I love a classic tiramisu, especially when eating at a little hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant (which I hope to one day be able to do again). I usually only eat (or ate I guess I should say) tiramisu when dining out because I find that making one from scratch can be a bit tedious and the wait to dig in is too much for me to handle sometimes. I do have a classic tiramisu recipe on here though because I’m full of contradictions. With Valentine’s Day around the corner though I thought I’d make and share a cake that we can all surprise our valentines with. This Tiramisu Sponge Cake is everything you know and love from that classic dessert but without all of the work and waiting. I found this tiramisu cake on King Arthur Flour and decided to revamp it to be an easy and effective single layer cake. It’s the only way I’ll be tiramisu-ing from now on and I think you will too.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and almond extract until pale in color and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
**Tip: Two notes here on the importance of this step. A). you want to make sure the eggs truly are at room temperature because that ensures they beat but nice and fluffy. B). you also want to make sure you don’t skimp on the beating time because it’s really important to develop that volume now at this stage because that’ll ensure a nice and fluffy sponge cake.**
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Sprinkle a third of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and gently fold with a rubber spatula until just incorporated. Continue by adding another third of the dry mixture and fold. Finish with the remaining third and fold once more. The batter should look fluffy and sponge like.
**Note: Be very gently when folding the flour in. You don’t want to over work it at this point or else you’ll end up with a dry poorly risen cake.**
Carefully pour the batter into a lightly greased a 9 or 10-inch springform pan and bake until the top is lightly browned and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 20 to 23 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the pan to cool on a wire rack.
**Note: I say that either a 9 or 10-inch springform pan works here because you should be able to use whatever you have on hand. Just know that if you use a 9-inch the cake will be slightly taller.**
To make the soaking syrup, in a large glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the hot coffee or espresso with the sugar, marsala wine and coffee liqueur until the sugar has dissolved.
**Note: I like the use of both dry marsala wine and coffee liqueur for this because I find that the combination of both really add to the overall tiramisu taste and flavor. But if you only have one or the other, or just don’t want to buy both, you can just use all of one to equal the 4 tablespoons listed in the recipe.**
While the cake is still warm brush with the syrup. It might seem like a lot of liquid (because it is) but make sure to use it all, the cake will absorb it all, trust me. Allow the cake to finish cooling completely before topping.
**Tip: If you don’t have a pastry brush you can just very slowly pour the the syrup over the cake and wait until it’s all used up and properly absorbed. This is why I like using a springform pan because they tend to have higher sides than a traditional round cake pan and will keep all of the soaking liquid in.**
To make the topping, beat together the mascarpone, powdered sugar, coffee liqueur, vanilla extract and salt until smooth.
**Note: It’s important for the mascarpone to be at room temperature so that it beats up smoothly. If you’ve ever tried to make cheesecake with semi-cold cream cheese then you’ll know it’s practically impossible to get rid of those tiny lumps. Having the mascarpone at room temperature will ensure no lumps form.**
Slowly pour in the cold heavy cream and beat over moderate speed until stiff peaks form. As when making homemade whipped cream, you don’t want to over-beat the cream or you’ll end up with butter. The same thing can happen here so make sure you only beat until the desired consistency is reached.
Once the cake has cooled, top with the mascarpone frosting and spread out using a spatula. You don’t have to be precise here. It’s getting dusted with cocoa powder anyhow. Plus, this is a great rustic cake so no need to sweat over having it look perfect. If you insist though, you could use a piping bag to pipe the top and make it look a bit nicer.
Dust with a bit of unsweetened cocoa power and if you’d like (but totally unnecessary) I like to shave a bit of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate on top. I just warm up the bar with the palm of my hand a bit and then I use a vegetable peeler to shave some chocolate on top!
You can slice and serve the cake at this point, or you can cover it loosely with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to eat. I really like my tiramisu cold, so I like to chill it for a bit before eating. It’ll keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
I used a 10-inch springform pan, so you’ll notice that the cake layer is a bit thinner than if you were to use a 9-inch. Also keep in mind that the soaking syrup will slightly condense the cake as well because of the amount of liquid that it is.
This makes for a great dessert for a special occasion because I feel like tiramisu is fancy enough to impress, and this cake takes out most of the hard work when it comes to making tiramisu so it’s a win win all around.
I hope you’ll give this cake a try, especially this coming weekend with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. If my husband knew his way around the kitchen, I’d force him to make this for me, but I guess I’ll just have to make it for him. Let me know if you have any questions or comments below. Stay safe out there my friends.
Tiramisu Sponge Cake
- 1 cup cake flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup hot coffee or espresso
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons dry marsala wine
- 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder for dusting
- 1 tablespoon shaved chocolate optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 or 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and almond extract until pale in color and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle a third of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and gently fold with a rubber spatula until just incorporated. Continue by adding another third of the dry mixture and fold. Finish with the remaining third and fold once more. The batter should look fluffy and sponge like. Carefully pour it into the prepared pan and bake until the top is lightly browned and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 20 to 23 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the pan to cool on a wire rack.
- To make the soaking syrup, in a large glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the hot coffee or espresso with the sugar, marsala wine and coffee liqueur until the sugar has dissolved. While the cake is still warm brush with the syrup. It might seem like a lot of liquid but make sure to use it all, the cake will absorb it. Allow to finish cooling completely.
- To make the topping, beat together the mascarpone, powdered sugar, coffee liqueur, vanilla extract and salt until smooth. Pour in the heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks form. Once the cake has cooled, top with the mascarpone frosting and spread out using a spatula. Dust with cocoa powder and top with shaved chocolate, if using. Slice and serve immediately or store in the fridge, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until ready to eat. Enjoy!
Thanks Jonathon. I’ll probably be entertaining not just my husband but our good friend who is newly single again. This will be the perfect treat for all of us.
What temp to cook the sponge?
This is delicious and definitely so much quicker than making traditional tiramisu. I actually can’t believe how little effort went into this.
My brother asked me to make Tiramisu for his birthday, and I wanted to oblige but with less effort. Thanks for the help!
This was delicious! I will make this often. The only change is I I cut off the top half so it wouldn’t be so thick. Otherwise followed recipe to the T. This is better than what I can get at the bakeries. Just yum!