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Festive Tiramisu Layer Cake

For Quinn’s recent birthday, I gave him a choice of celebratory cakes. He chose this cake, made in the spirit of one of our favorite things – tiramisu. Granted, my tiramisu making experiences are limited, but we both excel at eating it.

Don’t let the presence of a cake mix in the ingredients fool you. This tiramisu cake is still a good bit of work. If for no other reason than for all the clean-up involved. My freshly-emptied dishwasher was full again after making this cake.

I used a Duncan Hines butter recipe golden cake mix, which turned out to be similar in texture to ladyfingers. The tiramisu filling was simple enough to mix, although I would have liked it to be a bit thicker. In retrospect, I may not have beaten the cream long enough. Although, in my defense, the recipe is pretty vague about what consistency it should be.

Assembly proved to be the most trying part of this cake. The two cake layers are cut in half to make four layers. So, cake layer first, followed by a layer of filling, etc. Now, here’s the problem I had. The tiramisu filling was not thick enough to hold the cake layers in place. So, by the time I got the third layer on, the cake was leaning about 30 degrees. Out came the toothpicks in an effort to stabilize the layers. By the time I finished, there were a few more toothpicks, some language unbecoming to a lady, and a huge mess to clean up.

I did get the layers straightened and set the tiramisu cake in the refrigerator in the hopes that it would set up and stabilize a bit. After about an hour, it had set but not before it slid just a bit. The finished product was just a bit off – maybe an 8 degree lean.

The two chocolate sauces were no problem to make and were definitely worth the effort and more dirty bowls. I did think the chocolate sauce could have been a bit thicker, but I can’t complain about the taste.

Now, for the important part – the taste. Yum. For all the effort and discouragement, the cake was really delicious. The birthday crowd were all very complimentary. And it is a testament to Quinn’s photography skills that we have any kind of decent picture to show you. All in all, it really was a good cake. I will confess that I did tell the birthday revelers to enjoy it because I didn’t think I would be making it again any time soon. I think a traditional tiramisu would have been easier. And definitely less stressful.

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    19 Comments on “Festive Tiramisu Layer Cake”

  1. my first time here. tiramisu is my favourite. it is yum……yum.yummy.

  2. I’m glad you are back! (And the cake is gorgeous!)

  3. Tiramisu is one of my most loved desserts, that and creme brulee, I still have not as yet made it in a cake form, this looks very interesting and your version is just beautiful!

  4. It looks lovely. You take such nice pictures. Sorry about all the clean-up, though.

  5. Wow…not only do I love tiramisu, but this one has my other favorite, chocolate! mmm, and even though you seemed to have a hard time, the picture looks wonderful!

  6. I bet this is a great cake…after all tiramisu is a great dessert.

  7. that is the tallest tiramisu i’ve ever seen. it looks so wonderful. your photograph completely lures me in!

  8. I’m curious about the frosting. Is it the same as the filling between the layers? The recipe doesn’t really seem to have a frosting as such. Either way, it looks way too delicious.

  9. NoBread, the frosting and the filling are one and the same. It just sort of spills over and makes a frosting. I still wish it had been a bit thicker.

  10. I can’t believe I’ve never tried tiramisu yet. This looks so good. I think you did a wonderful job.

  11. Hey Jennifer!

    This cake is beautiful! I’ve made an easy Tiramisu cake before from the book ‘The Cake Mix Doctor’ and although it’s nowhere near as beautiful as yours, it tasted really good! Since I’m not much of a cake baker, I love recipes that start from a mix 😉 But I’m not sure I’m ready for anything with four layers yet!

  12. Hey thats happened to me before … layers of cake sliding down due to the icing ,at my first attempt to make a wedding cake for a friend of mine.It was awful,and even chilling it didn’t help too much .Your slice however looks perfect and hadn’t u mentioned it no one would’ve ever guessed.

  13. Would it be doable to use a springform to do the layering and help keep the whole thing together? I know it could make spreading the filling a little mor difficult, but perhaps the trade-off would be worth it.

  14. Kitchen Princess, that’s a good idea. I think you might be on to something….

  15. Nicole, your cake sounded great also, I think your topping woud do well on jennifers cake, also Kitchen Princess I thing you have a great idea also….thanks to all of you…I am Italian and simply love Tiramisu, but some times it is to expensive to put together,,,,also I make a tiramisu tort make with a white cake mix, that icing was very thin also….in my cake I added 3 heath candy bars cropped fine and added it to the cake batter, then after I iced the cake I added another crushed heath bar…simply delicious…I bet you could add the candy bars to this cake from the cake Dr. and it would be an added attraction to your taste buds,,,what do you think…chio, Bobbie

  16. Pingback: Chocolate-Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake

  17. Hi Jennifer 🙂 I stumbled across this page and I have the perfect solution for you !!!! I do this when I make my tiramisu cake. Get a springform tin and line it with cling film with ends overflowing the tin. Now you do your layering beginning with sponge and then cream and so forth until you reach the top ending with sponge. All you have to do now is cover the cake with the cling film hanging over earlier and refrigerate overnight. It will set beautifully. All you’ve got to do then is open the cling film to expose the cake on top, invert it onto your cake dish, open up the springform and remove the rest of the cling film!! To tidy up the sides you could spread more cream and dust the top with cocoa. I hope I have been clear with my instructions. I am just so excited to share this with you 🙂 Please do visit me

  18. I am interested in making this cake, but your hyperlink does not work for me. Would you mind either e-mailing me the link or putting the link in your reply here on the post? Thanks in advance. I have been thoroughly enjoying browsing the recipes on your site. Come visit when you have a chance. Happy almost Thanksgiving!

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