Tiramisu Cake

It’s pretty safe to say that my favorite dessert is tiramisu. If there’s only one dessert that I get to eat for the rest of my life, that would be tiramisu. 

And the truth is tiramisu is actually quite simple to put together. I know that macarpone cheese is an expensive ingredient. But once in a while, you may want to indulge yourself, impress someone you adore, make your family gathering a memorable one… and it’s totally worth that extra few bucks. Whenever I run out of time or simply feel a bit lazy, I use my easy recipe and make tiramisu.


So when I realized that I love tiramisu too much that I’ve already come up with tiramisu cupcakes, tiramisu ice cream cake and tiramisu cheesecake but missing a cake, making a tiramisu cake seems to be a natural next step.

I came across Sasha’s lovely blog Eat Love Eat when I was researching for the recipe, and decided to give her tiramisu cake recipe a try. And I have no regret! Tiramsu in a perfect cake form is what I have to say. The cake layers are sturdy enough to soak up the coffee syrup, but also contain the tender and light texture. The wonderful combination of coffee, chocolate and vanilla is simply perfect. The flavours aren’t overriding each other. And they go beautifully with the mascarpone frosting. Each bite of the cake screams TIRAMISUUUUUUUU!

The macaraons decoration is totally unnecessary because the ombre frosting is already beautiful enough. But I happened to be making some espresso macarons and chocolate macarons for my clients, and you know you won’t go wrong with a little extra of coffee or chocolate in your tiramisu dessert.

tiramisu cake

Ingredients (one 5-inch 3-layer cake):
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Coffee Syrup
2 tablespoons espresso powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
Mascarpone Frosting
2 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

To prepare cake, preheat oven to 350F. Grease three 5-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue beating until well combined.
With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture, then milk, and the remaining flour mixture. Mix until combined.
Divide batter evenly into 3 portions. Fold in vanilla, espresso powder and cocoa powder in each portion respectively, until well mixed.
Pour batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cakes cool completely.
Run a pairing knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Peel off the parchment paper circles.
To prepare coffee syrup, place all the ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool.
To prepare frosting, combine mascarpone and powder sugar in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed until smooth.
Divide frosting into 3 portions. Fold in vanilla, espresso powder and cocoa powder respectively. Mix until smooth.
To assemble the cake, use a pastry brush to brush the coffee syrup evenly over the tops of the cakes and allow to soak in.
Place the chocolate cake layer on the serving plate and spread a layer of chocolate frosting. Place the espresso cake layer on top and spread a layer of espresso frosting. Place the vanilla cake on top and spread a layer of vanilla frosting on it.
To create the ombre effect, starting at the bottom, carefully smear the side of the chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, followed with espresso frosting on the side of the espresso cake, and vanilla frosting on the side of the vanilla cake. Use a mental spatula to smooth frosting all over the cake, to blend the colors together and create rustic stripes effect.
Dust the cake top with cocoa powder and garnish with espresso or chocolate macarons, if desired.


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  2. Sigh. I’m a seasoned baker but this little fella did not fair well. The batter was super thick. Is it really only 3 tablespoons of milk? I’m accustomed to incorporating about a cup of fluid for that much flour and butter.

    At the 15 minute mark, the first cake (vanilla) wasn’t set so I gave it a test with a knife and it immediately made the center cave in. So much for that layer!

    I gave extra time (about 8 minutes) for the other two layers and they came out dry. Maybe it was too much? It’s a pity because it looked lovely. The syrup helped a little.

    All the same, it’s a cute idea! Marscapone frosting is the best! : ) Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Hi Michele, I just baked my cake layers last night, and freezed them for frosting tomorrow. I followed the recipe, and the cake looked fine. I even cut the domed part from the top of the cakes and had a little taste, which was delicious!

  3. Fannie on fb I was scrolling down and caught a glimpse of the top of the cake and then the shades of chocolate…… your photograph IT SCREAMED AT ME I’M FANNIE’S xo ;)

      1. Fannnnnnnnny!!!!!!!!! You are so amazing with your talent of photography for your blog and recipes for us out here. Your clients must be so WOW!! Some day hope to get up your way and meet you. Continued sucess xo :)

    1. Hi Jejo, sorry for missing this step. I’ve just updated the recipe. You should brush the syrup on the tops of each cake layers before icing them. :)

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment as always, Heather! I guess when you are too lazy to decorate your cake, putting a few macarons on top shouldn’t go wrong!

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