Father’s Day Tiramisu Cake!


Father’s Day, the day where you tell your dad you appreciate him, shower him with gifts (ie. paper ties, or real ones once you’ve collected enough dimes and nickels in your piggybank) and he just sits there and takes it like man. 

It’s insane how good of a dad mine is so it’s hard not to appreciate him. He’ll wake up in the middle of the night to pick me up from a friend’s place (“Carmen, no sleeping over! I’m coming to pick you up RIGHT NOW”), save dinner for us (“Wai! This isn’t McDonald’s, this is no drive-thru!”), and he’ll brave coming downtown to watch me compete (“Did you win? Oh third…okay, that’s still good…”). 

This year, I decided to make my dad’s favourite, tiramisu cake! It’s my first time making it and wow mascarpone ain’t cheap! 


Tiramisu Cake (Dorie Greenspan)
Makes two 9-inch cakes

2 cup     cake flour
2 tsp      baking powder
⅛ tsp     baking soda
¼ tsp     salt
10 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup     sugar
3            large eggs
1            large egg yolk
1½ tsp  vanilla extract
¾ cup    buttermilk

espresso syrup
½ cup    water
⅓ cup    sugar
1 tbsp   espresso extract
1 tbsp   amaretto/Kahlua/brandy

1            8-oz tub of mascarpone
½ cup    icing sugar, sifted
1½ tsp  vanilla extract
1 tbsp   amaretto/Kahlua/brandy
1 cup     cold heavy cream
2½ oz    bitter-/semisweet chocolate, finely chopped OR ½ cup chocolate chips

cocoa powder (to dust)
espresso extract
2 tbsp   instant espresso powder
2 tbsp   boiling water

If numbered, they’re steps in the process! ;) Ok, time to bake some cake!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350oF. Butter and flour two 9x2” round pans. Tap off excess flour.
  2. Line bottom w/ parchment/wax paper. Place on a baking sheet. Set aside.
  3. CAKE: Sift cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
  4. Beat butter on medium until soft & creamy. 

  1. Add sugar; beat 3 min. Add eggs; beating for 1 min after each addition. Add yolk.

  1. Beat in vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low.
  2. Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk (3:2); mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter.

It looks so luscious and voluminous! After the creaming butter/sugar step, this is probably my next favourite step in a baking process; when the batter’s ready for the oven. :D

  1. Pour batter into prepared pans. Smooth tops w/ a spatula.
  2. Bake until golden and springy to the touch, 28-30 min; rotating halfway through.

Now it’s time for the espresso syrup! First, you have to make the “espresso extract”, which is super easy. It just so happened that we’ve got a bottle of Kahlua sitting around, perfect!

  1. ESPRESSO EXTRACT: Stir the espresso powder + water til blended.
  2. ESPRESSO SYRUP: Stir all until blended and smooth. 

Filling/frosting time! The mascarpone is quite thick so to start it helps to kind of whip it first. 

  1.  FILLING/FROSTING: Blend together mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and liquor.

  1.  Whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Stir a quarter of it into the mascarpone mixture. Fold in the rest.

Enfin, c’est temps d’assembler le gâteau!
  1.  Trim cake layers so that they’re level. Place one layer right-side up on the cake plate; protect w/ strips of wax/parchment paper.
  2.  With a pastry brush, soak w/ a third of the espresso syrup.
  3.  Spread about 1¼ cup of the mascarpone cream on top. Press chocolate down. 

  1.  Soak top of second cake layer w/ a third of the espresso syrup.  
  2.  Turn soak side down onto the first layer. Soak w/ the remaining espresso syrup.
  3.  Use the remaining mascarpone cream to frost the cake. (if it’s too soft, chill both the cream and the cake for 15 min before frosting).

I wanted to “write” something other than “Happy Father’s Day!” on the cake so this is what I came up with. Very simple. Although cutting it out with the box cutter wasn’t so easy at all…
  1.  (Decorate with chocolate covered espresso beans). Chill for at least 3 hours and up to 1 day before serving.

Haha Yes, I bet some of you will recognize the piece of cardstock that I used for my template. Hey! You know what? At least I didn’t just toss it in the recycling bin like I’m sure others have, I put it to good use first! 
  1. Just before serving, dust w/ cocoa powder and shave a layer of chocolate overtop using a microplaner.

So this is how it ultimately turned out. Don’t laugh…I ran out of the mascarpone cream/frosting so the sides are very bare. :(  My dad said not to worry about it because he doesn’t like stuff that’s overly sweet anyways. <-- See how supportive he is?! It definitely made me feel better about the situation.

Tiramisu cake! I finished assembling the cake then I looked over…and saw the bowl of chocolate chips still sitting there. Oops. I’ve still got half the tub of mascarpone left so next time it’ll be good!

Yummy yummy. I only wish the cake was soaked more. The cake itself wasn’t as light as I wanted it, so that’s another thing I need to tweak. 

There he is! The man himself. Enjoying his cake, reading the paper. He liked it so I’m happy! Also, we got him his first v-neck tee as a mini gift. Can he pull it off?! Dun dun dun!!!!

4.5 out of 5 NOMs


  1. you are so awesome!!

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