Tiramisu translated means “pick me up” in Italian. It’s a creamy custard, espresso and cocoa-based dessert from heaven. And it’s a favorite sweet treat of mine because it’s so light and hardly feels as rich as it tastes.

Rumor has it that there are as many versions of truly “authentic” tiramisu as there are grandmothers in all of Italy. Each one with it’s own twist, but all feature the main staples–custard, marscapone, espresso, lady finger cookies and cocoa powder. I’ve also seen versions with a splash (or more) of dark rum, but sadly, that’s a liquor we never seem to have on hand. So this version is rum-free and safe for all ages and every sweet tooth.

But hey, if your cabinet is stocked with dark rum, don’t let me stand in your way. Just add a couple of splashes to your espresso and follow the recipe from there.



  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 12 oz. marscapone cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Two 7 oz. packages of lady fingers
  • 2 cups freshly-brewed espresso, cooled *I brewed it using a French Press and Illy brand espresso. Just grab some espresso from Starbucks if you don’t have a way to brew it yourself.
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting


  1. Bring a medium pot of water up to boil (fill the pot about halfway). Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the pan to create a double-boiler. Bring the water down to low to a simmer. Add your egg yolks and sugar to the bowl and whisk constantly for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add your marscapone and the egg yolk-sugar mixture and beat until well-combined.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, add your heavy whipping cream and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into the egg-sugar-marscapone mixture very gently by hand using a spatula.
  4. Pour your cooled espresso into a bowl and take out a 9 x 13 glass rectangular dish. Lightly dip the lady fingers into the espresso on each side (don’t soak or submerge them too much or they’ll fall apart) and lay them in an even layer in the 9x 13 dish. You may have to break some cookies half to fit which is fine.
  5. Once you have an even base layer, pour over half of the cream filling. Repeat with another layer of espresso-dipped ladyfingers and pour the second half of the cream filling over the top. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours and up to overnight.
  6. Before serving, take the unsweetened cocoa powder and add it to a fine mesh sieve. Sift the cocoa powder over the top of the tiramisu evenly to make a pretty top layer.

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