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Tiramisù with Marsala recipe

Tiramisù with Marsala recipe

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This famous and classic Italian dessert of savoiardi biscuits dipped in coffee and layered with a mixture of mascarpone cheese and eggs is a little different with the addition of Marsala wine.

11 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 600ml espresso coffee
  • 300ml marsala wine
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 100g sugar
  • 400g mascarpone cheese
  • 300g savoiardi biscuits
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • chocolate shavings

MethodPrep:40min ›Extra time:2hr chilling › Ready in:2hr40min

  1. Make the coffee and pour it into a bowl to cool down. Add the marsala wine. (If you use espresso cups to measure the coffee and wine, use 10 espresso cups of coffee and 5 espresso cups of wine.)
  2. Separate the yolks from the whites. Beat the yolks with half of the sugar until you have a clear cream with no lumps. Whisk the mascarpone with a wooden spoon or whisk until you get a cream and add that to the egg yolk cream.
  3. Beat the egg whites with the rest of the sugar until they form peaks. Fold gently into the mixture of mascarpone and egg yolks.
  4. Dip the savoiardi biscuits in the coffee and Marsala mix. Place them carefully in a glass Pyrex-type dish and then cover the biscuits with the cream. Smooth out the cream so that it is evenly distributed and then sprinkle the cocoa powder on top.
  5. Make a second layer of savoiardi biscuits and then a layer of cream. Sprinkle generously with more cocoa powder and top with the shavings of chocolate. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving.


When you are mixing the egg whites with the mascarpone and yolk mixture, you can also add some small pieces of chocolate to the mixture to make it crunchy.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(5)

Reviews in English (3)

The mascapone cream is lovely, but there is serious problem with coffee Marsala mix - it is far too much for the required amount of biscuits, and somehow alcohol taste gets lost in that amount of coffee.-01 Dec 2017

This is an easy basic recipe for tiramisu. I've always made mine with Marsala. We enjoyed this very much.-27 Sep 2012

by Buckwheat Queen

I’m addicted to tiramisù and this version doesn’t disappoint. I’m not a big fan of the flavor of Marsala wine, but if you are this is for you. Thank you for the recipe.-26 Jan 2018


This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This Italian tiramisù recipe is easy to whip up, this version is made with cooked (instead of raw) eggs, and it tastes just as indulgent and delicious as ever.

My husband loves tiramisù.

I mean, let’s be honest, he and I are obsessed with basically all Italian food. But anytime we’re eating out at our favorite Italian restaurant and have feasted on antipasti, salads and pasta galore, I can’t help but laugh because Barclay still can never resist ordering a slice of tiramisù for dessert. Lol, I am always completely stuffed by that point and can’t even fathom the idea of additional carbohydrates. But when it comes to tiramisù, my sweets-loving husband insists “you can always make room.” ♡

Well, after missing our favorite Italian restaurant (and a trip we had planned to Italy) these past few months during all of the craziness of 2020, I decided to surprise Barclay by studying up on how to make tiramisù here at home. And I was pleased to discover that it’s actually much easier than I had expected! Plus, the bonus of making homemade tiramisu is that you have the option to (a) use decaf instead of caffeinated espresso, which I very much appreciate in the evenings (b) choose whether to use marsala, rum, brandy, bourbon, or you can omit the alcohol entirely, and (c) choose to use cooked instead of raw eggs. And of course, eat leftovers for breakfast the next day, which I very highly recommend.

So if you’re looking for an easy make-ahead Italian dessert this time of year that’s going to be a guaranteed crowd pleaser, pick up a package of ladyfingers the next time you’re at the store and let’s make some tiramisù!

Recipe: Traditional Tiramisù

Don’t ask me how this blog existed so far without a Tiramisù recipe. There’s simply no excuse!

This is one of the most famous desserts in the world, yet it is quite recent. Apparently (but you know, in the history of pastry, nothing is for certain), it was invented in Treviso, near Venice, in the 1960’s in a family-run restaurant.

Its name might sound a bit funny and it literally means “cheer-me-up”/”lift-me-up”, probably because of its high energetic content coming from the eggs (some also say because of its – unverified – aphrodisiac power).

This famous dessert contains three great Italian ingredients:

  • Ladyfingers: these biscuits were originally invented in the region of Savoy (which is now in France, but previously belonged to Italy) and are still widespread in the former territories of the House of Savoy (e.g. Piedmont and Sardinia)
  • Mascarpone cheese, originally from an area not far from Milan
  • Coffee
  • (In addition to these, the mascarpone mousse is very similar to an Italian sabayon with Marsala wine)

Almost every household in Italy has its own special recipe of Tiramisù: with egg yolks, with egg whites or whipped cream, with or without Marsala wine… and the variants are endless.

What I tried to write in this post is a traditional recipe (which is also the best I’ve tasted so far, in my humble opinion): Tiramisù is often a homemade dessert made with simple ingredients and simple techniques. For this reason, the original version contains raw eggs: this definitely makes it a potentially hazardous dessert (salmonella!) and for sure you won’t find a pastry shop that dares serving you this recipe.

Nevertheless, if you buy good-quality, fresh eggs (and you handle them carefully: see notes below the recipe), you sensibly limit the health risks… and trust me, it is really worth it because this is one of the best desserts ever!

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Original Tiramisu Recipe

Weekends promise a sweet allowance, and why not rediscover the pull-me-up classic of the 80s, Tiramisu. When it comes to tiramisu making there are at least two schools: one that swears to a creamy custard-type kind of dessert, and one that is firmer, more like a cake. My version belongs to the last category, but you can soften it up by folding 1 dl whipped cream or 2 stiffly whisked egg whites in the cream. This will change the texture and add extras fat – for those who need it – or extra volume.

You can also regulate the taste and the texture by drowning the savoyardi or ladies fingers in more coffee and liqueur, but in my experience there is a messy line between soaked and disintegrated, so I would not recommend it to first timers, although tiramisu is very difficult to spoil once you have got the right ingredients.


4 egg yolks
4 tbsp sugar
500 g mascarpone
>2 cups cold espresso coffee
4 cl Marsala wine
150 g savoyardi (ladies fingers)
Grated zest of 1 organic lemon
Unsweetened cocoa powder


With an electric mixer whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is white and you can no longer see the small grains of sugar. Have patience.
Add one spoon of mascarpone and stir it in with the mixer, before you fold the sugared eggs in the mascarpone.
Now add the grated lemon zest
Spread a little mascarpone cream over the bottom of a serving dish
Pour coffee and marsala in a deep plate and dip each savoyardi lengthwise in the liquid, before you make a layer of biscuits in the dish.
Cover the savoyardi biscuits with a layer of mascarpone cream according to the lasagna principle.
Make a new layers till all ingredients have been used, ending off with a layer of cream.
Cover the tiramisu and leave it in fridge for at least 5 hours.
Dust the Tiramisu with cocoa before serving.

The Best Tiramisù Ever

Tiramisù is definitely one of the most beloved desserts throughout Italy and the world. If you want to surprise your friends, this is the recipe for you. This easy, soft dessert comes from Treviso in northern Italy.

Tira-me-su, which means “cheer me up” in the Veneto language was invented by a pastry chef in the 1950s. There are records, found in cookbooks from some Jewish families with the name of “mascarpone cream.” Every family has their own recipe, so I will show you my version: an authentic one with a personal addition.

Top-ranked in my personal list of best Italian desserts, tiramisù calls for a lot of coffee. Although I am Italian, I am not really fond of coffee because I don’t like the taste. Yet, tiramisù is the dessert of my dreams. When I eat out and at the end of an important meal, I always order tiramisù. I have been looking for the best recipes for ages. I have found some pretty good ones, and I have turned the best-tasting one into this recipe. When you want to celebrate something important, choose this delicious, mouthwatering, soft dessert. You won’t regret it.

Is it safe to eat raw egg yolks in tiramisù?

A few years ago, I attended a short pastry course where I was told I should pasteurize the eggs. That course was meant to train pastry chefs who were going to work in big supermarkets, so the safety issue was very critical to the process.

I was taught the following method: you have to bring a mix of sugar and water to a boil until it reaches 250°F (121°C). Then you have to pour it into the eggs you are whipping. Finally, you beat it until completely cold 60°F (20°C) and whipped. Then add the mascarpone cheese and the whipped cream or egg whites. This way your cream will be perfectly pasteurized and safe. But you have to be really skilled to keep the temperature under strict control otherwise, you will get something like scrambled eggs instead of a fluffy, smooth cream.

Do you have to make tiramisu well in advance?

Tiramisù takes time. It must sit and rest so all the flavors are well absorbed. This is a dessert you have to assemble little by little so it takes some time for the flavors to blend together. You can’t prepare this dessert in the morning and have it for lunch. Make your tiramisù the evening before and let it sit in the fridge overnight for a better flavor and a perfectly creamy consistency.

Eggs are the key ingredients for tiramisù

Your eggs must be extra fresh so if you don’t want to pasteurize them, only get organic ones.

Look for extra-fresh grade AA eggs. Remember that eggs can be responsible for salmonella bacteria. So if you add the sugar syrup at 250°F (121C°) while you are whipping the egg yolks, this extra step will make it safe. You do not have a food thermometer? When the water is boiling at 250°F (121°C), the sugar makes bigger and thicker bubbles.

Tiramisù: The Classic Recipe

Tiramisu is an elegant dessert ‘cake’ that even non-bakers like myself can make easily. The truth is, the ‘cake’ part of this dessert consists of those elegant elongated cookies called ‘ladyfingers’ in English and savoiardi in Italian. The ladyfingers are lightly dipped in espresso, then layered with mascarpone creamed with egg, sugar and marsala, then ‘baked’ in the fridge for a few hours (or even days) and finally dusted with cocao before serving. There is really nothing to it and yet serving a homemade tiramisù, with its reputation as a fancy dessert, will ensure that your guests will be mightily impressed.


  • 500g (1 lb) store-bought ladyfingers
  • 3 freshly made single espressos (or some sugar) to taste
  • 500g (1 lb.) 4 oz. mascarpone
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • About 250g (1/2 lb.) sugar
  • Marsala
  • Powdered cocoa


Begin by making some strong shots of espresso coffee:

If you don’t have an espresso maker, a potful of espresso made in a stovetop pot will do quite fine. Then mix your espresso with some of the simple syrup, if you have some on hand, or just a few spoonfuls of sugar, to taste. You can also use the coffee without sugar, as the mascarpone cream will add sweetness.

To make the mascarpone mixture, separate the yolks from the whites. Set the whites aside for the moment. Then whisk the yolks together with the sugar briskly until they form a kind of cream you should be able to see ‘ribbons’ in the mixture as you whisk it. A stand mixer makes short work of this job.

Then add the mascarpone and a dash of marsala, and continue whisking until you have a homogeneous cream mixture.

Now, in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

Fold the egg whites gently into the mascarpone mixture:

Now that you have your coffee and mascarpone mixture ready, it is time to assemble the dish: take a ladyfinger, dip it on both sides in the espresso, very briefly, just to barely coat the outside. (Don’t linger or your ladyfingers will soften to mush!) As you dip the ladyfingers, arrange them in a rectangular or square baking dish. Continue until you have covered the bottom of the dish with them. (NB: Depending on the size of your dish, you may need to lay them in different directions and/or break some of the ladyfingers into shorter lengths.)

Once you have your first layer of ladyfingers, spread some of the mascarpone mixture over them, enough to cover them entirely. Then lay another layer of ladyfingers on top of that:

Finally, lay over another layer of the mascapone mixture:

Put the dish into the fridge for at least an hour, better several hours or even overnight. The longer you let it sit, the more the mascarpone mixture will penetrate the ladyfingers and soften them up. It will also help the elements to form a more solid mass. A freshly made tiramisù will be very creamy and rather loose when served, as pictured above, while a well-rested one will be more cake-like. Each version has its charms.

In any event, right before you’re ready to serve your tiramisu, dust the top of your tiramisù with unsweetened cocoa powder (the kind you would bake with). Use as much or as little as you like. Personally, I prefer just a light dusting.


The two main ingredients for tiramisu, ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese, can be surprisingly hard to find. They are also both rather expensive to buy. You can make the ladyfingers yourself–they are not at all hard to make. I have seen suggestions for using spongecake or pound cake, which should (more or less) work as well, but since these are already quite soft, your tiramisù will not need as long as rest in the fridge. As for the mascarpone, you can substitute regular cream cheese (‘Philadelphia’ style) loosened with some cream. (I have also heard of substituting ricotta, whipped until perfectly smooth, but that would give you a rather different flavor.)

A common variation for tiramisù is to use zabaglione in place of the mascarpone mixture. Zabaglione is simply marsala wine thickened with egg yolks heated over a double-boiler, usually in a round-bottomed copper pot which is made expressly for the purpose. I will blog on zabaglione one day, as it is delicious and wonderful just on its own as a dessert or snack. Also common is the substitution of rum or other liqueur of your choose instead of the marsala.

The main thing to remember when making tiramisù is that the success depends largely on balancing the sweetness of the sugar with the bitter flavors of the coffee and cocoa. Neither should predominate. Be careful, then, when adding sugar. And if, as sometimes happens, you find ladyfingers sprinkled with sugar, reduce the sugar you add to the coffee and/or cream to compensate.

Otherwise, as I said, tiramisu is simplicity itself and a real crowd-pleaser. No need to tell anyone how easy it is to make… Enjoy!

Tiramisù is one of the most popular plated desserts in all of Italy. It knows no geographical boundaries, enjoyed in both the north and the south, among young and old. Impossible to resist, its soft layer of cream covered with bitter cocoa powder surrounds tender, crumbly biscuits soaked in coffee. And to think that it’s a relatively recent invention: it seems that it was created in 1970 in the city of Treviso and evolved from a cream made with whipped egg yolks and sugar, which was usually given to children for a burst of energy. Since then it’s become one of the most beloved Italian desserts found on restaurant menus everywhere. But enough about that. Let’s get to the recipe.


17 1/2 ounces mascarpone
6 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon Marsala liqueur
10 1/2 ounces savoiardi cookies
4 cups of coffee
bitter cocoa powder

First crack the eggs and put the yolks in a large bowl. Set the whites aside. Mix the sugar with the egg yolks using a wooden spoon, or, if you prefer, an electric whisk. Once the yolks have been whipped to an airy froth, add the tablespoon of Marsala.

Before continuing, to avoid any problem related to the consumption of raw eggs, heat the egg yolk, sugar and Marsala mixture in a bain-marie, soaking the pan with the cream in a larger pan of water about two-fingers high. In this way, the mixture will heat slowly and gently. Stir until the cream coats the spoon. It’s now ready. Add the mascarpone and keep stirring. In the meantime, prepare the coffee, add a little bit of sugar, then let cool in a large bowl. Once cooled, soak the cookies in it, one at a time and on both sides. Place the cookies in a baking dish, one next to the other, until they form an even layer.

Then cover them with the egg and mascarpone cream and repeat.

Finish with a layer of cream, cover with plastic wrap and let cool in the fridge for 2 hours before serving. Once removed from the fridge, take off the plastic wrap and, using a sieve, cover the surface with a veil of bitter cocoa powder. Your tiramisù is ready to be devoured!

How to make the perfect Italian tiramisù

You are about to discover How to make the perfect Italian tiramisù! Few things epitomise the essence of Italian desserts quite like the world-renowned tiramisu. This scrumptious and classic sweet is believed to have come from the north of Italy in Treviso – a beautiful place known for impeccable chocolate and dairy products. As characteristic as this dessert is to the Italian cuisine, it is relatively new to the kitchens and tables of this glorious country- around the 1970’s, 1980’s it had it’s grand opening and has been a main attraction every since.

So, what’s the secret to this staple? What are the true Italian ingredients as opposed to the copycats you can find elsewhere? Here how to make the perfect Italian tiramisù.

I’ve done the legwork (or should I say mouthwork) to find the best recipe out there- consulting with Italian nonni (grandparents), cuisine-minded individuals here in Rome, and of course sampling many, many recipes, and I believe the below is a prize-winner. So my hungry friends, read on to find some fun facts about this lip-smacking dessert, the recipe, and quick and easy steps to make it yourself.

Tiramisu Fun Facts:

It is made with chocolate, coffee, ladyfingers, marsala, and mascarpone. Need I say more?

Tiramisu translates to “pick me up.” Now, it could be a mental pick me up with the caffeinated ingredients, or a physical meaning when you faint because it is just so darn good. I leave it as open to interpretation.

It needs minimum 8 hours to chill so plan accordingly- but only 30 minutes to make. Hallelujah!

We need to use Italian espresso made in a Moka pot for the best taste. You can brew regular coffee at double strength, just please oh please do not use instant espresso.

This classic recipe uses raw eggs. I am an American so I know the shocked and horrified feelings that go into eating raw eggs for fear of salmonella. There are of course varied recipes that avoid this, but I wanted to make the most authentic version. Of course, consume raw eggs at your own risk and comfort level.

Bring on the booze. Tiramisu contains alcohol- most traditionally marsala (and not rum like American restaurants will have you believe). Of course, you can opt out of this and it will still taste incredible.

It will change the life of your taste buds. Let the adventure begin!


6 egg yolks, at room temperature

2 cups (16-ounces) mascarpone

36-48 Savoiardi ladyfingers

1 1/2 cups Italian coffee made in Moka pot, cooled

2 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate, shaved


1. Brew coffee and allow time to cool

2. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and ¼ cup sugar till mixture turns pale, doubles in volume, ribbons remain for a few seconds when whisk is lifted from the bowl. *** Important note: using a hand or electric whisk over a fork is very important, as well as not beating the mixture to rough. You don’t want to make scrambled egg tiramisu, folks.

3. Whisk in mascarpone a bit at a time

4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Beat till stiff, glossy peaks form. If you use a fork and have been working on your arm muscles this will take about 6 minutes.

5. Fold, not blend, egg whites into mascarpone mixture.

6. Add 2 tablespoons Marsala into chilled coffee. ***To make it easier when you dip the ladyfingers, pour the coffee and marsala into a small rectangular pan or container.

7. Dip the ladyfingers quickly into the coffee blend and place in the pan. The size of the pan will not make or break or dessert, but make sure it is deep enough for 4 total layers. ***Important note: do not soak the ladyfingers. They will turn soggy and collapse.

8. Spread a layer of the mascarpone mixture to cover the ladyfingers.

9. Top with another layer of dipped ladyfingers. Repeat till the pan is full and refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving.

10. Sprinkle cocoa powder and chocolate shavings immediately before serving.

I hope you have as much fun making this traditional Italian dessert as I did, and don’t be afraid to give yourself an extra large piece- you’ve earned it! Stay tuned for more secrets and recipes to help your kitchen reach that unforgettable, mouthwatering taste you experienced on your Italian holiday. But if you’re in Rome and want to enjoy the best places where eating tiramisù here a list of the Three of the best Tiramisù in Rome

BEST Tiramisù Recipe

For as long as I can remember I’ve been making Tiramisù. Growing up in an Italian household, this was a staple dessert that I have been perfecting for years. I would constantly make this by eye, but because it is one of the best things I make, this recipe is highly requested, so I decided to finally measure out all of my ingredients in order to formulate a recipe. I know this will be the best Tiramisu you ever try, it rivals those found in Italy, and believe me, I’ve eaten plenty! I really hope you give this recipe a try, as it is very near and dear to my heart. If you would like to watch me make this Tiramisu, you can find the video HERE. Without further ado, here is the written recipe and instructions:

Ingredients/ You Will Need:

* Espresso Coffee (about 2 cups) + 2 Tbsp Sugar + 2 Tbsp Marsala*optional
* 1 Box Lady Finger Cookies
*Cocoa Powder

– 1 475ml Mascarpone
– 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
– 1 1/2 Cups Icing Sugar
– Zabaione (3 Egg Yolks, 3 Tbsp Sugar, 3 Tbsp Marsala) *See Instructions..


The first thing I do (while also doing other things), is get the coffee started. In this case we need to use Italian coffee, also known as espresso, as it is stronger, and ideal. I tend to brew two large machinettas of espresso, add 2 tbsp of sugar, marsala, mix, and set aside to cool. If it is not room temperature, a few ice cubes go a long way.

The next thing I do is prepare the zabaione, also known as the egg portion of this recipe. I have always loved the addition of eggs in this lovely Tiramisu cream, but only if they are cooked. What you need to do is, crack 3 egg yolks, add 3 tbsp of sugar, and 3 tbsp of marsala wine in a medium sized metal bowl. Whip this mix to incorporate, and prepare a pot of water filled about 1/3 of the way up on a medium heat. Place the bowl on top of the hot water, careful that the bottom of the bowl does not come into contact with the hot water. Continuing to whip this mixture non-stop until creamy, frothy, and cooked. This is the zabaione portion of the recipe, and you can watch me make this here.

Next we need to whip the mascarpone cream, in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to make it smooth. Once smooth, add the zabaione and whip until incorporated. Finally add the cream and icing sugar, and whip until the cream is fluffy (but careful not to over mix). You want this thick, but not overly so, I usually do this for 3 to 5 minutes on a medium speed. You now have the cream ready for the tiramisu, and this cream is SO delicious.

Next, prepare a large baking dish, I use a glass one, as that is pretty iconic, (my dish is about 10吊 inches). It is good to create a station with your cookies, coffee, and cream. You will need to dunk your cookies into the cooled espresso, for about 2 seconds or so, and lay them in the dish, close to the next cookies until you have filled a row of espresso soaked cookies. This is a tricky part as you do not want to over or under soak your cookies. I tend to test a cookie by dunking it for 2 seconds and then biting it to see how much espresso it retained (keep in mind, it will get soft with the cream on top over night). If it is to your liking you can then layer about 1/2 the cream on top, smooth it out, and repeat. I usually do 2 layers, and this is the perfect amount to finish the box of cookies, the cream, and most of the espresso (but not all, as I generally make too much).

Now you will need to dust cocoa powder on top of this top layer and refrigerate for 8 hours or over night (the longer the better). This will soften your cookies, and be sure to set everything up nicely.

Watch me make this delicious Tiramisu HERE!

Thanks so much for watching, I know after you give this recipe a try it will become one of your favourites! I have been making, eating, and loving this Tiramisu for as long as I can remember, so I’m so happy to finally share this special recipe with you.


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