Making tiramisu is a piece of cake

Nov. 1, 2021, 5:05 p.m. | By Sophia Zeng | 1 month, 1 week ago

A guide on how to make the popular Italian dessert (with no alcohol)

Photo: Tiramisu is a delicious coffee-flavored dessert (Picture courtesy of Creative Commons).

The classic Italian dessert, tiramisu (pronounced tee·ruh·mee·soo), is a delicious no-bake delicacy. This coffee-flavored dessert normally contains some form of alcohol, like rum, but the recipe below does not contain any alcohol so everyone can enjoy it. 

In Italian, tiramisu literally means "a pick me up" because it cheers you up after a meal. The name is fitting for such an internationally popular dessert—so popular in the United States that there is a National Tiramisu Day on March 21 of every year. 

Tiramisu rose to popularity around the 1980s because it resembled another classic Italian dessert, gelato. Both tiramisu and gelato have a smooth, rich texture. The creamy consistency of these two desserts attracted a lot of attention. Demand for tiramisu initially began to arise in England when a grand duke brought back the recipe for tiramisu after coming back from a visit to Italy. Eventually, the Italian dessert's popularity spread internationally. 

Tiramisu also comes in a variety of different flavors including nutella, green tea and strawberry. According to a 2017 study on the most frequently ordered tiramisu variations in Italy, pistachio ranked number one, followed not-so-closely by tiramisu cake. Tiramisu cake is the same as tiramisu except that it contains sponge cake instead of ladyfingers. A grand total of around 150 kilograms of pistachio tiramisu was ordered that year in Italy in comparison to only 107 kilograms of tiramisu cake. This is shocking since it is relatively hard to find stores that sell pistachio tiramisu in the U.S. 

Ever since I was nine years old, my favorite type of cake was tiramisu. The first time I ate tiramisu, I thought it tasted similar to a coffee-flavored ice-cream cake and that was enough to make me fall in love with the dessert. Sometimes on weekends, my parents would buy tiramisu from Costco or Trader Joes as a treat for me. Once I grew older, I learned how to make the dessert myself. Below is my go-to tiramisu recipe based on the Tastes Better from Scratch recipe. This recipe is great as it doesn't include any alcohol. 

Tiramisu Recipe (10 minutes) 


  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups cold espresso
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese at room temperature (healthier substitute: cream cheese, sugar, and heavy whipping cream combination) 
  • 1 package Lady Fingers 
  • A little cocoa powder for dusting the top of the tiramisu 


  1. Add whipping cream to a bowl and beat on medium speed with an electric or a stand mixer. Gradually add around 1/3 of the sugar and the vanilla at a time before continuing to beat. Once the whipped cream has stiff peaks, you are done. 
  2. Add mascarpone cheese and mix until smooth. 
  3. Add coffee to a shallow bowl. Quickly dip each of the lady fingers in the coffee and lay them in a single layer on the bottom of an 8x8'' pan or bowl. 
  4. Smooth half of the mascarpone mixture on top of the lady fingers. 
  5. Add another layer of lady fingers. 
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have the number of layers you desire. 
  7. Dust cocoa powder using a mesh strainer on top. 
  8. Refrigerate for 2-3 days for best results. 

This recipe will only take around 10 minutes to prep and 2-3 days to chill. Grab a sibling or a friend and try it out! I guarantee that you will fall in love with this yummy dessert. Don't tirami-sue me if I'm wrong though.

Last updated: Nov. 4, 2021, 6:47 p.m.

Tags: food food blog tiramisu

Sophia Zeng. Hi! I'm Sophia and I'm a staff writer. I enjoy playing the piano, biking and listening to music. More »

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