Classic Tiramisu | culture: the word on cheese
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Classic Tiramisu

Classic tiramisu

Classic Tiramisu

Leigh Belanger and Rebecca Haley-Park
Some whipping, dipping, and layering is all it takes to make this irresistible treat. A round springform pan makes for a pretty presentation, but tiramisu can be assembled in a glass or ceramic baking dish, too. Chill it for at least 6 hours so the ladyfingers can absorb the mascarpone cream and the flavors can mesh.
Servings 10


  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups mascarpone
  • 1 cup freshly brewed double-strength coffee
  • ¼ cup dark rum optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 56 ladyfinger cookies from 3 7-ounce packages, divided
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting


  • Line the inside ring of a 9-inch springform pan with plastic wrap (it’s OK if it covers part of the pan bottom). Separate eggs and place 3 yolks in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, with a whisk or hand mixer on medium, beat the 3 whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Add sugar to yolks and whisk until mixture is pale yellow and foamy. Fold mascarpone into yolk mixture, then fold in beaten egg whites. Refrigerate mascarpone cream until ready to use (can be made up to 2 to 3 days ahead).
  • Pour coffee into a wide, shallow dish and stir in rum (if using), vanilla, and nutmeg. Dip one side of a ladyfinger into the liquid, and place, dipped side up, into the springform pan. Repeat until the surface of the pan is covered, then spread the cookies with ⅓ of the mascarpone cream. Repeat the layering process twice more, ending with a layer of cream on top (you will have ladyfingers left over; reserve these for garnish). Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
  • Release cake from the springform pan and remove the plastic lining. Halve remaining ladyfingers and press, rounded side up and cut side down, around the outside of the tiramisu. Dust generously with cocoa powder, cut into wedges, and serve cold.

Rebecca Haley-Park

Rebecca Haley-Park is culture's former editor and resident stinky cheese cheerleader. A native New Englander, she holds a BFA in creative writing from University of Maine at Farmington.

Photographer Evi Abeler

Evi Abeler is a food and still life photographer based in New York City. She helps art directors, cookbook authors and designers to communicate the love, passion and thought that goes into every project and creates modern, yet classic images. Her clients in advertising, publishing, hospitality and retail include Food & Wine Magazine (which named her Digital Food Award Winner), Harper Collins Publishing and Whole Foods Markets.

Leigh Belanger

Leigh Belanger is culture's former food editor. She's been a food writer, editor, and project manager for over a decade— serving as program director for Chefs Collaborative and contributing to local newspapers and magazines. Her first book, The Boston Homegrown Cookbook, was published in 2012. She lives and cooks in Boston with her family.