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Tiramisu Recipe | Authentic Tiramisu with Kahlua

One taste and you’ll agree this is the best Tiramisu recipe ever! Made with mascarpone cheese, eggs, ladyfingers, espresso, and Kahlua liqueur, this authentic dish is the best way to end any Italian meal.

Tiramisu Recipe on a white plate.

Authentic Tiramisu recipes should include staple ingredients such as ladyfinger cookies, espresso, and mascarpone. But what really makes this tiramisu special is the Kahlua.

This smooth and creamy dessert is a favorite of anyone who tries it. Layers of creamy mascarpone cover coffee soaked ladyfingers in this simple and delicious dessert. Tiramisu is both and elegant and comforting treat that everyone loves.

Tiramisu on a white plate.

This tiramisu is so special because it’s simple to make and has the perfect balance of flavors. After being tested and perfected, it’s the only tiramisu recipe you’ll need! Also, there is no need to worry about raw eggs in this recipe. So read on to see why this is truly the best authentic tiramisu recipe out there.

What is Tiramisu?

Tiramisu is a traditional Italian coffee-flavored dessert that is made of ladyfingers dipped in a coffee Kahlua mixture, that is then layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, mascarpone cheese, and whipped cream. Chill the tiramisu for at least four hours. Dust the top of the dessert with cocoa powder before serving.

Tiramisu Ingredients

To make tiramisu you need ladyfingers, espresso or strong coffee, Kahlua liqueur, sugar, mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, eggs, and cocoa powder.

If you are unfamiliar, ladyfinger cookies are a dense egg-based biscuit which can be found in the cookie section in most grocery stores. You can also order Balocco Savoiardi Ladyfingers online.

The Kahlua liqueur is my favorite for this recipe. However, if you don’t have Kahlua on hand, you could substitute rum or omit the liqueur altogether.

Tiramisu on a white plate with an espresso maker in the background.

Is Tiramisu made with raw eggs?

Tiramisu does contain egg yolks. Some older tiramisu recipes will use raw eggs in the custard, which gives it that yellow color and thick texture. However, it is best to cook the eggs due to the risk of salmonella, so that is what this recipe calls for.

Here, I instruct to cook the eggs and thereby eliminate any risks associated with eating raw eggs. This recipe heats the eggs to a safe 160 degrees while still maintaining that delicious creamy and rich texture.

The way to cook the effectively cook the eggs yolks is by whisking them along with the sugar in a double boiler. By doing this, the eggs are able to cook at a low temperature thus reducing any risk of scrambling.

A double boiler is a pot that is filled with about an inch of water that is set to simmer on the stove. Then, another pot or bowl is placed on top so that it sits just above the water, not directly on top. This provides just enough heat to cook the ingredients but not scald or burn them.

Authentic Tiramisu Recipe

Authentic Tiramisu is a simple no-bake dessert that is always a favorite. To sum it up, a tiramisu recipe is whisked eggs and sugar, that are combined with mascarpone and whipped cream to make the custard. Layer the custard in a pan with espresso soaked ladyfingers. Chill the tiramisu and then dust with cocoa powder.

Pan of tiramisu.

To make authentic tiramisu, be sure to follow these step-by-step instructions. Once you make it, you’ll see that it’s a simple and tasty dessert that is sure to be a crowd favorite.

Tiramisu Recipe Step 1: Prepare the Custard

Firstly, you will need to prepare the creamy custard for the tiramisu. This is the most extensive part of this recipe, and you’ll see that it’s not difficult at all. For this part you will need a large glass bowl, a pot that fits snuggly under it, as well as a separate bowl for whipping the heavy cream.

To start, place about an inch of water into the pot and set it on the stove to simmer. Next, separate the eggs and place the yolks in a bowl along with sugar. Place the bowl on top of the pot making sure that the water isn’t directly touching the bottom of the bowl.

Whisk the egg mixture constantly for 5-7 minutes, or until the temperature of the eggs reach 160 degrees. Remove the bowl from the stove and set aside to cool slightly. Then, whisk in the room temperature mascarpone cheese until smooth and combined.

In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the egg mixture; set aside.

Tiramisu Recipe Step 2: Prepare the Ladyfingers and Espresso

Secondly, you need to prepare the ladyfingers and espresso dip for the tiramisu. Before starting, trim some of the ladyfingers to ensure that they fit in the 9 x 9 pan. Fit the ladyfingers into the pan to determine how many cookies will need to be trimmed; usually about six.

Then, prepare the espresso Kahlua dip. Simply combine the cooled espresso (or strong coffee) and the Kahlua liqueur in a shallow bowl that will fit the cookies. Set aside and get ready for assembly.

Tiramisu Recipe Step 3: Assemble the Dessert

Thirdly, begin assembling the tiramisu. Start by dipping the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture and placing them in a flat layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Only let the cookie sit in the coffee for about a second per side otherwise it will get too mushy. Place the cookies so they are sugar side up in the pan.

ladyfingers dipped in espresso kahlua mixture and placed in the bottom of a white baking dish.

Next, spread on half of the egg custard over top of the ladyfingers. Use a spatula to spread evenly, being careful not to move any of the ladyfingers.

Scoops of mascarpone custard on the ladyfingers layer in a white dish.

Repeat the process with the remaining ladyfingers and egg custard. Smooth the top of the tiramisu and cover with a piece of plastic wrap being careful that the wrap doesn’t touch the top layer of the tiramisu. Don’t add the cocoa powder to the top of the tiramisu just yet. Refrigerate as is for at least four hours, or up to 24 hours.

Custard spread over top of the ladyfingers.

Lastly, once the tiramisu has been chilled, remove from the refrigerator and dust the top with cocoa powder. To do this, place the cocoa powder in a fine mesh sieve and tap overtop so that there is a fine layer or cocoa powder on top. Then, just scoop and serve!

Cocoa powder dusted over top of the chilled tiramisu.

Favorite Italian Desserts

If you love Italian-inspired desserts, be sure to check out these delicious treats!

Espresso Cupcakes are the perfect treat for coffee lovers. Made with espresso powder and chocolate-covered espresso beans.

Tiramisu Bundt Cake is a delicious twist on traditional tiramisu with layers of fluffy custard and a Kahlua frosting.

Lemon Ricotta Cake will be your new favorite recipe, guaranteed! Great for dessert, brunch, or a midday treat.

Amaretti Cookies are so light and airy, and always a crowd favorite.

Limoncello Tiramisu is a must try for all tiramisu and lemon fans. A great dessert for the warmer months.

Lemon Polenta Cake is a naturally gluten-free cake that’s made with cornmeal.

Hope you love this tiramisu recipe with Kahlua. Be sure to comment below if you try it. Enjoy!

Tiramisu Recipe on a white plate.
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Tiramisu Recipe with Kahlua

Classic Tiramisu made with coffee flavored Kahlua liqueur. This simple recipe is an Italian favorite and should be made at least 4 to 24 hours in advance of serving.
Prep Time25 mins
Refrigeration Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian Dessert, kahlua, tiramisu
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 347kcal
Cost: 9-11


  • 9 x 9 inch serving dish


  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup espresso, cooled (could substitute strong coffee)
  • ¼ cup Kahlua liqueur
  • 24 ladyfinger cookies (7 ounce package)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder


  • Place a saucepan filled with about an inch of water on the stove and bring to a simmer. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl that fits snuggly over the saucepan but doesn't touch the water. Continue whisking constantly until the eggs turn pale yellow in color, about 5-8 minutes. The temperature of the mixture should be about 160 degrees. Remove from stove and set aside.
  • When the egg mixture has cooled slightly, whisk in the mascarpone cheese.
  • In a separate bowl, use a handheld mixer to whisk the heavy cream until hard peaks form. Gently fold the cream into the egg mascarpone mixture and set aside.
  • In a small shallow bowl, mix together the espresso and Kahlua. Dip the ladyfinger cookies into the espresso mixture, one at a time, and then layer on the bottom of the baking dish. (You may need to trim the ladyfingers with a sharp knife before dipping in the espresso so that they fit in the pan.) You should fit 12 cookies in the bottom of the pan.
    ladyfingers dipped in espresso kahlua mixture and placed in the bottom of a white baking dish.
  • Use a rubber spatula to spread on half of the egg mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Repeat layer with the remaining ladyfingers and espresso, then top with the remaining egg mascarpone mixture.
    Scoops of mascarpone custard on the ladyfingers layer in a white dish.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours. Remove plastic wrap. Place the cocoa powder in a fine mesh sieve and dust the top of the tiramisu. Slice into 9 pieces and serve.
    Cocoa powder dusted overtop of the cooled tiramisu.



Tiramisu is a great make-ahead recipe that can be made up to a day in advance. Be sure to dust on the cocoa powder before serving. 


Calories: 347kcal
Classic Tiramisu Recipe.
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 12th of January 2022

I made it. Yum! I was looking for recipe with eggs that’s cooked , not raw. This is perfect. Thanks for sharing the recipe. The video was helpful too.


Wednesday 29th of December 2021

Thank you for sharing this recipe. This is the best tiramisu I've ever had.


Sunday 26th of December 2021

i double up the coffee/khalua mix because otherwise the final lady fingers dont really absorb as much because of the tray width. and i replace kahlua with Mr black which is great but generally speaking this dish is great


Thursday 7th of October 2021

I've made this a couple of times already and they always come out great. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. Does anyone know what the shelf life is for this tiramisu?


Wednesday 20th of October 2021

Tiramisu is good for up to a week! Just be sure to refrigerate in an airtight container.


Saturday 17th of April 2021

This is exactly what I was looking for! I LOVE tiramisu and this recipe is awesome and authentic.


Sunday 18th of April 2021

It's so good!