Rich and decadent tiramisu cups that bound to make you grab seconds. If you are a fan of desserts but don’t like the overly sweet and complicated dessert preparation, then there is nothing better than this classic Italian tiramisu cups.
Prepared with a soft, bitter, sweet, and creamy, perfect texture to make it the must try option to end a savory meal.
Delicately prepared with coffee-soaked Savoiardi or ladyfingers arranged in even layers and filled with eggs and mascarpone cream, it’s one of the most popular desserts of Italy and originates from Treviso.
Classic Italian Tiramisu – Background
This delicious dessert shares a unique historical background of the city from which it was originated, particularly due to its longevity even after several occupations.
The City of Treviso is considered the first Venetian city, which came under the rule of Venice in 1339. It later came under Italian rule in 1866 after some brief interlude under the Austrian empire and the French.
Classic Italian tiramisu is a dense and flavorful dessert that provides a perfect level of sweetness. It has an espresso flavor oozing in every bite, and there is no word better than “brilliant” to describe the flavors.
The unique thing about this dessert is that the filling has to be cold, and special Italian savoiardi biscuits also known as ladyfingers are used to add body to this creamy dessert.
All The Details…
Classic Italian tiramisu originated in Italy by Ado Campeol from Treviso, the Veneto region in 1969.
Tiramisu is an Italian dessert that’s coined its name all over the world. One can say that is one of the most popular desserts in the world.
Traditional tiramisu has only four main ingredients. Egg yolks, sugar, mascarpone cheese, and liquor.
Fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, and or raspberries can also be added as toppings when serving.
Tiramisu is super creamy and has a smooth texture that literally melts in your mouth – this dessert is nothing but dreamy.
It is usually flavored with espresso and coffee liquor which our ladyfingers are soaked in. Lastly, cocoa powder is dusted over this already delicious dessert before serving to make it even more scrumptious.
Having all of these flavors melding so perfectly make this tiramisu recipe one of the most delicious desserts out there.
Classic Italian tiramisu uses mascarpone and egg cream to add richness and mild sweetness.
The Mascarpone Cheese
Mascarpone is a soft cheese from Lombardia, Italy. It is considered a special cheese for the region therefore it has been recognized as “Prodotto Agroalimentare Tradizionale” which means it is a Traditional Agri-Food product in Italy.
Another words, no other place can lay claim to its origin.
Mascarpone cheese depending on the region may be hard to find. You can use several alternatives if for some reason you are unable to locate it.
- Cream cheese mix with light cream in order to breakdown the firmness
- Chantilly cream (cold heavy cream (1 cup) and powdered sugar (2 cups), then flavored with vanilla extract). Whip with an electric mixed.
- Lastly, you can also use fresh Ricotta cheese as a replacement.
Difference Between Mascarpone And Cream Cheese
Both have similar application, but cream cheese is much firmer with a more pronounce flavor than mascarpone.
Mascarpone on the other hand, is silky and velvety, rich, and much looser than cream cheese.
Savoiardi is basically a biscuit and it is a must in this Italian Tiramisu Cups recipe. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. But here in the U.S, we refer to it as a cookie. It is very well known as Lady Fingers or Boudoirs.
It was invented in the 15th Century in Duchy of Savoy, hence the name Savoiardi.
Savoiardi can be purchased at any major grocery store. But what is the fun in buying lady fingers when you can make delicious fresh ones.
For this Tiramisu cup recipe, please see the Savoiardi Lady Fingers / Biscuits recipe with step-by-step pictures guide which accompany it . For now, here’s a quick guide to make this dessert perfectly.
1 cup expresso or strong coffee
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoon water
½ oz Amaretto liqueur
½ oz Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua Coffee)
24 oz Mascarpone Cheese
1 cup heavy cream
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
Dark semi-sweet cocoa powder for dusting (Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder)
In a mixing bowl, combine egg yolks and the one cup of sugar ad heat up on a bain marie on medium-low heat until sugar fully melts while whisking.
DO NOT COOK THE EGG YOLKS. Once the mixing is hot, remove from heat and use a hand mixer and whisk it on high speed for about 5 minutes.
Add Mascarpone and cream and whisk it together by hand. Place in refrigerator before going to next step.
Boil sugar and water together than turn off the heat. Add in expresso and both the Amaretto and Coffee Liqueurs. Soak Savoiardi biscuits and place in serving glass/cup.
DO NOT drown the biscuits in the expresso mixture. Spread tiramisu cream (the egg and cheese mixture) over the biscuits. Repeat the process to add layers. Dust with Cocoa powder before serving.
Recipe Notes & Tips
It is egg base, crunchy, and spongelike. Perfect for soaking as it holds its contour well with minimal sogging.
Do not over soak the lady fingers. Simply dunk the biscuits into the expresso mixture and place them in the serving cup.
If for some reason you are pressed for time to make these wonderful cookies, and you did not have time to purchase them at the store, you can replace them with sponge cake.
Authentic Italian tiramisu is made with either dark rum or marsala wine. So, the addition of amaretto and coffee liqueur is to enhance the flavors by fortifying the bitterness of the coffee flavor with a bit of sweetness
- Amaretto- meaning little better in Italian, is an almond flavored liqueur originated from Saronno, a commune of Lombardy, Italy. A great addition to coffee for added flavor or a mixture for various cocktail drinks.
- Kahlua Liqueur – an extremely popular drink originated in Mexico. Made of rum and coffee liqueur. Another great addition to coffee and many other cocktails.
Tiramisu does not have to contain alcohol. These liqueurs do enhance the flavor, but you can enjoy this wonderful dessert without the addition of alcohol.
So, both mentioned liqueurs can be omitted from this recipe if you do not drink alcohol. Make sure that you use expresso or an extremely strong coffee as an alternative.
Benefits Of Classic Italian Tiramisu
While no dessert is fully healthy unless you are eating unaltered fruits or vegetables, classic Italian tiramisu is no different. The dish is high in fat and sugar, ranging from the mascarpone cheese, the egg yolks, the espresso and ladyfingers.
Like any other sweet desserts overindulging is not recommended.
What we do love about classic Italian tiramisu is that it uses simple ingredients that turn out to create heavenly flavors. However, make sure that you keep a moderate hand on this rich dessert.
How To Store Classic Italian Tiramisu Cups?
Classic Italian tiramisu can be made and stored in the refrigerator for over one or two days (yes, it can be made ahead). However, if there is some leftover tiramisu, it’s best to refrigerate it for no longer than four days.
The dessert can also be frozen but for no more than a week in order to keep the texture intact. Place the tiramisu in an airtight container when storing it in the freezer.
Can you Freeze Tiramisu?
We do not recommend freezing the tiramisu cups, but you can freeze the tiramisu cake.
As a matter of fact, it can be stored in the freezer for over three months, but thawing must be in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving.
Best to keep it in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours or even overnight before serving to allow the dessert to settle and all the flavours to intertwine.
The taste will be smoother, and the alcohol flavor will be much tangier.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
One of the primary ingredients which is the mascarpone cheese can be fairly costly. Plus, depending on the type of expresso, to include the liqueurs, used to dunk the lady fingers, that can also add to the cost of making this dish.
Lastly, the cocoa powder dusted on the dish at the end can also add to the price. We used the Hershey’s special dark cocoa for this recipe.
Tiramisu cake does not necessarily have to be different from the original version. Lady fingers can be made in a cake pan and simply soaked and layered.
It is truly a bakery art form as to how it is made. Most tiramisu cakes are made with fluffy vanilla layered cake soaked in a similar expresso and liqueur mixture.
We personally would make it yellow layered cake or the actual lady finger batter into a cake batter.
Tiramisu actually means pick me up or cheer me up. Perfect meaning for an actual cheerful dish.
Yes, it is safe for children over the age of 10 to eat a serving as the alcohol content is minimal. But if making it solely for children, omit the alcohol. The amaretto and coffee liquors in this recipe can be omitted if serving it to children.
Tiramisu is an Italian dessert originated in Trevaso, Italy in the Veneto region.
Tiramisu is originally made with rum or marsala wine. The alcohol is not cooked, therefore is not dissolved in this dish. You can omit it as it is not necessary to complete the dish.
What To Pair With Classic Italian Tiramisu?
As already mentioned, it’s a hearty dessert, which means it has to be paired with dessert-style and sweet wines, such as Moscato Rosa, Cream Sherry, Vin Santo, and Ice Wine.
However, many people serve it with Swiss rolls, crepe cake, and ice cream to push you into a sugar coma (but who is complaining?).
More Dessert Recipes To Enjoy
If you loved this Tiramisu recipe, we recommend trying one of these dessert recipes next.
It warms our hearts to see the recipes you make from this site, and we’d especially would love to know if you tried this recipe.
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Classic Italian Tiramisu Cups
- Mini Cups
- 1 cup expresso or strong coffee
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp. water
- ½ oz Amaretto liqueur
- ½ oz Coffee Liqueur Kahlua Coffee
- 24 oz Mascarpone Cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- Dark semi-sweet cocoa powder for dusting (Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder).In a mixing bowl, combine egg yolks and the one cup of sugar ad heat up on a bain marie on medium-low heat until sugar fully melts while whisking.DO NOT COOK THE EGG YOLKS. Once the mixing is hot, remove from heat and use a hand mixer and whisk it on high speed for about 5 minutes.
- Add Mascarpone and cream and whisk it together by hand. Place in refrigerator before going to next step.Boil sugar and water together than turn off the heat. Add in expresso and both the Amaretto and Coffee Liqueurs. Soak Savoiardi biscuits and place in serving glass/cup.DO NOT drown the biscuits in the expresso mixture. Spread tiramisu cream (the egg and cheese mixture) over the biscuits. Repeat the process to add layers. Dust with Cocoa powder before serving.