Recipes, Dessert, Local specialties

Original Italian tiramisu

Original Italian tiramisu in a plate

Are you looking for the perfect way to finish an Italian dinner? Today I want to share the original Italian tiramisu recipe, or at least the one I received from my mom and that made her famous among our friends. A true Italian grandma’s tiramisu 🙂

According to Marla Gulley Roncaglia, Italian Cuisine Expert and author for the blog Menuism (see ), among all the Italian desserts, only gelato is more popular worldwide than tiramisu.

Tiramisu: some history

Tiramisu, literally translated in “pick me up“, is said to be the invention of a maitress in Treviso, Northeast Italy, during the 19th century. The function of this aphrodisiac dessert was to give “energy” to the men after visiting her, and if you think of the ingredients the story seems definitely realistic.

After that, tiramisu became during last century a typical dessert in Treviso and not only, until the 80s when it started to become a very popular recipe all over the world.

Is this interesting? The recipe will be even more 😉 You can PIN IT here and also check my other dessert recipes in the dedicated page:

Tiramisu: pavesini or savoiardi?

Actually, more or less any family in my Country has its own original tiramisu recipe! The main debate is about pavesini versus savoiardi (lady fingers). I will be very quick: savoiardi were in the very first version of the recipe, but I always use pavesini, I believe them to make my tiramisu softer and more creamy, since they almost faint into the cream. I realized, by the way, that finding them abroad is not the easiest thing (once I made my tiramisu at friend’s house in London), so here is a link to find the original Pavesini. As usual, at no cost for you you can help this blog by following this link, thank you!

But now, time to follow the instructions below and prepare your first original Italian tiramisu. Let me know in the comments what your result was!

Original Italian tiramisu in a plate
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Original Italian tiramisu

Tiramisu is a must-have when talking about Italian desserts. Every family has their own recipe, here I want to share with you the one my mother is famous for! Let me know in the comments if the result meets your expectations! 🙂
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: chocolate, creamy, delicious, mascarpone, spoon
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 500kcal
Author: Roberto
Cost: $2


  • bowl
  • mixer
  • spoon
  • espresso coffee machine


  • 8 shots coffee espresso coffee shots
  • 5 eggs 5 yolks and 4 egg whites
  • 400 gr mascarpone cheese
  • 160 gr powdered (icing) sugar
  • 1.5 packs Pavesini cookies
  • 2 spoons cognac
  • 1 spoon bitter cocoa powder as required to cover the dessert


  • Prepare the coffee and let it cool down until ambient temperature. Add the cognac.
    Then separate yolks from egg whites. You will use 5 yolks and 4 egg whites. Slowly mix the yolks with the powdered sugar.
    Original tiramisu recipe
  • Add to the cream the mascarpone cheese and gently mix them.
    Original tiramisu recipe
  • Fast whip the egg whites until they get thick.
    Original tiramisu recipe
  • Add the whipped egg whites to the cream and gently mix them with a spoon.
    Original tiramisu recipe
  • Dip each Pavesini cookie into the coffee and create a layer in your kitchen bowl.
    Original Italian tiramisu single layer
  • Add a layer of cream, then a layer of cookies, and so on until you finish the cream. The top layer must be cream.
    Original Italian tiramisu last layer
  • Cover and put in the fridge. When you are ready to serve it, add the bitter cocoa powder.
    Original Italian tiramisu with cocoa
  • Enjoy! Buon appetito 🙂
    Original Italian tiramisu slice


Few tips: 
  • use ingredients at ambient temperature, mixing them will be a lot easier;
  • you can work the cream with a spoon, but a mixer will make it easier. I use a Kitchenaid Artisan;
  • you can add a drop of lemon juice when whipping the egg whites: the success of the tiramisu is highly affected by the thickness of the whipped egg whites;
  • the tiramisu will taste better after one day in the fridge.

The origin of this tiramisu recipe is my mother’s recipes book. It was the typical dessert of our Sunday lunches. Curious about what the usual menu looked like? First, tagliatelle with bolognese sauce, then pan-roasted chicken or quails, and finally this authentic tiramisu recipe. It was not a bad day 😉

If you have a sweet tooth, you should check also some of my favorite desserts:


Some of the links above are affiliate linksThis means that, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase you will help this blog grow. I only promote affiliate programs that I believe in, and products I know about, with the aim to help you in your choices.

Buon appetito!

Original Italian tiramisu FAQ

Is tiramisu from Italy?

Yes, tiramisu is a typical Italian dessert! The word is the fusion of “tirami” (pick me) and “su” (up), so it would sound like “pick me up” or “cheer me up”.

Why is tiramisu so expensive?

Actually in Italy it is not an expensive dessert. If you check the list of ingredients, there is not an expensive one. So I guess is more related to the value that the market recognizes to this food than a cost-based valuation. Abroad, mascarpone cheese can be little bit expensive, though.

Why is my tiramisu so watery?

Usually the tiramisu results being watery when you beat the egg whites too much. Similarly to mayo, you must stop when they get thick and solid. Other tip, always remember to add the whipped egg whites to the cream with gentle movements, bottom up.

Can kids eat tiramisu?

Consider that tiramisu includes alcohol and coffee, so my answer is “definitely not”. In addition to this, also cocoa powder is not recommended to young kids.

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  • Reply Carolyn D 03/04/2021 at 10:24 PM

    I want to make this recipe. It’s the first one I’ve found that looks like what I want in a tiramisu. But I’m confused when recipe calls for a spoon of cognac and spoon of bitter cocoa. What size is the spoon you’re suppose to use?

    • Reply Roberto 03/05/2021 at 10:32 AM

      very glad, since it’s a family recipe since the 80s! With spoon I mean “tablespoon”, in more recent recipes I have changed the wording, I have to do also here, thanks for pointing it out 🙂 let me know and buon appetito

  • Reply Lin Fox 03/04/2021 at 5:56 AM

    Please tell me to what you are referring when you call for “the cream”. I don’t see it anywhere in the ingredients so what makes up the cream? Also, is this safe due to the uncooked eggs?

    • Reply Roberto 03/05/2021 at 10:42 AM

      Hi, at step 2 I mention “the cream”, meaning the one created at step 1 (mixing egg yolks with powdered or icing sugar).
      About the raw eggs, consider that I’ve been making this for 30 years and before my mom was making it, always with no problems. The tiramisu recipe uses raw eggs… so as far as I know it is safe 🙂 Enjoy!

  • Reply jackie 12/24/2020 at 12:55 AM

    5 stars
    i just made it and it’s perfect! its light and fluffy. it’s a perfect dessert without being cloyingly sweet.

    • Reply Roberto 12/24/2020 at 7:00 PM

      I am very glad! Yes, it’s not too sweet, coffee helps to balance it. And I have actually made it today for tomorrow’s lunch, so maybe I will update the pictures 😉 Merry Christmas, Roberto

  • Reply Odi 01/03/2020 at 10:11 PM

    5 stars

    • Reply Roberto S. 01/09/2020 at 12:50 PM

      thank you for appreciating! 🙂

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