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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
  • 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)

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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76 Responses to Tiramisu Cake

  1. oh i love TIRAMISU so I am so I would also love this cake!! Do you have any good tiramisu recipes?

  2. Paula says:

    Wow, this looks amazing! I’m new to your site, but I love your food choices and photos. I can’t wait to make chicken/cheese taquitos this week!

  3. Melissa says:

    What a beautiful cake!! I wish I could go home and make it right now!!

  4. What a great idea for a cake – I love tiramisu too. Delicious!

  5. Hannah says:

    That is such a pretty cake!

  6. Memoria says:

    Wow. Your tiramisù (grave accent on the “u”) looks fantastic! Beautiful.

  7. Dana says:

    This looks delicious! Just a factoid as to why the towel works: the reason a cake is not level when you don’t use a towel is because the sides of the pan heat up, cook the outside of the cake faster, and since the inside doesn’t have any place to expand (because the sides are baked), the only place it can go it up. When you use a towel (or pre-fab baking strips from Wilton), you cool the sides of the pan, which allows the cake to bake at the same rate. But ALWAYS be sure to drench the towel or baking strips!!!

    Can’t wait to try this recipe out.

  8. Trisha says:

    The tiramisu cake looks gorgeous… my husband is a big fan of tiramisu and has a b’day coming up in Feb. I thought I had decided on what cake to bake for him. I will now have to seriously rethink that. I think I’m going with this one. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Sarah says:

    This cake looks delightful!

    Also, I just love your countertops. They remind me of funfetti cake mix.

  10. Your opening sentence about liking tiramisu and loving this cake concerns me, as I love tiramisu. Will I then kill for this cake? ;) Looks awesome. I could seriously eat the entire thing in one sitting.

  11. Darcie says:

    Can’t wait to try your towel tip!!!!

  12. Heather says:

    That is a jaw-dropping dessert.

  13. Anukant says:

    I love cake very much. I can’t wait to eat this so I’m going to try it out. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  14. Another delicious recipe and that’s cake… Cake is my favorite.

  15. I tried the wet towel trick today-to make my cake level. I had to bake 2 – 9 X 13 cakes to cut out a guitar shape for my daughter’s Rock Star Birthday party tomorrow. So I baked one with the towels and one without, just to see. Sure enough, the one without the towels had a rounded top and the one with the wet towels wrapped around it came out PERFECTLY level ! Genius! Thank you so much! You have truly revolutionized my cake baking! :)

  16. [...] Tiramisu Cake Recipe tiramisu cake recipe 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 . [...]

  17. Marie says:

    Can you use Kahlua midslide mix instead of regular Kahlua? Hubby picked up the wrong kind? :(

  18. Merrilee says:

    I just made this last night. We licked the frosting bowl clean and may have eaten the tiniest smidgeon. My husband and I agree that this is just about the mist brilliant cake ever invented. Thank you so much!

    P.S., I doubled the alcohol and used Amaretto and Irish Cream. This cake will not be served to children ;)

  19. Kim says:

    I work at a fraternity on campus and have heard horror stories from the boys about the previous cook and tiramisu cake…..apparently it involve a lot of vodka and little cake! As a surprise to some of the members, I used your recipe and made them try it with their eyes closed, not knowing what they were getting (good thing they trust their cook).I have never seen their eyes get so big, it is an amazing recipe and they now know what a real tiramisu cake should taste like. I thank you for posting it online!

  20. Joanna Tabi-Viduya says:

    Hi. This cake looks really delicious and fun to make. I would like to make it soon. Would I be able to use springform pans for this recipe and do the towel trick?

  21. Melissa says:

    This cake looks delicious! I make traditional Tiramisu quite often but when my daughter requested it for her birthday, I needed to find a cake recipe instead. Thank goodness for your wonderful page… I can’t wait to make this for her party tomorrow!

  22. newbie says:

    beautiful! i am gonna try it.. thanks for the recipe!

  23. [...] be perfect for two reasons.  You have to make them a day ahead of time, and you know how I love a make ahead dessert.  And they are completely portable, and not to mention adorable.  If you do not have half-pint [...]

  24. Kelvin Yong says:

    Hi.

    I baked this Tiramisu cake today using the damp towel trick and the cakes came out leveled! And I used a springform pan and the towel trick works just as well.

    However, my frosting turned it too runny (nothing like what yours looked like in the photo), and I had to thicken it with whipped cream to get the consistency that I can frost without it running on me. ;( Any tips/advice why it turned out runny, and how I can thicken it like yours?

    Thanks!
    Kelvin (The Daily Bake, Singapore)

    • bakedbree says:

      Isn’t the towel trick amazing? It is like magic.

      I am not sure why your frosting was runny. Usually when something doesn’t work for me, it is my fault, usually me reading the size wrong. Other that that, I am not sure. I wish that I could be more helpful.

  25. Gracie says:

    I am about to make this cake for my friend, and i am confused what you do with the chocolate chips, do you just put them in the middle, melt them or what?

  26. neha gattani says:

    Bree my husband and I love tiramisu…i want to bake this cake for him for our first wedding anniversary…will it be fine if i bake and refrigerate this cake a day in advance…hope it wont turn out to be soggy.

    • bakedbree says:

      Yes, I bet that it will taste even better after it has had some time to let the flavors marry. But I would only do it one day in advance.

  27. [...] video demonstrations of how to make this cake, such as a following: tiramisu cake | soft kitchen, Tiramisu Cake, classic tiramisu cake recipe – step by step recipe for a classic, Tiramisu Cake Recipe [...]

  28. Beryl says:

    hi! this cake looks amazing, and I want to try it…! i do need to travel about 40 minutes with the cake to a party, does it travel well? or will the frosting melt…? thank you

  29. Nat says:

    Is there another substitute for the alcohol?!

  30. [...] borrowed the recipe below from http://bakedbree.com/tiramisu-cake if you would like it. I also added dark chocolate with sea salt around edges and poured kahlua on [...]

  31. ninad says:

    Hey Bree. Thats a very lovely recipe.

    If you could assist me with any other dessert recipes I would be really greatful.

    i am a graduate who loves to cook but havnt got enough time .

    email: foodie.always@gmail.com

  32. cecilia says:

    I don´t find mascarpone in my town, would it be a sin to use cream cheese instead??

  33. [...] in its first week of life. Mascarpone cheese especially is used for the well known tiramisu cake.Originally from Lodi (Lombardia) now it is produced in the northern part of Italy. It has the appear…ly. It has the appearance of whipped cream and is made ​​with milk. It can be consumed after [...]

  34. Nancy B. says:

    I’m curious to know how much of the espresso syrup you used. I just made this cake and will be serving it tomorrow, so I can’t judge by taste (yet) – was I supposed to brush on ALL of it?

  35. Julia says:

    Absolutely phenomenal!!! Baked this for my coworker’s birthday party, it was a HIT!!! Even those, who don’t generally like Tiramisu, loved it. Thank You!
    BTW, while at it, your Berry Mascarpone Tart was another huge hit at a different party!
    I will definitely make both again!

  36. abhinav says:

    i love making tiramisu cake, this recipe looks better to me , than some of the others available on the internet.

  37. Nivi says:

    Bree!

    I have to thank you for all the recipes and esp this Tiramisu cake. I made it few times and I have got so many “wow”s and “yum”s for this! And the cake vanished in seconds!

    Its too good and our all time favourite!

    Thanks once again and keep posting your awesome recipes!

    Cheers!

    Nivi

  38. Meriden says:

    Hey! I love love love the frosting! :) it is delicious! I was wondering about the cakes not rising… Mine didn’t seem to rise at all during baking. I didn’t use the towel trick because I was in a rush to get them in, any tips would be appreciated!
    (Your photos are flawless!)

  39. Meenakshi says:

    Hi Bree !
    What is the substitute for mascarpone cheese?

  40. I made this recipe and it is simply an awesome cake!! I almost couldn’t stop myself from tasting the cake batter xD!

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