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tiramisu cake on a cake stand

Tiramisu Cake

This tiramisu cake is the classic pairing of rich chocolate frosting sandwiched between moist coffee infused sponge layered with the creamiest mascarpone frosting. Finish it off with simple chocolate curls and a dusting of cocoa powder to make this tiramisu the star of your next party.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, Italian Cake, Italian Dessert, Tiramisu
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 14
Calories 305kcal
Author Debs


For the cake

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup butter softened to room temperature, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 3 Tbsp boiling water

For the Buttercream

  • 3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 large egg whites room temperature
  • 3 sticks butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chocolate melted and cooled

For the Mascarpone Frosting Layer.

  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar

For serving

  • Chocolate curls
  • Cocoa powder


  • Preheat the oven to 350f. Line and grease 2x6 inch round cake pans.
  • Sift together the flour baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a measuring cup dissolve the espresso powder in the boiling water and set aside to cool.
  • In a mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter until soft and creamy. About 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until pale and very fluffy. Scrape the sides to the bowl down once or twice while mixing, to ensure that the sugar is incorporated evenly. Then beat in the vanilla.
  • Beat the eggs in one at a time, scraping down after each addition, allowing each egg to be incorporated before continuing. Add the flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture, and beat briefly until smooth on medium-low speed after each addition. Gently mix the cooled espresso into the cake batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Place the cakes in the middle of the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick shows a few moist crumbs. The cake will be pale golden around the edges and the top and will have started to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  • Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then turn out onto a wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper and leave until fully cooled. About 1 hour.

For the buttercream

  • In a small sauce pan measure the water and sugar. Stir to wet all the sugar and place on a medium heat to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved, turn down to a gentle simmer. You want to be able to bring the sugar water up to a boil very quickly.
  • Meanwhile in a grease free metal bowl place the egg whites and whip on medium low until frothy. Turn the mixer up to medium high and when soft peaks form add the tablespoon of sugar. Whip until shiny stiff peaks form.
  • Return the sugar water to a rapid boil and cook until the temperature measures 248-250f on a thermometer.
  • Turn the mixer down to low and in a slow steady stream, pour in the sugar syrup. This is the meringue part of the buttercream. Turn the mixer back up to high and whip until the meringue is cooled. This may take as long as 10 minutes.
  • Once the meringue has cooled, turn the mixer down to medium and add the butter a tablespoon at a time, until it’s all incorporated into the mix. Then add the melted chocolate until mixed in.

For the mascarpone frosting

  • Place the mascarpone in a medium bowl and using an electric mixer soften the cheese. Add the icing sugar and mix in.

To assemble the cake

  • Slice the two cake in half horizontally through the centre so you have 4 laters. Brush the sponge with some liquor of your choice, or use coffee. Spread a layer of chocolate frosting on the cake and place another sponge on top. Brush with liquor and fill this layer with the mascarpone frosting. Make the next layer and fill this with chocolate frosting. Once all the layers have been built up, frost the outside of the cake and decorate with chocolate shavings and a dusting of cocoa powder.


The buttercream can be used as soon as you make it, but it can also be frozen. If freezing the buttercream place in a plastic or glass tub and freeze for up to 1 month.
To defrost, let the buttercream sit a room temperature for at least 6 hours before whipping again to use as directed. If the meringue mixture is too warm when you start to add the butter, it will start to melt and separate. If this happens, stop adding butter and continue to whip until cooler, then try to add the remaining butter.
Once you start to add the butter to the meringue, it may start to look split and curdled, just keep slowly adding the butter and whipping. It will come together. It’s very common for it to look split at the beginning.