Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
45 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 45 Mins
Serves 10

This indulgent tiramisu recipe is the perfect dessert to impress friends and family alike. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil, and remove from heat. Add coffee; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a medium bowl; discard solids. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Step 2

Combine 1/4 cup sugar, egg yolks, and 1 tablespoon Kahlúa in the top of a double boiler, stirring well with a whisk. Cook over simmering water, whisking constantly, until thick and candy thermometer registers 160° (about 9 minutes). Remove from heat; refrigerate 10 minutes.

Step 3

Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until medium peaks form. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until the candy thermometer registers 250°. With mixer on low speed, carefully pour hot syrup over egg whites. Gradually increase speed to high; beat for 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form (do not overmix).

Step 4

Combine egg yolk mixture, cream cheese, and mascarpone cheese in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into cream cheese mixture; gently fold remaining egg white mixture into cream cheese mixture.

Step 5

Add remaining 1 tablespoon Kahlúa to coffee. Quickly dip 12 ladyfingers into coffee mixture; arrange in the bottom of an 11 x 7–inch baking dish. Spread half of cream cheese mixture over ladyfingers. Sprinkle with half of chocolate. Repeat procedure with the remaining ladyfingers, coffee mixture, and cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

Chef's Notes

We like our coffee überstrong here--you can also substitute 1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee mixed with a tablespoon of instant espresso.

Ratings & Reviews

danu4005's Review

March 26, 2014

Beckyw66's Review

September 17, 2013
This did not get any stars at my table watery, and too light. If I am going to spend calories, I will make it the full calorie way. Bleh!

lanajay's Review

August 12, 2013

PKcookin's Review

April 14, 2013
Everyone at the table really liked this. I wasn't a huge fan. I thought is seemed soggy or watery or something. It had good flavor and is lighter than regular which I thought was good. I did not make it but the description and need for a good candy thermometer left me concluding that this one is too tedious for the end result.

gjshgfksb's Review

April 01, 2013
Good one

TerriS2's Review

March 12, 2013
I tried this but wasn't very successful. It is quite labor intensive and mine wasn't very good. I don't make desserts very often and will definitely never make this one again.

JNBank's Review

March 12, 2013
This was wonderful. A bit labor intensive but so much fun to make. My kids couldn't get enough. I will try CL's other tiramisu recipe to compare since it has less steps.

Kcholmen's Review

March 01, 2013

seepat's Review

February 22, 2013
Cooking Light has pulled off an amazing feat: all the effort of the original with half the taste. Made the recipe as written the first time. I agree it is better the next day, but still lacks depth of flavors in the version from Gourmet 1/09. For all the work involved, I'd rather indulge in the real thing. I still had to buy a tub of mascarpone for only 2 oz. used in the recipe. I should add that I'm a loyal subscriber and have had many wonderful recipes from C.L. that I have been making for over 10 years. I've enjoyed watching the magazine evolve and I always look forward to the next issue. I admire the way the staff rises to the challenges of re-writing high-calorie recipes. "A" for effort, but I won't make this one again.

magnut's Review

February 21, 2013
Love it. Didn't have enough ladyfingers and substitute with some Nillas - better with ladyfingers. Doubled the liquor - yummy! Taste even better the next day. Recipe is saved under my fave'd!