Tiramisu Charlotte


Update: This post was featured on Huffington Post Taste, 4 April 2013 along with many beautiful charlottes! I'm so honoured, thank you!

A month back, Susan asked me to help her with her boyfriend's birthday cake. The thing is, he's not much of a cake person (or a anything sweet person). When she told me that he likes tiramisu, I started looking for recipes that will hold up in a cake.

Most recipes i found online for Tiramisu cakes use sponge cake layers instead of lady fingers but i really wanted to have lady fingers in the cake, plus I wanted a simpler recipe for Susan to follow. Then i remembered this wonderful recipe from Chef Dennis that i used last year when i made tiramisu in cups.

Cheese is not really my thing. I don't eat cheese cakes but the first time i tried tiramisu, i was pleasantly surprised by how non-cheesy it tasted. Creamy, yes, but not cheesy. This recipe has great flavour, a great balance of cake and cream - definitely one of the best i've tasted.  It also held up very well as a cake.


The original recipe makes a 8 x 8 or 6 x 9 inch cake. The first time we made this using the original recipe, it got us 2 6-inch cakes and a couple of smaller servings. I also found that it was much too sweet. The second time, i scaled the recipe down to make a 6-inch version.

When we were done with the second cake, we had just enough left to make another one. Since i only had one cake ring, we had to remove it from the second cake before it had time to fully set. BIG mistake. Before we could secure the sides with the ribbon, it collapsed into a huge creamy mess. I managed to save some of the lady fingers but we had to eat the rest of the 'cake'.

Yes, i got a little overzealous with the cocoa powder and got them all over the tops of the fingers. Don't be like me.

Tiramisu Charlotte

1 6-inch cake and approximately 3 smaller servings
3 egg yolks
84g caster sugar
141g mascarpone cheese
210g heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 package of lady fingers (14 pieces for the sides + more for the layers)
60ml espresso or strong coffee
35ml coffee flavoured liquor (I used 45ml original Baileys Irish Cream)
Cocoa powder for dusting and chocolate curls for garnish

Print this recipe
Combine yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. This is your sabayon, remove it from heat and whip yolks until thick and lemon coloured.

Add mascarpone to whipped yolks, beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks.
Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone sabayon mixture and set aside.

Place a cake board inside the cake ring. Arrange 14 lady fingers (or more) inside the cake ring. Mix the cold espresso with the coffee liquor and dip the lady fingers into the mixture just long enough to get them wet (do not soak!) Arrange the lady fingers at the bottom of the cake board. Spoon the mascarpone filling over the lady fingers. Repeat process with another layer. (I did 3 layers)

Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Dust the cake with cocoa powder and add chocolate curls if desired before serving.
Do not, i repeat, do not, remove the cake ring from the cake until it has had enough time to firm up (at least an hour).

Sabayon is the French name for zabaglione, a light, mousse-like Italian dessert that's made by whisking eggs, sugar and white wine over gently boiling water until the eggs thicken but do not scramble.

(Bake & Bait // Adapted from Ask Chef Dennis)


  1. what a gorgeous charlotte! I love the idea of using Tiramisu for the filling.

    Thanks so much for the shout out!

    1. thank you for your kind comment, i'll be sure to try some of your other recipes soon!


  2. Wow, it is a very beautiful cake! You have some talent there..

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Meg, a cake board provides a base for cakes. They come in various sizes and can be easily found at any baking supplies store. If you are unable to find them, you can make your own using thick cardboard. Hope this helps!

  4. Thank you! This cake is beautiful!

  5. This cake looks so amazing and beautiful!


  6. When do you put the lady fingers at the side?

    1. Right before you start layering the lady fingers and cream. I've updated the recipe to reflect that, thank you!

  7. Would this recipe be enough for a 7 inch round pan?

    1. The recipe will be enough for a 7 inch round pan, but you will need more lady fingers for the sides and the layers. Be sure to use a cake ring or a pan with a removable bottom (eg. springform pan)!

  8. this is so gorgeous!
    it looks like the ladyfingers are trimmed to the same height. any tips for cutting them?

    1. Thank you Alex!
      I cut a 3/4 inch piece off every piece using a regular chef's knife. You can also use a serrated knife in a sawing motion. Hope this helps!

  9. Hello Sharon! I love tiramisu!! and this recipe looks DELISH!!!!!!! but im just a little confused. in your blog you say "When we were done with the second cake, we had just enough left to make another one". does that mean that there is enough to make 2 6" cakes?
    thank you for your time!

    1. Hi Jenn, I'm so sorry about the confusion.

      "When we were done with the second cake, we had just enough left to make another one" - refers to the original recipe

      The recipe posted has been scaled down to make only 1 tiramisu charlotte and, depending on how high your charlotte is, you may have a little leftover to make a few smaller servings (in glasses).

      Hope this helps!

  10. wish I could send you the picture of my Tiramisu that I made from your recipe. Thanks a bunch

    1. I hope it turned out great for you Lily! :-)

    2. it turned out great, thanks Sharon