Best Tiramisu Cake Recipe (with Mascarpone Frosting) + Video

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Tiramisu Cake features 3 incredible layers of espresso-soaked sponge and a creamy mascarpone frosting. Make this Italian cake recipe today! Everyone will love this classic Italian dessert! 

titled: tiramisu cake recipe


Don’t let the detailed instructions for this Italian tiramisu cake intimidate you. 

This dessert is made with simple ingredients and comes together in about an hour — including decorating time!

You’ll get that wonderful classic Tiramisu flavor and an unforgettable, delicious dessert. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or a little bit of milk.

A classic dessert like this deserves to b enjoyed any way that you want. 

tiramisu cake recipe ingredients

Tiramisu Cake

There’s nothing better than a gorgeous layer cake for birthdays and celebrations, but sometimes you want something a little fancier than vanilla or chocolate.

Enter this delectable tiramisu cake recipe! It combines the best of both desserts into one stunning dessert that is sure to tickle more mature palates.

Be sure to watch the video and learn how to make this layered tiramisu cake for family and friends.

Since tiramisu is one of my favorite Italian desserts, I also have classic and ice cream cake versions for you to try! 

Or, enjoy a simple and creamy affogato as an after dinner treat.

3 round cake pans filled with batter

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Flour – You can simulate cake flour and achieve a lighter crumb by adding cornstarch to all-purpose flour in the batter. 

    If you would rather just use cake flour, be sure to omit the cornstarch.
  • Eggs and sugar – Whipping these together with the whisk attachment makes a light, fluffy sponge cake. 

    After 10-12 minutes in a stand mixer, the mixture will thicken substantially and be noticeably lighter in color. 

    If you need to use an electric hand mixer, just get the eggs and sugar as fluffy as you can — the tiramisu cake layers will still turn out even.
  • Mascarpone – Don’t substitute with light/low-fat versions or another cheese like ricotta. 

    It should be smooth, thick, and firm right out of the container to get the correct consistency in the frosting. 

    Don’t have any? Make our homemade mascarpone instead of running to the store.
  • Flavored extract – Use both vanilla and almonds extracts in the batter to incorporate more of the traditional flavors.
  • Espresso rum soak – For an alcohol-free version of this tiramisu cake recipe, replace the dark rum with amaretto syrup or additional espresso.
  • Whipped cream – You can make the border decoration sweeter if you’d like! Simply add a tablespoon of powdered sugar when whipping the heavy cream.
  • Garnish – Sift cocoa powder through a sieve to get a fine, even coating on top of your tiramisu layer cake. 

    Chocolate covered espresso beans make a fantastic additional garnish!
brushing espresso syrup over cake

Troubleshooting: How To Fix Separated Frosting

First, be sure not to overmix the mascarpone or the frosting mixture at any stage. Doing so will cause it to separate and appear curdled.

It’s normal for the finished frosting to have a bit of texture, depending on the type of mascarpone you use, but it should still be smooth.

If the mixture does separate, heat the bowl of frosting over a pot of simmering water (or warm the outside of the bowl with a hair dryer) while stirring very gently.

Once the frosting smooths back out, beat again without the heat until it becomes fluffy.

bowl of mascarpone frosting

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

tiramisu cake topping closeup

Layered Tiramisu Cake FAQ

Does tiramisu have caffeine?

While an Italian tiramisu cake does contain espresso or coffee, it’s mostly used for flavor. The amount is so small that there would be hardly any caffeine in a single serving.

If you are still concerned, consider using decaffeinated coffee instead.

What is tiramisu cake?

Tiramisu cake is a delicious combination of the famous Italian dessert and a traditional frosted layer cake. A light sponge is soaked in espresso syrup, then stacked and coated with layers of rich mascarpone frosting.

Before serving, layered tiramisu cake is decorated with homemade whipped cream and dusted with cocoa powder for a simple, elegant finish!

Can you freeze tiramisu?

Yes! Both the traditional dessert and this layered cake can be frozen with wonderful results. I recommend that you add the whipped cream decorations and cocoa powder until just before serving.

Place your tiramisu layer cake in the freezer for 1-2 hours to set the frosting and decorations. Once firm, wrap the entire dessert in two layers of plastic, plus two layers of foil.

Store for up to 1 month and thaw, unwrapped, in the refrigerator overnight.

What is the best way to frost the edge of the cake? 

Some people get really intimidated thinking about having the frost the whole thing. I get it. It can be super hard to have just the right amount of frosting on the top of the cake, and the sides. And let’s not forget about getting the layers of frosting in between! 

A traditional tiramisu cake has frosting on the sides of the cake, and the top, and the best way to do this is to slow down and take your time. Make sure that you take your time letting the layers of this delicious tiramisu cake cool down completely to room temperature before you start adding the frosting. 
The first layer has to be cooled completely before adding any frosting at all. Remember that! 

I also think that it’s super important to user a rubber spatula so that you can add the frosting on the layers of naked cake. A spatula is light and slick, letting you pull the frosting without the risk of tearing apart the cake. 

If you try to add frosting to this tiramisu recipe before the cake layers are cooled, the frosting is going to melt right into the vanilla cake. 

Be sure that you scrape the sides of the bowl and get every bit of frosting that you can so that you can start to frost the edges as well. I never add frosting to the side of the cake until all the cakes are removed from their cake pan and placed on the serving plate. 

You can then start adding the frosting to the top and sides and smoothing it out. The next time that you make this cake, slow down and enjoy the process. 
Once you’ve successfully frosted the entire cake, it’s time to add a little dusting of cocoa powder to really seal the deal on the special occasion. Great recipes like this deserve to be shared and enjoyed! 

removing a slice of layered tiramisu cake

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on
Facebook | Twitter Pinterest | Instagram 

slice of tiramisu cake on its side on a plate

3 layer italian cake on plate

Best Tiramisu Cake Recipe (with Mascarpone Frosting) + Video

Donna Elick
Tiramisu Cake features 3 decadent layers of espresso-soaked sponge and a creamy mascarpone frosting. It's an easy Italian cake recipe!
5 stars from 3 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Method Oven
Servings 12


  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 cup brewed espresso, or strong coffee
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum, I use Meyer’s
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease three (3) 8-inch round cake pans, then dust with flour. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk eggs for 1 minute until frothy. If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a high powered electric hand mixer at the highest speed.
  • Add granulated sugar and whisk on high for 10 minutes – the egg mixture will become thick and noticeably light in color. Set aside.
  • In another mixing bowl, beat together softened butter and oil until well combined and smooth. Add in vanilla extract and almond extract and mix until combined.
  • Working with the mixer on low speed, add milk to the butter mixture, a little at a time. Continue beating until smooth and fluffy.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add one half of the flour mixture to the thick and fluffy egg mixture. Incorporate with a wooden spoon, stirring until barely combined.
    Add one half of the butter/milk mixture and stir briefly to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and then the remaining butter mixture and stir until the batter is combined – do not overstir.
  • Divide the cake batter between the 3 prepared pans.
    Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the cakes pull away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
  • Remove pans from the oven and cool cakes in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.
  • Lightly beat the mascarpone until smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar just until combined.
  • In a separate bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer), whisk 2 cups of heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until combined into a fluffy frosting. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together espresso syrup, rum, and sugar.
  • Trim the cooled cakes to level the tops.
  • Brush all three cake tops liberally with the espresso syrup mixture until it is gone.
  • Place the first cake layer on a serving platter or cake plate. Mound some of the frosting on top of the cake and spread to the sides to form a thick layer of filling.
  • Stack the second cake layer on top of the frosted layer. I like to flip the cake so it is top side down, so that the top is nice and flat for the next layer of frosting.
  • Continue layering frosting and cake layers to assemble the three layer cake.
  • Press the top down to seal the layers together and spread any filling spilling out the sides smooth with an offset spatula.
  • Mound the remaining frosting on top of the cake and spread it out and down the sides to completely frost the cake.
  • In bowl of mixer, whip remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer whipped cream to a piping bag fit with your favorite open piping tip and pipe a decorative border around the top.
  • Dust the cake with cocoa powder. Accent with espresso beans if desired, slice and serve.


Donna’s Notes

  1. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
  2. Adding cornstarch to the all-purpose flour in the cake batter recipe simulates cake flour and makes a lighter crumb cake. If using cake flour, omit the cornstarch.
  3. Whipping the eggs/sugar makes a light, fluffy sponge cake. The mixture will thicken substantially and is noticeably lighter in color. This takes 10-12 minutes to achieve using a standing mixer. If you do not have a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar as fluffy as you can get them. The cake will still turn out even if you cannot beat them to the full extent.
  4. I used both vanilla extract and almond extract in the cake batter to incorporate more of the flavors in a traditional tiramisu.
  5. Sift cocoa powder through a sieve so that you get a nice even fine coating on top of the tiramisu.
  6. When whipping the cup of heavy cream for decorating the top, you can add a tablespoon of powdered sugar to sweeten it if you like.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 1088cal | Carbohydrates: 100g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 37g | Cholesterol: 242mg | Sodium: 388mg | Sugar: 70g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 213mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
tiramisu cake pinterest image

Originally published April 2022, updated and republished March 2024

Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.

The Simple Kitchen cookbook affiliate linked banner


    1. Hi Franc,
      According to the McCormick website, imitation rum extract can be substituted for dark rum by using 2 tablespoons extract for every 1 tablespoon of dark rum called for. Based on that information, you would need to use 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) extract in this recipe. Hope this helps!

      TSRI Team member,

  1. 5 stars
    I tried making this tiramisu cake for my parents, and they ended up coming back for seconds! I was so pleasantly surprised at how elegant the look AND taste turned out, it felt very professional. Great recipe!

  2. I’m using cake flour so I’m omitting the cornstarch. However, should I increase the cake flour by 1/4 cup for a total amount of 3 & 1/2 cups cake flour?

  3. 5 stars
    This Tiramisu Cake recipe from Donna and Chad is absolutely incredible! It’s like a slice of heaven on a plate.

  4. 5 stars
    Donna’s tiramisu cake recipe was a breeze to follow! I added a touch of cocoa powder to the frosting for an extra chocolatey kick. Delicious!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating