Learn how to make super easy Tiramisu Cake Recipe. A homemade vanilla cake is soaked with espresso and finished with an espresso mascarpone whipped cream frosting. Watch the Tiramisu Cake Video for step by step instructions and read the post for a small batch option!
Hi hi! I hope things are well with you. Just popping in to share this tiramisu cake recipe! This is a rework of a super old recipe of mine, which I turned into a sheet cake with a coffee soak, and an espresso mascarpone frosting.
This tiramisu cake is a super fun twist on a regular vanilla snack cake - I love it and I really hope you do too! Homemade cake recipes are something that feel extra special, and this from scratch tiramisu cake is the perfect dessert for any occasion.
You will see two sizes of tiramisu cake in this blog post - a larger sized one, and a smaller one which was made in an eighth sheet pan. You can scale this recipe accordingly!
If you are looking for a more classic tiramisu recipe, check out my small batch tiramisu recipe!
What is tiramisu cake?
Tiramisu cake is all the flavours of the classic Italian dessert tiramisu... but in a cake! This recipe has a few components, which when combined, become the most amazing, easy tiramisu cake recipe.
- Vanilla Cake. This vanilla cake recipe is super similar to my funfetti cake recipe, except that I switched out buttermilk for the yoghurt and milk in the recipe. The buttermilk adds a super delicious tanginess to the cake. The cake represents ladyfingers or savoiardi biscuits which are traditionally used in tiramisu!
- Coffee Syrup Soak. I just went for a super strong coffee soak, which is brushed over the slightly warm cake. You can add booze here if you want to - kahlua or another coffee liqueur works great.
- Espresso Mascarpone Frosting. Because you aren't layering the cake here and getting lots of coffee soak within each layer, I added some espresso to the mascarpone frosting too. This added amazing flavour and went so well with the classic dusting of cocoa that tiramisu gets.
How to small batch this recipe
The full size version of this tiramisu cake makes a 9"x13" (20x30cm) cake. However if you were wanting to do a small batch version, you could do a half batch of the recipe and bake it in an eighth sheet pan. The method is exactly the same, it just uses half the quantity of ingredients. The quantities for a half size cake are:
- 130g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 110g buttermilk, at room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- 75g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 80g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
Make the recipe as written, then spread the mixture into a lined eighth sheet pan or 9"x5" loaf pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
- 25g strong coffee, cold
Espresso mascarpone frosting
- 115g mascarpone, cold
- ¾ tsp espresso powder or fine instant coffee
- 55g powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste
- pinch of salt
- 120g heavy cream, cold from the fridge
What is an Eighth sheet pan?
I made this mini tiramisu cake in my favourite pan at the moment - an eighth sheet pan. The name comes from the size - they are an eighth of a full sheet pan (so quarter sheet pan, half sheet pan etc come from this too). Eighth sheet pans are a great size and are super handy for all sorts of things such as baking bake a single cookie, or they are great for toasting nuts. I also have them around my kitchen to use to keep things organised - I pop things I am defrosting onto them to keep them off the counter, and I have one by the stove to hold all my oil and things I use for cooking.
The eighth sheet pan is also used in my baking all the time - this funfetti snack cake was made in one, along with these small batch cheese buns. I have a bunch more recipes coming your way soon too which use this pan. They are super cute and a great investment.
However, if you don't have an eighth sheet pan then no worries at all - this recipe can be made in a loaf pan. Make sure you use a loaf pan that is on the larger side so that your vanilla cake batter doesn't end up too thick. I have this one which I tested and it worked great.
How to make Mascarpone Frosting
I topped my tiramisu cake with an espresso mascarpone frosting. This frosting is essentially a mascarpone stabilised whipped cream that has been sweetened.
Mascarpone frosting is super easy to make with an electric handheld mixer, or you can use your stand mixer if you like. The technique may seem a little strange adding liquid cream to the frosting but I promise that it all comes together nicely! The frosting is creamy and smooth, and goes so well with the vanilla cake.
- Whip together the mascarpone cheese and the espresso powder. The espresso powder needs to mix in evenly so adding it in first gives it a good chance to do so.
- Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt, and mix to incorporate.
- With the mixer going, stream in the heavy whipping cream. This step will feel very strange. The cream is going to make the mixture loose and sloppy, but just keep mixing, it will come together.
- Whip together the cream and mascarpone mixture. It will combine and then after a little more whipping, will thicken and turn into a smooth and silky mascarpone frosting. If you over whip by accident, just incorporate a little more liquid cream in.
- Transfer to a piping bag to pipe onto the cake, or smooth on with a spatula. I used an ateco #865 tip.
How to Substitute for Buttermilk in this recipe
If you don't have buttermilk on hand, for this recipe in particular (and often other baking recipes), lemon juice and milk isn't the best subsitute. This recipe from Serious Eats goes into a lot of detail on buttermilk subs and which is best in baking. I prefer to go for a yoghurt / sour cream and milk combination which I use in my other vanilla cake recipe - you can use 65g milk and 45g greek yoghurt or sour cream if you don't have buttermilk on hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I use instead of espresso powder?
If you don't have access to espresso powder, you can use finely ground instant coffee.
Can tiramisu cake be made ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time and store in the fridge. The coffee soak may make it a little more moist, but it will be fine.
How do you store tiramisu cake?
Store leftover tiramisu cake in an airtight container in the fridge.
What is a good substitute for Mascarpone?
You can try to substitute mascarpone with cream cheese, but it won't taste as much like tiramisu. Cream cheese is much more tangy and tastes quite different to mascarpone. It's really worth tracking it down if you can!
For more homemade cake recipes:
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Learn how to make super easy Tiramisu Cake Recipe. A homemade vanilla cake is soaked with espresso and finished with an espresso mascarpone whipped cream frosting. Watch the Tiramisu Cake Video for step by step instructions!
- 260g all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 220g buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 160g granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 50g strong coffee, cold.
Espresso Mascarpone Frosting
- 230g mascarpone, cold
- 1 ½ tsp espresso powder or fine instant coffee
- 110g powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste
- pinch of salt
- 240g heavy cream, cold from the fridge
Cocoa powder to dust
- Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease and line a 9"x13" (20cm x30cm) pan or quarter sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and vanilla.
- In a medium bowl using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add the eggs and mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula.
- With the mixer on low, alternately add the wet and dry ingredients. Add a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half the wet ingredients, then another third of the dry ingredients, followed by the second half of the wet ingredients. Finally, add the remaining third of the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and smooth down. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to ensure the mixture is settled.
- Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown, springs back when lightly pressed, and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer the cake to the serving plate. Brush liberally with the coffee and leave to cool completely.
ESPRESSO MASCARPONE FROSTING
- Place the mascarpone and espresso powder into a medium bowl. Whip with an electric hand mixer on high, until the mascarpone is smooth and the coffee is incorporated.
- Add the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla, and mix to combine.
- With the mixer still going, stream in the heavy cream until it is all added, then continue to whip. The cream will incorporate and the frosting will seem quite thin - keep mixing until it has the consistency of thick whipped cream. Be careful not to over whip. It will come together quickly.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag lined with a french star tip. Pipe blobs all over the surface of the snack cake. Alternatively you can smooth it on with an offset spatula.
- Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder. Store in the fridge until you serve.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
To make a small batch tiramisu cake, use the quantities listed in the blog post.
Keywords: Tiramisu, Snack Cake, Tiramisu Snack Cake, Cake, Mascarpone