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tiramisu on a plate

Tiramisu with Kahlúa

A coffee-flavored dessert made with ladyfingers and cream, topped with cocoa powder and chocolate shavings.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 565kcal
Author Nora Rey
Cost $12-$15


  • 9x13-inch (3-quart) baking dish
  • Small pot or saucepan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Spatula


  • 10 ounces ladyfingers, about 34 pieces (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
  • 2 ounces chocolate optional (see note)

For the coffee mixture:

  • 2 cups strong coffee (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlúa (see note)

For the cream mixture:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup Kahlúa (see note)
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese (see note)
  • cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar sub:2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a shallow bowl wide enough to dip the ladyfingers in, make the coffee syrup by combining coffee and 2 tablespoons of Kahlúa. Set it aside.
  • Make the zabaglione by combining egg yolks, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and ¼ cup Kahlúa in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over an inch of simmering water in a saucepan. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl, or it will cook the eggs.
  • Continuously whisk the mixture for 12-15 minutes. It should thicken, double in volume, and lighten in color. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  • Combine mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Mix on low speed and increase as you go along until smooth and incorporated.
  • Fold a cup of mascarpone mixture using a spatula into the cooled zabaglione. Mixing together at once may deflate the mascarpone mixture.
  • Combine the remaining mascarpone mixture with the zabaglione. Mix until incorporated.
  • Dip the ladyfingers in coffee syrup one at a time and arrange them in a dish.
  • Cover them evenly with half of the mascarpone mixture and dust with cocoa powder.
  • Add another layer of ladyfingers, then spread the remaining mascarpone mixture.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  • Slice the chocolate thinly on a cutting board with a sharp knife.
  • Dust with cocoa powder and top with chocolate shavings before serving.



  • Ladyfingers: Also called savoiardi in Italian, these sponge cake biscuits have a crisp, dry texture perfect for dipping in syrup without getting soggy. If using the soft and cake-like variety, a light brushing of coffee syrup is all you need.
  • Strong coffee: Use espresso or instant espresso, if available; otherwise, strong brewed coffee or instant coffee will do.
  • Kahlúa: Other options include Tia Maria, sweet or dry Marsala wine, brandy, dark rum, Bailey's, Frangelico, or dessert wines like Madeira or Port. You can also omit and use more coffee instead or add vanilla extract for more flavor.
  • Mascarpone cheese: An Italian version of cream cheese that is softer, less tangy, and has a higher fat content. You can use regular cream cheese in a pinch.
  • Chocolate bar: Use a chocolate bar or baking chocolate (bittersweet or semi-sweet) that you like eating out of hand—an optional ingredient but highly recommended.


Calories: 565kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 274mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 150mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1475IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 2mg