Tiramisu Cake

Do you need a pick-me-up? I thought you just might so
I baked this delicious Tiramisu Cake to tempt your tummy and lift your spirits.  Let me tell you, this cake is more than wet, tasteless sponginess and frothy filling. It is mildly sweet with a potent kick of double power espresso and rich, creamy mascarpone and amaretto filling that may make you a little bit giddy.  Trust me, you want to make this cake!A-tiramisu-flat-web

I thought for a long time about what I wanted the texture of this cake to be like .  The traditional lady fingers that are used in this dessert are very light and spongy.  While I wanted to create something much like the original Italian delight, I also wanted this to be like a cake.


To achieve this half sponge-cake like and half butter-cake like texture, I played around with the proportions of a 1-2-3-4 cake. Here are the changes that I made:

  •  I removed all of the butter and replaced it with rich, dairy mascarpone. This lightened the cake and gave it a delicate neutral flavor.
  • I added 2 eggs to the recipe to give it a light spongier texture.
  • I removed a half a cup of sugar to lighten the texture and add strength and resiliency to the crumb. Plus this cake is better with a mildly sweet base.
  • I added a touch of buttermilk and vinegar to add flavor and a touch of tenderness to the cake.
  • I added a small amount of almond extract to mimic the flavor of the amaretto in the syrup and filling (yum!).


For the syrup, I boosted the flavor by adding espresso paste (Incredible stuff from Pastry Portal. Yes you need it!) to brewed espresso and glugged in some amaretto and a dash of sugar to keep it from seeming too wet.A-full-tiramisu-web

The filling and frosting is loaded with mascarpone, cream, a touch of sugar and more of that delicious amaretto.  Scrumptious!A-tiramisu-bite-web

If only there was a taste-o-web, I would give you this bite right here! But alas, we lack this futuristic technology so you will have to make one of these amazing treats for yourself.

What are your thoughts on tiramisu? Let me know!

Happy baking!

Tiramisu Cake


  • 8 ounces (227 grams) mascarpone*-1 cup
  • 10 ½ ounce (298 grams) sugar- 1 ½ cups
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) vanilla extract
  • ¼ teasponn (1 milliliter) almond extract
  • 10 ounces (284 grams) all-purpose flour- 2 cups
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) cake flour**- 1 cup
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3 milliliters) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3 milliliters) salt
  • 4 ounces (120 milliliters) buttermilk- ½ cup
  • ½ tablespoon (8 milliliters) vinegar (white or cider)
  • For the Espresso Syrup:
  • 5 ½ ounces (160 milliliters) hot, strong-brewed espresso or coffee-2/3 cup
  • 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) amaretto
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) espresso paste (I used the awesome paste from Pastry Portal)***
  • For the Mascarpone Filling:
  • 16 ounces (454 grams) mascarpone- 2 cups
  • 3 ½ ounces (99 grams) sugar- ½ cup (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) amaretto
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces (480 milliliters) heavy whipping cream -2 cups
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) Dutch processed cocoa powder (I used Pernigotti)
  • 1 ounce (28 grams) dark or semisweet chocolate, grated or shaved


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C). Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour.
  2. Beat mascarpone and sugar for 2 minutes on medium-high speed of mixer. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well combined. Stir in vanilla and almond extract.
  3. Sprinkle in the dry ingredients to distribute. Turn mixer on low and mix to moisten dry ingredients then increase speed to medium and beat 1 minute. Pour in buttermilk and vinegar and mix on low for 30 seconds until well combined and smooth.
  4. Pour into prepared pans and bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cake tests clean with a toothpick. Cool 10 minutes in pan and then turn out to a cooling rack. Cool completely if using immediately, or wrap in two layers of plastic wrap if using later.
  5. *If you do not want to use mascarpone you can substitute cream cheese or sour cream.
  6. **If you do not have access to cake flour, substitute 99 grams all-purpose/plain flour and 14 grams corn or potato starch.
  7. ***You can also use 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) powdered espresso or coffee.
  8. For the Espresso Syrup:
  9. Stir all of the syrup ingredients together to dissolve and cool to room temperature. (I like to pour mine into a squeeze bottle to apply it to the cake.)
  10. For the Mascarpone Filling:
  11. In mixer bowl beat the mascarpone, sugar, amaretto and salt for 1 minute on medium-high speed until light and creamy. Slowly add the whipping cream with the mixer on medium-low speed. When the cream is all added increase the speed to medium-high and beat to stiff peaks.
  12. For assembly:
  13. Trim the top crust off of each of the cake layers to expose the inner crumb. Cut three score lines about half way through each of the cake layers and then rotate the cakes 90 degrees and cut three more score lines. (From the top it will look like a checkerboard pattern and the cut lines will allow the espresso syrup to penetrate the cake.)
  14. Place one cake layer cut side up and squeeze or drizzle one-third of the espresso syrup over the entire top surface. Top the cake with about one-quarter of the mascarpone filling and spread into an even layer. Dust the filling with half of the cocoa powder. Place the next layer of cake cut side up on top of the filling and repeat the syruping and filling process. For the final layer, place the last cake layer cut side up on top of the previous layer of filling and drizzle with the syrup; then frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining filling. Finish the cake off by grating or sprinkling shaved chocolate over the top of the cake.
  15. Note: You can frost the cake with a buttercream if you prefer not to coat the outside of the cake with the mascarpone-whipped cream mixture. Enjoy!


41 thoughts on “Tiramisu Cake”

    1. You can use espresso powder or coffee powder. Starbucks has a nice one. You can also just make super concentrated coffee or espresso.

      Thank you! 🙂

  1. Summer,Tiramisu is my favorite desert so I have no choice but to try this cake that seems so incredibly yummy! Thank you!

  2. I am so blessed to have tried it and it is fabulous! One of my favorties of all time and being Summer’s Mom I get to try her delightful creations whenever I am in town:)

    1. If you kept the layers of filling relatively thin and coated it with smbc it would work. The filling is not firm enough for an outer coating under fondant. 🙂

    1. I think you could. I would use the Gluten Free Vanilla Cake recipe and add an egg and reduce the sugar by one-fourth. Keep everything else the same. 🙂

  3. Bella! I love Tiramisu and now to have it in cake form makes my day! The sponge cake soaks up the coffee syrup well and the mascarpone/whipping cream/amaretto adds additional moisture to the sponge cake after a day or two later. Thanks so much Summer for taking my favorite dessert and putting into a delicious cake. Grazie, grazie! Ciao, Renae

  4. O me O my! I think I have died and gone to heaven! And I haven’t even made the cake yet! I love tiramisu! I am the only one in my family that does……so this cake is going to be ALL just for ME!!!! Hey, don’t judge….I have 3 boys, so I need the energy……;-)

    1. Haha! I don’t judge 🙂 I made this cake for a cake decorator friend for her birthday (since she didn’t want to make her own cake!). Her kids don’t like it either so she nibbled away for a week on it. I would have done the same 😉

  5. I made this cake over the past wknd. It was absolutely delicious!!! I had a little trouble with the frosting curdling as I never made combination mascarpone and heavy cream frosting before. Anyway, I was able to correct the problem and this I have to say is the best cake I’ve ever had!!! So worth all the work!!!

    1. I am so glad that you enjoyed it! I love it too. 🙂 Keeping the cream and mascarpone cold and using the balloon whisk should help prevent curdling if you don’t beat too long. Hopefully you will have no trouble in the future!

    1. I think this would work great as cupcakes. I have not tried the Tiramisu paste but the others are so delicious that I am sure it would be amazing in this too. 🙂

    1. Yes, I think this would work great as cupcakes! The mascarpone filling is predominately whipped cream so I think it may deflate upon thawing. You would probably want to make it just when needed. It’s delish though! Worth the last minute effort 🙂

  6. Hi Summer, I want to make this for my husband’s birthday tomorrow, he absolutely loves tiramisu!! If I want to make this a 6″ round cake instead of an 8″, would I just halve the cake recipe? Thanks and can’t wait to make and try it!

  7. Do you think a chocolate ganache on the outside would work? ( or would it overpower the flavors of the cake and filling?)I don’t want to cover the cake with the marscapone filling because I want to cover the cake with fondant. I want the marscapone filling in the inside but a sturdy ganache on the outside- thoughts?

  8. I’m making this right now and have made the ganache. I used a milk chocolate ganache recipe and added espresso powder to it. I’ve had the off cuts assembled together and it is divine. The ganache does not overpower it at all!

    1. You can use more coffee or just leave it out. You could add 1/2 tsp rum or brandy extract if you wish to boost the flavor. 🙂

  9. hi summer,

    today only i found your blod and i must say i”ve never spent so much time on a blog in a single day. your recipes look amazing, would love to try this recipe, but i live in india and things like ameratto paste and sour cream(I see that you have used this in many recipes) are not available here. could you please provide a substitute. thank you so much.

    1. Hi Pooja! I’m glad you have enjoyed exploring the blog. Since sour cream is not easy to come by you can try several substitute options. First, whole-milk yogurt will provide the acidity and most of the day of sour cream. You may need to add a tablespoon or two of oil to make up for fat differences. You could also try a mix of one cup of half and half (half cream/half whole milk) mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. If you have access to cream cheese you can soften 1/2 cup of cream cheese and blend with 1/2 cup whole milk. Creme Fraiche is a good substitute as well if you can access that product. I hope one of these options work well for you.

      For the amaretto you can add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Let me know if you have more questions!

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