Tiramisu – the best recipe

Tiramisu in Italian literally translates to ‘pick me up’ – and that’s exactly what this dessert is designed to do. A serve of tiramisu will reverse that food coma feeling thanks to a little coffee kick  in this most delicious dessert.

Over the years, I’ve trialled many tiramisu recipes, including a Nigella one that used chocolate muffins and contains no coffee (it was tasty, but not as good as this). Below is a recipe I’ve developed, a blend of other recipes I’ve come across, so I’m calling it the best recipe for tiramisu.

It’s so simple to make – no cooking needed, just whisking, dipping, spreading and layering. I like my tiramisu quite wet, so I soak the biscuits for a few seconds longer. There’s more tips below



2 egg whites and 4 egg yolks
150g icing sugar
400g mascarpone cheese
200g sponge finger savoiardi biscuits
175ml freshly brewed strong coffee, cooled (not instant)
150ml Marsala liqueur ($12 for 750ml from most bottleshops)
2 Cadbury flakes chocolate bars, crumbled
100% cacao for dusting


Stiffly whisk the egg whites. In separate bowl, beat egg yolks with icing sugar until pale and fluffy. Add 2 tablespoons of Marsala and then gently fold in the mascarpone. Once combined, gently fold in the egg whites taking care not to knock all the air out of them.

In a shallow bowl, mix coffee and remaining Marsala.  Soak 3-4 sponge finger biscuits at a time for about 5 second each on both sides and place into a single layer in a rectangular dish. Spread a layer of the mascarpone cheese mixture over the biscuits. Repeat with another layer of coffee soaked biscuits and another layer of mascarpone mix.  Crumble the flake over the top of the mascarpone mixture, leaving a few little chunks and dust with cacao by placing a tablespoon or so in a sift above the tiramisu and gently tap it.  Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours.


  • Tiramisu is always better the next day, so make it the night before
  • Be sure to use quality coffee
  • I prefer tiramisu with Marsala, but it’s also good with Frangelico, Kahula, Tia Maria or Baileys
  • Take the Mascarpone out of the fridge an hour before to allow it to soften, which makes it easier to fold in
  • If you prefer a wetter or dryer tiramisu, soak the biscuits for more or less time. I prefer it fairly wet which is what this recipe allows for.
  • Try not to eat it all at once!
  • If you are catering for children also, the above recipe can be adapted – don’t add Marsala and dilute the coffee with water before soaking the biscuits

whisking egg whitesdipping savioardi biscuits for tiramisuspreading mascarpone mix over biscuits for tiramisu

dust cacao over the top Tiramisu


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