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The best... Tiramisu

The best... Tiramisu

Tiramisu translates directly as ‘pick-me-up’, and Martha Collison can’t think of a more apt description.

5 out of 5 stars(1) Rate this recipe
  • Serves10
  • CourseDessert
  • Prepare25 mins
  • Cook-
  • Total time25 mins
  • Pluschilling

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  • 4 British Blacktail Free Range Large Eggs
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 150ml double cream
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp sweet Marsala or brandy (optional, see tip)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 350ml freshly-brewed espresso, strong Americano or strong instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur, or Kahlúa (optional, see tip)
  • 175g sponge fingers
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder


  1. Separate the eggs, placing the whites into one large bowl and the yolks in another. Use an electric hand mixer to whip the egg whites into soft peaks. Add 25g sugar to the whipped whites, then beat for 1 minute more until glossy and stiff.

  2. In a separate bowl, add the remaining sugar to the egg yolks and whip them using the electric mixer (no need to wash it in between) for 4-5 minutes, until pale in colour, thick and foamy. When you lift the beaters out, the mixture should leave a trail that holds for a minimum of 2 seconds.

  3. Pour the double cream into a third bowl and whip to medium peaks. Add the mascarpone, Marsala or brandy (if using) and vanilla paste, then whisk again briefly until smooth.

  4. Using a spatula, scrape the whisked egg yolk mixture into the cream, then gently fold together until combined. Add the whipped egg whites and fold again until just combined. Take care not to overmix, or you’ll knock out all the air you’ve carefully added.

  5. Combine the warm coffee with the liqueur (if using) in a shallow bowl large enough to accommodate a sponge finger. Dunk a sponge finger and hold it in the liquid for 8-10 seconds, until almost saturated but not completely falling apart. Do this with ½ the sponge fingers, arranging in an even layer in a 26x20x8cm ceramic dish. Don’t worry about any breakage, as you won’t notice in the finished dessert.

  6. Cover the sponge fingers with ½ the mascarpone mousse and smooth into an even layer. Repeat the soaking process with the remaining sponge fingers and arrange in a second layer over the mascarpone. Spread over the remaining mousse, smooth the top, cover, then refrigerate overnight. The tiramisu will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days.

  7. Sift the cocoa powder over the tiramisu, then leave to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Cook’s tip

Make it alcohol free
Tiramisu is traditionally boozy, but the recipe can be easily adapted to suit those opting out of alcohol. I like Caleño Dark & Spicy Tropical Non Alcoholic Spirit as a substitute for the coffee liqueur. Replace the Marsala or brandy with the seeds scraped from ½ vanilla bean pod. The vanilla bean paste also contains some alcohol, and can be replaced with the seeds from the other ½ of the pod, if necessary.

Using good quality coffee is a must, as it is such a key flavour here. Choose a bold, full-bodied coffee such as No.1 Java Ground Coffee, or pop to a local coffee shop and get freshly made espresso if you don’t have a coffee machine at home. 


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


1,269kJ/ 305kcals



Saturated Fat












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