If you love the flavors of sweet mascarpone, coffee, and cocoa, this is the treat for you! This is a simplified version of a classic tiramisu that has a delicious whipped cream base. Best of all, there’s no baking involved!
What is Tiramisu?
Tiramisu is a delicious Italian dessert known for its rich and indulgent flavors.
There’s a great story behind the name “tiramisu” (an Italian word roughly translated as “pick-me-up” or “cheer me up,.””) The name comes from the use of both coffee and cocoa. Both of these items provide a boost in their own way.
Some versions of this dessert call for alcohol (like brandy or other fancy liqueurs) which provides a completely different kind of boost.
And, of course, cookies play a role in this dessert: specifically, ladyfingers, (known as Savoiardi).
Another key ingredients in Tiramisu is mascarpone cheese, which gives the dessert its creamy texture and delicious, rich flavor that pairs well with the cocoa and coffee.
What is Marscapone, anyway?
Mascarpone is a creamy Italian cheese that is known for its rich and buttery flavor and smooth, velvety texture. It has a high fat content, which makes it great for desserts like this one.
In some ways, mascarpone is a bit like cream cheese, in that it’s smooth and spreadable. It’s used on bagels, muffins, and other sweet and savory baked goods and other Italian desserts, like cheesecakes, mousses, and fillings.
Classic tiramisu calls for another ingredient: eggs. But that’s where my version takes a bit of a twist. Let me explain…
My Version of Tiramisu
As I thought it through (after looking over online recipes) I decided to make several changes:
First, the instructions on the side of my mascarpone container called for three raw eggs but I wasn’t willing to post a recipe on this blog that called for raw egg yolks. The concerns outweighed the benefits, to my way of thinking. I went with a whipped cream/marscapone base with added powdered sugar.
Second, I skipped the alcohol. You don’t have to! You can use brandy or any other alcohol of your choosing. But I’m not really a fan of sweets with alcohol in them, so I decided just to make this sweet treat my own way. (Full disclosure: I made this tiramisu while on meds for bronchitis and I knew they wouldn’t mix with alcohol!)
Third, as much as I wanted to include Ladyfingers, I could not find them in my local supermarket. I should have ordered some from Amazon but didn’t want to take the time. So, I choose the next best thing, a simple butter cookie (Chessmen). Not exactly the same, but I figured they would absorb the flavor of the coffee. In the end, they were delicious.
So, yes. . .this is a simplified Tiramisu. But it’s delicious and reminiscent of the original.
Simple Tiramisu Ingredients
You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick look at what you’ll need. These are simple ingredients (most of which I’ve already described above).
- lady fingers (or Chessmen cookies, cut in half)
- strong coffee (espresso, cooled)
- powdered sugar
- room temperature mascarpone cheese
- heavy cream (whipping cream)
- cocoa powder
How to Make Simple Tiramisu with Whipped Cream Filling
Start by making your coffee. I used instant coffee (instant espresso powder, actually) but you can use whatever coffee you like. Set the cup in the fridge to cool down.
Make your cream filling.
Place mascarpone cheese into large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment). Add powdered sugar.
Beat until smooth. Add whipping cream and beat until it forms a luscious creamy filling. (You’re looking for stiff peaks but don’t over-beat.)
Set aside. It’s time to build this dessert!
(Note: For best results, skip the waxed paper in the dish. It’s not necessary and was actually a bit of a hindrance.)
Dip 1/3 of your cookies into cooled espresso and place them in the bottom of an 8×8-inch pan.
Add 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture forming a lovely cream layer.
Add another layer of soaked cookies.
Add another third of the mascarpone filling.
Add the final soaked cookies.
Ad the final layer of the creamy mascarpone filling on top, smoothing out.
Place in refrigerator for 2 – 3 hours or until set.
Sprinkle with unsweetened cocoa powder.
Cut with a sharp knife and serve this delicious no bake dessert!
Store leftovers of your homemade tiramisu in an airtight container in the refrigerator (or tightly covered in plastic wrap, your choice). It should stay good for about three days but I doubt yours will last that long. I couldn’t stop eating mine! (More about that later!)
What to Expect from this Simple Tiramisu
On the surface this is such a simple and delicious dessert! Those layers of coffee-soaked cookies pair so beautifully with the creamy filling.
One of the things that really stood out to me was the fact that the cream isn’t terribly sweet. (I’m used to sweetened whipped cream.) The creamy texture of the mascarpone really takes the filling over the top.
That little dusting of cocoa powder on top isn’t just pretty: it’s also got a lovely flavor that works with the cream underneath and that delicious coffee flavor in the cookies.
I was a little sad that I couldn’t find ladyfingers. I think that layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers would be delicious! Still, I’m very happy I went ahead with this dessert and didn’t wait so that I could share the recipe with you. And while some might not call it a traditional tiramisu recipe without the raw eggs, it’s definitely one I’m proud to share.
Variations on this Classic Italian Dessert
This is one of those great recipes you’re going to make repeatedly. And I’ll be honest: I think you’re going to love this one in its simplest form but I’m already thinking of ways to change it up next time around.
Mini chocolate chips: I keep thinking about some cannolis we had in New York a few years back (from Carlos’ bakery). They were dipped in mini chocolate chips on the ends and loaded with creamy texture. I think this dessert could use that little “bite” of chocolate in-between the layers, too.
Cream cheese: If you don’t have marscapone, try cream cheese in its place. It’s got a tart flavor and might require a bit more powdered sugar, but I think it would be delicious! (I love sweetened cream cheese on lots of things!)
Powdered egg whites: If you want to use an egg base, consider using meringue powder to create a light fluffy egg-white mixture to stir into your whipped marscapone cheese.
Pistachios: A sprinkling or pistachios would be lovely in this dessert. (Yum!)
Coffee liqueur: Soak your lady fingers in coffee liqueur. This will take the dish to a whole new level!
Sponge cake or angel food cake: If you like, you can use super thin layers of cake in place of the lady fingers.
Other International Dessert Recipes from Out of the Box Baking
Best Italian Cream Cake: My personal favorite dessert
Easy Mexican Wedding Cookies: A favorite cookie to many!
French Lemon Yogurt Cake: A lovely and simple French cake!
Strawberry Lemon Creme Scones: Delicious and easy!
Other Coffee-Infused Desserts from Out of the Box
If you like easy recipes, you’ll love these other simple coffee-infused desserts.
Easy Espresso Cupcakes: This one’s a family favorite!
Double Dark Chocolate Espresso Muffins: A perfect morning pick-me-up!
Easy Cappuccino Cheesecake Bars: Another coffee-infused favorite!
Triple Chocolate Coffee Cake: Coffee and chocolate? Yes, please!
That’s it for this post, friends!
I hope you enjoyed this delicious and easy tiramisu recipe.
If you make this recipe and love it, don’t forget to leave a review and a comment below. And while you’re at it, go ahead and pin some photos to your Pinterest boards!
See this recipe at
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that I make a very small commission off of items you purchase at absolutely no additional cost to you. Please check out my policy page for more information about this blog and the ads that run on it.
- 20 lady finger cookies (or one package of Chessmen cookies, cut in half)
- 3/4 cup strong cold coffee (espresso)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 8 oz room temperature marscapone cheese
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Prepare an 8x8-inch pan with a small piece of waxed paper (for easy lifting afterwards).
- Start by making your coffee. I used instant espresso but you can use whatever coffee you like. Set the cup in the fridge to cool down.
- Make your cream filling: Place marscapone cheese into large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment). Add powdered sugar and beat until light and creamy.
- Add whipping cream and beat until it forms a luscious creamy filling. (Don’t over-beat!) Set aside.
- Dip 1/3 of your cookies into cooled espresso and place them in the bottom of an 8x8-inch pan.
- Add 1/3 of the marscapone filling.
- Add another layer of soaked cookies.
- Add another third of the filling.
- Add the final soaked cookies.
- Add the final layer of filling on top, smoothing out.
- Place in refrigerator for 2 - 3 hours or until set.
- Sprinkle with unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Cut and serve!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 379Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 187mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 6g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.