Posted by: The Saffa Mom | June 21, 2011

The Dummies Recipe to Alcohol Free Tiramisu!

“Pick me up” the English Translation for the word “Tiramisu” in Italian. 

Let me honestly say that i don’t think there has been many occasions in which a spoonful of heaven in the form of this dessert has not “picked me up” and put me on a positive high.

Traditionally, it is a sponge dessert soaked in coffee, laced with a small amount of alcohol, and then layered with mascarpone cheese and chocolate. 

“Small amount” is truly perceived differently by everyone I know when it comes to alcohol, and so there have been occasions in which i have not been able to enjoy it at all. It is so easy to DESTROY! (One Christmas I am convinced that my gran used a cup of stroh rum. She denied it. Needless to say we just couldn’t eat it. Dissapointing when you are so looking forward to it.)   

Many of the recipes i came across seemed like too much work, until i started doing some serious googling and manipulating, and came up with this. It is so simple to make, and what is even better- I removed the alcohol part. (This may be a little dissapointing to many of you, so i have included a little note regarding alcohol within the recipe. I personally would prefer to be drinking the stuff!)   


The Dish I use is a glass rectangular bowl which is approximately 30cm by 15 cm (going from memory here), and probably 7 cm deep. (I am telling you this so you know how i get these quantities. The first time i made it, i didn’t have enough of the good stuff- so it almost felt like I was skimping, when in fact i should have used a smaller dish to begin with.)  

  • 2 tubs/500 grams of Mascarpone Cheese (to this day i wander why they call this a cheese, when it most certainly is anything but)
  • 2 cups/500 ml of Whipping Cream
  • 3/4 cup of castor sugar (little more or less is not really an issue. This portion however, is not TOO sweet- it is just right)
  • 2 and a bit cups/ 600 ml of cooled expresso (you could make instant coffee, but use something decent and not weak) If you would like to add alcohol- here would be the point. I would suggest 3-5 tablespoons of Frangelico or Kahlua. 
  • 2 packets/about 40 finger biscuits (to be safe- dont want to run out of your base)
  • Slab of Dark Chocolate (I used Milk Chocolate because the grocery store I went to had no other option, but i would have preferred to use Dark Chocolate. You wont use the whole slab, the rest is for you too snack on while waiting for the pudding to take full bloom)

This is not a dessert you whip up 10 minutes before your guests arrive. (I learn’t this through experience). It needs to sit and really get comfortable with itself. I would suggest that you make it the night before, or at least 4 hours before you introduce it officially to your guests. (Perhaps think hard about not wasting it on guests though.)

1. Cream the Mascarpone Cheese and Castor Sugar together.

2. In a seperate bowl, whip the cream until it is quite firm, and forms those peak like structures. (Not butter though.)

3. Fold the Mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream. Keep folding until the mixture has formed a serious love affair. (If you can hold back from tasting this concuction- well done! It is too delicious. I think some people may be tempted at this point to stop and just dip the finger biscuits. Would save some serious time.)

4. Lay the finger biscuits into the bowl, covering the bottom as much as possible. (You really want to avoid any spaces. It would be quite difficult if you were using a round bowl.)

5. Take a tablespoon, to help control yourself, and spoon expresso onto each biscuit. Make sure it is covered- the expresso will soak in nicely. (Remember when it is ready- eventually- you don’t want crunchy parts….. so make sure you DO cover each biscuit.) 

6. Spoon part of your beautiful concuction of whipped cream, mascarpone cheese and castor sugar over the expresso soaked biscuits, and spread. You should have more than enough not to be too stingy here.

7. Cover this with grated chocolate. (Go wild!!!)

8. Do steps 1-7 again….

9. Then Cover (because the thought of dirty fingers in there would break your heart), and refrigerate for as long as possible. 

I have recently realised that by making this once, I had to then make it twice, and then…. I caused a “want”, perhaps a “need” in my home.

Apparently they all NEED tiramisu every weekend!

Let me know what you think. xx



  1. I made it a 5am this morning … now I could use a drink 🙂

    • I would agree!
      I dont know how you do it?

  2. YUM! We had some excellent Tiramisu at a new restaurant we tried on Saturday night! Have to ask though what Stroh Rum is???

  3. Do I have to leave out the alcohol? Damn that cheese looks good…I need to run more lol

    • I can see from your Twitter account that swimming is clearly so so so much better.
      I am battling with the treadmill bit at this point in time, my heart almost wants to give up. But i am trying a little. Loving PILATES though. Think i have become addicted to it!!!
      I really do think that alcohol is much nicer drank. But do try either way and let me know.

  4. Tiramisu without alcohol – I dunno seems somehow unnatural!
    Made me hungry just looking at those pictures. 🙂

    • You actually may not even notice it….unless you are like my gran was. Haha.

  5. Have you tried adding a bit of cinnamon to the coffee? I would prefer Tiramisu without alcohol too.

    • I haven’t, but that does sound delicious!

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