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Two parfaits with a sifter

Individual Tiramisu Parfaits

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Individual Tiramisu Parfaits are a multi-layered version of the classic Italian dessert.  An easy, luscious no-bake recipe that will have everyone swooning after their first bite. And as a bonus, no one has to share!!

This Easy Tiramisu Recipe is flavored with coffee, Kahlua, and Frangelico for a trifecta of deliciousness! Plus the creamy mascarpone and eggs give a rich, dreamy mouthfeel that can’t be rivaled!

Tiramisu Parfait in a glass with a red handled spoon

Individual Tiramisu Parfaits

I was watching an episode of  The Chew a few years ago. A mother and daughter had a Tiramisu showdown. The mom shared her traditional Italian version and her daughter showcased a more modern twist.

I recreated the winner’s updated, easy tiramisu recipe. Using the harder, more cookie-like ladyfingers, called savoiardi, was new for me. I tend to go for the soft spongecake like ladyfingers. I also loved her addition of Kahlua and Frangelico liqueurs. Plus the daughter’s layered presentation was definitely more enticing than the typical dish of tiramisu sprinkled with cocoa powder.

Two tiramisu parfaits and a red handled spoon with a spoonful of tiramisu

What Is Tiramisu?

You may have eaten this Italian classic dessert when dining out, but do you know tiramisu means in Italian? According to my Food Lover’s Companion, it translates to “carry me up” or “pick me up.” Often, the assumption is that the “up” is heaven! Traditionally, tiramisu is made of ladyfingers soaked in a marsala and coffee mixture, then layered with mascarpone cream and topped with grated chocolate or cocoa. It’s also referred to as Italian trifle, though purists feel tiramisu is much lighter than a trifle.

What Is a Parfait?

Now that you know what makes up a tiramisu, you might wonder what makes a dish a parfait. Well, parfaits are served in tall and narrow footed “parfait glasses,” to showcase a beautiful dessert. In the US, parfaits mean an ice cream sundae, layered with whipped cream, nuts, and even a cherry topper. In France, parfait translates to perfect and refers to a frozen custard often flavored with fruit. Now nearly any dessert can be a “parfait” if served in a tall footed glass.

Two tiramisu parfaits and a cocoa duster

How to Make Tiramisu Parfaits

There are four components of a traditional tiramisu: the sponge cake or ladyfingers, the soaking liquid, the mascarpone cream, and the chocolate topping. Since this parfait recipe is served in pretty glasses, it’s nice to double the layers of traditional tiramisu.

For this parfait recipe:

  • Layer half of the crushed, hard Savoiardi ladyfingers soaked in milk, Kahlua, coffee, and sugar among glasses.
  • Next, layer half of the creamy mixture of egg yolks, sugar, mascarpone, and liqueurs lightened whipped egg whites, mascarpone cream over the ladyfingers.
  • Then repeat both layers before finishing off with a dusting of cocoa powder, though grated chocolate is a terrific alternative, too!

Making a Safe Tiramisu

You may know that eating raw eggs puts you at risk for a foodborne illness called salmonella. Hunt down some pasteurized eggs that are gently heated 140 degrees before being packaged to kill any bacteria. Pasteurized egg whites are harder to whip, but be patient. You do not want to feed uncooked eggs to those with compromised immune systems, the very young or the elderly.

How to Pasteurize Eggs at Home

If you have a burner that can keep your water at 140º for 3 minutes, you can pasteurize your eggs at home. This must be done with a very accurate thermometer as over 142º can cook the eggs. And a lower temperature will not kill salmonella. I have done this using my Instant Read Digital Thermometer (affiliate link).

More Tasty Tiramisu Recipes:

This recipe was first shared in November 2013. Text and photos were updated in 2020.

Two tiramisu parfaits and a cocoa duster

Individual Tiramisu Parfaits

A luscious, layered version of a classic Italian dessert. Everyone gets one of their own mini desserts.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 24 lady fingers, crushed (use the harder biscuit lady fingers instead of the sponge cake lady fingers)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups coffee
  • 3 tablespoons Kahlua (or any coffee liqueur), divided
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 9 ounces Mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Frangelico (or any hazelnut liqueur)
  • Cocoa powder, to serve

Instructions

  1. Mix together milk, coffee, 2 tablespoons Kahlua and 4 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl. Add the crushed ladyfingers to soak.
  2. Beat together egg yolks and remaining tablespoon of sugar. Add the mascarpone cheese, remaining Kahlua and Frangelico.
  3. With a hand or stand mixer, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold into the mascarpone mixture.
  4. Spoon half of the soaked ladyfingers between small glasses (mine were about 5 ounces each), then top with a layer of the mascarpone mixture. Add a second layer of the soaked lady fingers and top with more mascarpone mixture Smooth tops. Cover each with a dusting of cocoa powder. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Notes

Recipe adapted from The Chew

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 334Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 7g

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