Tiramisu literally means ‘pick-me-up’ as in ‘make me happy’. Watch someone take their first bite and you’ll agree that it definitely lives up to its name. Really, if you want a hearty “mmmmmm” along with a smile, serve this to your guests or family. I was surprised to learn that the recipe is only about 40 years old but I am sure of one thing. It has definitely earned its place as a timeless classic.

Decadent, creamy and sinfully delicious, this will be the star course of any meal. I’ve wanted to make Tiramisu for some time and make it 100% from scratch, so here it is. You could buy packaged Ladyfingers, but they are full of preservatives plus expensive and not readily available. You probably already have all the ingredients to make them in your kitchen so, why not? Check out the easy recipe for homemade Ladyfingers then come back here and put it all together.

Plan ahead when you make this beauty because for all the flavors to be at their peak, this recipe requires absolutely 24 hours in the refrigerator after assembly for the flavors to intensify and become the true “pick me up” that Tiramisu is. (My minimum requirement is actually two days.)

Fresh Ladyfingers soaked in espresso and rum (or rum flavoring) take on a sponge-cake texture that is chock full of flavor with the creamy custard and whipped cream. Tiramisu is rich and tasty without being overly sweet.

My mom ALWAYS orders Tiramisu when dining out if it’s on the menu. So, I wanted to make this for her. We ate it all before I could save her a piece! Sorry Mom, next time…

5.0 from 1 reviews
Tiramisu With Homemade Ladyfingers
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A decadent dessert made with coffee and rum soaked Ladyfingers, layered with custard and whipped cream. Try to make this dessert two days in advance for optimal flavor but no less than one day ahead.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons rum or 2 teaspoons rum extract (You can also substitute Irish Cream, such as Bailey's in place of the rum.)
  • 12 homemade Ladyfingers or 2 (3 oz.) pkgs. purchased Ladyfingers
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form.
  3. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth.
  4. In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum. Place ladyfingers on a plate and drizzle coffee mixture over until ladyfingers soak up all the coffee.
  5. Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 8x8-inch or comparable size pan (breaking some in half if necessary to cover entire bottom). Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers one more time.
  6. Cover and refrigerate 24 to 48 hours.
  7. Just before cutting to serve, sprinkle top with cocoa powder.

Recipe adapted from Chef Dennis and All Recipes.

Tiramisu with homemade Ladyfingers will rival the best from any restaurant. Perfect hints of cocoa, rum and coffee, creamy and decadent. Super easy to make.

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