Tiramisu Cake – a layered, Italian espresso infused mascarpone dessert, in cake form. Get your caffeine fix, plus a boozy kick!
Hey there! I’m home from our vacation!
It was fun, and so busy! I felt like we did not stop walking for days. Now I kinda need another, more relaxing vacation, haha! The kids had a blast and we loved seeing Harry Potter world (and trying all the delicious butterbeer variations!).
Father’s Day was nice and low-key. We lucked out with the weather, so ended up spending the day mostly outside relaxing. I made lobster rolls for dinner and a glorious blueberry dessert (which I hope to share with you soon!).
Father’s Day can often be bittersweet for me, since I lost my dad 10 years ago, after a long and brave battle with colon cancer. I seriously can’t believe it has been 10 years since he was in my life. He was everything to me and I still hurt from losing him. I try to keep the focus on my husband, to keep the day from feeling too sad, but I can’t help but remember my sweet dad, and I always try to mark the day with some kind of recipe that was created just for him.
This year, it’s tiramisu cake.
I honestly don’t know if my dad ever had tiramisu. He was never the most adventurous eater. But he did come from a big Italian family, and he loved coffee. And booze! Lol. So I think if he were still around to taste this cake, he would love it.
It’s just like the traditional Italian dessert, only in layer cake form. Rather than using ladyfingers, aka Savoiardi, we are baking three layers of genoise. Genoise is just like a light, fluffy sponge cake, with the added richness of melted butter. If you’ve ever made homemade ladyfingers, it’s pretty much the same thing. Only instead of piping it into long lines, you just bake it in cake pans.
The genoise is cooled and then soaked with a rich coffee syrup. I added brandy for a boozy kick, but if you don’t like the taste you can totally leave it out.
The filling is light and fluffy, yet rich at the same time. It’s made with mascarpone, which is a soft, buttery Italian cheese similar to our cream cheese (but without the tang). It’s folded together with a rich egg and sugar mixture, then lightened even more with whipped cream. When the genoise, coffee syrup, and mascarpone mousse have all had a chance to meld, it’s pure heaven. Moist, soft, and so creamy, with tons of rich flavor. We frost it all with whipped cream and sprinkle it with a little cocoa powder for garnish. Delizioso!
Now, if you’re looking for a caffeine-free, booze-free version that’s more kid friendly, check out my Chocolate Tiramisu recipe! And be sure to have a look at my Father’s Day category for lots more Father’s Day recipes.
More great cake recipes on my “Cake Recipes” Pinterest board!
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For the genoise cake
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (125 g) sifted cake flour
- 4 tablespoons (59.15 g) unsalted butter,, melted
- 1 1/2 cups (375 g) hot water
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (2.5 tablespoons) instant espresso powder
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (2.5 tablespoons) brandy
- 2 1/2 teaspoons (2.5 teaspoons) powdered sugar
For the mascarpone filling
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (80 g) dry Marsala wine
- 16 ounces (453.59 g) mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup (238 g) heavy whipping cream,, cold
For the whipped cream frosting
- 6 ounces (170.1 g) cream cheese, (the kind in a brick)
- 3/4 cup (90 g) powdered sugar
- 2 1/4 cups (535.5 g) heavy whipping cream,, cold
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, (for garnish)
To make the genoise layers:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, mist three 8-inch diameter cake pans generously with non-stick spray, and line with circles cut from parchment.
- In a large mixing bowl, whip the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on high speed (with the whisk attachment) until pale, fluffy, and tripled in volume (about 10 to 12 minutes).
- Add a third of the cake flour, and fold carefully, taking care not to deflate air from the mixture. Repeat, until all the flour has been incorporated.
- Fold in the butter, and transfer the batter to the prepared pans.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely.
- Stir the hot water, instant espresso powder, brandy, and powdered sugar together in a small bowl.
- Place one layer of cooled genoise on a serving plate. Using a pastry brush, soak the cake with about 1/3 of the espresso mixture. Top with half the mascarpone filling.
- Repeat, then top with the last layer of cooled genoise and soak with the remaining espresso mixture.
- Frost with whipped cream frosting, dust with cocoa, and (using a piping bag and a large round tip) top with dollops of whipped cream frosting..
To make the mascarpone filling:
- In a medium mixing bowl set over a pot of simmering water, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala wine together until pale, thick, and doubled in volume.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the mascarpone.
- Whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks, then fold into the mascarpone mixture.
To make the whipped cream frosting:
- Place the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Fit the mixer with a whisk attachment, and whip on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
- Turn the mixer down to medium-low speed and pour the heavy cream down the side of the bowl in a very slow and steady stream.
- When all the cream has been added, turn the mixer up to medium-high and whip until the frosting holds stiff peaks.
This looks so good! What a great treat to make for a special occasion or the holidays!
This looks so good! What a fun dessert to make for a holiday!
The different parts of this have tasted amazing so far! The cake hasn’t been assembled yet, taking it slow. I made the filling today, and it’s definitely not stiff enough to hold anything up without squishing out the sides. I’m currently freezing them as layers so that assembly is at least possible. I thought I followed the instructions exactly. It’s been in the fridge for a few hours now. It’s definitely thick, but still pourable. Any idea why it turned out thin?
Sorry to hear you’re having a little bit of trouble but I do think it’s salvagable! The cake is so dry it will really soak up a lot of that liquid and almost “meld” with it. That said, your problems may be because either your yolk/sugar/marsala mixture wasn’t cooked or whipped enough, or because your whipped cream wasn’t whipped enough. Or possibly even both. The thicker you can get those elements at the beginning, the thicker your final filling will be. Good luck I hope it comes out well for you in spite of this!
I am planning to bake this for my boyfriend’s 30th. I only have 2 8” pans. How long do you recommend I bake them for..?
I’d keep a close eye on them and check them when they’re starting to turn golden around the edges. You’ll know they’re done when they’re springy in the middle. Good luck!