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Preparation time: 20 minutes,
Cooling time: 2 hours

Traditional Italian tiramisu, favourite dessert of the majority of us for as long as we can recall. Let’s prepare it together with Hana’s Recipes, a food blog bringing you delicates from all over the world!

History and today’s popularity of tiramisu

Traditional Italian tiramisu has become the dessert no.1 not only in local Italian restaurants but in other culturally-based places too. Let’s take a quick look at its historical development over the years and how it has reached the sweet top position nowadays.

The most commonly accepted theories state that the origins of tiramisu go back to 1960s – 1970s, particularly to the Veneto region of Italy and the city called Treviso. It is claimed that tiramisu was discovered by the confectioners and chefs in this district, most probably due to the frequent preparation of coffee-flavoured desserts.

Its name “tiramisu” translates in Italian as “pick me up” or “cheer me up”. This perfectly describes the mood-lifting powers the dessert carries with itself. With such a meaning, it didn’t take long for tiramisu to steal hearts of thousands of Italian citizens as well as incoming tourists. The word spread quickly and the traditional Italian tiramisu was suddenly being made in other countries as well.

The most common ingredients of tiramisu include ladyfingers (savoiardi biscuits), espresso, mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar and cocoa powder. All together, they are layered to form a creamy cake with a unique coffee flavour. However, it is quite normal these days to incorporate different ingredients to the classic recipe as well, such as chocolate, fruit or nuts, as a result of the quick spread of tiramisu to the world. Some variations even include liqueurs like Marsala wine, rum or Amaretto to enhance the typical flavour.

While traditional Italian tiramisu may be seen as a complex recipe, clear and straightforward instructions are provided in our photo recipe below. Let’s get started! Don’t forget that tiramisu tastes the best when cooled down, making it beneficial for you to prepare the dessert in advance and store it until needed in the refrigerator.


  • 450 g of mascarpone,
  • 3 eggs,
  • 75 g of sugar,
  • 200 ml of strong coffee,
  • 2 spoons of rum / Amaretto liqueur (based on your preference),
  • 20 to 24 long sponge cakes,
  • 2 spoons of cocoa powder

Preparation of the traditional Italian tiramisu

1Start off with separating the whites from yolks and mix the whites with salt until almost stiff (or you can mix the whipped cream). Mix the egg yolks with the sugar and beat with a mixer (preferably over steam) until you get a light mixture.

Tiramisu. Photo: ?

2Add the mascarpone to the egg yolks and sugar mixture and mix gently by hand until smooth. Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture to get a light cream.

Tiramisu. Photo: ?

3In the meantime, use another bowl to mix strong espresso coffee with rum or Amaretto liqueur. It depends on your general preference or current cravings.

Tiramisu. Photo: ?


Place a layer of sponge cakes dipped in the coffee-rum mixture into a suitable container. After that, spread a layer of the prepared mascarpone cream onto the sponge cake.

Traditional Italian tiramisu. Photo - Pexels


Repeat the layers of sponge cake and cream until you run out of all ingredients. Most probably, it will be two layers of sponge cake and two layers of mascarpone cream. Cover the cake with foil and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Sprinkle with the cocoa powder on top of the cake.

Tiramisu. Photo: ?

Well done! Bon appetite and enjoy the serving of your traditional Italian tiramisu!

In the mood to make different sweet delicates? How about trying out easy recipes for the original cheesecake or tasty apple pie? Get inspired and check out our entire section of desserts at Hana’s Recipes!

Similar videorecipe: How to make the traditional Italian tiramisu

FAQ no.1: Can tiramisu be made as gluten-free?

The very traditional recipe for tiramisu is not gluten-free, as it contains the mentioned ladyfingers made of wheat flour. However and especially in this century, it is much easier to prepare desserts replacing original components containing gluten or dairy. Therefore, even in the case of tiramisu, gluten-free version is possible and the ladyfingers can be either bought gluten-free (or made gluten-free) or substituted by other similarly tasteful food items.

FAQ no.2: Is tiramisu a safe dessert for pregnant women?

To be completely honest, traditional Italian tiramisu and any other similar cake containing raw eggs are advised not to be eaten during pregnancy, since they may increase the risk of salmonella contamination. If an alternative can be found for the raw eggs, then it is certainly safe. However, in the case of tiramisu it might be difficult, as they are unfortunately one of its main components.


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