Another Birthday and A Tiramisu Cake

For Manoj's first birthday after we were married I made him a Back Forest Cake (it's his favorite) and he has asked for the the same cake every year since. A couple of weeks before his birthday this year, we were at the mall and he had a tiramisu cupcake and loved it. Then a few days later I was talking (grumbling actually) about making the usual black forest when he asked me if I could make a Tiramisu cake this time. I almost jumped with happiness/ reief! This is a cake that has so many great reviews and I had waited a long time to make it, I finally had the perfect opportunity.

We had a few close friends over for dinner that evening and being a poor party planner, I was scurrying until the last moment to get everything ready. Our friends had arrived, one helped with the appetizers, another tidied my kitchen, while I quickly took some pictures of the cake. It's awesome to have such friends!

The horrible lighting in the kitchen didn't do the cake justice, but this was definitely one of the best cakes I ever baked. The sponge was light and moist and the not so sweet mascarpone frosting was incredible. Everyone liked the cake and it was all gone except for the slice I saved for a picture.

Tiramisu Cake
Baking: From My Home To Yours

For the cake:
2 cups cake flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tbs) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsps pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

For the expresso extract:
2 tbs instant expresso powder
2 tbs boiling water

For the expresso syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbs ameretto/ Kahlua or brandy 

For the filling and frosting:
1 8-ounce container mascarpone
1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsps pure vanilla extract
1 tbs ameretto/ Kahlua or brandy
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped or 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I used 4 ounces grated bittersweet chocolate)

Chocolate covered expresso beans for decoration (optional)
cocoa powder for dusting (again I used grated chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180C. Grease and dust two 9" round pans and line with parchment paper. Place the pans on a baking sheet.

The cake:
Sift together flour, baking powder , baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the butter in medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, followed by the yolk, beating for one minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled.
Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, add the dry ingredients in three additions and the buttermilk in two (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients), scrape the bowl as needed and beat only until the ingredients disappear into the batter.
Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 28-30 minutes, rotating the pans at the halfway point. When fully baked the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a knife inserted into the center will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge of the cakes and unmould them. Peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool the cakes to room temperature, right side up.

Expresso Extract:
Mix the expresso with the boiling water and stir until blended. Keep aside.

Expresso syrup:
Stir the water and sugar in a pan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small heat proof bowl and stir in 1 tbs of the expresso extract and the amaretto/ Kahlua or brandy.

Filling and frosting:
Put the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and liqueur in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.

Whip the heavy cream until it holds firm peaks. Using a rubber spatula stir about a quarter of the cream into the mascarpone. Fold in the remaining cream with a light touch.

Assembling the Cake:
Level the cake. Place one layer, right side up on a cardboard round or cake plate, protected by strips of wax of parchment paper. Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, soak the layer with about 1/3rd of the expresso syrup. Top with some of the mascarpone mixture (use about 1 1/4 cups) and gently press the chopped chocolate into the filling.
Put the second layer on the counter and soak it with half of the remaining expresso syrup. Them turn the layer over and position it soaked side down on top of the filling. Then soak the top with the remaining syrup.

For the frosting, whisk 1 - 1 1/2 tbs of the remaining expresso extract into the remaining mascarpone frosting, taste as you go to decide how much you want to add. If the frosting looks too soft to spread over the cake, put some plastic wrap over its surface and refrigerate for 15 minutes or so. Refrigerate the cake also.

With a long icing spatula, smooth the frosting over the sides and top of the cake. Decorate the cake with chocolate covered expresso beans if using. Refrigerate the cake for atleast 3hours or upto one day before serving. The elements need time to meld.

Just before serving dust the tops of the cake with cocoa powder or top with grated chocolate.

I did not soak the cake with enough syrup, I thought I did, But looking at the color of the layers, obviously did not.
Anushka, Manoj and I, tasted so much of the filling (it is divine!!), I was sure I would be short, so I folded in more whipped cream into the mascarpone cream. Got to keep them out of the kitchen the next time:)


  1. ur cake looks awesome....simple yet elegant I would say....

  2. The cake looks just PERFECT !!

    The photo of the cake slice looks absolutely divine....



  3. awesome!!!!!!!!!!!the cake looks totally divine.

  4. Looks beautiful, belates b'day wishes to your husband. Cale looks super yumm. I love her book too.

  5. That does sound divine... hopefully i can try this sometime soon! Loved the decorations.

  6. Looks professional..
    I have never tried out this cake..

  7. Drooling... I want to have some. Your cake looks awesome. =)

  8. the cake looks gorgeous.. that is exactly what happens if i making something tiramisu and some helpers show up.!:))
    i'd rather taste it all to myself;)

  9. this is amazing and picture perfect. love it

  10. The cake looks so perfect and gorgeous!

  11. U look like a pro in baking! Gorgeous slice!

  12. Cake looks simply outstanding and done a fabulous job...

  13. Wow wat a gorgeous and fabulous cake..Wishing him a happy birthday Poornima..Simply cant take my eyes from that irresistible slice.

  14. perfect cake. it looks like the cakes we get in the good pastry shops in india. simply wow.

    wish i had the time & patience to make cakes like you do with all the icing and decorations. both your husband and daughter are lucky :-)

  15. perfect cake. it looks like the gorgeous cakes we get in some pastry shops in india. simply wow.... your husband and daughter are very lucky :-)

  16. I can never be patient enough to bake something like this! Beautiful :)

  17. awesome............yummy cake

  18. Oh my goodness, such a beautiful, delectable cake that you've made for your husband! Awesome effort. Like some one mentioned here, I too would never have the same patience to create something so tasty and delicious.

  19. I love making Tiramisu. It's so easily and always delicious! Never make a cake though .. and that would be my next attempt :)

  20. wow, beautiful cake.....awesome effort dear.....frst time to ur blog..glad to follow u!

  21. This is one super gorgeous cake!
    I am so going to make this... just not sure mine will look this awesome, I have never decorated anything (not a crafty person), but nevertheless, I will make it.

  22. That is such an awesome cake... you are like a professional baker... too good... your family is so lucky.. :)

  23. This sounds simply superb, and looks just divine! I would love to try a bite of this thats for sure :)

  24. how light, lovely & luscious does this look!

  25. This looks like a perfect birthday cake! Beautiful slice!

  26. I just recently started following your blog! this cake is just so lovely I'm thinking of making it for a birthday party coming up

  27. Wow this looks fantastic! I love twists on traditional tiramisu. I just posted a tiramisu torte recipe on my blog, you might like it for your husband's next birthday :-)

  28. Cake looks gr8, perfectly done...First time here, u got a wonderful space, happy to follow you!!!


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