Chocolate tiramisu cake

Chocolate tiramisu cake

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(19 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 30 mins - 35 mins Plus cooling and chilling

More effort

Serves 10 - 12

This creamy chocolate and coffee layer cake has real wow factor and is ideal for a celebration

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal563
  • fat36g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs47g
  • sugars41g
  • fibre1g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.3g
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    For the cake

    • 50g butter, plus extra for the tins



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 4 large eggs
    • 140g caster sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 100g plain flour
    • 25g cocoa
    • ½ tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    For the filling

    • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
    • 75ml hot espresso or strong rich coffee
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 75g caster sugar
    • 125ml marsala
    • 200g white chocolate, half chopped, half grated
      White chocolate squares, stacked

      White chocolate

      why-t chok-lit

      To purists, this is not chocolate because it is made only from the fat or butter of the cacao…

    • 500g tub mascarpone
    • 200g dark chocolate, grated
      Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

      Dark chocolate

      dahk chok-o-let

      Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

    • 1 tbsp cocoa


    1. For the cakes, heat oven to 180C/ 160C fan/gas 4. Butter and line 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly. Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and whisk for about 8 mins or until the mixture is pale, thick and has trebled in volume.

    2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and a pinch of salt over the egg mixture, then gently fold together. Pour the cooled butter around the edge of the bowl and fold in until fully incorporated. Divide the batter between the prepared tins and bake for 10-12 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins for a few mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Dissolve the sugar in the coffee and set aside. Put the egg yolks, sugar and Marsala into a heatproof bowl, then set over a large pan of simmering water. Whisk for 5 mins until the mixture is thick and has trebled in volume – make sure the mixture is really thick. Remove from the heat and take the bowl off the pan. Keep whisking until the mixture is cool.

    4. Melt the chopped white chocolate in the microwave on Low and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, beat the mascarpone until smooth, then fold into the egg mixture with the cooled white chocolate.

    5. Slice the cakes in half horizontally. Place one layer in the bottom of a 20cm springform tin. Brush with the coffee syrup and spread with 3 tbsp of the mascarpone mixture. Scatter with 1 tbsp grated dark chocolate, then repeat until you end with the fourth layer of cake. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 2 hrs along with the remaining mascarpone mixture.

    6. Remove the tin and put the cake on a serving plate, then cover with the remaining mascarpone mixture. Mix the remaining dark chocolate with the grated white chocolate and press carefully onto the sides of the cake. Dust the top with cocoa.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Deborah Lang's picture
    Deborah Lang
    2nd Feb, 2020
    I would definitely make this again. I feel like I could get it perfect on the second time around. I actually didnt realise how tricky is was until I started making it but if you follow everything perfectly (and really listen when its talking about mixtures being thick!) Then even an amateur like me can knock this one out!
    9th Feb, 2018
    Had a disaster with the cream mixture which split so I had to throw it out. I used the cream mixture from the Best Ever Tiramisu recipe instead and it was a huge hit with the family. Making it again tomorrow!
    9th Jun, 2017
    Although I found this a little tricky the end result was well worth it. I whisked the filling for longer both on the heat and off as people have suggested and I found it thickened well. I will definitely make this again!
    10th Apr, 2017
    More a gateau than a cake but a great crowd pleaser. Looks quite spectacular with not too much effort too.
    9th Apr, 2016
    Soni made it today. My electric beater was broken so i did all just using manual whisks. It came out perfectly fine. Just baking of the cake was longer in time and i have only 2 layers. Inbetween my cakes i also added soaked lady finger biscuits. Cant wait to cut it and taste it tomorrow for my fiancé's birthday yummmm
    29th Mar, 2016
    Made this for Easter - what an absolute hit....everyone loved it. The tips below are good so thanks to bbcgoodfood and everyone for helping make a perfect centrepiece cake!
    5th Jul, 2015
    This is a bit fiddly, but worth it, as it's really tasty. I'm no great cake baker, but it came out brilliantly. Didn't look quite like the picture (more of a dog's dinner), but yum! My oven is quite fierce, so sponges cooked in about 9 mins.
    4th Apr, 2015
    I just made this cake for third time. First time it didn't work at all. Second time was better but I think it could be third time lucky! The tip of whisking the egg and marsala for longer was spot on - I whisked for 10 mins over hot water and 5 after. The result was a thick mousse-like mixture. I stirred the white chocolate into the mascarpone and then folded the egg mixture into the mascarpone rather than the other way round. I popped it in the fridge while I cut the cakes so it was a good thick cream when I came to spread it. Getting the cakes to rise and stcking the grated chocolate to the sides of the cake remains a challenge! The taste is so good it's worth the faffing and it looks impressive too when you're finally done!
    martadrew's picture
    17th Apr, 2014
    Just made this as an easter treat, i did bake my own chocolate sponge though as i usually have problems in the sponge recipe to rise enough to make four layers but even though it took me over an hour i must say it looks, smells and tastes absolutely brilliant ..... i feel like a tiramisu legend .... happy easter guys x
    9th Feb, 2014
    This turned out perfectly! It was perfect for my Mum who loves tiramisu but I wanted a cake version for her birthday that would hold together and slice easily. I was a bit worried having read the comments about it being runny, but I made sure the egg yolk and Marsala were whisked over heat until really thick, it took more like 10-15 minutes than 5 for them to thicken. It sets more over time, so I would suggest making it in the morning or even the night before. I didn't bother trying to stick the chocolate to the sides, just put all the remaining mixture on the top all in one go.


    nataliephillips (not verified)
    8th Nov, 2013
    Made this cake for my friends birthday, tasted delicious but my filling was quite runny. It was very airy but not think enough to spread. Any suggestions why or what to do next time?
    Deborah Lang's picture
    Deborah Lang
    2nd Feb, 2020
    I made this cake for my own birthday Haha. I had a little help in the kitchen which made it easier but it certainly took longer than the recipe suggests. I used dark chocolate in everything rather than white chocolate in the filling. I let it cool down dramatically before adding it to the mascarpone mixture. When I was folding in the egg whites and marsala it was a really weird lumpy texture but I just kept on folding it in until it made a smooth moussey paste. If you want to make it easier to layer the cake and assemble it I would reccomend letting the filling set for a while in the fridge. Mine was still a bit too soft when I was assembling. I would also put more marsala in, but that's just me- I think tiramisu should be really boozy and this was just a little bit shy of tiramisu and more like a gateaux with a booze in it
    4th Oct, 2016
    This was made for the recent Macmillan coffee morning. After reading the comments, thought it best to give a few tips when making this very delicious cake. 1) The preparation time needs to be increased unless you have several helpers preparing everything for you, I would say prep time is more like half a day. 2)Depending on your oven quality, the tins needed baking for 20minutes. 3) For the filling, I used the brown sugar to make the coffee mix. Substitued the Marsala wine with spiced rum that was suggested in the comments (there's no need to open a whole bottle of sweet wine).The mixture took much longer than 5minutes to thicken, more like 10-12 minutes. 6) It's near impossible to press the chocolate onto the cake sides, I slightly angled the cake and dropped it down the sides and pressed on gently with a spoon. Finally, the amount of chocolate suggested is way too much, you will require about 1/3rd less than mentioned. Overall, the cake tasted absolutely amazing and was a big success at the charity coffee morning.
    25th May, 2016
    I made this cake yesterday for a party and it was delicious and very well received. Not gona lie, I did find it quite tricky, and I'd be very used to baking all sorts of cakes. I read some of the very helpful tips beforehand, so made a few tweaks, which may or may not have made a difference but I thought I'd share anyway. 1. A lot of people said they had trouble getting the sponge to rise, so I upped the quantity of flour - just by about 15 or 20g, and I used a teaspoon of baking powder instead of half a teaspoon. As it is such an eggy batter, it is so so important to be careful when folding in the dry ingredients. Keeping as much air as possible in the mixture will also help it rise. The results were perfect. I chilled the cakes overnight before even attempting to work with them! Cutting it horizontally was still a little tricky and I was terrified that the whole thing would just fall apart, but thankfully I managed it. I imagine the task would be easier with a cake leveller or something like that, but I just used a very sharp bread knife. 2. I used half plain flour and half cake flour. I'm sure the cake flour is worse for you, but it does make for a fluffier sponge and hey, this cake isn't exactly healthfood anyway! ;) 3. A lot of people seemed to have difficulty making the filling and I was no exception. I did follow the advice to heat the custard mixture for longer and it did thicken up eventually. However when I was mixing the white chocolate into the mascarpone I was way over zealous and it kinda curdled or something. Also I didn't have any marsala so I used rum in the custard, and when I mixed it all together, not only was the texture weird from the over zealous mixing of the mascarpone, but it also really didn't taste anything like tiramisu! I'm sure once the flavour mixed with the coffee syrup it might have tasted better, but at that point I thought it best to cut my losses. So long story short my first batch of filling became a rather nice rum and white chocolate ice cream! and I nipped down to the supermarket to get more supplies - including tia maria which definitely worked better. 5. The second time round I was a lot more careful when mixing the white chocolate into the mascarpone. I folded a little mascarpone into the white chocolate first, then folded that mixture into the rest of the mascarpone, and then folded in the custard mixture. It still took an age to get it smooth, but again it's worth being really careful with the folding process to keep the mixture as light and creamy as possible. It turned out wonderfully, but the tia maria doesn't have quite enough of an alcohol kick off it, so I mixed a little rum into the coffee syrup mixture to compensate!! 6. Like one of the reviewers mentioned, I found I had FAR too much grated chocolate. I know you do need excess just to make the decorating process a bit easier but I could have easily done with half of the recommended quantity. I found grating chocolate to be an absolute pain in the backside, so next time I will definitely not grate so much!! I also found it extremely tricky to get the grated chocolate to stick to the the sides, so like one of the other reviewers, I just covered the whole thing in the grated chocolate and then to make it look a bit prettier I piped a little double cream around the bottom of the cake. I'm sure it would have been more 'tiramisu-esque' with the cocoa powder on top, but it still looked pretty nice and tasted pretty delicious if I do say so myself!! To summarise, this is not an easy cake to make, and I think the preparation time stated is a little optimistic to say the least, but with a bit of trial and error and a lot of patience, this cake was most definitely worth the effort! .I also made meringues with the left over egg whites - sandwiched them with double cream mixed with a little vanilla and then sprinkled some of the grated chocolate on the exposed cream. - they were definitely a lot tastier than making an egg white omelette or something! ;)
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