I have difficulty picking a favorite experience from our trip to Italy, but it’s not difficult to choose the most beautiful spot. Italy has no shortage of stunning sights, both natural and humanmade . . .

. . . but to my mind, none comes close to the splendor of Lake Como. To illustrate the point, I’ll cop to this embarrassing display: when we had to leave early due to a train strike, I wept.

Another thing about our time roaming the boot that still brings tears to my eyes? I didn’t eat tiramisu there. Not once. Che idiota!

I’ll admit, I’m taking a bit of a liberty including tiramisu in the Travel-Inspired Baking section of this blog. You see, tiramisu isn’t baked. But never fear, I checked with the blog boss—me—and I gave myself permission to proceed.


Recipe Adapted From: www.tastesbetterfromscratch.com

Level of Difficulty: low—probably the easiest dessert I’ve ever made

Time Consumption: low—probably the quickest dessert I’ve ever made

Kitchen Destruction: low

Wow Factor: medium . . . and yet, now that I think about it, this dessert was devoured more quickly than any other at our Travel Bucket List Party & Fundraiser, so maybe high?


  • 1 1/2heavy whipping cream
  • ounce container mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2cold espresso
  • 3 TBS coffee flavored liqueur, such as Kahlua (optional)
  • 1 package lady fingers
  • cocoa powder for dusting the top
Coffee and Kahlua – a match made in heaven.


1. Add whipping cream to a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed with electric mixers (or use a stand mixer). Slowly add sugar and vanilla and continue to beat to stiff peaks. Add mascarpone cheese and mix just until combined. Set aside.
No raw eggs, so lick away.

2. Add coffee and liqueur to a shallow bowl. Dip the lady fingers in the coffee (Don’t soak them–just quickly dip them on both sides to get them wet) and lay them in a single layer on the bottom of an 8×8″ (or 9×13″—see Note #1) pan.

Dunk nimbly. If you oversoak the lady fingers in the coffee mixture, they’ll disintegrate.

3. Smooth half of the mascarpone mixture over the top. Add another layer of coffee-dipped lady fingers. Smooth remaining mascarpone cream over the top.

1.Using a fine mesh strainer, dust cocoa powder generously over the top.* Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or up to overnight before serving.

*If freezing, make tiramisu through step 3 and don’t dust with cocoa powder. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then tinfoil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and dust with cocoa powder a few hours before serving. 

From the Travel Bucket List Party & Fundraiser – not the neatest looking pieces, but they went faster than any other dessert

Confessions of an Imperfect Baker Tiramisu Assembler: I didn’t realize this recipe called for an 8×8″ until I was writing this post up (*headslap*), but it still worked well in the 9×13″ pan I used. The only difference, I can confidently assume, is that the mascarpone layers would be thicker in an 8×8 pan.

Note #1: I bought a package that contained 48 lady fingers measuring approximately 1″ by 4″ each and, using the 9×13″ pan, had eight lady fingers left over.

Note #2: Many tiramisu recipes call for raw eggs in the mascarpone cream.  The lack of that ingredient is one of the reasons I chose this recipe. My tiramisu was going to be sitting out at our party for a while and, caring host that I am, I didn’t want to risk any of our guests hurling all over my house getting food poisoning.

Note #3: The only reason I lined the pan with tinfoil is that I needed to freeze it and, once frozen, I was easily able to lift the tiramisu out of the pan using the tinfoil and transfer it to a container I was willing to part with for several weeks.

45 thoughts

  1. Low on time, difficulty, and kitchen destruction but still high on enjoyment sounds like the best combination! This is my hubby’s second favorite dessert (after the very southern rum bread pudding) so I think I’m going to make this for him for our anniversary coming up. Thanks for the recipe and the bonus points I may get from making it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. May I be honest here? I like all the ingredients that go into tiramisu, but I don’t like tiramisu. I know that’s goofy, but somehow it doesn’t taste good to me. Your recipe looks wonderful, if I liked the stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always welcome honesty. To be honest with YOU, it’s not the first dessert I go to, either. Sometimes I joke that “it’s the other wet bread” (the original “wet bread” being Thanksgiving stuffing, and I really don’t care for that). Tiramisu is growing on me, though. I’ll take sweet wet bread over savory wet bread any day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE tiramisu (in fact, I just had some earlier this week!), and I’ve made it before and cam attest it’s a simple, delicious dessert to make! It’s a taste of Italy outside of the country and certainly brings back memories of the trip there! Buon appetito!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had no idea tiramisu was so easy to make, which is probably a good thing because, had I known, I would weigh 400 pounds by now. That stuff is deeeeee-lish! And I have never been to Lake Como, but wow. I see why you cried. As I recall, George Clooney has a house on that lake. Maybe I could combo pack a trip there with some light stalking??? Ideas, ideas….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, when we encountered news of the train strike that made us leave early, we attempted to contact George to see if he’d give us a ride to the Cinque Terre, but we never heard back from him. Typical movie star. 🙄 But yeah, now that you live in Portugal, it’s just a hop, a skip, and a jump and you’ll be there! Speaking of Portugal, if Delta Vacations still has an amazing deal to Lisbon in March of 2024, I’m so going there for my spring break!


      1. I’ve never been to anyplace in Europe actually. Neither has Tara. We’ve both agreed to hit up Eastern Europe for our first visit…Prague, Budapest, maybe Croatia. Italy may have to wait for our second or third visit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ooh. Much to say here. A couple of people remarked that they thought Laos/Cambodia was an interesting (read: brave) choice for our first visit to Asia. I think most people go to Thailand or someplace with more Western tourist infrastructure as their introductory trip to Asia. (We were with a tour guide, though, so bravery didn’t factor in.) I would say the same thing about Hungary. We’ve seen a lot of Europe and Hungary was definitely the most challenging. Maybe things have changed since we were there in 2009, but at that time there was absolutely no English. No street signs, no announcements at train stations, and few of the locals spoke it. I’m 100% ok with that (why should everyone speak English?) but it did make it much harder. I’m not trying to discourage you. I’m sure you’ll go anyway, and probably even be more up for the challenge. But maybe hit Prague first to ease your way in – haha. This comment is pretty long already, so I’ll save my other country recommendations for the blog post you will surely write to tell us all a trip is imminent. 🙂 P.S. I want to see Croatia, too. Race ya! On your mark, get set . . .

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting to note that over here, what we call lady fingers are actually okra. I was wondering what they had to do with tiramisu, lol. I admire you doing this, as baking takes much more effort than cooking, and I can barely deal with cooking as it is 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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