Tiramisu Layer Cake

tiramisu cake brick background with logo

Hello, lovelies! Hopefully you caught last week’s Almond and Amaretto Cookie Fudge recipe. If so, then you already know I’m on an amaretto kick. I had some of those delicious little cookies left over, so I figured what better way to use them then to do a Tiramisu inspired layer cake. 🙂

top of the tiramisu cake

I know that most of my cake entries focus on decorating alone, but for this one I think the flavors are the true star of the show (Plus my original design idea went to sh!t so this one isn’t that complicated! :P). You will need a few recipes though, the first one being a vanilla sponge cake. I used Gretchen’s Bakery’s Hot Milk Sponge. It’s insanely good, and if you follow her directions you shouldn’t have any problems. Really any vanilla cake will do though. You’ll also need a recipes for the mascarpone cake filling and cream cheese frosting, both of which I will provide at the end of this post. To make the coffee simple syrup, just add 1 cup water to 1 cup sugar in a sauce pan, bring it to a boil for 5 minutes, then stir in 1 tsp of instant coffee or espresso powder.

tiramisu cake slanted view

The cake design couldn’t be easier. You’ll need a cake spatula (flat or offset), a 1M or star tip for the frosting blobs at the top, and some gold dust (optional). So with all that said, let’s get started!

First, we’ll build up the layers. Take your first layer and soak it with some of that coffee flavored simple syrup. If you are using a sponge cake, this is a must! It helps to keep the layers moist. You can use regular simple syrup, but coffee is a signature flavor of tiramisu.

coffee soaked layer

Now, using your 1M or large star tip, pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of the cake. This will act as a dam to hold in our filling.

tiramisu buttercream damn

Add your filling inside the dam. You could just use a spoon here, but I used another piping bag.

Tiramisu cake adding the filling

Now sprinkle on some crushed amaretto cookies. Yum. *-*

Tiramisu cake adding the amaretto cookies

You’ll keep repeating this process depending on how many cake layers you have. I had three, so I did it twice.

tiramisu cake repeating the layers

Once the cake has been built up, check to make sure that it is perfectly lined up and vertical before adding your straws for support (I didn’t make sure mine was vertical and ended up with a crooked cake!).

tiramisu adding support

To get this textured frosting look, just ice the outside of your cake (you don’t have to be neat here) then, starting at the bottom, hold your spatula up against the cake and work your way up as you turn your turntable. Once you’re happy with the way it looks, place the cake in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes so that it firms up.

swirl design with spatula

Once the icing has set, dust the top with some cocoa powder and pipe on some blobs of frosting.

 tiramisu cake after cocoa powder

Stick a tiny amaretto cookie into each blob! This is actually where I wish I would have stopped decorating. But you know me.

cake before gold

I like to try and jazz it up! I painted some gold along every ridge of frosting that my spatula created.

 tiramisu cake adding the gold

Even adding some detail on each little blob (Remember to chill the cake again before attempting this)

painted buttercream swirls

And what I ended up being left with was this this super creamy, yet also sort of festive looking cake. Is it too early for festive????

close up brick background tiramisu

One of the biggest mistakes I ran into with this cake was trying to get the icing to the right consistency. Cream cheese frosting can be such a biotch. My first batch started out way too thick, but then when I added some milk to thin it out it became way too thin. So then I had to add sugar, making it way too thick again–ugh. My only advice is to use a good quality full fat cream cheese and double check your ratios. The fat in your frosting should be 1 part butter to 1 part cream cheese, by weight. Or to put it another way, 2 sticks of butter for every 1 8oz package of cream cheese. Cream cheese frosting, being so creamy, won’t firm up like regular buttercream, so take that into consideration when planning your design.

Overall though, I thought that the flavors in this cake more than made up for it. I’ll be sure to make it again!

Until next time <3

Mascarpone Cream Cheese Cake Filling
Yields 2
A deliciously smooth cake filling that isn't too sweet!
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
For the mascarpone filling
  1. 1 stick (113 grams) of unsalted butter
  2. 4 oz (half a brick) of cream cheese (whipped is fine)
  3. 4 oz (half a tub) of mascarpone cheese
  4. 1 cup (115 g) of powdered/confectionery sugar
  5. 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  6. 1 pinch of salt
For the cream cheese frosting
  1. 1 stick (113 grams) of unsalted butter
  2. 4 oz (half a brick) of cream cheese
  3. 1 lb (approx 3 3/4 cups, or half a bag) of powdered sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 1-2 tbsp of milk, if needed
For the mascarpone filling
  1. Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
  2. Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and mascarpone cheese.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.
For the cream cheese frosting
  1. Make sure the ingredients are at room temperature.
  2. Cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  3. Add the sugar one cup at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
  4. Add the salt and vanilla, then increase the speed to medium and allow to mix for 1-2 minutes.
  5. If frosting is too thick, add 1 tsp of milk at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

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