This Tiramisu Cake is made of 5 ingredient genoise cake layers brushed with espresso and filled with irresistibly creamy coffee mascarpone cream. No raw eggs in the frosting. Just 10 ingredients! With detailed step-by-step instructions including process photos and video.
What you will learn:
- How to make Tiramisu Cake from scratch
- What does Tiramisu Cake taste like
- How to store it and how long does it last
- How to freeze it
- Is it safe for pregnant and toddler
- Does it contain caffeine or alcohol
Tiramisu Cake is not as hard to make as you might think. Let's start with the cake layer. It is a genoise cake and made of 5 ingredients: eggs, granulated white sugar, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and baking powder.
You can mix the batter with a handheld mixer, but I encourage you to use a stand mixer (if you have one) just because it is so much easier and also faster. The cake batter needs to be mixed about 10 minutes when mixed with a stand mixer when you use a hand mixer plan 3-5 minutes longer to get the required consistency.
Start with mixing the eggs just until combined. Then add sugar and mix for 10-15 minutes on medium-high speed. Watch the following pictures to see how the egg/sugar mixture transforms while mixing it.
Mixing progress after 1 minute:
Mixing progress after 5 minutes:
Mixing progress after 8 minutes:
After about 10 minutes mixing with a stand mixer or 15 minutes with a hand mixer, the egg mixture is pale white, fluffy, and tripled in size. You know that the batter has the required consistency when you drip off batter from the mixing attachment on top of the mixed batter. The drop should be visible for 10 seconds. If it sinks into the batter before the 10 seconds are over, you need to mix longer.
Using a wooden spoon, carefully fold in flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. Do not overwork the batter or work too fast. Otherwise, you will destroy all the air pockets which are necessary to create light and airy cake layers, which don't fall flat.
For easy removing the cake from the pan after baking, line the bottom, and the sides of three 8" baking pans with parchment paper. Therefore cut out a circle for the bottom and stripes for the sides. I always spray a little bit of non-stick spray under the paper that it sticks to the pan.
Divide the batter into the three baking pans equally. Immediately after filling the batter into the pans, bake all three pans at the same time. When the batter stands too long before baking, it loses too much air, and the genoise cake gets flat and eggy.
After baking let stand for 5 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and remove the paper immediately (caution: it's still hot). Let cool on a wire rack. The cake needs to be room temperature before filling.
Let's do the mascarpone filling. You need mascarpone, powdered sugar, strong coffee, and heavy whipping cream.
Please make sure that you use full-fat mascarpone and no low-light or substitute product. Also, don't interchange it with ricotta. Ricotta does not work with this recipe. Mascarpone should not be room temperature when using it but cold and straight out of the fridge.
The mascarpone must be thick and firm straight out of the container. See the picture below. I buy mascarpone which is from Italy, and it is smooth, thick and firm. 100g of my mascarpone contains 42g fat, and it is made of cream and citric acid. The wrong mascarpone can break your frosting and will never get firm.
Before you buy mascarpone maybe you research on the internet, with which mascarpone brand the people had troubles. Here is a post about the 11 best Mascarpone cheeses for Tiramisu.
The mascarpone should look straight out of the container like in the picture below:
There are no raw eggs in the mascarpone frosting as it is in original Tiramisu. I added strong coffee to the mascarpone frosting to enhance the coffee taste in the cake because it's not possible to soak the cake layers as much in coffee as you do it with ladyfingers. The whipping cream makes the frosting lighter in texture.
Start with mixing the mascarpone on medium speed until it is creamy for about 2 minutes:
Sift in powdered sugar and mix on medium speed until creamy and combined about 1-2 minutes:
Add the strong coffee and don't stop mixing until it is completely combined and creamy. The coffee needs to be cold and chilled. Watch the two photos below to see how it looks when you add the coffee and when it is completely combined. You see that it looks curdled in the beginning, but this is normal. Keep mixing until it comes together (it will). Mix on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes.
Then add the heavy cream (straight out of the fridge). Watch the following three process photos how the consistency changes. In the beginning, when you add the heavy cream, it seems to be very liquid, but this is normal. You add a lot of liquid to the frosting. Just keep mixing on medium speed until it is creamy and stiff peaks form for about 2-3 minutes.
Do you see? It starts to get creamy:
That is how it should look like in the end:
Now we assemble the cake. Cut off the edges of the cake layers to create a flat surface if needed. Then place the first layer on a cake turner or plate. If you have a cake turner, use it. It's easier to frost cakes with a cake turner. Lightly brush the cake with strong coffee.
The more coffee you use, the more intense the taste will be, but it will also be wetter. Less coffee leads to lighter coffee taste and dryer cake layers. I used ½ cup of coffee because for me it was the best balance of coffee taste and consistency.
If you want to adjust the amount of coffee to your taste, I recommend staying in the range between ¼ - ¾ cup coffee. With ¼ cup the taste will be very light. With ¾ cup of coffee, the cake will be wetter, and the coffee might leak around the cake, the longer it stands in the fridge.
Top with about ⅓ of the mascarpone cream and spread evenly.
Make sure that you spread every layer of the mascarpone frosting evenly that the cake is straight. Use the last third of mascarpone frosting to level the cake and frost the outside. I use most of the remaining frosting for the top to level the cake. I just lightly frost the sides of the cake because I love naked cakes. If you don't want to make a naked cake, you might want to reserve more frosting for the sides.
The mascarpone frosting should stick out between the cake layers. It makes it easier to frost the sides of the cake more evenly. Watch photo below to know what I mean.
Then level the frosting on the top and sides of the cake with an offset spatula.
Chill the cake at least 4 hours in the fridge or overnight. Decorate the cake with whipped cream (watch the video how I decorated the cake), cocoa powder, or whatever you desire.
What does Tiramisu Cake taste like?
It tastes like the Italian coffee-infused mascarpone dessert we all love so much just in cake form. It's a rich and decadent cake with coffee, mascarpone, and cocoa taste.
Tiramisu Cake needs to be refrigerated. It's not possible to store it at room temperature because of the mascarpone frosting. The cake wouldn't last long, and it would lose its shape when you store it at room temperature. The best is to store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Don't store it open in the refrigerator because the mascarpone frosting would taste like everything you store in your fridge.
Tiramisu cake is best eaten within 2 days but stays fresh up to 3 days. On day three, the cake layers start to get wetter and wetter because they soak the moisture of the frosting. Because there are no raw eggs in the frosting, it's safe to store it up to 3 days.
The whole cake: After chilling for 4 hours, place the Tiramisu Cake in the freezer until it is firm, for about 2-3 hours. Remove the cake from the freezer and tightly wrap in plastic foil twice. Make sure that everything is covered. Then wrap two layers of tin foil around until completely covered. It freezes well up to 2 months.
Unwrap the cake and thaw in the fridge overnight. Then decorate with whipping cream and cocoa before serving. Eat within 2 days.
Single slices: Remove whipping cream and cocoa powder from the top, if there is some. Place the slice in the freezer for about 1 hour. Then remove from the freezer and tightly wrap in plastic foil twice, until fully covered. Place in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. It freezes well up to 2 months.
For thawing, unwrap the cake and place in the fridge for 3-4 hours. Then decorate with whipping cream and cocoa before serving. Eat within 1 day.
Just the cake layers: After baking the cake layers, remove the paper and let cool completely. Then tightly wrap each cake layer in plastic foil twice. Place in freezer bags and remove as much air as possible. Freeze up to 1 month.
For thawing, unwrap the cake layers and let sit on the counter for about 1-2 hours. Once it is room temperature, make the frosting and assemble the cake.
Is it safe for pregnant or toddler?
Because there are no raw eggs in the mascarpone cream, it is safe for pregnant or toddlers. You may want to use decaffeinated coffee for toddlers.
Does it contain caffeine or alcohol?
This Tiramisu Cake is made with strong brewed espresso for the most intense coffee taste. However, you could consider using decaffeinated coffee instead.
If you make this Tiramisu Cake Recipe, leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #alsothecrumbsplease on Instagram! Would love to see your snap!
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated white sugar (200g)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted (120g)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (7g)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup strong brewed coffee, espresso preferred (120ml)
- 4 + ½ cups full-fat mascarpone, cold (2.2 lbs / 1000g)
- 2+½ cups powdered sugar, sifted (300g)
- ½ cup strong brewed coffee - espresso preferred, chilled (120ml)
- 1+½ cups heavy cream, cool (360ml)
- unsweetened cocoa for dusting on top
Decoration to your preference
- whipped cream
- cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line the bottom and the sides of three 8" (20cm) baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the genoise cake: In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk eggs on medium speed just until combined. Add sugar and whisk on medium-high speed for about 10-12 minutes until white pale, foamy and tripled in size. (It takes 3-5 minutes longer with a handheld mixer compared to a stand mixer). To know if you have the right consistency, let a bit of batter drip off the whisk attachment on top of the mixed batter. The dripped batter should be visible for 10 seconds before it sinks into the batter. If it sinks earlier, you need to whisk longer.
- With a wooden spoon, fold in flour, cornstarch baking powder carefully. Don't overwork the batter and don't work too fast otherwise, it will lose too much air. Divide in prepared baking pans and bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick centered in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Then remove from pans and remove the paper immediately. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Make the mascarpone frosting: Whisk mascarpone on medium speed until creamy for about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and whisk until creamy and combined another 1-2 minutes. Add coffee and whisk until well combined and creamy for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and whisk until fully combined and creamy for another 2-3 minutes.
- Assemble the cake: Place the first cake layer on a cake board or cake stand. Brush with a third of the ½ cup coffee.* Then spread ⅓ of the mascarpone cream with an offset spatula on top. Repeat one more time. Place last cake layer on top and lightly frost the outside and the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Level the top and sides with the offset spatula. Chill at least 4 hours in the fridge.
- Pipe whipped cream on top if desired. Then dust with cocoa just before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.
- Watch step-by-step photos in the blog post above to see the required consistencies at every step to have full clarity.
- Read additional information about mascarpone cheese in the blog post above.
- Watch the 103 seconds video to see the whole process.
- Read the blog post for additional information on how to freeze Tiramisu Cake, is it safe for toddlers, etc.