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RECIPE: Easy Tiramisu & Lemon “Tiramisu”

March 21st is National Tiramisu Day.

Tiramisu is such a popular restaurant dessert, yet few people make it at home. It’s less work than an apple pie!

In addition to classic tiramisu, we have a variation for people who don’t like coffee: a lemon tiramisu, below.

Check out the history of tiramisu.

Thanks to Westside Market in New York City for the recipe (photo #1).

Note that this recipe uses raw eggs. If you are concerned about raw eggs, be sure to purchase pasteurized eggs.


  • 4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 8.8-ounce containers mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 1 cup strong, hot brewed coffee or espresso
  • 3 tablespoons rum
  • About 40 ladyfingers
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (substitute grated dark chocolate)
  • Garnish: espresso beans or chocolate curls

    1. BEAT the egg yolks and ¼ cup sugar with an electric mixer on high speed, until it’s thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes.

    2. MASH the mascarpone in a large bowl with a rubber spatula until smooth, then fold in the yolk mixture.

    3. WHIP the egg whites with clean beaters until stiff peaks form. Fold into the mascarpone mixture.

    4. MIX together the coffee, rum and remaining ¼ cup sugar until the sugar dissolves; let cool.

    5. TRIM half of the ladyfingers to line bottom of 9 x 13 inch serving dish. One at a time, briefly dip the ladyfingers into the coffee mixture and arrange in the dish. Press firmly with your fingers to make even layer.

    6. SPREAD with half of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat with the remaining ladyfingers and coffee mixture, but do not press the ladyfingers. Spread with remaining mascarpone mixture.

    7. COVER and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Sift the cocoa powder over top. Serve, garnishing each portion with espresso beans.


    If you’re not a coffee lover—or if you simply like lemon—here’s a variation that replaces the coffee with lemon.

    This is a no-cook, no-bake dessert. The recipe (photo #4) is courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar, divided
  • Optional: 1/4 to 1/3 cup cream sherry or 1-1/2 teaspoons sherry extract
  • 2 3-ounce packages soft ladyfingers
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 jar (10 to 11-1/4 ounces) lemon curd
  • 1/2 cup lemon yogurt, preferably whole milk

    1. COMBINE the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar in small bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add sherry, as desired. Reserve three (doubled) lady fingers for garnish.

    2. BRUSH the bottom of an 8-inch square glass dish lightly with the lemon juice mixture. Place one layer of split ladyfingers, cut side up, over the bottom of the dish. Brush with half of the lemon juice mixture.

    3. BEAT the cream in a large mixer bowl until soft peaks form. Beat in 1/4 cup of the remaining confectioners sugar; set aside.


    [1] A slice of classic tiramisu (photo © Westside Market | New York City).

    [2] Tiramisu cupcakes. Here’s the recipe from Bella Baker (photo © Bella Baker; site now closed).

    Tiramisu Cake
    [3] A tiramisu cake from Mackenzie Ltd. Here’s their current version, sold online (photo © Mackenzie Ltd).

    [4] Lemon tiramisu. The recipe is at left (photo © Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board).

    4. PLACE the mascarpone cheese in the mixer bowl and stir until softened. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar and vanilla. Beat just until light and fluffy. Fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture with a rubber spatula; set aside.

    5. BEAT the lemon curd and yogurt on the medium speed of the electric mixer until blended. Spread half of the lemon curd mixture over the ladyfingers; top with half of the cheese mixture. Place another layer of ladyfingers, cut side up, over the cheese mixture. Brush with remaining lemon juice mixture. Layer with the remaining lemon curd and cheese mixtures.

    6. PLACE the reserved ladyfingers in a food processor or blender; process to fine crumbs and sprinkle over the tiramisu. Cover and chill at least 6 hours.

  • Tiramisu Cupcakes Recipe, yellow cupcakes with a tiramisu filling.
  • Cherry Tiramisu Recipe, which adds layers of cherry pie filling.
  • Tiramisu Cocktail: drink your dessert.
  • Tiramisu Gelato & Tiramisu Sundae: have a tiramisu sundae.

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