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Tiramisu for Two

Dive into the decadent layers of this Tiramisu for Two that captures the essence of the classic Italian dessert, tailored for an intimate culinary experience.

a serving of tiramisu for two in a glass footed bowl with the other serving in the background

Tiramisu for Two is perfect for a cozy date night or a special dessert after a home-cooked meal. Made with layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers, rich and creamy mascarpone, and a dusting of cocoa powder, this tiramisu is a testament to the saying that good things come in small packages!

Why You’ll Love This Tiramisu for Two Recipe

  • Perfect portion size: Designed specifically for two, this recipe is ideal for a special occasion or a romantic evening.
  • Simple ingredients, big flavor: With a focus on quality ingredients and the classic flavors of tiramisu, this recipe delivers an impressive taste experience with minimal effort.
  • No special equipment required: Without the need for elaborate kitchen gadgets, this tiramisu comes together beautifully with just a few simple tools, making it accessible for bakers of all skill levels.
  • Impressive presentation: Served in individual glasses, this tiramisu not only tastes divine but also looks elegant and sophisticated, sure to impress your dining companion.
overhead view of ingredients for tiramisu for two

What You’ll Need

See the recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions. Here are some helpful notes about the ingredients required to make your tiramisu for two:

  • Heavy cream – Look for heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.
  • Sugar – Just regular white granulated sugar
  • Mascarpone cheese – Use a good quality mascarpone for the best results. See my note below if you can’t find it in your grocery store.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Espresso or strong brewed coffee – The strong coffee flavor is key to classic tiramisu flavor. Be sure to let it cool before dipping the ladyfingers into it.
  • Coffee liqueur or rum – This is optional but works well to complement the flavors.
  • Ladyfingers – You’ll need Savoiardi ladyfingers, the crispy type, not the soft variety. Savoiardi have a light, airy texture perfect for soaking up the coffee mixture without falling apart, ensuring your tiramisu layers have the ideal consistency. You’ll likely need to cut or break the ladyfingers to fit your serving glasses. (If you can’t find ladyfingers, you can substitute with sponge cake cut into strips.)
  • Cocoa powder – Dust cocoa powder over your tiramisu before serving for the classic look and, of course, the chocolate flavor!

What Can I Substitute for Mascarpone?

If you can’t find mascarpone cheese for your tiramisu, you can try a substitution. Mix 2 ounces of cream cheese (to bring that rich, tangy flavor) with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter (both added to achieve the lush, creamy texture similar to mascarpone). Blend these ingredients until smooth, and use the mixture as a direct swap for the mascarpone in this recipe. While mascarpone will give you the best results, this hack can simulate that creamy, indulgent layer your tiramisu needs.

How to Make Tiramisu for Two

You’ll love how quick and easy it is to make this tiramisu! Just remember to factor the chill time into your dessert-making plans.

  • Make the filling. Whip the heavy cream and sugar to soft peaks. Add the mascarpone and vanilla, and fold gently to combine.
  • Dip the ladyfingers. Combine the cooled coffee and the liqueur or rum, if you’re using it. Quickly dip the ladyfingers into the coffee, just long enough to get them damp.
  • Layer. Place a layer of ladyfingers in the bottom of two serving glasses or small bowls. Top with a layer of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat the layers until filled.
  • Chill. Refrigerate the tiramisu for 2 hours or up to overnight before serving.
  • Dust with cocoa powder. When it’s time to serve your tiramisu, dust the top with cocoa powder and add any other garnishes you like.
overhead view of tiramisu for two dusted with cocoa powder

Tips for Success

  • Use good quality ingredients. This is especially true of the mascarpone and espresso. The better your ingredients, the better your tiramisu will be.
  • A quick dip. Take care to dip the ladyfingers quickly in the coffee mixture, as too long can make them mushy. A quick dip, fully submerging each side, is usually perfect.
  • Making pretty layers. Try to arrange the ladyfingers in a single layer with minimal gaps and spread the mascarpone mixture evenly for smooth layers. Cut or break the cookies as needed to fit. Clear serving glasses will really show off those lovely layers!
  • Don’t skip the chilling time. Tiramisu needs time in the refrigerator to let the flavors really shine. I recommend a couple of hours at a minimum, although overnight will enhance those flavors even more.
a bite of tiramisu on a spoon over the remaining tiramisu

Variations

This recipe doesn’t stray too far from the classic flavors of tiramisu. If you’d like something a little different, here are some tasty options:

  • More chocolate. Add a heavy pinch of cocoa powder to the mascarpone mixture for a bigger chocolate flavor.
  • A fruity twist. Layer in some fresh berries (like raspberries or sliced strawberries) with the mascarpone mixture for a fruity take.
  • Alcohol-free. If you want to skip the alcohol but still want to boost the flavor, try adding a small amount of vanilla or almond extract to the coffee.
  • One pan. You can skip the individual serving glasses and assemble in and serve from a loaf pan.
a spoon sticking down into a bowl of tiramisu where a bite is missing

How to Store

You’re not likely to have leftovers with this tiramisu for two. If you do, though, it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days, making sure it’s well covered to avoid absorbing other flavors.

Can This Tiramisu Be Frozen?

If you do happen to have some leftover tiramisu, you can freeze it if needed. To ensure the tiramisu retains its flavor and texture, place it in a freezer-safe container. When ready to indulge, thaw your tiramisu in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight, avoiding room temperature to preserve its structure. Before serving, a fresh dusting of cocoa powder can revive its appearance. For optimal quality, enjoy your frozen tiramisu within a month or two.

individual servings of tiramisu for two in footed glass bowls

Tiramisu for Two

Yield 2 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Tiramisu for Two is a perfect blend of creamy mascarpone, espresso-drenched ladyfingers, and cocoa. Ideal for date nights or a special treat, this no-bake dessert is simple to make, yet impressively indulgent.

a spoon sticking down into a bowl of tiramisu where a bite is missing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (118ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) strong brewed coffee or espresso, cooled
  • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur or dark rum (optional)
  • 6-8 ladyfingers*
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting
  • Grated chocolate or chocolate curls, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream with the sugar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  2. Gently fold the mascarpone and vanilla extract into the whipped cream until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  3. In a shallow dish, combine the cooled coffee with the coffee liqueur or rum, if using.
  4. Quickly dip the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture. Be sure to dip them just long enough to get them damp but not soggy.
  5. In two serving glasses or small bowls, start with a layer of the soaked ladyfingers, followed by a layer of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat the layers until all ingredients are used.
  6. Refrigerate the tiramisu for 2 hours to overnight to allow the flavors to meld together.
  7. Before serving, dust with cocoa powder and garnish with grated chocolate or chocolate curls, if desired.

Notes

*Use crispy (Savoiardi) ladyfingers, not the soft kind. If you can't find them, you can substitute sponge cake cut into strips.

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