This Tiramisu Cheesecake is a decadent culinary masterpiece that blends the sophistication of tiramisu with the creamy allure of cheesecake. Crafted with a delicate rum-infused ladyfinger crust followed by a velvety espresso-flavored mascarpone and cream cheese filling, this is an incredibly delicious twist on the Italian dessert. Whether you’re a lover of traditional tiramisu or a cheesecake connoisseur, this recipe is an absolute showstopper.
What is tiramisu cheesecake?
Tiramisu Cheesecake is a scrumptious dessert that flawlessly marries two beloved classics: tiramisu and cheesecake. It takes the luxurious elements of traditional tiramisu and perfectly combines them with the creamy richness of a baked cheesecake.
It’s a delightful creation that features a velvety smooth cheesecake filling made with cream cheese and mascarpone infused with a touch of espresso powder. The creamy filling is then seated on a delicate crust crafted from finely ground lady fingers mixed with a splash of rum for that distinct tiramisu flavor. The result is a heavenly dessert that combines the creamy, tangy goodness of cheesecake with the bold, aromatic notes of Italian tiramisu.
But don’t let the idea of making tiramisu cheesecake intimidate you! This recipe is surprisingly easy to follow, even for novice bakers. With my clear set of instructions and some handy tips, you’ll be able to create a stunning dessert that tastes like it came straight out of a professional bakery.
9-inch Springform Pan: Needed for baking. This recipe was designed for a 9 inch springform pan. A smaller pan will not work.
Large Roasting Pan: To make a water bath for baking the tiramisu cheesecake.
Food Processor: To finely grind the ladyfingers for the crust.
Mixing Bowls: For combining the ingredients and creating the cheesecake batter, you’ll need a large bowl and a medium bowl.
Electric Mixer: To whip the cream cheese, mascarpone, and heavy cream to perfection. You can use a stand mixer if you prefer.
Whisk: To whisk the whole eggs and egg yolks together.
Rubber Spatula: Ideal for scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl.
Piping Bag: Used for decorating.
Large Round Tip: To create a decorative whipped cream border.
Fine Mesh Sieve: Used to dust the cheesecake with cocoa powder.
Grater: For grating chocolate as a finishing touch.
Serving Platter: To present the final masterpiece.
To create this irresistible tiramisu cheesecake, a selection of ingredients that bring together the best of both worlds are used. Each ingredient plays a crucial role in achieving the perfect balance of a creamy cheesecake and the unmistakable essence of tiramisu.
24 Ladyfingers: These delicate sponge cookies are used in traditional tiramisu and provide a light and crispy base for the cheesecake.
¼ cup Unsalted Butter: Melted butter adds richness and acts as a binding agent for the crust.
2 tablespoons Dark Rum: This ingredient adds a subtle hint of boozy flavor that is reminiscent of traditional tiramisu. You can also use Marsala wine. If you prefer a non-alcoholic version, you can substitute the rum with an equal amount of strong coffee.
Tiramisu Cheesecake Filling:
24 oz Cream Cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese at room temperature for the best results. It provides a creamy cheesecake base and tanginess that complements the other flavors in the cheesecake.
8 oz Mascarpone Cheese: This is a classic tiramisu ingredient and adds another layer of creaminess. If needed, you can substitute it with cream cheese.
1 cup Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the filling to perfection by balancing the tanginess of the cheese.
2 tablespoons Flour: The addition of all-purpose flour helps to stabilize the cheesecake as it bakes.
2 teaspoons Espresso Powder: This ingredient infuses the cheesecake with espresso flavor. If you don’t have instant espresso powder, you can substitute it with instant coffee granules to make the coffee flavored filling.
4 Whole Eggs: The eggs provide structure. It’s important to use room-temperature eggs for optimal blending.
2 Egg Yolks: The addition of room-temperature egg yolks adds further richness.
¼ cup Sour Cream: Enhances the creaminess of the filling and adds a slight tanginess. You can use Greek yogurt can as a substitute.
½ tablespoon Vanilla Extract: Adds a subtle hint of vanilla flavor. You can also use vanilla bean paste or the seeds scraped from a vanilla bean for a more intense vanilla taste.
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream: Whipped to form a light and fluffy topping for the tiramisu cheesecake. Make sure the cream is very cold for the best results.
1 tablespoon Powdered Sugar: Also known as confectioners sugar, it’s used to sweeten the whipped cream.
1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder: Used to dust the top of the cheesecake. For the best flavor, use Dutch processed cocoa powder.
2 oz Semisweet Chocolate: Grated chocolate is sprinkled on top of the cheesecake as a final finishing touch.
How to make this recipe step-by-step
Making this tiramisu cheesecake recipe may sound complicated. But with these easy step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to master this delicious dessert with confidence. From preparing the ladyfinger crust to achieving the perfect creamy filling and topping, this recipe guides you through each stage of the process.
Make the crust
1. Preheat the oven
Before you even begin, you need to preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) so that it’s ready to go. Then generously grease a 9-inch springform cake pan with butter (photo 1) and line the bottom with parchment paper (photo 2) to keep your cheesecake from sticking. Note, a slightly larger springform cake pan will also work but a smaller one will not.
2. Make the ladyfinger mixture
Once your pan is prepped, you can begin making the crust. First, use a food processor and pulse the ladyfingers into fine crumbs (photo 3). Then put the crumbs into a medium bowl and mix them with the melted butter and dark rum until well combined (photo 4).
3. Form the crust
Now, pour the ladyfinger mixture into the prepared pan and use the bottom of a glass or your fingers to press the crumbs firmly into the bottom to form a crust (photo 5). Make sure the crust covers the entire bottom and reaches the edges of the pan.
4. Bake the crust
Finally, transfer the crust to the preheated oven and bake it for 6 minutes. Then remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool while you make the filling (photo 6). The crust should be completely cooled before it’s filled.
Make the tiramisu cheesecake
1. Lower the oven temperature
Once you’ve baked your crust, it’s important to lower the oven temperature to 325°F (163°C) in preparation for baking the cheesecake. Avoid the temptation to bake the cheesecake at 350°F (177°C), as even a small temperature difference can significantly affect the final outcome of the dessert.
2. Make the base of the filling
Now, you can begin making the creamy filling by whipping the room-temperature cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar together for about 3 minutes on medium speed with an electric mixer (photo 1). When the mixture is ready it should be lump-free and smooth. Next, add the all-purpose flour and espresso powder (photo 2) and then mix on medium-low speed until fully combined.
3. Whisk the eggs
In a separate bowl, whisk together the room-temperature whole eggs and egg yolks (photo 3). This step helps you to incorporate them smoothly into the batter. Next, add half of the egg mixture to the cream cheese mixture, mixing at low speed until fully combined (photo 4). Then repeat the process with the remaining half of the whisked eggs.
4. Complete the batter
Finally, mix in the sour cream and vanilla extract on low speed (photo 5). You should use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. The final tiramisu cheesecake batter should be fully combined but not overmixed.
Now, pour the batter evenly over the cooled crust in the pan (photo 6). If needed, you can use an offset spatula or spoon to smooth the surface.
Bake the cheesecake
1. Make the water bath
This next step is important and helps to regulate the temperature and prevent the cheesecake from drying out or cracking on the surface. First, securely wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan with aluminum foil (photo 1) to prevent any water from seeping into the pan. Then place your foil-wrapped cheesecake into a larger roasting pan and fill it with about half an inch of hot water (photo 2).
2. Bake the cheesecake
To bake, carefully transfer the roasting pan with the cheesecake to the center rack of your preheated hot oven. Then bake it for approximately 80 to 90 minutes or until the cheesecake is set but the center still has a very slight jiggle.
Once your tiramisu cheesecake is done baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for about 15 minutes in the water bath. This gradual cooling helps prevent any sudden temperature changes that may cause cracks in the cheesecake. Then remove the cheesecake and put it on a wire rack to finish cooling to room temperature.
3. Wrap and freeze the cheesecake
After the cheesecake has cooled, wrap the entire pan with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer overnight (photo 3). This step helps the cheesecake to set.
The next day, remove your cheesecake from the freezer. Next, let it thaw out on the counter for a few minutes, and then release it from the springform pan. Now, place the cheesecake on a serving platter and put it in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours to finish defrosting.
Decorate and serve
1. Make the whipped cream
When ready to serve, make the whipped cream by using an electric mixer to whip the cold heavy cream together with the powdered sugar until stiff peaks form (photo 1). This process takes a few minutes and the mixture should be light and fluffy when you’re done. But be careful not to overbeat the cream or it can turn into butter.
Next, transfer the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip for piping (photo 2). If you aren’t going to decorate your tiramisu cheesecake right away you need to put the whipped cream into the fridge.
2. Decorate and enjoy
After you make the whipped cream, use a fine mesh sieve to give the top of the cheesecake a dusting of cocoa powder. Then pipe the whipped cream around the border. Now, sprinkle some grated semi-sweet chocolate on the top for a final touch of decadence, and serve yourself a slice of tiramisu cheesecake!
Expert Baking Tips
Choose full-fat cream cheese, mascarpone, and sour cream to achieve the proper texture. Low-fat versions contain too much water for cheesecake recipes.
Make sure the cream cheese, mascarpone, eggs, and sour cream are all at room temperature before beginning. This ensures smoother blending and a creamier texture.
Don’t overmix the batter. When combining the cheesecake mixture with the eggs, flour, and other ingredients, mix just until fully combined. Overmixing can create excess air and potentially lead to cracks.
Use a water bath for baking. The water bath provides a gentle and even heat distribution, helping to prevent the cheesecake from drying out or cracking.
Avoid opening the oven door while your cheesecake is baking. Sudden temperature changes can cause uneven baking and potential cracks.
Your cheesecake is ready when the center is just barely jiggling. It’s also considered done when the internal temperature reaches 150°F (66°C).
For the whipped cream topping, chill the mixing bowl and beaters in the refrigerator before whipping the cream. Cold equipment helps the cream whip up faster.
This tiramisu cheesecake recipe is undeniably delicious, but you can easily tailor this dessert to match any occasion or satisfy your personal preferences. These are just a few tempting ideas to elevate your cheesecake.
Hazelnut: Replace the rum with hazelnut liqueur.
Cookie Crust: Make your crust out of chocolate sandwich cookies, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, or shortbread cookies.
Nutella: Drizzle Nutella over your cheesecake before serving.
Matcha: Use matcha powder in place of the espresso powder and cocoa powder.
Individual Cheesecake Cups: You can make tiramisu cheesecake in individual cups or ramekins. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to adjust the baking time.
Other recipes to try:
How to store?
You can store the whole cheesecake or individual slices. In either case, it’s important to place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent air exposure and maintain freshness. The cheesecake can then be refrigerated or frozen.
How long will it keep?
Properly stored cheesecake can typically be kept in the refrigerator for about 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Why did my cheesecake crack?
Cheesecakes can crack due to several reasons which include overbaking, sudden temperature changes, overmixing, and improper cooling. To minimize cracks, make sure to follow the recipe instructions. However, even if cracks occur, they don’t affect the yummy taste.
How do I fix a cracked cheesecake?
The best method is to wait until the cheesecake is cold and then use hot water and an offset spatula. First, heat the offset spatula in hot water, dry it, and then gently smooth out the cracks of your cheesecake with the heated spatula. Another way is to fill the cracks with more cream cheese.
Can I use whipped topping instead of making homemade whipped cream?
Yes! You can use a store-bought whipped topping as a convenient alternative. However, the flavor and consistency may vary slightly.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes! Once it’s defrosted, simply keep it in the refrigerator and serve it up to 2 days later.
24 ladyfingers¼ cup unsalted butter melted2 Tbsp dark rum
24 oz cream cheese at room temperature8 oz mascarpone cheese at room temperature1 cup granulated sugar2 Tbsp flour2 tsp espresso powder4 whole eggs at room temperature2 egg yolks at room temperature¼ cup sour cream at room temperature½ Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream very cold1 Tbsp powdered sugar1 Tbsp cocoa powder2 oz semisweet chocolate