one of this cakes for my husband on his birthday. I hope it turned out to be as you have made. Finger crossed!

  33. Hi gretchen. I wanted to buy your e.book recipe but is it safe to pay here?because i was almost there i just had to type the 3 numbers located at the back of my card, but it said it will share your account info after i typed the number that prompted me to cancel the transaction.

    1. HI there thanks! I use a totally safe 3rd party credit card processor for these transactions, I do not (personally) ever see any numbers, not does anyone except STRIPE processing)

  34. Hi Gretchen, I’ve made so many of your desserts and they always come out spot on and taste fantastic! But I’m having a problem with this one and I’m hoping you can help. It seems that the gelatin won’t really bloom when added to the kahlua and rum; it doesn’t “gel”. I’ve tried it twice. I then bloomed another package of gelatin in water just to see if maybe there was something wrong with the gelatin and it gelled just fine. I’m assuming that it may be due to the alcohol, but not sure since no one else has mentioned it. I definitely want to use the kahlua and rum. Any thoughts or advice?

    1. Hmm, I use the sheets here and have had no trouble, fine that you are using a water blooming powder method though, so good job for trying that! You can add the melted gelatin along with the alcohol in the recipe

  35. Hi Gretchen, amazing tiramisu, all turned very well, it did need a bit of organizing before it all came together. Some information, I leave in Greece and could not find at my grocery store powder gelatin. Instead I used 4 leaves of gelatin 7,5cmX11cm, put them in cold water to get them soft, squeezed a bit the water and warmed them in the rum/Kahlua mixture without a problem. Then continued with the recipe, perfect setting, thank you!

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