Tiramisu, Italian for “pick-me-up,” is a classic no-bake dessert worthy of its name. Easy, elegant and most importantly, delicious, it’s the perfect mood-booster to lift you out of the dark depths of finals season, and can double as a foolproof crowd-pleaser to round out a holiday dinner.

Fragrant, coffee-soaked ladyfingers are layered with mounds of dreamy mascarpone cream, then finished with a healthy dusting of cocoa for a stunning final presentation. Bonus: You can spike the whole thing with alcohol for a boozy — but still classy — treat.

While traditional tiramisu uses egg yolks, this college-student-friendly shortcut recipe nixes them to save time and effort. Don’t worry, the result is equally as delicious — rich, creamy and fully Spoon-approved.


  • Prep Time:30 minutes
  • Cook Time:2 hours
  • Total Time:2 hours 30 minutes
  • Servings:9-12
  • Easy


  • 16 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon coffee liqueur (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 24 ladyfingers
  • 1 cup strong coffee, at room temperature
  • Cocoa or grated bittersweet chocolate, for dusting
  • Step 1

    In a large bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, sugar and coffee liqueur (optional) until smooth.

    #Spoontip: Try swapping out the coffee liqueur for rum, amaretto or Marsala wine, according to your taste.

  • Step 2

    In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.

  • Step 3

    Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until well-combined.

  • Step 4

    Lightly dip half the ladyfingers in the coffee and arrange them in a single layer on the bottom of an 8×8 in square pan. (We used a 6×9 in pan.)

    #SpoonTip: Be careful not to dip the ladyfingers in the coffee for too long — less than a second will do — to avoid soggy cookies.

  • Step 5

    Spread half of the mascarpone filling over the ladyfingers.

  • Step 6

    Repeat with the rest of the ladyfingers, arranging them on top of the mascarpone filling.

  • Step 7

    Spread the remaining mascarpone filling over the ladyfingers.

  • Step 8

    Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

  • Step 9

    Dust with cocoa powder or grated chocolate before serving.

  • Step 10


    Photo by Isabel Wang