Tiramisu Cake

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Tiramisu Cake

Tiramisu is one of my absolute favourite desserts. I love the creamy mascarpone and I love the mellow coffee flavour but what I love most is that it was one of my moms favourite desserts, and one she made incredibly well! My dad always jokes that my mom put so much alcohol in her tiramisu, after 3 bites you were drunk as a skunk! I remember one year at Christmas she made a huge dish of tiramisu but I never even tasted it…none of the kids were allowed in fact. She confessed that instead of adding a few tablespoons of Tia Maria, she actually added half the bottle! I also remember that Christmas being particularly “Merry”…

Tiramisu Cake

So I decided to take this classic dessert and turn it into a delicious cake. Not like this is a new concept but I wanted to keep the cake as close to Tiramisu, taste-wise so I just transferred all the tastes to a sponge cake base. I decided to bake a light coffee sponge which would be just perfect when brushed with a coffee and liqueur syrup and topped with the creamy mascarpone layer. I finished the cake off with a ‘border’ of finger biscuits (lady fingers) and a good grating of dark chocolate. Finally some cocoa powder was dusted on and we could tuck in. My guests all “mmm”-ed and “aah”-ed as they were eating and I can honestly say that this was one of the most delicious cakes I have ever made. The sponge was light and moist, the mascarpone layer was ever-so-slightly sweet and coffee-flavoured and the chocolate and cocoa added the perfect amount of bitterness. Perfection in cake form!

Tiramisu Cake

Makes 1 large cake (serves 10-12)

for the coffee sponge
250g butter, room temperature
300g caster sugar
350g cake flour (all purpose flour)
2 tsp (10ml) baking powder
1 tsp (5ml) salt
4 extra-large eggs (I use free-range)
2 tsp (10ml) vanilla extract
1 cup milk, heated
1 tbsp (15ml) ground coffee/instant coffee
for the coffee-Frangelico syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp ground coffee/instant coffee
2 tbsp Frangelico (or other liqueur of your choice)
for the mascarpone-cream layer/topping
2 tubs (500g) mascarpone cheese
1 tub (250ml) double (thick) cream
2 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar), sifted
2 tbsp (30ml) strong coffee
to decorate
400g finger biscuits (lady fingers)
100g dark chocolate, grated
cocoa powder, for dusting

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and grease two (+-) 30cm cake pans and line the bottom with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. In a different bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one by one, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
  5. Add the ground coffee/instant coffee to the warm milk and mix until dissolved.
  6. Add the flour mixture and the milk/coffee alternating to the the butter, sugar and eggs mixture. Make sure to mix well after each addition.
  7. The batter should be quite aerated and ‘moussey’ when all the ingredients have been mixed in.
  8. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and place in the pre-heated oven.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the cakes comes out clean.
  10. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a cooling rack and allowing to cool completely.
  11. In the meantime, get started on the mascarpone filling and the coffee syrup.
  12. For the syrup, combine the sugar, water, coffee and Frangelico in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  13. For the mascarpone layer, in a large bowl, beat the mascarpone and double cream until thick. Add the sifted icing sugar and mix until well combined.
  14. Whilst mixing, slowly pour in the strong coffee and continue mixing until all the coffee has been incorporated.
  15. When the cakes are cool, brush the coffee syrup over the cakes until most of it has been absorbed. Spread 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture onto one of the cakes and sandwich with the remaining cake layer. Top the cake with the rest of the mascarpone mixture and cover the whole cake with it.
  16. To decorate, press the finger biscuits around the outside of the cake and top the cake with the grated chocolate. Add a dusting of cocoa powder and serve.

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Alida Ryder
Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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  • Nos

    My moms fav dessert is also tiramisu :) Will definitely be making this for her soon

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      I hope she likes it as much as I did Nos!

  • Flee

    This looks delumptious as my mum would say.. “Misu” was also one of my mum’s favorites, but we did a little Amarula twist instead of the Tia maria… Good memories… Thanks mills :-)

  • Lindy Gumede

    can you please also give measurements in mls for the sugar and flour?

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Lindy, it’s very hard for me to give you ml measurements as I only ever weigh my dry ingredients but 350g flour is approximately 650ml and 300g sugar is approximately 350ml. I can’t be sure that these measurements are 100% correct though and I would suggest you rather weight the ingredients to ensure a successful end result.

  • Zina

    Looks very yum! But I need to know what double thick cream is? And what can I replace the liqeuer with? No alcohol for me please. :) Thank you for posting!

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Zina, Double thick cream is simply thick cream. I’m not sure what it would be called in other countries. I think in the US it is called Heavy cream?

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Oh, and you can just leave the alcohol out. Makes no difference other than taste.

      • Zina

        Oh yes heavy cream! I was thinking it might be that. Thank you! And I will def leave the alcohol out!. :)

  • Tami

    I love the addition of the coffee cake. I will definately be trying this recipe out soon ;)

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Tami, it gives it such amazing flavour! Let me know what you think once you’ve tried it!

  • yvonne wong

    In step 14, “Whilst mixing, slowly pour in the strong coffee and continue mixing until all the coffee has been incorporated.”, what coffee is this because the coffee syrup is brushed over the cake. Do we need to make the syrup and add one lot to the mascarpone and one lot to the cake? Please clarify as I would love to make this ……Tiramisu is also our favourite dessert. Thanks

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Yvonne, you’ll see at the ingredients list for the Mascarpone layer/filling it states you need 2 Tbsp strong coffee. This is what you need to pour in slowly whilst continuously whisking. I hope you enjoy the cake when you’ve baked it. :)

      • yvonne wong

        Sorry I didn’t notice that. Tks for the reply. Absolutely love your blog and the recipes.

  • samima

    hi,wanna try..is this salted butter to be used or an unsalted one,can u pls tell me if i can use dream whip as heavy cream n how can i measure thick cream into liquid state,as u have mentioned in mls..

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Alida Ryder

      Samima, you can use either but with baking I most often use unsalted butter.

  • Jesyca

    Any chance you can tell me what could be used to replace double thick cream ? I cant recall ever seeing anything like this here in Florida.

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Alida Ryder

      Jesyca, you could also use Mascarpone cheese. Double thick cream is really just very thick cream, it doesn’t have a runny consistency.

  • Jesyca

    Very good, Ill try that. I was afriad I would have to call up one of my Canadian friends or British friends to send me a special package of dairy products.

  • Deb

    Hi, was your milk hot when you alternately mixed it into the cake?

    • http://simply-delicious-food.com/ Alida Ryder

      Not boiling hot but warm to the touch.

  • Jasmine

    Tiramisu is my favourite Dessert so when I found this recipe I decided to prepare it for my 6th wedding anniversary, in a mini version, it was really easy to prepare, I couldn’t resist the temptation to try it before sharing it with my husband, the cake is absolutely Delicious, love it. My husband was very surprised with the results. Thank you for sharing this recipe

    • http://simply-delicious-food.com/ Alida Ryder

      So glad you liked it Jasmine. It is a firm favourite in our household as well.

  • zee

    Could tou make cupcakes instead of a big cake?

    • http://simply-delicious-food.com/ Alida Ryder

      Of course, just adjust the cooking time. When a skewer inserted comes out clean, they’re done!

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