Limoncello Tiramisu

5 from 1 vote

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A twist on the classic alcoholic Italian dessert, Limoncello Tiramisu is a light and fresh recipe made with lemon cream, limoncello, and ladyfinger cookies.
A closer view of a slice of Limoncello Tiramisu with the distinct layers, on a small plate.

This Limoncello Tiramisu is the perfect light dessert recipe for citrus lovers! A twist on an Italian classic, ladyfingers are layered with a lemon cream and lemon curd.

A closer view of a slice of Limoncello Tiramisu with the distinct layers, on a small plate.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

If you are a lemon lover like I am, you are going to be OBSESSE with this Limoncello Tiramisu!

A twist on the classic Italian dessert recipe, Limoncello Tiramisu is made with lemon soaked ladyfingers with layers of lemon mascarpone cream and lemon curd.

It is the perfect dessert for spring, summer, and holidays like Easter.

Ingredients

Full quantities and recipe details can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Let’s talk about what we are using for this lemon tiramisu!

Ladyfingers – ladyfinger cookies are the classic “sponge” part of this dessert. They will come hard but soften in the process. One package tends to have 24 cookies.

Lemon Curd – you can make homemade lemon curd from any recipe online or buy store bought lemon curd. In the store you can find it with the jams.

Mascarpone Cheese – an Italian cheese often used in desserts!

Heavy Cream

Powdered Sugar

Granulated Sugar

Limoncello – an amazing Italian liqueur made with lemons! You can use homemade limoncello or buy it from a liquor store.

Fresh Lemons – fresh juice and zest are best, especially when they are highlighted like this!

Looking down on the Limoncello Tiramisu dish with a piece on a plate next to it, all surrounded by fresh lemons.

How to Make Tiramisu

Making tiramisu takes around 45-60 minutes, even though I see so many recipes say 20 minutes! We have several components we need to make before we can assemble it.

First, make your lemon curd if you are not using store bought. It should also be chilled so this is best to do the day before.

Make the lemon cream filling by combining the mascarpone cheese, some lemon curd, limoncello, fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest together with a hand mixer.

In a separate bowl or in a stand mixer, make whipped cream by beating the heavy cream and powdered sugar together on high speed until you have stiff peaks.

Add the whipped cream into the lemon mixture and gently fold them together. This means to gently mix until they are just combined. Do not be too fast or rough with the spatula as it will flatten the cream and remove the air you just added. Set the cream filling aside.

The whipped cream and lemon mixture before being folded together.

Make the lemon soak for the cookies. Heat granulated sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small or medium skillet over medium high heat until boiling. When boiling, reduce heat. Simmer 2 minutes. Turn off heat, add limoncello, and stir to combine.

In a small or medium bowl make your lemon curd drizzle by combining the lemon curd with limoncello. If you want to lay off the alcohol content some, you can use water instead.

Assemble

Now you are ready to assemble! Have your area ready with your 9×9 inch dish, lemon cream, ladyfingers, lemon soak, and lemon curd drizzle.

Take your ladyfingers and one at a time, dip both long flat sides into the syrup twice (in, flip, flip, flip, remove). They should still feel hard when you are removing them from the syrup. They will soften as the liquid soaks in and from soaking in the cream.

Lay your ladyfingers in an even layer on the bottom, cutting off ends as needed to fit. You want them to be snug. My last one on each row barely did not fit but as the cookies softened just a little, I was able to squeeze them together slightly to make it work.

A square dish with the bottom layer of lady fingers inside.

After your layer of cookies is down, add half of the cream mixture (about 2 cups) on top. Spread it out in an even layer.

To the top of the cream layer, add about half of the lemon curd drizzle and spread out evenly.

The first layer of cream and curd added to the square dish.
After one layer each of cookies, cream, and curd.

Repeat this process for the second half with another layer of ladyfingers, cream, and curd.

Lady fingers starting to be added to the bottom layer of the dessert.

Note: If your top layer is at or above the top of your dish rim, the curd will slide off. Instead, do not add the final curd layer until ready to serve.

Refrigerate the tiramisu for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Modifications and Substitutions

I went with an Italian amount of cream in this dessert. In America, we tend to use a LOT more than the Italians. If you want a heavier cream ratio like what you see in the US, see the note in the recipe card below about how much to make.

Mascarpone is the classic Italian cheese used for tiramisu recipes. Cream cheese can be an easier, more affordable substitution. It will not taste quite the same but will still be delicious!

You can make this non-alcoholic by replacing all limoncello with lemon simple syrup instead. Fresh homemade syrup will taste best as it is not made with artificial flavors.

Kim’s Tips

To get a nice, clean cut and layers, freeze the tiramisu after chilling for 1-2 hours before serving. It will not be frozen solid but will be firm enough to get you these clean lines!

FAQs

Can you replace the alcohol in tiramisu?

Yes! You can replace the alcohol in tiramisu with coffee in the traditional recipe, or lemon simple syrup in this limoncello tiramisu.

Why is my tiramisu so watery?

Tiramisu can seem watery if too much liquid is added to the ingredients. This can be too much liquid soaked into the cookies, or mixed into the cream. When assembling, the tiramisu should be thick and not at all watery.

A piece of layered Limoncello Tiramisu on a small plate next to the serving dish and surrounded by fresh lemons.
Pin of a piece of Limoncello Tiramisu on a plate with title at top.

More Citrus Desserts

Citrus Desserts

A closer view of a slice of Limoncello Tiramisu with the distinct layers, on a small plate.

Limoncello Tiramisu

A twist on the classic alcoholic Italian dessert, Limoncello Tiramisu is a light and fresh recipe made with lemon cream, limoncello, and ladyfinger cookies.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Easter, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 1 hour
Chilling Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 1087kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Lemon Cream Filling

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup lemon curd
  • ¼ cup limoncello
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Lemon Soak

  • 6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • cup limoncello

Lemon Curd Drizzle Layers

Assembly

  • 28 ladyfinger cookies (one pack tends to have 24) (more or less as needed depending on your dish)
  • lemon wheels for garnish, optional

Instructions

Make the Lemon Cream Filling

  • Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, in a large bowl beat together the whipped cream and powdered sugar at high speed until you have stiff peaks. Set aside.
    1 ½ cups heavy cream, ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • In a second large bowl using a hand or stand mixer, on medium speed beat together the mascarpone, lemon curd, limoncello, lemon juice, and lemon zest until well combined.
    16 ounces mascarpone cheese, ½ cup lemon curd, ¼ cup limoncello, 1 Tablespoon lemon zest, 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Use a spatula or large spoon to gently fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture until just combined. Set aside.

Make the Lemon Soak

  • In a small skillet over medium heat combine lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar.
    6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons lemon zest, ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Once sugar has melted in, simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, add limoncello, and stir. Set aside.
    ⅓ cup limoncello

Make Lemon Curd Drizzle

  • In a small bowl combine lemon curd and limoncello. Set aside.
    ¾ cup lemon curd, 3 Tablespoons limoncello

Assembly

  • Take a lady finger and dip into the soak mixture, giving it one second on each side.
    28 ladyfinger cookies
  • Layer the bottom of a 9×9 inch baking dish with the soaked ladyfingers. Cut pieces as needed to fit. Fit as many as you can for a solid layer. The cookies will soften slightly after a minute if you need to push them together just a little to fit one.
  • Once the bottom is covered in soaked ladyfingers, add half of the lemon cream mixture and spread in an even layer (about 2 cups).
  • Spread half of the lemon curd drizzle across the cream layer.
  • Repeat these steps for another layer of lady fingers, cream filling, and curd.
  • Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Slice and serve.
    lemon wheels

Notes

If you want to make this non-alcoholic, replace all limoncello with the same amounts of homemade lemon simple syrup.
More Cream: This uses an “Italian amount” of cream in the layers. American versions tend to use a LOT more cream. If you want the heavier American ratio, increase your cream to these quantities and use half (about 3 cups) per layer instead. (It will be difficult to fit in a 9×9 pan). This would also give you enough for a 9×13 pan, but you would need more curd drizzle and soaking liquid.
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
For clean cuts, after chilling, freeze the tiramisu for 1-2 hours before cutting.
This makes 6 good-sized portions. You can easily get 8 or 10 smaller portions from this recipe.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving (1/6) | Calories: 1087kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 65g | Saturated Fat: 39g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 256mg | Sodium: 275mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 64g | Vitamin A: 2221IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 2mg
By on April 29th, 2024

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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