Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia Degaris Pursell
Hands-on Time
45 Mins
Total Time
6 Hours 40 Mins
10 to 12 servings

Michelle has been making this crowd favorite for the past few years and always gets hounded for the recipe. "I love traditional tiramisù, but it never looks as pretty as a layer cake that you can decorate," she says.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well.

Step 2

Stir together milk and 2/3 cup water. Combine flour and next 2 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla bean paste and almond extract.

Step 3

Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form, and fold into batter. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.

Step 4

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

Step 5

Meanwhile, prepare Coffee Syrup.

Step 6

Prepare Mascarpone Frosting. Pierce cake layers with a wooden pick, making holes 1 inch apart. Brush or spoon coffee Syrup over layers.

Step 7

Place 1 cake layer, brushed side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread top with 1 1/3 cups Mascarpone Frosting. Top with second cake layer, brushed side up, and spread with 1 1/3 cups Mascarpone Frosting. Top with remaining cake layer, brushed side up. Spread top and sides of cake with remaining Mascarpone Frosting. Chill 4 hours before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Chef's Notes

Vanilla extract may be substituted for Vanilla Bean Paste.

Ratings & Reviews

CathyKit's Review

January 24, 2013
Made this for Christmas dessert for a group of tiramisu lovers, and it was a hit! Next time I will "spoon" on more coffee/brandy mixture.

Starfire5001's Review

January 03, 2013

pancakefrompele's Review

December 09, 2012

emille8's Review

March 16, 2012
I made this cake for my husband's birthday. He loves tiramisu, and I wanted to make a cake for something different. Unfortunately it did not turn out well at all. It ended up soggy, and the flavor was not similar to tiramisu at all.

ngossage's Review

March 04, 2012
While this cake is good, it does not taste like tiramisu or have the light consistency of tiramisu. We found the almond overpowered the vanilla & coffee. Next time, I'd omit the almond altogether (and have never had tiramisu that tasted like almond!). The cake was moist & dense. Be sure to use all of the coffee mixture (divide into 3 equal parts & use 1/3 on top of each layer).

VicBB830's Review

January 29, 2012
This is a keeper.. The first time I made it I wasn't happy with the lack of coffee flavor . The second time I made the coffee syrup and added expresso powder .I made the cake put the coffee over the layers and put it in the fridge for 24hrs (covering it of course) 100% better.,

alydais's Review

January 15, 2012
If you need tiramisu in a cake shape, this might be worth the effort. The cake was dense & moist & it had a tiramisu flavor...everyone said they enjoyed it. for the recipe though...I ended up with way too much frosting, had trouble getting the coffee syrup down into the cake so I ended up using the turkey injector (worked great!) and if I make it again, would probably let the layers set up with the frosting on top of them individually before putting them together because it oozed out and after sitting in the fridge, the cake had 2 bulging rings around it. Also, I would add some chocolate curls on top instead of the berries and maybe chocolate shreds or some cocoa powder in between the layers to give it a little extra tiramisu-ish flavor..

Cyclequeen's Review

January 09, 2012
I was disappointed the layers were thin, didn't rise more. But overall my guests were ready to fight for the leftovers! This is a keeper.

TheMomChef's Review

December 31, 2011
The cake and coffee syrup are amazing. I had trouble with the mascarpone frosting having too much of a whipped cream consistency. I would have liked it thicker (more like a cream cheese frosting). Overall a beautiful and delicious cake though. Read my full review at: