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Rossana’s tiramisu

This easy homemade tiramisu recipe is made with mascarpone, ladyfingers, eggs, sugar, coffee, rum and cacao powder

Tiramisu recipe

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts. I remember clearly the first time I ever tried it at an Italian restaurant in Houston with my grandmother and my aunt, I thought it was one the most amazing things I had ever tasted. For a while I became obsessed with trying to find the perfect tiramisu.

Homemade tiramisu recipe

Ten years later I met Rossana, a super fun Italian lady with a great fashion sense – known for hiking in high heel leather boots and commenting that even her pajamas are more fashionable than what she sees in most mall clothing stores (I do shop at mall clothing stores so I am considered highly unfashionable).  Rossana also cooks amazing food and has shared many of her delicious recipes with me, including her tiramisu recipe, it is the best tiramisu recipes that I have tried.

Homemade tiramisu recipe

I made one small change to her original recipe: I added some rum to the mascarpone cream. The big test was having Rossana taste the tiramisu the first time I made it using her recipe – she is very direct and will tell you to your face if it doesn’t measure to her standards.  Even before tasting it, she was highly skeptical about it when I told her that I added a tiny bit of rum.

Easy tiramisu recipe

Maybe it was beginner’s luck but she actually liked it and said it was a good as hers (huge compliment). The second time I made it for girls champagne party, and of course Rossana was there, this time she commented that the ladyfingers were slightly soggy and that she preferred it better last time.

One of Rossana’s main complaints about tiramisu served in Italian restaurants (in the US) is that the ladyfingers are too soggy. The process of dipping the ladyfingers in coffee needs to be very fast, about 1-2 seconds as they absorb the liquid quickly. Also, different brands of ladyfingers sometimes have different absorption rates, so I recommend doing a test with the first ladyfinger each time to get the timing right.  On the other hand, the sogginess is essentially a preference; one of my friends at the champagne party preferred the tiramisu with the slightly soggy ladyfingers.

Easy tiramisu recipe

Most of the time I use a standard square glass serving dish for the tiramisu and the cut it into squares when serving. However you can also use individual glass cups or cocktail glasses. You will probably need to cut the ladyfingers into the right size based on the container that you are using.

Homemade tiramisu recipe

Easy homemade tiramisu recipe made with mascarpone, ladyfingers, eggs, sugar, coffee, rum and cacao powder.
4.83 from 23 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: European, Italian
Keyword: Tiramisu
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Refrigeration time: 6 hours
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10


  • 16 oz mascarpone cheese
  • ½ tbs rum – optional
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3 large eggs yolks and whites separated
  • 2 cup espresso coffee cooled (or 2 cups regular coffee + 1-2 tsp instant espresso), in a shallow bowl
  • 2 packs of ladyfingers 4.75 oz each pack
  • 1-2 tbs cacao powder
  • 1-2 tbs chocolate shavings


  • In a medium size bowl beat the egg yolks until foamy, add the sugar and the rum.
  • In another bowl beat the egg whites until they become fluffy and stiff
  • Use a spoon to add the mascarpone cheese to the egg whites, fold the mascarpone in gently.
  • Gently stir in the egg yolk and sugar mix.
  • Dip each ladyfinger into the coffee – it should be a fairly quick dip that moistens the cookie without getting it soggy.
  • Place the coffee dipped ladyfingers in a square serving dish until you have a full layer of cookies.
  • Cover the coffee dipped ladyfingers with the mascarpone mixture cream and top with another layer of coffee dipped ladyfingers.
  • Finish with a final layer of mascarpone mixture.
  • Refrigerate the tiramisu for at least 6 hours – overnight is ideal.
  • Sprinkle the cacao powder on top and add the chocolate shavings before serving.
Italian tiramisu
Ladyfingers for tiramisu
Tiramisu served in individual glasses

Step by step preparation photos for Italian tiramisu

Homemade tiramisu

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  1. Lost the recipe I put together from learning to make with my Italian friend, so knew I found what I was looking for when I saw your instructions and photos – thank you! You’re right about the “dunking” being a quick process – I usually let the excess espresso drip off, which happens pretty quickly, before placing the quickly-rolled ladyfinger in a pan

  2. Laylita! Thank you for this amazing recipe. My very first shot at tiramisu and it turned out simply fantastic. Hubby loves tiramisu and cannot believe i could pull something like this off. Thanks once again!

  3. Very good Tiramisu! I use the same recipe but I add some Whiskey to the mascarpone cream instead of rum. It’s absolutely delicious, you should try it!

    Congrats for your blog, I love it!

  4. Hi Laylita! I just found your blog while looking around for recipes. I am living in Ecuador this semester to study, and I can’t wait to get back to my kitchen and try out some of your recipes for things I have tasted and loved here! I am actually equally excited about trying this tiramisu recipe. When I visit my mom in NYC we often find ourselves in Little Italy on a similar quest for the perfect tiramisu. Maybe I can make it for her myself! :)
    Looking forward to seeing more posts (and browsing older ones!)

  5. I was googling Tiramisu and I came across your recipes. The Tiramisu looks SOOO scrumptious! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing all your great recipes with everyone!

  6. Hi Laylita,
    I also just discovered you blog while I was searching for a poached pears recipe. I can’t stop salivating! Everything looks so amazingly delicious! I’m going to make all of my family’s meals next week from the recipes in your blog. Thank you for sharing your wonderful food knowledge!

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