What is tiramisu cake?

What is tiramisu cake?

A coffee-lover’s dream, just like the traditional Italian dessert, tiramisu cake is the perfect ‘pick me up’! But what actually is a tiramisu cake, and how is it different from the popular dessert?  In this article, we are going to explore what tiramisu is, the ingredients in tiramisu cake and why we have decided to incorporate the flavours into a delicious cupcake. Let’s get into it.

What is tiramisu?

The word ‘tiramisu’ literally translates into ‘pick me up’.  The traditional tiramisu recipe, originating from Treviso, includes lady finger biscuits dipped in coffee, egg yolks, sugar, mascarpone cheese and bitter cocoa powder. Over time, however, this recipe had been adapted and changed to suit the tastes of the person eating it. For example, plenty of tiramisu recipes include alcohol of some kind. Dark rum is the most popular alcohol to use in tiramisu, but other recipes include coffee liqueur, amaretto, or marsala wine as a substitute.


What is tiramisu cake?

Tiramisu cake takes all of the delicious flavours and textures of traditional tiramisu and reinvents it into cake form. Rather than soaking lady fingers, a type of sponge is coated with a rich coffee syrup and coated in mascarpone mousse, whipped cream and cocoa powder.

Many layered tiramisu cakes use genoise sponge as the base. Genoise is a light, fluffy sponge cake, made with whipped eggs as the leavening agent, rather than baking powder or bicarbonate of soda. It is known for its delicate texture, and is often used as the mixture for homemade lady fingers (which is why it is the chosen sponge for most tiramisu cakes).

Once the genoise sponge has baked and cooled, it is soaked in coffee and - if you choose - alcohol, before being filled with a light, fluffy mascarpone sabayon (a custard-like sauce) mixture, frosted with whipped cream and sprinkled with cocoa powder.

How to decorate tiramisu cake

Because of the delicate nature of genoise sponge, decorating a tiramisu cake may be slightly more tricky than other, denser sponge cakes. However, it is possible to create some beautiful decorations for your tiramisu cake, but you have to make sure to refrigerate it for long enough to ensure it is sturdy, and try to use a steady hand.

As well as this, because the sponge is soaked in liquid, the coffee mixture will settle so it is important to refrigerate it for at least 4-6 hours, but preferably overnight, before icing the outside of the cake. After refrigerating, the texture of the cake will be stronger, making it easier to pipe or spread your icing mixture.

One of the simplest ways to decorate a tiramisu cake is to use the excess mascarpone cream filling as icing. However, if you want to add an extra level of sweetness to your cake, you may want to use buttercream instead. If you are icing with buttercream, make sure you put the cake in the fridge for around an hour after icing so that the buttercream sets.

Once you have iced the outside of your cake, feel free to decorate it as you wish. Our favourite way of decorating is to have a simple, elegant finish. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle cocoa powder or chocolate shavings over the top for that extra flourish.

Tiramisu cupcakes

You don’t have to make a huge tiramisu. In fact, we don’t! Rather than offering a simple tiramisu inspired layered cake - we have decided to change it up a bit. Enter: our tiramisu flavoured cupcakes!

These cupcakes consist of a delicious vanilla sponge that has been drenched in a single origin espresso, spiked with coffee liqueur, to give that extra kick of coffee and hint of boozy flavour. In case it doesn’t sound indulgent enough, we fill each of our tiramisu cupcakes with a decadent dark chocolate ganache centre and top them with a Marsala-infused mascarpone buttercream, thickly piped in a beautiful pattern to ensure that every bite is delicious. Finally, it’s finished with a generous dusting of organic cocoa powder to achieve the luxurious chocolate taste that we’ve come to associate with the Italian classic.