Best Tiramisu Cake Recipe

This is the best tiramisu cake recipe on Earth. Handed down from a master chef and then made easy for the home kitchen, it's a sure-fire hit.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 299kcal
Author Julie Dreyfoos


Pastry Cream

  • 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

Espresso syrup

  • 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)

For assembling

  • 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.


Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 41mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 0.7mg