Sunday, October 17, 2021

Tiramisu Cake

I’ve had my eye on this Tiramisu Cake for a while, but I always thought I wasn’t a good enough baker to make something so lovely. But since I’ve had some practice with cakes and buttercream frosting, I decided to give it a shot. I went into this feeling like my cake disasters were behind me and expected this to be a Pinterest success. And maybe that’s where I went wrong. As you can see from the image, my Tiramisu Cake wasn’t anywhere close to the beautiful pictures with the recipe. Well, I like to look at failures as learning experiences. Read on to find out what I think I did wrong and how I learned from my mistakes.

This Tiramisu Cake turns your favourite Italian dessert into a delicious and decadent layer cake. Coffee soaked layers paired with mascarpone buttercream.

Recipe Author: Olivia at Liv for Cake
Get the recipe

The Ingredients

This cake recipe had quite a few ingredients, but nothing was difficult to find. In fact, it was a nice balance of things on hand versus things I needed to buy.

I had a lot of staple items like flour and sugar on hand. That left me to buy the dairy items like buttermilk, mascarpone cheese, and butter. I also had to buy the ladyfingers, but my regular grocery store had it all. No special trips required.

Tiramisu Cake Ingredients
Coffee liqueur, ladyfinger cookies, flour, buttermilk, baking powder, salt, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, butter, espresso powder, and cocoa powder

The Process

This recipe is kind of complicated, but it was broken down into manageable steps. The main steps were making the coffee syrup, making the cake, making the frosting, and assembling it all. Here’s how my time broke down:

  • 58 minutes to make the cake and frosting
  • 40 minutes to cool the cake
  • 13 minutes to assemble
  • 20 minutes to chill the assembled cake
  • 13 minutes to finish frosting and decorate
  • 2 hours 24 minutes total

That’s in line with the 2 hours 35 minutes listed on the recipe. Now let’s talk about each step.

Sliced tiramisu cake
Sliced tiramisu cake

The Coffee Syrup

This was the easiest part. I just boiled all but the Kahlua and stirred until the sugar and coffee crystals dissolved. Then I removed the saucepan from the heat, added the Kahlua, and set it all aside to cool. I didn’t time it separately, but it only took a few minutes.

The Cake

Now that I had the coffee syrup out of the way, I moved onto the cake. This part went smoothly, and I really didn’t have any trouble following along. I did almost miss adding the vanilla though, so be on the lookout for it in step 3. You don’t want to end up with flavorless cake!

Again, I didn’t time this part separately, but I had the cake pans in the oven in about 30 minutes. They were ready to go onto the wire cooling racks 35 minutes later.

Creaming butter and sugar for the cake
Creaming butter and sugar for the cake

The Frosting

This was the second easiest part of the recipe, next to the coffee syrup. Really, all it is is mixing the ingredients in a stand mixer. I had the frosting mixed up before the cakes were ready to come out of the oven.


I ordered a new cake leveler just for this recipe, and I’m happy to say it was as easy to use as I thought it would be. Unfortunately, the rest of this part didn’t go so smoothly.

First up, my cakes were very thin. I was able to slice each one into two layers, for a total of four layers, but just barely. I’m not sure if it was me or the recipe, but I do have some cake disasters in my past.

With the cake layers ready, I started assembling on my cake stand. Add a layer, soak with four tablespoons of coffee syrup, dust with cocoa powder, frost, repeat. Things seemed like they were back on track until I started trying to spread the frosting on the first layer. It was kind of chunky.

I managed to get all the layers assembled, topping them off with a layer of plain cake (no syrup, cocoa powder, or frosting). Then I put it into the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes before finishing.

A quick Google told me the butter hadn’t warmed up enough before I blended it and gave me a fix. I was so sure I had given it enough time to warm to room temperature, but I must not have. I followed the instructions and got the frosting too thin, but I thickened it up with a little more powdered sugar. More mixing and the texture was better but not perfect.

The closeup view is after I ‘fixed’ it. It seemed like the smooth texture I achieved with the fix just reverted to the chunky texture. I don’t understand what happened!

A closeup view of the frosting
A closeup view of the frosting

So how was it?

Clear & Accurate Directions
Accurate Time(s)
Despite the issue with the frosting, this cake was amazing! It was everything I expect from tiramisu: Coffee-soaked layers of vanilla cake dusted with cocoa powder plus creamy mascarpone vanilla frosting. And I loved the decorative ladyfinger cookies. My first attempt at this recipe wasn't the gorgeous centerpiece I imagined it would be, but the taste makes it worth trying again.
I'm Candice, and I'm The Hungry Pinner. I created this blog to share my love for cooking and my experiences with the MANY recipes I've found on Pinterest over the years. Join me as I blog my way through those recipes to find out if they are worth trying yourself.


All comments are reviewed before they are posted and will not appear immediately.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Turkish Menemen

Turkish Menemen is a delightfully flavorful egg and tomato dish that's perfect for a weekend breakfast, brunch, or even a weeknight dinner.

I'm social