Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tiramisu (Our Special Easter Cake)

How do you like your TIRAMISU?  

With alcohol or no alcohol?  

With plain/white, chocolate or mocha cake as base or with ladyfingers? 

Do you have issues about having raw eggs in the filling/frosting (as traditional tiramisu cakes do)?
If you prefer a non-alcoholic white cake, and no raw eggs, my version of this cake might just be the one for you!

Isn't that just beautiful? Bet this would cost a fortune in a bakeshop! 

While I aimed to make the cake completely alcohol-free, I later found out that both my chocolate and coffee extracts contained some alcohol.  They are with such small amounts though that using them rendered no alcohol taste and/or smell on the cake.  It turned out just the way I liked it.  Simply gorgeous, very light, not too sweet, with just the right coffee flavour.

Want to make it yourself?

Here's how.


For the chiffon: (you will need two 8" round, 3" high or two 9" round, 2" high aluminium cake pans)

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup corn/canola oil
7 egg yolks, from large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2  teaspoon almond extract

7 eggwhites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 cup white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Prepare your pans by lining the bottoms with baking/parchment paper. Leave them ungreased. DO NOT USE NON-STICK PANS.
2. In a large bowl, combine {A} well. Add in {B}. Beat with electric mixer or by hand until smooth and well blended.
3. In a separate bowl, beat {C} on high speed until frothy. Gradually add in the sugar {D} and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Gradually and gently fold in egg whites into egg yolk mixture. Divide batter equally onto your two pans.
4. Bake for about 55 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Invert pans into wire racks immediately and cool completely.
5. To release cakes from pans, carefully run a thin knife around sides of  the pans and invert cakes to release. **Tip: For easier handling, wrap your cakes very well in cling film, then refrigerate overnight before frosting.

For the coffee syrup:

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon espresso coffee granules/powder
1 teaspoon chocolate extract

Combine water, sugar, and coffee in a small saucepan.  Over low to medium heat, bring to a boil, mixing constantly until sugar and coffee are dissolved completely.  Remove from heat then stir in the chocolate extract.  Set aside to cool.

For the mascarpone filling/frosting:

250g tub of mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 cups chilled thickened/heavy cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon coffee extract

Using chilled bowl and beaters, whip together the thickened cream, sugar and coffee extract until stiff.  Fold in the mascarpone cheese until well combined.


You will also need:
about 1/2 - 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
sponge (lady) fingers or savoiardi biscuits, about 24-30 (depending on size of biscuits and cake)
ribbon (optional)

1. Cut the two cakes horizontally in half. (We only need three layers, so set aside one of the top layers for snacking later).

2. Place one bottom layer, cut side up on your cake board.  Brush the entire surface with coffee syrup.  Be careful not to over soak your cake.  On the other hand, do not scrimp on the syrup too as you will not get enough of the coffee flavour.

3. Spread about a 1/4" thick mascarpone filling evenly over your cake layer.  Dust some cocoa powder over the filling then top with your second cake layer (cut side down, top of cake up).

4. Brush coffee syrup, spread filling, and dust cocoa powder as before.  Top with the last cake layer (cut side down, bottom side up).

5. Again, brush surface with coffee syrup, then spread remaining frosting on top and sides of the cake.

6. Dust cocoa powder over the cake top.  (I used a lattice stencil to achieve the pattern in my cake.  Nicer finish, but not necessary). Stick the lady fingers around the cake sides.  Tie a ribbon around if you like.

There you go!  A great, special occasion cake right from your own kitchen. That wasn't too hard, was it?

Enjoy! Have a blessed Easter!


  1. Lovely tiramisu Corinne..looks very soft..If i use large eggs how many pieces do i need for the chiffon? and if i use plain flour instead of cake flour substitute(with corn flour) how many cups do i need for this recipe?..Thanks alot..more power.

    1. Hi Zen,

      Large eggs would probably do. I just like using extra large and sometimes, even jumbo eggs.

      I actually used 2 cups plain flour for this cake (just because I wanted to try it). It turned out very light and soft. Just be careful when brushing on the syrup. Do not put too much or your cake might get soggy.

    2. I forgot to say you can use the same number of eggs.

  2. hi corinne! this cake looks heavenly! i'll try to bake it on my spare time and let you know of the outcome. i just want to ask you 2 things, could i: 1)substitute cocoa powder instead of chocolate extract for the coffee syrup, and 2) use coffee granules instead of coffee extract for the mascarpone filling/frosting? thanks for your time.


    1. Yes, you can use the substitutes you mentioned. Please determine the amounts to use to suit your taste.

  3. Hi Corinne,
    Lovely cake..I have notice that you love chiffon, so do I..Just want to ask about flour measurement in all you chiffon, if i use plain flour how many cups will i use..cake flour is very rare from where i am..thank u.

    1. As I have said in an earlier comment, I actually used 2 cups of plain flour for this cake instead of the 2 1/4 cups cake flour. The resulting cake was very soft, almost lacking in structure. It is really best to use cake flour when it calls for it.

  4. Hi Corinne, your Tiramisu looks fabulous! I like the use of lady fingers around the cake. I normally use cognac or marsala with coffee whenever I make one. I always use lady fingers instead of chiffon cake. I'll try your recipe next time. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. hi corinne,
    im jubi from the philippines. i have been trying your chiffon cake recipes for sometime now. so far they never fail me.except for the mocha cake, i didnt know which part i did wrong and the cake end up dry-.-

    i will try this tiramisu cake. hopefully it will turn outa soft chiffon cake:) thankyou for your recipes. :)

    1. Hi Jubi,

      All the chiffon cake recipes here are basically the same, just minor variations in flavour. So in essence, if you master the process of one, you'll be able to master them all.

      If your mocha cake turned out dry, it could be that you had overbeaten your eggwhites or your cake was overbaked.

  6. We just had this for lunch. I followed your recipe as is. My baby ate a slice and his kuya ate two slices, loved it! We like it creamy like this, and not eggy like the traditional Tiramisu. Thank you!

  7. Corrine,

    I am just curious why non-stick pans needed to be used? I have non-stick pans but i'll get regular pans if the cake will turn out better that way.

    1. A chiffon cake needs to be baked in a regular, aluminium pan because the cake needs to stick to the sides while it rises. If you use a non stick pan, the cake will rise but as soon as you take it out of the oven, it will pull away from the sides and will sink.

  8. Hi Corrinne, can I use "Cream Cheese" instead of mascarpone cheese? Thanks!

    1. You can BUT I do not recommend it. The two cheeses do not taste the same.

  9. Hi Corinne, where can I buy chocolate extract and coffee extract in Australia? Thank you!!

    1. I bought mine online:

    2. Thanks again, I tried this cake last night using the extracts I purchased from the link you provided to me. I found there was still a strong alcohol taste due to the extracts, did I do something wrong? I followed your recipe exactly as is. Please advise :) thank you!!

    3. I suppose it is really a matter of taste. To me, the alcohol is barely noticeable. There is really very little amount of alcohol in these extracts for it to stand out.

      If you want, you can do away with the extracts and just substitute cocoa powder and instant coffee for the respective extracts. Please experiment on the amounts as I have not tried doing this myself.

    4. Thank you for all your advice :)

      I'm going to try all your recipes!

  10. Hi ms. CorInne...

    Thanks sooo much for sharing ur fabulous recipes! I just have a question regarding this recipe... I can find any coffee or chocolate extract... U said that coffee granules and cocoa powder would help... How much of it do I need to add??? Thanks sooo much and more power!

    1. I have not personally tried substituting so please experiment. Just add a bit of cocoa powder to the syrup, then taste. Same goes with the coffee. Dissolve coffee in a little warm water, then add to your frosting a little at a time, tasting as you go.

  11. Here in the Philippines can't find mascarpone cheese. Any alternative?

    1. You can probably use cream cheese but it won't be the same.

  12. Corinne, I don't have any of the pans that you listed here, but I do have two 9-inch by 3-inch-high round pans and a 10-inch by 3-inch-high round pan. Would any of these do for this recipe?

    1. This amount of cake batter is suitable for a 10x3, with a little leftover which I usually bake in a small 3x7 loaf pan. I only fill the 10x3 about 2/3 full.

      If you decide to use the 10x3, perhaps you can just do two layers? It might be hard to slice the cake into 3 as it is very delicate.

  13. hi ate corinne, ask ko lng po..what if I don't have a heavy cream (I really can't find it po tlga dto s vancouver)..can I substitute whipping cream instead? thanks po!

    1. Yes basta 35% or more milk fat para mag whip mabuti.

  14. hi miss Corinne, i made last night and it was a hit, thank you so much, when i posted on fb a friend wants to order:) though i didnt put lady fingers around ,still a hit , thank you :)