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Slice of Classic Tiramisu on a square white plate

Classic Tiramisu Recipe

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Italian for “pick me up,” Classic Tiramisu is an espresso and booze flavored dessert made with mascarpone, cream, and ladyfingers. A topping of grated chocolate is just one more sublime component.

Classic Tiramisu in a highball glass

Dreamy Classic Tiramisu Recipe

My search for the perfect classic tiramisu recipe all started after a family holiday to Vancouver, British Columbia. My family relocated to this breathtakingly beautiful, cosmopolitan Canadian city when my dad took a year’s sabbatical at UBC.  I learned to say about as “aboot,” been as “bean,” as well as spent the winter weekends skiing on Grouse Mountain and summers at Kits beach or sailing on English Bay. Bill and I had traveled to Vancouver as newlyweds, but we brought the whole family a few years back.

The hubby and I dined at the famed, but now defunct, Lumiere, where Bill will always remember the chocolate cake with beets with disdain. But my most memorable dessert was the classic tiramisu at Romano’s Macaroni Grill (I had no clue it was a chain as it was in a charming old home!) The tiramisu portion was huge, creamy, luscious and richer than any I’d ever eaten. Truth be told, it was my son Tom’s dessert, but he was kind enough to let me sample spoonful after spoonful. I rarely order dessert, just politely mooch.

Slice of Classic Tiramisu on a square white plate

Copycat Tiramisu Recipe

I returned home, certain that Google would produce the tiramisu recipe in seconds. No such luck. All I found was the scary calorie count (you don’t want to know!) of said dessert. So since Tom and I are both fans of coffee desserts, I figured I could do a few test runs to find the perfect copycat recipe of my own.

The first, a supposed recipe from their sister restaurant, The Olive Garden, fell short. The flavor was nice, but the ratio of mascarpone filling to ladyfingers was off and it was slightly too soupy to cut nicely. Phooey.

Tom was happy to take all the leftovers home as I could feel my pancreas cranking out insulin after all my taste testing. So I took that recipe, decreased the mascarpone and cream plus added some extra vanilla as well as rum to both the dipping liquid and the filling. Much better. Plus this classic tiramisu does not contain raw eggs, so no risk except to the waistline!

Classic Tiramisu in a cocktail glass garnished with chocolate covered coffee beans

Check out my Delectable Desserts Pinterest Board for More Irresistible Sweets!  Tiramisu Cheesecake is a decadent tiramisu inspired recipe.

Classic Tiramisu pinterest collage

More of My Favorite Recipes Flavored with Coffee:

Mocha Ice Cream | Silky mocha ice cream topped with a pillow of marshmallow sauce

Mocha Ice Cream

Kahlua Bundt Cake | A super easy, decadent chocolate cake !

Kahlua Bundt Cake


Slow Cooker Coffee Glazed Brisket

Chocolate Kahlua Cake on a white cake stand topped with fresh raspberries

Flourless Chocolate Kahlua Cake 

Classic Tiramisu - a dreamy, copycat recipe with no raw eggs

Classic Tiramisu

My copycat attempt of Romano's Macaroni Grill Classic Tiramisu.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 9 servings



  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 20-24 ladyfingers (I used a 7-ounce package of Savoiardi biscuit-type ladyfingers)

Soaking liquid:

  • 1/2 cup cold espresso
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Grated semisweet chocolate


  1. In the top of a double boiler (or rig your own by placing a heat safe bowl over a pan of barely simmering water), whisk together egg yolks, rum and sugar. Cook over simmering water while beating with a hand mixer till mixture triples in size, about 5 minutes. Remove pan with egg mixture from heat, mix in mascarpone and vanilla and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Whip cream to stiff peaks, then fold about a third into egg mixture to lighten. Add the rest and gently fold till combined.
  3. Combine espresso, Kahlua, sugar, rum and vanilla in shallow dish (I used a Pyrex pie plate).
  4. Dip half of the ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee, and arrange on bottom of 8 x 8-inch pan (you may need to break a few to fit in the pan).
  5. Spoon half the mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers and smooth the top. Repeat with the rest of the ladyfingers and top with the remaining filling.
  6. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Dust top with grated semisweet chocolate, then cut into squares to serve.


If you use soft ladyfingers, you may need to increase the soaking liquid.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 513Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 217mgSodium: 271mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 7g


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39 comments on “Classic Tiramisu Recipe”

  1. I would love some! Really great dessert that for some reason I haven’t had for ages..

  2. Looks absolutely heavenly! You are a dessert queen, Liz.

  3. It looks gorgeous, I love coffee in desserts! We have a B-Day today, the dessert of choice? …pizzelles! Never would have guessed that, but they are nice and easy:@)

  4. Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts and yours is just beautiful. Believe it or not the last time I had this dessert was in Italy a couple of years ago, need to give yours a try real soon. Wishing you a super weekend.

  5. Tiramisu is my very favorite dessert!

  6. I can never get enough of tiramisu & this is an eye-candy! xoxo

  7. Tiramisu has been on my to try at home list of desserts for ages. Now that I have finally found a store that carries mascarpone I can try your amazing looking recipe.

  8. All these years of consuming mass amounts of tiramisu and I never knew it meant “Pick Me Up”

  9. That looks perfect! My mother always made tiramisu in a trifle dish for holidays, and it always became the highlight of a meal… this looks just as amazing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. It’s been years since I’ve made a tiramisu, but I made it all the time as a newlywed and everyone raved about it. I even remember sending leftovers home with my cousin, who couldn’t get enough of it! Thanks for bringing back those memories.

  11. I have a Macaroni Grill right down the street (though I don’t eat there much). I love tiramisu and this looks so beautiful and inviting!

  12. Yum! This Tiramisu looks amazing! The layers are gorgeous and are those chocolate covered espresso beans on top? They are beautiful!

  13. One of my favorite desserts and so difficult to get right. This one sounds very promising will have to try it out.

  14. I’m so glad you figured this out Liz! It looks super delicious and I love the way it cuts so perfectly!

  15. I don’t know why, but I’ve never made tiramisu at home. I’ve only enjoyed it at restaurants. Yours looks so good!

  16. It’s a classic for a reason. Glad you worked out the recipe.

  17. I had no idea that Tiramisu meant ‘pick me up’! Perfect name for a perfect dessert, seriously, it’s my favorite! I politely mooch too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. LOVE that you use Kahlua! You cake is beautiful.

  19. Beautiful Lizzy! I love Tiramisu!!!

  20. I wiah I had your Tiramisu right now:) pregnancy cravings are starting.. hehe

  21. Your pick-me-up would definitely lift the corners of my mouth! Isn’t wonderful that some foods hold such precious memories? Ps Thank you from the coffee dessert loving universe for persevering with your quest for the perfect tiramisu =)

  22. Tiramisu is really one of my all-time favourites, thank you for sharing this delectable recipe with us. I haven’t heard of that chain restaurant so it must be a BC thing. I absolutely love that slice, so perfect!
    How nice that you were able to live in BC, I’ve only visited a few times, it’s such a lovely province. Hope you were also able to get up to Whistler, for world class skiing. Grouse Mountain is also great in the summer, they have some fabulous hikes.

  23. Liz, I love love love tiramisu!!! yours looks so elegant and delicious! Beautiful!

  24. I love this presentation for tiramisu, so pretty!

  25. Tiramisu is on my cooking/baking bucket list — this one looks amazing.

  26. Tiramisu is one of my top dessert choices when dining out. Your version looks gorgeous, Liz! I would like a piece so big that my pancreas would definitely be working overtime!

  27. Tiramisu is my first love and this looks like a winning recipe. I need a bigger spoon for this one.

  28. Copycat recipes are fun to do. Yours sounds way better than the original. I made tiramisu many years ago and must go search for this recipe from a hotel in Vail. I love tiramisu but it is a luxury calorie wise. If you get a few minutes give a holler on your way through. And if not have a great trip. I so miss going to Aspen!

  29. You crack me up: “I just politely mooch.” I do the SAME thing! LOL! This is one of my favorite desserts to order out, and yours looks amazing! Love the boozy sophisticated additions! As always — looks divine, Liz! xo

  30. I LOV Tiramisu! All coffee desserts are at the top of my favorite list ๐Ÿ˜‰

  31. It looks entirely too pretty to eat! But I don’t think I’d have a problem devouring it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Oh my heavens!! Pardon me while I wipe the drool off of my keyboard!

  33. For years I ordered tiramisu wherever I could. I love it! Such a great recipe with kahlua Liz! I really love love love coffee in a dessert!

  34. Wow, I did not know that you spent time in Vancouver. Our eldest son went to a branch of UBC in Kelowna, B.C. My son and daughter-in-law just got back from their 5 1/2 week honeymoon in Canada….they started on the east coast and worked their way back to Banff, Vernon, Kelowna, Whistler and Vancouver. They had a lovely time!

    Your dessert sounds very dreamy for sure!

  35. I haven’t had tiramisu in forever, but I agree a good version can be hard to come by but is such a good thing. This looks great!

  36. I’ll have to make this for Madison the next time she is home. Tiramisu is has been her fave since she was very little! Sounds delish!

  37. For some insane reason I’ve never taken Tiramisu seriously. That is about to change, this looks delicious!

  38. Lizzy,
    I love Tiramisu. Your version looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it.

  39. this looks absolutely perfect for my brunch on Sunday. Cant wait to try this !

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