Cakes

Stunning Tiramisu Cake Recipe (Tiramisu Layered Cake)

4.79 from 14 votes
Indulge in our Tiramisu Cake Recipe, uniting boozy coffee-soaked sponge, silky mascarpone, and rich cocoa in an easy, elegant layered cake.
A Stunning Tiramisu Cake is being displayed on a glass cake stand with one generous slice has been cut off. The inside shows its layers of coffee-soaked sponge cake filled with creamy mascarpone. This layered tiramisu cake is topped with rosettes and dusted cocoa which makes it visually appealing.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: This Stunning Tiramisu Cake Recipe will shine through any celebration as a breathtaking centerpiece with its classic, harmonious fusion of rich coffee notes, velvety mascarpone, and a visually pleasing presentation in a convenient form. 

  • Decadent Flavors: The combination of coffee-soaked layers, mildly tangy mascarpone, and lightly bitter cocoa creates an elegant flavor profile.
  • Taste & Texture: From the aroma of coffee to the smooth texture and cocoa finish, every bite engages multiple senses, creating a memorable culinary experience.
  • Versatile Indulgence: Whether for festive occasions or casual gatherings, the versatility of Tiramisu Layered Cake suits diverse preferences, making it a go-to dessert.
  • Beautiful Presentation: The layered structure with dusted cocoa makes the layered Tiramisu Cake visually appealing, adding flair to any event.

This layered cake is a great addition to my Tiramisu recipe collection paying homage to this beloved Italian classic, adding a touch of authenticity: Easy 10 Minute Tiramisu Recipe, 10 Minute Berry Tiramisu, Rich and Creamy Tiramisu Semifreddo, 10-Minute Chocolate Tiramisu Recipe, Tiramisu Ice Cream (No Machine), No-Bake TiramisuCheesecake, and The BEST Tiramisu Recipe (100% From Scratch).

For this elevated version of a well-loved Italian treasure, I’m proud to partner with Farmer Direct Foods to bring you this post. There are countless baking flour options available but I choose Farmer Direct Foods because they focus on regenerative farming practices, producing genuine stone ground, and whole wheat flours that offer benefits for home bakers, farmers, and the environment. These nutrient-rich flours create healthier, more flavorful baked goods while positively impacting sustainability. To learn more about them, check out these recipes and articles:  The Ultimate Guide to 10 Types of Flour for Baking | Differences & How to Use, Make Ahead Holiday Breakfast Ideas, and Perfectly-Spiced Gingerbread Sheet Cake with Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting.

A Stunning Tiramisu Cake is being displayed on a glass cake stand. This layered tiramisu cake is topped with rosettes and dusted cocoa which makes it visually appealing.

Table of Contents

What is a Stunning Tiramisu Cake (Tiramisu Layered Cake)?

  • Tiramisu (Pronounced: tee-ruh-mee-soo) is an Italian, custard-like sophisticated dessert composed of ladyfingers dipped in coffee and brandy, whipped mascarpone cheese mixture, and cocoa powder dust.
    • They are layered together, yielding a beautifully moist and creamy dessert.
    • Some versions of Tiramisu don’t include eggs, but in my recipe, we are incorporating eggs for a light and airy result.
  • Tiramisu layered cake is a delightful dessert that translates the classic Italian Tiramisu flavors into a show-stopping cake format.
    • This cake features layers of sponge cake layers, which are soaked in strong coffee or espresso to infuse them with a rich coffee flavor.
    • Between these layers, a luscious mascarpone buttercream filling is spread, flavored with vanilla extract, and optionally a splash of coffee liqueur, rum or brandy.

Tools You’ll Need

Key Ingredients and Why (check recipe)

For the Sponge Cake

  • Farmer Direct Foods All-purpose flour

    • All-purpose flour has 11.5% protein content, which is the perfect amount for giving the cake structure while still having a pleasing light and tender texture.
  • Farmer Direct Foods Heirloom Wheat Flour

    • Heirloom wheat flour has a protein content of 10.5%, much lower than modern wheat does, which makes it easier to digest.
    • Its full, wheaty, and extra nuttiness work wonders with the coffee flavor here.
  • Baking powder

    • Baking powder is the leavening agent, giving the cake a controlled rise and a consistent structure. It keeps the cake from being heavy and dense.
    • You’ll always have baking powder on hand when you learn How to Make Baking Powder and Baking Soda!
  • Salt

    • Salt enhances the overall flavors.
  • Eggs (at room temperature)

    • Egg Whites:

      • Structure and Stability: Whipping egg whites incorporates air into the mixture, creating a stable foam. This foam provides structure and stability to the cake, making it light and fluffy.
      • Leavening Agent: The whipped egg whites act as a leavening agent, helping the cake rise during baking.
    • Egg Yolks:

      • Moisture and Fat Content: Egg yolks contribute moisture and fat to the cake, adding richness and a tender texture.
      • Flavor and Color: Yolks also add flavor and a yellow tint to the cake.
  • Granulated sugar

    • Sugar sweetens the Tiramisu Cake and stabilizes the egg whites
    • When sugar is beaten into an egg-white foam, it dissolves in the protein film on the surface of the air bubbles. This sugary syrup film prevents the proteins from drying out and tightening up too fast.
    • Sugar binds easily with water, not only locking in water content to add moisture but also inhibiting gluten formation to make the cake soft.
  • Vanilla extract

  • Whole milk

    • Whole milk has a milkfat of around 3.5%-4%, which enriches the cake and adds moisture.
    • The protein in whole milk also contributes to the tenderness and the structure of the cake.
  • Butter

    • Butter adds a rich and distinct flavor to the cake.
    • The fat in butter acts as a tenderizing agent by inhibiting gluten development. This results in a desirable delicate crumb for a sponge cake.

A Stunning Tiramisu Cake is being displayed on a glass cake stand with one generous slice has been cut off. The inside shows its layers of coffee-soaked sponge cake filled with creamy mascarpone. This layered tiramisu cake is topped with rosettes and dusted cocoa which makes it visually appealing.

For the Coffee Syrup

  • Very strong coffee

    • Very strong coffee or espresso is a key flavor component, imparting a robust coffee flavor to the cake. This balances the sweetness with a delightful aroma.
    • The soaking process also softens the sponge cake layers, making them more tender and creating the characteristic melt-in-your-mouth texture of Tiramisu.
  • Brandy

    • Brandy contributes to the aromatic complexity of Tiramisu. The combination of brandy and coffee creates a depth of flavor that is characteristic of traditional Tiramisu.

For the Mascarpone Buttercream:

  •  Butter

    • Butter is the base of a perfect buttercream frosting. I always use salted butter because salt enhances flavors. You can use either salted or unsalted butter per your preference.
    • Butter has to be softened correctly to get the silky-smooth consistency for frosting. You know your butter is at the right temperature when you push the butter and it makes an indent, but your finger doesn’t easily squish right through.
  • Powdered sugar (aka “icing sugar” or “confectioners’ sugar)

    • Powdered sugar not only perfectly sweetens frosting but also contributes to a smoother consistency compared to coarser granulated sugar.
    • Icing sugar rubs against fat from softened butter during creaming, creating air pockets to incorporate air. Meanwhile, icing sugar also coats air pockets to prevent them from drying out, retaining air to stabilize frosting.
    • It does not get easier when you can make your own using my How to Make Powdered Sugar recipe.
  • Heavy whipping Cream

    • Heavy whipping cream has a fat content of around 36%, which whips up well to incorporate and retain air in the cake batter. This contributes to a light and fluffy cake.
  • Vanilla extract

    • Pure natural vanilla extract instead of artificial vanilla essence, is a must to deliver the signature flavor to your buttercream.
  • Mascarpone

    • Mascarpone in mascarpone buttercream frosting brings richness, creaminess, a hint of tanginess, and stability to the frosting.
    • It elevates the overall taste and texture, making it a popular choice for those looking to add a touch of sophistication to the buttercream.
    • It can be hard to come by but is very easy to make using my recipe: How to Make Mascarpone.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa powder:

    • This dusting not only enhances the visual appeal by providing a contrasting color but also hints at the chocolate flavor within.

 

How to Make a Stunning Tiramisu Cake (Tiramisu Layered Cake)

Bake the Sponge Cake

  • Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and butter and line with parchment two 8-inch (20cm) round cake pans. Set aside.
  • Make the yolk base batter: Mix dry ingredients including the flour, baking powder and salt. Separately, whisk wet ingredients egg yolks and vanilla extract with sugar until pale and thick.
  • Make the meringue base batter: In a clean grease-free and dust-free bowl, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed to soft peaks, which barely hold their shape and the peaks flop over immediately when the beaters are lifted. Steam in sugar gradually until it reaches glossy peaks, which stand straight up when the beaters are lifted.
  • Assemble the batter:  Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture until just combined.
  • Bake the Tiramisu Cake: Divide the batter evenly and bake for 25-28 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Properly cool the cake: Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then invert them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Coffee Syrup

  • Combine the coffee and brandy in a bowl and set aside until assembly. 

Make the Mascarpone Buttercream

  • Whip the softened butter and room-temperature mascarpone until combined. Take care not to over mix or the mascarpone will separate. 
  • Gradually stream in the powdered sugar, stopping every now and then to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • Once all of the sugar is incorporated, turn the speed up to high again and whip the butter and sugar together for a few minutes, until fluffy.
  •  Lower the speed and whisk in the cream, vanilla extract and salt.

Decorate the cake

  • Cut the cake: Once the cake layers are cool, first cut the domes off of both layers if any, then split the layers in half to create 4 layers.
  • Frost the cake: 
    • Start with one cake layer on a serving plate and brush with a ⅓ of the coffee mixture all over the surface allowing it to soak in. Spread about ¾ cup of frosting evenly over the layer, all the way to the edges. Repeat with the remaining layers.
    • Cover the top and sides of the cake with a smooth layer of frosting, then place the remaining frosting in a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
    • Pipe rosettes all over the top of the cake, starting with the outside edge and working your way into the center.

Serve the cake

  • Just before serving, dust the rosettes with cocoa powder. Serve the cake at room temperature. Keep remaining in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • If not serving right away, refrigerate for up to one day. Cover loosely with plastic wrap only after the frosting is cold and hard, after a few hours.

A slice of the Stunning Tiramisu Cake is served on a dessert plate with one bag of Heirloom flour on the side. The slice shows its layers of coffee-soaked sponge cake filled with creamy mascarpone, topped with rosettes and dusted cocoa powder.

Can I Make this Layered Cake in Advance and How to Store a Stunning Tiramisu Cake (Tiramisu Layered Cake)?

Yes, you can make a Tiramisu Cake ahead of time.

Storing a Tiramisu Layered Cake requires careful attention to maintain its flavor and texture. Here’s how to do it:

  • Refrigeration: Tiramisu contains perishable ingredients like mascarpone and eggs. Always store it in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage.
  • Cover Well: Cover the Tiramisu Cake with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This helps prevent it from absorbing odors from the refrigerator and keeps it fresh.
  • Avoid Freezing: Tiramisu is best enjoyed fresh, and freezing can alter its texture. It is not recommended to freeze Tiramisu, especially if it contains delicate layers.
  • Storage Time: Consume the Tiramisu within 2-3 days for the best quality. Over time, the texture may change, and the flavors may diminish.
  • Protect from Odors: Store Tiramisu away from strong-smelling foods in the refrigerator to prevent it from absorbing unwanted odors.
  • Serve Chilled: Before serving, allow the Tiramisu to sit at room temperature for a short time, then serve it chilled. This helps enhance the flavors and textures.

FAQs

What’s the difference between a Tiramisu and a Tiramisu Cake?

They share common components such as coffee-infused sponge cake or ladyfingers, a creamy mixture of mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar, and cocoa powder.

They also differ in a few ways:

  • Authentic Italian Tiramisu is a no-bake dessert that does not contain leavening agents or flour like a traditional cake. It’s its own kind of dessert with a simple mascarpone-meringue filling without butter, most similar to a custard.
  • A Tiramisu Cake is leavened with baking powder and baked, filled and decorated with mascarpone buttercream for a sophisticated, elegant cake reminiscent of tiramisu.

Can I substitute the mascarpone cheese?

Mascarpone cheese is a key ingredient in any classic Tiramisu recipe. However, if you don’t have any on hand or prefer a different kind of cheese, you can use whipped cream instead and add in some creme fraiche. I don’t recommend substituting cream cheese in the recipe.

Why is my mascarpone buttercream runny?

  • You might have over beaten the butter which separated fat to cause the issue.  Or your butter was too soft to retain air. You know your butter is at the right temperature when you push the butter and it makes an indent, but your finger doesn’t easily squish right through.
  • Whip butter and mascarpone until well combined to build a structure to hold the sugar. Otherwise, it would be runny.
  • Add sugar gradually to fully incorporate it. Otherwise, the sugar will weigh down the structure.

 

Why did my frosting split and what to do to fix it?

Buttercream frosting can split for certain reasons and here’s how to fix them:

  • Ingredients are too cold. Always make sure that all of your ingredients for the cake are at room temperature. Especially when making the buttercream, any chill on these ingredients may cause the frosting to curdle.
  • Adding ingredients too quickly. Add sugar gradually to avoid deflating the whipped butter and mascarpone cheese mixture.
  • If your frosting splits, beat on high speed and add some powdered sugar a little at a time to bring it back together. 

How is the coffee flavor infused into the cake layers?

  • Coffee flavor is infused by dipping the cake layers in strong coffee or espresso, imparting a rich and aromatic taste.

The close-up shot at a slice of the Stunning Tiramisu Cake served on a dessert plate shows its layers of coffee-soaked sponge cake filled with creamy mascarpone. This layered tiramisu cake is topped with rosettes and dusted cocoa which makes it visually appealing.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips

  • Though using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer will make your job a lot easier, there’s nothing a little elbow grease can’t fix. If you don’t have a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, use a whisk to thoroughly combine all ingredients.
  • If you want a stronger coffee flavor, you can mix a tablespoon of instant expresso powder into your coffee syrup.
  • This cake has a large amount of frosting to accommodate the piped rosettes. If you don’t want to pipe rosettes, you can reduce the frosting by one-third: 2 cups (16 oz/450 g) butter, 4 cups (16 oz/450 g) powdered sugar, 1/3 cup (2 1/3 floz/75 ml) cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1 cup (8 oz/225 g) plus 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

More Coffee-Flavored Holiday Desserts

Watch The Recipe Video!

Stunning Tiramisu Cake Recipe (Tiramisu Layered Cake)

4.79 from 14 votes
Indulge in our Tiramisu Cake Recipe, uniting boozy coffee-soaked sponge, silky mascarpone, and rich cocoa in an easy, elegant layered cake.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 10 people
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 8 minutes
Indulge in our Tiramisu Cake Recipe, uniting boozy coffee-soaked sponge, silky mascarpone, and rich cocoa in an easy, elegant layered cake.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 10 people

Ingredients

For the Sponge Cake

For the Coffee Syrup

  • 1 cup (8 fl oz/240 ml) very strong coffee
  • 2 tablespoons brandy 

For the Mascarpone Buttercream

  • 3 cups (1 ½ lbs//675 g) butter , softened
  • 6 cups (1 ½ lbs/690 g) powdered sugar , sifted
  • ½ cup (4 fl oz/120 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (16 oz/450 g) mascarpone cheese , at room temperature 
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder , for dusting

Instructions

Bake the Sponge Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and butter and line with parchment two 8-inch (20cm) round cake pans. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.In a stand mixer bowl with a whisk attachment, add the egg yolks, 1 cup (8 oz/225 g) of sugar and vanilla and beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, until pale and thick.
  • Add this egg mixture to the dry ingredients and fold in briefly followed by the milk and melted butter. Set aside.
  • Wash the bowl and whisk.
  • Again in the stand mixer, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed to soft peaks, about 3 minutes. While the mixer is still running, gradually add in ¼ cup (2 oz/57 g) of granulated sugar and continue beating to stiff, glossy peaks, about 3 more minutes.
  • Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture until just combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 25-28 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then invert them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Coffee Syrup

  • Combine the coffee and brandy in a bowl set aside until assembly.

Make the Mascarpone Buttercream

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the butter and mascarpone on high until combined. Take care not to over mix or the mascarpone will separate.
  • Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the powdered sugar, stopping every now and then to scrape the sides of the bowl. Once all of the sugar is incorporated, turn the speed up to high again and whip the butter and sugar together for a few minutes, until fluffy.
  • Lower the speed to low again and whisk in the cream, vanilla extract, and salt.

Decorate the Cake

  • Once the cake layers are cool, first cut the domes off of both layers if any, then split the layers in half to create 4 layers.
  • Carefully place the first cake layer on a serving plate and brush with a ⅓ of the coffee mixture all over the surface allowing it to soak in.
  • Next spread about ¾ cup of frosting evenly over the layer, all the way to the edges. Continue to add a layer, brush with coffee and spread frosting.
  • Cover the top and sides of the cake with a smooth layer of frosting, then place the remaining frosting in a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
  • Pipe rosettes all over the top of the cake, starting with the outside edge and working your way into the center. If not serving right away, refrigerate for up to one day. Cover loosely with plastic wrap only after the frosting is cold and hard, after a few hours.

Serve the Cake

  • Just before serving, dust the rosettes with cocoa powder. Serve the cake at room temperature. Keep remaining in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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Patty Stein
Patty Stein
2 months ago

Gemma, 3cups of butter seems like a ton of butter. I don’t use that much for my buttercream frosting recipe which makes 7 cups. Can you double check that amount? It doesn’t look like you have that much in the video.

Ban
Ban
27 days ago

Delicious cake. It made a lot of icing, but if you don’t use it all, you can use it for other bakes.

Mary Biehl
Mary Biehl
2 months ago

I would like to make this for Christmas dinner but they do not sell Farmers Direct where I live in Texas. Can I use only all purpose flour?

Michael
Michael
2 months ago

Why does a professional chef mispronounce the names of ingredients? Mascarpone (not MARscapine).

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

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