This sumptuous Tiramisu Trifle makes a statement for any party! Layers upon layers of espresso-soaked Italian ladyfinger cookies and tiramisu cream make for a show-stopping dessert.
Every good party needs a signature something. Whether it’s a fancy cocktail, an addictive appetizer or a stunner of a dessert, you want to send your guests home with something to talk about.
Enter this Tiramisu Trifle. It’s just like tiramisu, only there are more layers of heaven.
I tried a bite of tiramisu at a fancy restaurant with my parents once as a kid, and was decidedly not a fan. But I tried it again in my early 20s, a newfound lover of both coffee and booze, and was sold.
Tiramisu is a sweet, layered Italian dessert. On the bottom is a layer of savoiardi or ladyfinger cookies that have been soaked in espresso and booze.
This is your choice of the traditional Marsala wine, coffee liqueur, dark rum, port, brandy, Madeira or Irish cream. So many choices! (I used The Kraken Black Spiced Rum — amazing.)
The next layer is a mixture of whipped cream, mascarpone cheese and zabaglione, which is a cooked mixture of egg, sugar and booze.
And each layer is dusted with cocoa powder. Repeat the layers a few times. Always make it a few hours ahead of when you’ll need it so the savoiardi cookies will become soaked through with the coffee and liqueur to make a creamy dessert. So blissful.
The biggest difference between a regular tiramisu and this Tiramisu Trifle? The dish it’s served in.
Trifles are beautiful, layered desserts that make a statement at parties. They are usually served in a trifle bowl (affiliate link), which has a wide bowl with a stand on the bottom. Sometimes they have fancy lids, too.
I love how trifles add a little height to a tablescape of party food! Plus, a quick recall of fourth grade volume math will tell you that a deeper container allows for more layers of sumptuous, luscious tiramisu.
This beauty is perfect for bridal or baby shower, or for just having a group of people over to dinner. This Tiramisu Trifle definitely makes a statement! // susannah
1 hrPrep Time
4 hrCook Time
5 hrTotal Time
- Make the zabaglione. In a saucepan, fill 1/3 with water and bring to a boil.
- While you wait, find a double-boiler to fit over the top. You can use a mixing bowl that will fit over the top without touching the water. While the bowl is not on the saucepan, add the 5 egg yolks to the mixing bowl. Whisk in 1/4 cup of sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the yolks turn pale in color. Transfer the bowl to the saucepan with the simmering water.
- Add 1/2 cup of liqueur (see note) to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.
- Make the cream mixture. Add the mascarpone cheese to a mixing bowl and stir until smooth. In a stand mixer or a mixing bowl, whip together whipping cream and remaining 4 tablespoons sugar until almost stiff. Gently fold the mascarpone cheese into the whipped cream mixture. Then gently fold in the chilled zabaglione (egg yolk mixture). Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
- Make the tiramisu.In a small bowl, combine brewed espresso, vanilla extract and remaining 1/4 cup liqueur.
- Arrange the ladyfingers in a single layer in the bottom of a trifle bowl . (You may need to cut some of the ladyfingers into smaller pieces to thoroughly fit in the circle.) Spoon slightly less than a tablespoon of the espresso mixture over each ladyfinger cookie.
- Smoothly spread a layer of the cream mixture onto the ladyfingers. Sift a layer of cocoa powder over top.
- Repeat layers 6-8 times with ladyfingers, espresso, cream, cocoa powder. (My trifle had 7 layers of each.) Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours to allow the cookies to soften. To serve, spoon out helpings onto plates. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
For the liqueur, Marsala wine is traditionally used. But you can also substitute coffee liqueur, dark rum (my favorite!), port, brandy, Madeira or Irish cream. Each will bring a different flavor, so experiment and see what you like!