– This is hands down the best tiramisu cake recipe we’ve ever made. –
After sharing her recipe for Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake last month and her Peach and Blueberry Upside Down Cake over the summer, Julie’s back with the very best tiramisu cake recipe on the planet. Handed down from a master chef and then made easier for the home kitchen, it’s a sure-fire hit!
Get Ready for the Best Tiramisu Cake Recipe!
As I mentioned last month, I’m excited to share my favorite tiramisu recipe. This dish has been in my files for about 24 years now and I get at least three requests a year to make it for special events and holidays, from my boys and friends that I have shared it with in the past.
It originally came from one of our favorite Italian restaurants when we lived in South Florida, and I had been fortunate enough to win a cooking class with the chef/owner at an auction. (Clearly, I have a thing for auctions!) Luckily, for the 10 of us in the class that day, he shared his favorite tiramisu recipe with us, which he serves on a layer of espresso sabayon (or zabaglione, a fancy Italian word for custard made with sweet wine).
Over the years, I have made this my own with little tweaks here and there. The biggest change I made was eliminating the sabayon. As lush as it was, we felt that extra layer overwhelmed the flavors of the tiramisu.
One thing that makes this the best tiramisu cake recipe is the use of amaretto instead of rum, which I have always found overpowers the tiramisu with the flavor of alcohol. You cook the amaretto with the espresso until it thickens to a syrup, and then you brush it over the ladyfingers so they can absorb that yummy almond-y coffee flavor.
The ladyfingers are then layered between a mascarpone and pastry cream mixture, which has just a hint of amaretto. When you are done putting the layers together, you sprinkle the whole thing with crushed amaretto cookies and finely shaved chocolate.
In my book, this is such an incredible combination of flavors. I have a hard time not licking all the bowls when making this tiramisu recipe.
Give yourself plenty of time to make this delightful dessert. The best tiramisu cake recipe requires a little patience, as it needs to sit in the refrigerator overnight so the flavors have time to meld and the ladyfingers absorb the amaretto-espresso mixture.
Best Tiramisu Cake Recipe
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 cup freshly prepared espresso
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup amaretto
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup amaretto
- 1 cup pastry cream (see recipe above)
- 1 package Italian ladyfingers
- 10-15 amaretto cookies crushed coarsely
- 3 ounce chunk of bittersweet chocolate
Make the pastry cream
- Combine milk, sugar, cornstarch, and egg yolks in a small pot. Use a paring knife to split the half vanilla bean length-wise, and use a butter knife to scrape out the tiny inner beans. Place both the tiny beans and the empty pod in the pot.
- Whisking constantly, cook the custard over low heat until thick and lightly bubbling. Once the custard has thickened, remove from heat and whisk in butter and salt. Pour into a clean bowl and press plastic wrap directly to the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming.
- Refrigerate immediately and let chill at least one hour before using. This can be done a day in advance.
Make the espresso syrup
- Combine espresso, sugar, and amaretto in a small saucepan. Stir well. Bring to boil and let simmer for 5 -10 minutes, reducing it to a thick, syrupy consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use. This can be done a day in advance.
Make the filling
- minutes ahead of time, place a large bowl in the freezer. Remove the bowl from the freezer and add the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, blend the mascarpone cheese, sugar, amaretto, and pastry cream. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Press plastic wrap to the surface of the filling and refrigerate until ready to use.
Assemble the tiramisu
- In a baking dish or trifle bowl, put down 1 layer of ladyfingers. Generously brush the ladyfingers with espresso syrup to soften.
- Spread a layer of the mascarpone filling over the top of the ladyfingers, about 1/2 inch thick.
- Put down another layer of ladyfingers and brush them with more of the espresso syrup. Spread the remaining mascarpone filling over the top.
- Sprinkle crushed amaretto cookies over the top of the tiramisu. Use a fine grater to grate the bittersweet chocolate over the cookie topping.
- Cover tiramisu and place in refrigerator overnight – or minimum 3 hours - before serving. An overnight rest will yield the best flavor.
This content was originally posted on FearlessFresh.com.