Tiramisu Cake


My brother-in-law requested a Tiramisu Cake for his birthday, and, coincidentally, I happened to have looked at this recipe the morning before he requested it! I really like the Cake.Paper.Party blog and will try to bake more of her cakes and use more of her frostings in my recipes. I’ve never been disappointed by any of her recipes (so far this and this). She takes a scientific approach to her baking, which I think ensures greater consistency and implies more trial-and-error.


This cake is genius. It is decidedly a cake, but it tastes very much like tiramisu. The cake itself is a combination of a sponge cake and a butter cake (but uses mascarpone cheese instead of butter). The sponginess allows it to be light in texture and to absorb the flavor of the coffee/espresso mixture that is poured on top without becoming soggy.


The amaretto in the coffee/espresso mixture was a nice boost to the flavor, continuing a run of recipes for me that include alcohol (even when it is not cooked). I definitely surprised myself with how much I have liked these recipes. given that I had been previously opposed to most, if not all, recipes that contained alcohol. The top of the cakes here are scored to allow for the coffee/espresso mixture to penetrate the cake.

I really enjoyed the frosting, which was very light and not overly sweet (only a half cup of sugar). It is essentially a whipped cream frosting that is given more volume with mascarpone cheese and the sugar. I will likely try to use this frosting recipe in the future with different types of flavorings (chocolate, fruit, mint, etc.) since mascarpone cheese can provide a blank canvas for flavor while providing a nice consistency.


I thought this cake was pretty good as a proxy for tiramisu. I definitely ate more of it than I would like to admit (*cough* half *cough*), so there’s that. I will probably make it again, especially as requested, and it was fairly easy to make despite a few non-traditional cake ingredients and directions.

Also, shout out to my sister-in-law, who has become the most frequent visitor to this site, accounting for almost 10% of total site views to date…

Based on recipe found here.


1 cup (227 g, 8 oz.) mascarpone
1 1/2 cups (298 g, 10 1/2 oz.) granulated sugar
6 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 cups (284 g, 10 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 cup (113 g, 4 oz.) cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (4 oz.) buttermilk
1/2 tbsp. white vinegar

Espresso Syrup:
2/3 cup (5 1/2 oz.) hot, strong-brewed espresso or coffee
3 tbsp. amaretto
3 tbps. granulated sugar
2 tsp. coffee/espresso powder

Mascarpone Filling:
2 cups (454 g, 16 oz.) mascarpone
1/2 cup (99 g, 3 1/2 oz.) granulated sugar
1 tbsp. amaretto
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups (16 oz.) heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. dutch-processed cocoa powder
1-2 oz. dark chocolate, grated/shaved


  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8″ cake pans. Line the bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat mascarpone and sugar for two minutes on medium-high speed.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined after each egg.
  5. Stir in vanilla and almond extract.
  6. Sprinkle in dry ingredients on low speed until incorporated, then increase speed to medium for one minute.
  7. Pour in buttermilk and vinegar, mixing on low for :30 seconds until combined and smooth.
  8. Pour batter into cake pans (~455 g per cake). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (mine took 32 minutes). Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes, then wrap with plastic and chill until ready to frost.
  9. For the syrup: Stir syrup ingredients together to dissolve. Pour into squeezable bottle and set aside to allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
  10. For the frosting: In a stand mixer, beat mascarpone, sugar, amaretto and salt for one minute on medium-high speed until light and creamy.
  11. Slowly add the cream on medium-low speed. When all cream has been added, increase speed to medium-high to beat mixture to stiff peaks.
  12. For assembly: Trim the top crust off of each of the cake layers to expose the inner crumb, then cut three score lines vertically and horizontally across the exposed layers (creating a checkerboard pattern).
  13. Place one cake layer-cut-side-up and squeeze one-third of the syrup over the entire surface.
  14. Top cake with one-quarter of filling in an even layer, then dust with cocoa powder.
  15. Repeat process for second and third layer, then frost sides of cake with remaining filling. Grate/shave dark or milk chocolate, as desired, for additional decorations.

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