tiramisu cake recipeIf you like tiramisu, you will love this cake.  Tiramisu is an Italian dessert that layers ladyfingers with a mascarpone filling and it is usually served in pan and cut into squares.  This is an elegant cake version of this beloved dessert.  I happen to really love tiramisu, it is one of my absolute favorite desserts.  If I see it on a menu I have to order it.  I made this cake for a friend as a thank you because tiramisu is also one of his favorites.  I will be honest with you, this cake is a little more complicated than most of the recipes that I include on Baked Bree, but none of the steps are difficult.  It is completely worth the effort because this tiramisu cake is rich and decadent and has the perfect balance of coffee and Kahlua flavors.  The frosting is something that I could serve in a bowl and call dessert and be a very happy girl.  It is light and fluffy, almost like a mousse.  This cake needs to be made the day before you are going to serve it.  The liquid needs to soak into the cake layers and the flavors need the time to get to know each other.  I forgot to poke holes into my cake layers, and it was still delicious, but I think that it would really add flavor and moisture to the finished product.  It is really hard to be patient.

This was the first cake that I made using the damp towel trick.  You cut strips from an old towel and wet them.  Cover the outside of the pan with the damp towel strips and your cakes will be perfectly level.  I did not believe that it would actually work.  Not only did it work, I have never made a cake that I did not have to level before.  It is pure magic I tell you.

This recipe comes from my favorite baking book, Baking, From My Kitchen to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

tiramisu cake recipeFor the cake:

2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk

For the espresso extract:

2 Tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 Tablespoons boiling water

For the espresso syrup:

1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon Kahlua (or brandy or amaretto)

For the filling and frosting:

1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 Tablespoon Kahlua (or brandy or amaretto)
1 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 ounces finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (or mini chocolate chips)

tiramisu cake recipeSift the dry ingredients together and set aside.  Beat the sugar and butter together until creamy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and yolk, one at at time, beating for 1 minute in between each addition.  Beat in the vanilla.  The mixture will look curdled, but it will all come together, I promise.  Turn the mixer on low and add the dry ingredients alternatively with the buttermilk.  Start and end with the dry.  Scrap down the sides of the bowl really well.

tiramisu cake recipePour the cake batter into two 9-inch pans that have been sprayed well with cooking spray and lined with parchment.  Isn’t it amazing how the towel trick works?  They are perfectly level.  Bake the cakes in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 28 minutes, rotating halfway through baking.  When they are finished, they will be golden and start to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Let the pans sit on a rack for about 5 minutes, then unmold them and let them cool completely.

tiramisu cake recipeNow you are going to make the espresso extract.  It is nothing more than combining the espresso powder and the boiling water into a bowl.  Set this aside.

tiramisu cake recipeIn a small saucepan combine the sugar and water.  Bring it to a boil.  Pour in into a bowl and add 1 Tablespoon of the espresso extract that we just made and the 1 Tablespoon of Kahlua.  Set this aside.

tiramisu cake recipeWhisk together the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and remaining Kahlua.  Whisk until blended and smooth.  Beat the heavy cream in the mixer until it holds firm peaks.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture using a spatula.

tiramisu cake recipeNow we are ready to assemble the cake.  I put a few strips of parchment underneath my cake layers (but not underneath the whole thing) so that I would not get frosting all over my cake plate.  When I am done decorating, these pieces will come out and the plate will still be clean.  Poke some holes with a toothpick or a knife and brush the cake with the espresso syrup.

tiramisu cake recipeSpread a layer of the frosting over the first cake layer.  Use about a cup and a quarter.  Level it with an offset spatula and sprinkle with the chocolate.  Add the top layer and again, poke with holes and brush with the espresso syrup.

tiramisu cake recipeAdd 1 to 2 Tablespoons of the remaining espresso extract to the remaining frosting.  Fold together.

tiramisu cake recipeFrost the cake with the rest of the frosting.  Chill for at least 3 hours but overnight is better.

tiramisu cake recipeDust the top with cocoa powder.

tiramisu cake recipe

Tiramisu Cake
 
Ingredients
  • For the cake:
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • For the espresso extract:
  • 2 Tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 Tablespoons boiling water
  • For the espresso syrup:
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Kahlua (or brandy or amaretto)
  • For the filling and frosting:
  • 1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon Kahlua (or brandy or amaretto)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2½ ounces finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (or mini chocolate chips)
Instructions
  1. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. Beat the sugar and butter together until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and yolk, one at at time, beating for 1 minute in between each addition. Beat in the vanilla. The mixture will look curdled, but it will all come together, I promise. Turn the mixer on low and add the dry ingredients alternatively with the buttermilk. Start and end with the dry. Scrap down the sides of the bowl really well.
  2. Pour the cake batter into two 9-inch pans that have been sprayed well with cooking spray and lined with parchment. Isn’t it amazing how the towel trick works? They are perfectly level. Bake the cakes in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 28 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. When they are finished, they will be golden and start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the pans sit on a rack for about 5 minutes, then unmold them and let them cool completely.
  3. Now you are going to make the espresso extract. It is nothing more than combining the espresso powder and the boiling water into a bowl. Set this aside.
  4. In a small saucepan combine the sugar and water. Bring it to a boil. Pour in into a bowl and add 1 Tablespoon of the espresso extract that we just made and the 1 Tablespoon of Kahlua. Set this aside.
  5. Whisk together the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and remaining Kahlua. Whisk until blended and smooth. Beat the heavy cream in the mixer until it holds firm peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture using a spatula.
  6. Now we are ready to assemble the cake. I put a few strips of parchment underneath my cake layers (but not underneath the whole thing) so that I would not get frosting all over my cake plate. When I am done decorating, these pieces will come out and the plate will still be clean. Poke some holes with a toothpick or a knife and brush the cake with the espresso syrup.
  7. Spread a layer of the frosting over the first cake layer. Use about a cup and a quarter. Level it with an offset spatula and sprinkle with the chocolate. Add the top layer and again, poke with holes and brush with the espresso syrup.
  8. Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of the remaining espresso extract to the remaining frosting. Fold together.
  9. Frost the cake with the rest of the frosting. Chill for at least 3 hours but overnight is better.
  10. Dust the top with cocoa powder.

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