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Tiramisu Cake

February 19, 2010

Valentine’s Day is no big deal in our home.  It’s kind of a big deal in the way that it’s no big deal.  We keep it simple and we cherish that simplicity.  We stay in, have a nice dinner, a movie, and then I attempt to win my husband’s heart all over again with a delicious dessert.  This year, that delicious dessert was Tiramisu Cake (a booze-free variation).

Tiramisu Cake
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

For the cake layers:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

For the espresso syrup:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons strong espresso

For the filling and frosting:

  • 1 8-ounce container mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • tiny pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon strong espresso
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 ounces the darkest chocolate you like, finely chopped
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting

Getting ready:

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F.  Butter two 9×2 inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess, and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.  Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To make the cake:

  1. Wisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.  Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter.  Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point.  When fully baked, the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean.  Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them, and peel off the paper liners.  Invert and cool to room temperature right-side up.

To make the syrup:

  1. Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil.  Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in the espresso; set aside.

To make the filling and frosting:

  1. Put the mascarpone, sugar, cinnamon, and espresso in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.
  2. Working with the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until it holds firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a light touch.

To assemble the cake:

  1. If the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. Place one layer right-side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected with strips of wax or parchment paper. Using a small spoon, soak the layer with about one third of the espresso syrup. Smooth some of the mascarpone cream over the layer – user about 1 1/4 cups – and gently press the chopped chocolate into the filling. Put the second cake layer on the counter and soak the top of it with half the remaining espresso syrup, then turn the layer over and position it, soaked side down, over the filling. Soak the top of the cake with the remaining syrup.
  2. For the frosting, whisk 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of the remaining espresso into the remaining mascarpone filling. Taste the frosting as you go to decide how much you want to add.
  3. With a long metal icing spatula, smooth the frosting around the sides of the cake and over the top.

Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours (or for up to 1 day) before serving – the elements need time to meld.

Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with cocoa.

Happy Weekending!

P.S.  Are you watching those Inspiration links in the sidebar?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    February 19, 2010 11:10 am

    Looks very yummy Carrie!! I almost asked you if you had a good tiramisu recipe this past weekend :), but ended up making my own recipe based on several others I found. Mine is also booze free as I have a little guy who enjoys desert too, but I went for the more traditional tiramisu made with ladyfingers.

    • February 19, 2010 1:14 pm

      Amanda~ I was going to go for a more traditional tiramisu as well. Then I remembered this cake in Baking. So good! I’m glad your little guy was able to enjoy some as well! :-)

  2. February 19, 2010 12:43 pm

    I kinda miss the cake being in the fridge.

    “What should we have for desert?”

    “Well, we have this cake…..”

    • February 19, 2010 1:20 pm

      C: Honey, I’d really like to knit something for you. What would you like?

      B: How about socks?

      C: Really? *blank stare*

      B: Maybe not.

      Oh, the banter… ;)

  3. February 20, 2010 3:09 am

    Are you kidding me right now? This looks AMAZING. and I LOVE Tiramisu…totally going to make it in the next week :) Thanks for this…

    PS – I love your blog :)

    • February 20, 2010 2:30 pm

      Oh no, Daisy, I never kid about baked goods! ;)

      Glad you’re enjoying my lil’ space here. I’m going to run over and check yours out right now!

  4. February 22, 2010 2:43 pm

    Looks so yummy!!!

  5. February 22, 2010 4:50 pm

    Ohhh perfect cake!


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