Classic Tiramisu


I have three other Tiramisu recipes on my site, and in all of them I've mentioned how it's my favourite dessert. I still stick to that statement! If there's Tiramisu on the menu, that's what I'm having, simple as that!

In those other Tiramisu recipes I'd also mentioned that I would one day post my favourite classic Tiramisu recipe. And here it is at long last!


Sweet mascarpone, cream and egg layers. Light and airy boudoir biscuits dipped in strong coffee with a hint of brandy. A generous dusting of cocoa on top. Luxurious deliciousness with an adult taste!

Putting together the mascarpone, egg and cream mixture

Putting together the mascarpone, egg and cream mixture

Savaiordi biscuits ready for dunking in coffee

Savaiordi biscuits ready for dunking in coffee

Don't tell my hubby but I first had this particular Tiramisu at an old boyfriend's house ;) I begged him to get the recipe from his mom for me, it took a while but I eventually got it out of him, lol! (Why? I had the nerve to ask for it months after we'd broken up *blush* Yes, it was that good!) Turns out I found the exact recipe in a recipe book at Woolworth's (M&S) in SA. Oops? I don't care, it's a brilliant recipe. 

Tiramisu Assembly 01.jpg
Assembling the tiramisu

Assembling the tiramisu

As much as I love the Baileys, Frangelico & "Blue Rinse" Tiramisu that I've posted, there's something about a traditional Tiramisu that has me swooning. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for mixing things up a little bit and I'll definitely be making other variations in the future, but I really do enjoy a classic. 

Beautiful fluffy and creamy layers with dipped finger biscuits

Beautiful fluffy and creamy layers with dipped finger biscuits

Cocoa for dusting

Cocoa for dusting

This recipe is made using raw eggs, which is one of the traditional ways (there are a few methods), so if you're not happy about raw eggs in desserts and want to make a classic Tiramisu, use the method for the Frangelico Tiramisu recipe but stick to the classic flavours in this recipe by just using brandy and coffee.


You could also do a mix between this raw egg recipe and the Frangelico recipe that uses a zabaglione which cooks the egg yolk. Make the zabaglione from the Frangelico Tiramisu recipe to mix into a mixture using pasteurised egg whites which you can find in the fridge section of your grocery store. I believe using beaten egg whites definitely makes the tiramisu more light and fluffy. 

Tiramisu 01.jpg

If you're wondering why there seem to be so many methods for making this classic, it seems that the history of Tiramisu is a bit of a mystery. In the various searches that I've done I've come to the conclusion that there is too little known about the history of this dessert and that there are far too many theories about the origins and what the "correct" or original method is. In a case like this, I just go with what gives the best result, and in my opinion, the method in this recipe really does make such a delicious dessert. 


Anyway, enough of me gabbing on about all that, here's the recipe! Great for an end to a casual lunch with friends or as a sophisticated dessert after a dinner made to impress. I hope you enjoy it :)



Serves 6-8

3 cups Strong Black Coffee, cooled to room temperature

3-4 Tbsp Brandy or Cognac, depending on how strong you like it!

2 Eggs, separated

3 Tbsp Caster Sugar

250g Mascarpone Cheese

1 cup Whipping/Single Cream, whipped to medium peaks

250g packet Medium Sized Savoiardi/Boudoir/Lady Finger Biscuits (I used about 34 biscuits which was just more than a packet)

Unsweetened Cocoa for Dusting



  • Combine the coffee and brandy in a medium sized bowl, set aside
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together with an electric beater until pale and thickened, about 3 mins
  • Add the mascarpone and beat until just combined
  • Carefully fold in the whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture
  • In a separate and clean bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form
  • Carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the mascarpone mixture, be careful not to deflate the mixture, you want to keep it light and fluffy
  • Set aside
  • Start assembling the tiramisu
  • Dip biscuits one at a time into the coffee and brandy then arrange on the bottom of a 15cm x 25cm x 6cm (6.5" x 10" x 2") dish until the bottom is covered
  • Tip: You don't want the biscuits to get too soggy otherwise they'll break so only dip for a few seconds then let any extra liquid drip off before arranging in the dish
  • Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the layer of biscuits
  • Dip and arrange the rest of the biscuits on top of the cream mixture
  • Spread the remaining cream mixture over the biscuits
  • Tip: You can smooth the top but I like to make big swirls so that it has a bit of texture once the cocoa has been dusted over the top
  • Generously dust with cocoa powder
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve
  • Tip: I would suggest making this the night before or early on the day of serving so that the flavours have time to develop and it firms up nicely 

Recipe adapted from Woolworths "Cooking Italian" (ISBN 1 86870 054 2)

Other tips:

This recipe does contain raw eggs so be sure to use eggs that are fresh

You can also use pasteurised egg whites that can be found in the fridge section at grocery stores

If you prefer not to use raw egg yolks, make the zabaglione from my Frangelico Tiramisu recipe to fold into the mascarpone, cream and beaten egg whites from this recipe

Best made the night before or early on the day of serving to give the flavours time to develop

Keep stored in the fridge and serve chilled

You can also serve this in individual serving sizes, one of my favourite restaurants serves their tiramisu in large cappaccino mugs which is really cute

Also lovely served with fresh fruit like grapes, pears and peaches


foodie_views_link_url =';foodie_views_submit_or_vote();