There are few desserts my husband loves more than Classic Tiramisu.  Anytime we go out to dinner and it is on the dessert menu, it is a no-brainer that he will order it for us to share.  I can’t say that I complain when this happens.  Who doesn’t love the spongy ladyfingers soaked in espresso and enveloped in rich, silky pastry cream?

Classic Tiramisu {}

Classic Tiramisu is a great dessert to make for an occasion because can make it ahead of time and it actually becomes better if you leave it in the refrigerator overnight.  Dressed up with a bit of shaved chocolate, you’ll have your guests thinking you must have bought dessert from a fancy bakery.

Classic Tiramisu {}

There are several steps involved with making Classic Tiramisu, but none of them is difficult.  First, you make the thick cream which is basically like making homemade pudding or custard.  Then you make a syrup by combining the espresso with sugar.  Now comes the fun part when you dip each ladyfinger in the espresso syrup and layer them between the pastry cream.  Top Classic Tiramisu by dusting with cocoa powder and chocolate shavings.

Classic Tiramisu

Yield: serves 12

Classic Tiramisu that is easy to make yet perfect enough to impress your guests


    For the pastry cream:
  • 2 cups milk, divided (I used skim milk)
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • For the coffee syrup:
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed strong coffee or espresso
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • To assemble and garnish:
  • about 30 ladyfingers
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp shaved chocolate


    For the pastry cream:
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 3/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup sugar. Heat over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar, flour and egg yolks with a whisk until well combined.
  3. Using a ladle, add some of the warm milk mixture to the egg mixture while whisking constantly. This will warm the egg mixture (temper the eggs) slowly so that you don't end up with scrambled eggs. Add another ladleful of the warm milk mixture to the egg mixture still whisking. Pour the rest of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until well combined.
  4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium heat while stirring until the mixture boils. Boil while stirring for a few minutes until the mixture has thickened.
  5. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large, heatproof bowl and pour the cream mixture through the strainer to remove any lumps.
  6. Finally, whisk the vanilla and butter in to the cream mixture until combined.
  7. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  8. Once chilled, mix the room temperature mascarpone cheese into the cream mixture until smooth and combined.
  9. For the coffee syrup:
  10. In a medium shallow bowl, combine the coffee (or espresso) and sugar and mix to combine.
  11. To assemble and garnish:
  12. Ready your ladyfingers, pastry cream and coffee syrup.
  13. Line a standard-size loaf pan with plastic wrap allowing the wrap to hang liberally over the edges of the pan.
  14. Dip one ladyfinger at a time into the coffee syrup and place in a single layer onto the bottom of the prepared loaf pan (should be about 8 ladyfingers).
  15. Top with 1/3 of the pastry cream and smooth top evenly.
  16. Continue by dipping ladyfingers and again, layering in a single layer over the 1st layer of pastry cream.
  17. Top with 1/2 of remaining cream.
  18. Add another layer of dipped ladyfingers.
  19. Top with remaining cream.
  20. End with a final layer of dipped ladyfingers.
  21. Cover the tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate at 6-8 hours, ideally overnight.
  22. Unwrap tiramisu. Invert your serving platter on the top of the loaf pan and gently, but quickly flip the tiramisu over onto the platter. Remove pan and plastic wrap.
  23. Dust the top of the tiramisu with the cocoa powder.
  24. Garnish with shaved chocolate and serve.
  25. Recipe adapted from

Classic Tiramisu {}

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One Comment ( Reply )

  1. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    May 05, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

    So beautiful! I love tiramisu…not sure why I haven’t made it especially since I have the espresso part down! 🙂


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