Last updated

Tiramisu - Raffaele Diomede.jpg
Place of originItaly
Region or state Veneto and
Friuli Venezia Giulia
Serving temperatureCold
Main ingredients Savoiardi, egg yolks, mascarpone, cocoa, coffee

Tiramisu (Italian : tiramisù [ˌtiramiˈsu] , from tirami su, "pick me up" or "cheer me up") [1] is a coffee-flavoured Italian dessert. It is made of ladyfingers (savoiardi) dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa. The recipe has been adapted into many varieties of cakes and other desserts. [2] Its origin is disputed between the Italian regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia.



Tiramisu appears to have been invented in the 1960s, but where and when exactly is unclear. [3] Some believe the recipe was modeled after sbatudin, a simpler dessert made of egg yolks and sugar. [4] Others argue it originated from another dish, dolce Torino. [5]

The recipe for tiramisu is not found in cookbooks before the 1960s. [6] [7] [8] It is mentioned in a Sydney Morning Herald restaurant column published in 1978. [9] It is not mentioned in encyclopedias and dictionaries of the 1970s, [10] [11] [12] first appearing in an Italian dictionary in 1980, [13] and in English in 1982. [14] It is mentioned in a 1983 cookbook devoted to cooking of the Veneto. [15]

Obituaries for the restaurateur Ado Campeol (1928–2021) reported that it was invented at his restaurant Le Beccherie in Treviso on 24 December 1969 by his wife Alba di Pillo (1929–2021) and the pastry chef Roberto Linguanotto. [16] [17] [18] The dish was added to its menu in 1972. [19] [20] [21] Accounts by Carminantonio Iannaccone claim the tiramisu sold at Le Beccherie was made by him in his bakery, created on 24 December 1969. [22]

It has been claimed that tiramisu has aphrodisiac effects and was concocted by a 19th-century Treviso brothel madam, as the Accademia Del Tiramisù explains, to "solve the problems they may have had with their conjugal duties on their return to their wives". [18] [23]

There is evidence of a "Tiremesù" semi-frozen dessert served by the Vetturino restaurant in Pieris, in the Friuli Venezia Giulia, since 1938. [24] This may be the name's origin, while the recipe for Tiramisu may have originated as a variation of another layered dessert, Zuppa Inglese . [25] Others claim it was created towards the end of the 17th century in Siena in honour of Grand Duke Cosimo III. [26]

On 29 July 2017, Tiramisu was entered by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies on the list of traditional Friulian and Giulian agri-food products in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. [27] [28] In 2013, Luca Zaia, governor of Veneto sought European Union Protected Status certification for the dessert, based on the ingredients used in 1970, so substitute ingredients, such as strawberries, could not be used in a dish called tiramisu. [29] [30] [31]

Original ingredients

Traditional tiramisu contains a short list of ingredients: ladyfingers (savoiardi), egg yolks, sugar, coffee, mascarpone cheese, and cocoa powder. A common variant involves soaking the savoiardi in alcohol, such as Marsala wine, amaretto or a coffee-based liqueur, but this is not mentioned in the original recipe.

The original tiramisu made at Le Beccherie was circular in shape. [32]


Tiramisu birthday cake Tiramisu birthday cake - 20200124.jpg
Tiramisu birthday cake

The original shape of the cake is round, although the shape of the biscuits also allows the use of a rectangular or square pan. However, it is often assembled in round glasses, which show the various layers, or pyramid. Modern versions can have the addition of whipped cream or whipped egg, or both, combined with mascarpone cream. This makes the dish lighter, thick and foamy. Among the most common alcoholic changes includes the addition of Marsala wine. The cake is usually eaten cold. [33]

Another variation involves the preparation of the cream with eggs heated to sterilize it, but not so much that the eggs scramble. Over time, replacing some of the ingredients, mainly coffee, there arose numerous variants such as tiramisu with chocolate, amaretto, berry, lemon, strawberry, pineapple, yogurt, banana, raspberry, and coconut.

Numerous variations of Tiramisu exist. Some cooks use other cakes or sweet, yeasted breads, such as panettone , in place of ladyfingers (savoiardi). [34] Bakers living in different Italian regions often debate the use and structural qualities of utilising other types of cookies, such as pavesini for instance, in the recipe. [35] Other cheese mixtures are used as well, some containing raw eggs, and others containing no eggs at all. Marsala wine can be added to the recipe, but other liquors are frequently substituted for it in both the coffee and the cheese mixture, including dark rum, Madeira, port, brandy, Malibu, or Irish cream and especially coffee-flavoured liqueurs such as Tia Maria and Kahlúa. [36] Amaretto liqueurs, such as Disaronno, are also often used to enhance the taste of tiramisu.[ citation needed ]

Tiramisu is similar to other desserts, in particular with the Charlotte, in some versions composed of a Bavarian cream surrounded by a crown of ladyfingers and covered by a sweet cream; the Turin cake (dolce Torino), consisting of ladyfingers soaked in rosolio and alchermes with a spread made of butter, egg yolks, sugar, milk, and dark chocolate; and the Bavarese Lombarda, which is a similar composition of ladyfingers and egg yolks (albeit cooked ones). In Bavarese, butter and rosolio (or alchermes) are also used, but not mascarpone cream or coffee.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dessert</span> Course that concludes a meal; usually sweet

Dessert is a course that concludes a meal. The course consists of sweet foods, such as candy, and possibly a beverage such as dessert wine and liqueur. In some parts of the world there is no tradition of a dessert course to conclude a meal.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Panettone</span> Italian yeasted cake

Panettone is an Italian type of sweet bread, and fruitcake, originally from Milan, usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year in Western, Southern, and Southeastern Europe as well as in South America, Eritrea, Australia, the United States and Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trifle</span> Custard dessert

Trifle is a layered dessert of English origin. The usual ingredients are a thin layer of sponge fingers or sponge cake soaked in sherry or another fortified wine, a fruit element, custard and whipped cream layered in that order in a glass dish. The contents of a trifle are highly variable and many varieties exist, some forgoing fruit entirely and instead using other ingredients, such as chocolate, coffee or vanilla. The fruit and sponge layers may be suspended in fruit-flavoured jelly, and these ingredients are usually arranged to produce three or four layers. The assembled dessert can be topped with whipped cream or, more traditionally, syllabub.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Zabaione</span> Italian dessert made with egg, sugar, and wine

Zabaione or zabaglione is an Italian dessert, or sometimes a beverage, made with egg yolks, sugar, and a sweet wine. Some versions of the recipe incorporate spirits such as cognac. The dessert version is a light custard, whipped to incorporate a large amount of air. Since the 1960s, in restaurants in areas of the United States with large Italian populations, zabaione is usually served with strawberries, blueberries, peaches, etc., in a champagne coupe. In France, it is called sabayon, while its Italian name is zabaione or zabaglione.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mascarpone</span> Italian cream cheese

Mascarpone is a soft Italian acid-set cream cheese. It is recognized in Italy as a prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale (PAT).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Amaretto</span> Italian almond liqueur

Amaretto is a sweet Italian liqueur that originated in Saronno. Depending on the brand, it may be made from apricot kernels, bitter almonds, peach stones, or almonds, all of which are natural sources of the benzaldehyde that provides the almond-like flavour of the liqueur. It generally contains 21 to 28 percent alcohol by volume.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ladyfinger (biscuit)</span> Type of sponge cake

Ladyfingers, or in British English sponge fingers, are low-density, dry, egg-based, sweet sponge cake biscuits roughly shaped like large fingers. They are a principal ingredient in many dessert recipes, such as trifles and charlottes, and are also used as fruit or chocolate gateau linings, and for the sponge element of tiramisu. They are typically soaked in a sugar syrup or liqueur, or in coffee or espresso for tiramisu. Plain ladyfingers are commonly given to infants, being soft enough for teething mouths, but easy to grasp and firm enough not to fall apart.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Panna cotta</span> Italian dessert of cream and gelatin

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert of sweetened cream thickened with gelatin and molded. The cream may be aromatized with coffee, vanilla, or other flavorings.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Torta caprese</span> Italian chocolate and walnut cake

Torta caprese is a flourless Italian cake made with chocolate and either almonds or hazelnuts. Named for the island of Capri from which it originates, the cake is widely known and especially popular in nearby Naples, Italy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Genoise</span> Italian sponge cake named after the city of Genoa

A génoise, also known as Genoese cake or Genovese cake, is a French sponge cake named after the city of Genoa and associated with French cuisine. It was created by François Massialot in the late 17th century. Instead of using chemical leavening, air is suspended in the batter during mixing to provide volume.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charlotte (cake)</span> Icebox cake

A charlotte is a type of bread pudding that can be served hot or cold. It is also referred to as an "icebox cake". Bread, sponge cake, crumbs or biscuits/cookies are used to line a mold, which is then filled with a fruit puree or custard. The baked pudding could then be sprinkled with powdered sugar and glazed with a salamander, a red-hot iron plate attached to a long handle, though modern recipes would likely use more practical tools to achieve a similar effect.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Flourless chocolate cake</span> Chocolate custard cake

Flourless chocolate cake is a dense cake made from an aerated chocolate custard. The first documented form of the cake was seen in Ferrara, Italy, though some forms of the cake have myths surrounding their origins. The dessert contains no gluten which makes it acceptable for those with celiac disease, gluten-free diets, and during religious holidays in which gluten and grains are not permitted.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sponge cake</span> Type of cake

Sponge cake is a light cake made with egg whites, flour and sugar, sometimes leavened with baking powder. Some sponge cakes do not contain egg yolks, like angel food cake, but most of them do. Sponge cakes, leavened with beaten eggs, originated during the Renaissance, possibly in Spain. The sponge cake is thought to be one of the first of the non-yeasted cakes, and the earliest attested sponge cake recipe in English is found in a book by the English poet Gervase Markham, The English Huswife, Containing the Inward and Outward Virtues Which Ought to Be in a Complete Woman (1615). Still, the cake was much more like a cracker: thin and crispy. Sponge cakes became the cake recognized today when bakers started using beaten eggs as a rising agent in the mid-18th century. The Victorian creation of baking powder by English food manufacturer Alfred Bird in 1843 allowed the addition of butter to the traditional sponge recipe, resulting in the creation of the Victoria sponge. Cakes are available in many flavours and have many recipes as well. Sponge cakes have become snack cakes via the Twinkie.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Venetian cuisine</span> Cuisine from the city of Venice, Italy

Venetian cuisine, from the city of Venice, Italy or more widely from the region of Veneto, has a centuries-long history and differs significantly from other cuisines of northern Italy, and of neighbouring Austria and of Slavic countries, despite sharing some commonalities.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Egg coffee</span> Vietnamese drink

An egg coffee is a Vietnamese drink traditionally prepared with egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk and robusta coffee. The drink is made by beating egg yolks with sugar and condensed milk, then extracting the coffee into the cup, followed by a similar amount of egg cream, or egg yolks which are heated and beaten, or whisked.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bienmesabe</span>

Bienmesabe is a sweet Spanish dessert prepared with honey, egg yolk, and ground almonds as primary ingredients. Its consistency significantly varies depending upon preparation methods used. The dessert is also popular in the cuisine of the Canary Islands. It has been described as influenced by Moorish cuisine. Several variations of the dessert exist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crema de fruta</span> Filipino layer cake

Crema de fruta is a traditional Filipino fruitcake made with layers of sponge cake, sweet custard or whipped cream, gelatin or gulaman (agar), and various preserved or fresh fruits, including mangoes, pineapples, cherries, and strawberries. It is usually served during the Christmas season. It has multiple variations, ranging from changes in the fruits used to the addition of ingredients like jam, sago, condensed milk, and others.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mango float</span> Filipino dessert

Mango float or crema de mangga is a Filipino icebox cake dessert made with layers of ladyfingers (broas) or graham crackers, whipped cream, condensed milk, and ripe carabao mangoes. It is chilled for a few hours before serving, though it can also be frozen to give it an ice cream-like consistency. It is a modern variant of the traditional Filipino crema de fruta cake. It is also known by various other names like mango refrigerator cake, mango graham float, mango royale, and mango icebox cake, among others. Crema de mangga is another version that additionally uses custard and gulaman (agar) or gelatin, as in the original crema de fruta.


  1. Wilbur, T. (2006). Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 234. ISBN   978-1-101-04213-7. Archived from the original on 1 August 2023. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  2. "Tiramisu Bread Puddings". bhg.com. Meredith Corporation. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  3. Squires, Nick (17 May 2016). "Italian regions battle over who invented tiramisu". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 28 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018 via telegraph.co.uk.
  4. Leigh, Wendy (1 April 2023). "Before Tiramisu Was Officially Created, It Was Sbatudin". Tasting Table. Archived from the original on 20 June 2023. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  5. Lim, Heather (7 May 2023). "The Original Tiramisu Recipe Has No Heavy Cream Or Marsala". Tasting Table. Archived from the original on 20 June 2023. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  6. Pellegrino Artusi (1960–1991). "Torte e dolci al cucchiaio". La Scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiar bene. Giunti editore. p. 571. ISBN   88-09-00386-1.
  7. Fernando Raris; Tina Raris (1998). La Marca gastronomica: amore e nostalgia per la cucina e i vini di nostra tradizione. Treviso. Canova Editore. p. 31. ISBN   88-87061-55-6.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  8. Cremona, Luigi (2004). Italia dei dolci. Touring Club Italiano. p. 57. ISBN   88-365-2931-3.
  9. Lane, Trevor (30 August 1978). "The Irish in Paddington". Eating Out. The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 20. Archived from the original on 1 August 2023. Retrieved 28 February 2023 via Newspapers.com.
  10. Enciclopedia Europea Garzanti. 1981.
  11. Enciclopedia Universale Rizzoli Larousse. 1971.
  12. Dizionario della lingua italiana Garzanti. 1980.
  13. Il Sabatini Coletti. Dizionario della Lingua Italiana, s.v. Archived 15 September 2020 at the Wayback Machine
  14. "Tiramisu". Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary. Archived from the original on 20 February 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  15. Capnist, Giovanni (1983). I Dolci Del Veneto. ISBN   88-7021-239-4.
  16. "Ado Campeol, at whose restaurant tiramisu was invented, passes away at 93". 1 November 2021. Archived from the original on 3 November 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  17. "Pochi giorni dopo Ado Campeol, il papà del tiramisù, muore anche la moglie Alba Di Pillo, la vera ideatrice del dolce dei record". La Repubblica. 11 November 2021. Archived from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  18. 1 2 "Ado Campeol, 'father of tiramisu' who helped the rich pudding to become a staple of Italian menus around the world – obituary" . The Telegraph. London. 2 November 2021. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  19. "'Father of tiramisu' Ado Campeol dies aged 93". BBC. 30 October 2021. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  20. Vozzella, Laura (8 October 2006). "The Unsung Inventor of Tiramisu". The Baltimore Sun . Archived from the original on 3 June 2020. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  21. Black, Jane (10 July 2007). "The Trail of Tiramisu". The Washington Post . Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2007.
  22. Rosengarten, David (October 2006). "The Man Who Invented Tiramisu!". The Rosengarten Report. Walter Pearce, Salt Pig Publishing. pp. 17–19.
  23. "THE ORIGIN OF TIRAMISÙ: "FACT AND LEGEND". ⋆ Accademia Del Tiramisù". Archived from the original on 3 February 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  24. Dolce Jasmine (13 November 2017), Tiramisù: The story behind it, archived from the original on 7 November 2021, retrieved 14 November 2017
  25. "History of tiramisù". Archived from the original on 4 June 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  26. Soletti, Francesco; Toscani, Ettore (2004). L'Italia del caffè (in Italian). p. 110.
  27. "Diciassettesima revisione dell elenco dei prodotti agroalimentari tradizionali" [Seventeenth revision of the list of traditional agri-food products]. Ministry of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry (in Italian). p. 24. Archived from the original on 26 June 2023. Retrieved 26 June 2023. pdf download=page 26 Regione Autonoma Friuli-Venezia Giulia item 137
  28. "GU Serie Generale n.176" (in Italian). 29 July 2017. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  29. Hernandez, Joe (31 October 2021). "Ado Campeol, the man known as the 'father of tiramisu,' has died". NPR. Archived from the original on 3 November 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  30. "Save the tiramisu, says Italian politician". The Guardian. 23 August 2013. Archived from the original on 20 November 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  31. "Italian Politician Asks EU To Grant Tiramisu Protected Status". ITALY Magazine. Archived from the original on 3 November 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  32. "Ricetta Storia Tiramisu - Recipe and Story of Tiramisu" (PDF). Le Beccherie. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 November 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  33. Greenspan, Dorie (14 June 2016). "The way to make a tiramisu even more unforgettable". The Washington Post . ISSN   0190-8286. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  34. Larousse Gastronomique, New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 2001, pp. 1214.
  35. "Tiramisù: pavesini vs savoiardi, chi vince?". Agrodolce. 14 October 2016. Archived from the original on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  36. Cloake, Felicity (13 March 2014). "How to make the perfect tiramisu". The Guardian . ISSN   0261-3077. Archived from the original on 5 July 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.