These mini tiramisu in a glass, with their incredible layers of coffee and cream flavour, are truly simple to make and totally irresistible. They’re easy, supremely delicious and they can be made ahead making them perfect for a gathering. The melt-in-the-mouth texture and taste are simply sublime.
- Rich vanilla whipped cream and mascarpone…
- …with a good kick of coffee.
- No bake and just 15 minutes of hands on time.
- The perfect make ahead dessert.
- An easy yet impressive dessert.
These Italian tiramisu cups are a take on my raspberry tiramisu and lemon tiramisu recipes, however this time I’ve gone with the classic Italian tiramisu flavour of coffee. And, while it looks and tastes like the classic, it’s eggless which keeps the method so simple to make.
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What is tiramisu?
Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert and perhaps the most recognisable the world over. Translating to “pick me up”, tiramisu is layers of luscious creamy filling alternated with layers of coffee soaked Savoiardi (lady finger biscuits).
An authentic tiramisu recipe uses raw egg yolks for a richer flavour. My version is eggless so there are no concerns with raw eggs, it’s quicker and easier to make and still luscious and rich! These individual tiramisu cups have all the flavour and elegance of that classic Italian dessert. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser and a wonderful way to end a meal.
Ingredients you’ll need
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Cream: Named differently around the world you’re looking for thickened cream or heavy cream. You can use whipping cream too.
- Mascarpone cheese: Mascarpone cheese / mascarpone cream is an Italian cream cheese. It has a much milder flavour than cream cheese and is more like a really thick and rich cream. If you can’t get it, swap it for a 50:50 ratio of cream cheese and cream.
- Sugar: I like to use caster sugar (superfine sugar – not powdered sugar) as it dissolves into the cream so easily to give you a silky smooth cream layer.
- Vanilla: Please always use vanilla extract as opposed to vanilla essence. A little goes a long way and the latter is actually a synthetic flavouring.
- Savoiardi: Savoiardi are an Italian sponge finger biscuit, known in some places as ladyfingers. They are a thick dry biscuit and the classic used in tiramisu. They can be substituted with slices of a firm sponge cake, or something like panettone. The flavour will be slightly different but still delicious.
- Espresso: Espresso or very strong coffee is what you need to get that flavour to be bold enough among all the cream.
- Liqueur: Classicly, a tiramisu uses marsala, but my tiramisu cups have a little Frangelico liqueur. There are loads of other options – see more options below the recipe.
- Cocoa: You must finish off the top of the tiramisu with a dusting of cocoa.
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Whip the cream: In a medium bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks.
- The mascarpone: In a separate bowl, beat together the mascarpone, sugar and vanilla, just until combined and smooth.
- Combine them: Now add ⅓ of the cream to the mascarpone mixture and use a folding action to gently mix it together. Repeat with the remaining ⅔ in 2 parts as well.
- Soak the lady fingers: Combine the cooled coffee and liqueur in a casserole dish or similar and add the ladyfingers. Turn them over in the mixture so they soak it all up.
- Assemble: Grab your glasses and add some cream mixture to the bottom, followed by some of the soaked biscuits. Repeat the layers 2 more times then level off the tops and sprinkle with cocoa.
Don’t worry if your mixture doesn’t make it all the way to the top of the glass – there are no set rules here. If you want flat tops like mine, you’ll need 4 x 200ml glasses.
Tips and tricks
- Keep the cream and mascarpone cold: Cream must be cold to whip properly. Mascarpone can curdle if not kept cold so keep both cold.
- Don’t overwhip: The cream should only be whipped until soft peak stage. If you whip it too long, you risk making it turn grainy. The mascarpone only needs to be beaten long enough to combine everything smoothly. If you overbeat either, they can curdle.
- Use very fresh cream: The freshest cream is important as it’s a dominant flavour here and especially if you are making them a day or two in advance.
A classic tiramisu contains cream, mascarpone, eggs, sugar, liqueur or marsala wine, espresso, Savoiardi (ladyfinger biscuits) and is always topped with cocoa. My easy tiramisu cups exclude only the eggs, making it super simple to make.
There are different ways to make the espresso for tiramisu. The simplest is to use a coffee machine and just use the espresso function. You can use freshly brewed coffee but make it strong. You can even used granulated or powdered coffee (a great option if you don’t have a machine) – use espresso powder and make it according to the jar or use a regular granulated coffee and double the strength of what you’d usually use in a cup of coffee.
Being largely made of cream and mascarpone, you would need to eat your tiramisu cups within 3-4 days of making them.
If you’re serving these tiramisu cups to children, you should use decaf coffee and leave the alcohol out completely.
Yield and storage
This recipe makes 4 large 200ml serves (just over ¾ cup each) or 6 smaller serves. You could even make them in shot glasses for a finger food style get together just break up the ladyfingers accordingly to fit into whichever serving glass you’re using.
Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator up to a maximum of 4 days from when they were made.
Did you try this tiramisu cup recipe?
Leaving a rating and comment below the recipe is so helpful!
- 1 cup thickened cream, heavy whipping cream, cold (250ml)
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese, cold (250g / 8.8oz)
- ¼ cup caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 Savoiardi (ladyfinger biscuits) (notes 1& 2)
- ⅔ cup espresso (strong coffee), room temperature
- 1 tablespoon liqueur, optional (I use Frangelico) (notes)
- ½ tablespoon cocoa powder, for dusting
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- In a medium bowl, beat the cream with an electric beater to soft peak stage.
- In a separate bowl, beat the mascarpone, sugar and vanilla, until just combined (don’t overbeat or it can curdle).
- Fold ⅓ of the whipped cream into the mascarpone gently so as not to knock out the air and repeat two more times until all incorporated.
- Pour the espresso and liqueur into a casserole dish then add the biscuits. Turn them almost immediately and let them soak up all the coffee mixture. They will become quite soft but still have a little bite in the middle – perfect for this dessert.
- Break 4 biscuits in half and divide them between 4 serving glasses.
- Top with cream mixture, spreading it over the soaked biscuits evenly with an offset spatula.
- Repeat the layers – biscuits, cream, biscuits, cream. Level out the top layer as much as possible – it's ok if it doesn't come all the way to the top of the glass.
- Refrigerate 2 hours or up to 2 days before serving.
- Dust the tops with cocoa powder right before you serve.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- Savoiardis are a sweet, dry Italian biscuit about 1 inch wide by 4 long with a crusty sugar coating on one side. You’ll find them often in the biscuit / cookie aisle on the top shelf or in the international section.
- If you can’t find Savoiardi, use a sponge cake, cut into circles to fit your glasses and dried, uncovered overnight on a wire rack.
- Serving size: Shown here are 4 larger serves at 200ml (just over ¾ cup), you can make them smaller if you prefer.
- Use very fresh cream and mascarpone, cold from the fridge.
- Mascarpone is a very mild Italian cheese – while called cheese, it tastes more like a super thick and rich cream. If you can find it, you could use half the amount of cream cheese (since it has a stronger flavour), then make up the difference with an additional ½ cup of cream.
- Liqueur: Actually, marsala wine is classic but I love a little liqueur hit in mine. I use Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur). For serious coffee lovers, you could use a coffee liqueur like Tia Maria. Amaretto (almond liqueur), Cointreau (orange liqueur), dark rum and brandy all work well too.
- For a non-alcoholic version, just leave the liqueur out.
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