Thursday, 5 November 2009

Tiramisu Layer Cake

I made this recipe last year for my Mom's birthday. It ... was ... amazing (if I do say so myself!). My Mom is a huge tiramisu fan and this cake had the same taste and texture of the real thing. It looks like a fancy dessert but using a boxed cake mix makes it easy! The original recipe was from but I've made a few changes ... namely using instant coffee instead of fresh brewed and adding an extra layer of coffee flavoured cake.

The mascarpone cheese (found near most deli counters - near the feta etc) is pricey (around $8!) but well worth it. You could try using a mixture of creamed cheese and sour cream instead but I like to stick with the real thing for this recipe.


1 (18.25oz) pkg Duncan Hines moist white cake mix (plus ingredients used to make mix)

2 tsp instant coffee powder

2 tbsp water

Coffee Mixture

3 tsp instant coffee powder

1/4 cup water

2 tbsp coffee flavour liqueur (Kahlua)


1 (8oz) mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup icing sugar

2 tbsp coffee flavour liqueur (Kahlua)


2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)

1/4 cup icing sugar

2 tbsp coffee flavour liqueur (Kahlua)


2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

1 (1oz) square semi-sweet chocolate (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round baking pans.

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Divide one third of batter into one pan. Stir 2 tsp instant coffee with 2 tbsp water; add to remaining 2/3 of batter. Divide batter into 2 remaining pans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

In a measuring cup, combine 3 tsp instant coffee powder with 1/4 cup water and 2 tbsp coffee liqueur. Set aside.

To make the filling:

In a small bowl, using an electric mixer set on low speed, combine mascarpone, 1/2 cup icing sugar and 2 tbsp coffee liqueur; beat just until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To make frosting:

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the heavy cream, 1/4 cup icing sugar and 2 tbsp coffee liqueur until stiff. Fold 1/2 cup of cream mixture into filling mixture.

To assemble cake: Place one coffee flavoured cake layer on a serving plate. Using a thin skewer, poke holes in cake about 1-inch apart. Pour 1/3 of reserved coffee mixture over cake, then spread with half of the filling mixture. Top with white cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour another 1/3 of coffee mixture over this second layer and spread with remaining filling. Top with remaining coffee-flavoured cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour remaining coffee mixture over top. Spread sides and top of cake with frosting. Place cocoa in a sieve and lightly dust top of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls, if using. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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