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Homemade tiramisu in a serving dish with plates and forks for serving.

Best Classic Italian Tiramisu

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli (adapted from Aunt Enza's Tiramisu)
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 Minutes (plus at least 2 hours chill time)
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: Italian


Why choose between coffee and dessert when you can have BOTH? This recipe for the best classic Italian tiramisu is easy to make in advance and holds up well in the refrigerator for several days, making it perfect for dinner parties. This decadent, creamy dessert has been getting rave reviews for years!


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups strongly brewed coffee or espresso, cooled to room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, divided (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 16 ounces mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons Marsala wine (optional)
  • 1 (7-ounce) package ladyfingers
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder for garnish, optional


  1. Separate the eggs into 2 medium bowls, omitting one of the egg whites (see notes below for ideas to use up that extra egg white!). To the bowl with the egg whites, add 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Beat together with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  2. Add the remaining sugar to the bowl with the egg yolks and beat together until the mixture has thickened and turned pale yellow. Add the mascarpone and Marsala wine and continue mixing until well combined.
  3. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the mascarpone mixture.
  4. Place the cooled coffee in a bowl wide enough to fit the length of a ladyfinger. One at a time, dip each ladyfinger into the coffee, flipping over to coat both sides. Transfer the dampened ladyfinger to the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish (or other serving container). Repeat until you have a single layer, which should be about 1/3 of your ladyfingers. Cover with about 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture, gently spreading it to form an even layer. Repeat this process until you have 3 layers of cookies and 3 layers of mascarpone mixture.
  5. Dust the top of the tiramisu with a layer of cocoa powder, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
  6. Serve chilled.


You'll need about 12 shots of espresso to make enough to soak the ladyfingers in this recipe.

You can use instant espresso to help make things easier here in a pinch.

You only need 2 of the 3 egg whites for this recipe. Feel free to reserve the extra egg white in a sealed container in your refrigerator to use within a few days. You can add it to other eggs when making scrambled eggs or omelets, in an egg wash to glaze bread or pastries, in homemade mayonnaise, or in delicious French macarons. You can even freeze egg whites for later use.

See full post above for recipe tips, ideas for substitutions, and more!

Adapted from Epicurious December 1996


  • Serving Size: 1 big scoop
  • Calories: 383
  • Sugar: 20 g
  • Sodium: 82.1 mg
  • Fat: 26.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 17.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27.9 g
  • Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 5.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 158.8 mg
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