this tiramisu layer cake pairs tender chocolate cake with creamy mascarpone buttercream and rum-espresso soak for a dessert that screams tiramisu (:
i’ve learned a lot throughout college. if you’re stuck coding, cry it out, and then you’ll breakthrough. (sometimes). patience, you’ll meet your tribe soon. (such a blogging mindset). if the rent is cheap, it might be cheap for a reason (that janky house i was in during fall quarter). those growing pains hurt in the moment, and yet here i am. with only one final left to take and graduation ready to rear end me no matter how much i swerve. with this last post that i'll ever write while i'm an undergrad.
i'll miss the people and the food and even driving around in this boring ass town. (it's not that boring, i merely wanted to reference this song). i'm a little melancholy, but it's still an occasion worthy of celebration and cake. tiramisu layer cake, that is.
the cake isn't über chocolatey, and under different circumstances, i'd say that with an eye roll. however, tiramisu in general focuses on other selling points, so that's fine.
the cake provides the perfect foundation for the super flavorful rum-espresso soak, and the slightly bitter cocoa balances out the sweet mascarpone buttercream. all those components come together so that this tiramisu layer cake actually tastes like tiramisu. yes, please.
you can decorate the cake in any way you'd like. the cake photographed here ended up with a woodland vibe, with a flower thrown on because we ran of out rolled wafer cookies to completely line the exterior of the cake LOL.
there's almonds on top for crunch, though i'd highly recommend the use of coffee beans instead. you get crunch + even more coffee flavor. it is a tiramisu layer cake, after all.
in the mood for a cupcake instead of a whole cake instead? maybe these caramelized white chocolate cupcakes with strawberry buttercream or masala chai carrot cupcakes are more up your alley!
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups whole milk room temperature
- 1 cup hot strong-brewed coffee
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- ¼ cup dark rum
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons egg whites about 5 egg whites
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 3 sticks unsalted butter room temperature, cubed
- ¾ cup mascarpone softened
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients.
Beat the oil and sugar until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stream in the coffee, then mix until combined.
Divide between three 8” round cake pans and bake at 350F for 25-28 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.
Cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Combine the espresso and rum until the espresso dissolves.
Whisk the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Place over a double boiler. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch.
Whisk until medium-stiff peaks form and the bowl should be cool to the touch. Add the butter, a few cubes at a time, with a paddle attachment. Once all the butter incorporated, turn the mixer to medium-high and beat until the buttercream is silky smooth. Add the mascarpone, rum, and vanilla; mix until combined.
Brush the cakes with rum-espresso soak. Put a layer on a turntable or serving dish top side up, and spread ½ cup buttercream with an offset spatula. Top with the last cake and frost with the remaining buttercream. Finish with chocolate curls, if desired.
Adapted very slightly from The Vanilla Bean Blog (but really from Tessa Huff’s Layered).
Note that the cake pictured here was made in 6.5" cake pans, while this recipe is meant for 8" pans. If you want to make a 6.5" cake, you can half the (whole) recipe and bake the cakes in two 6.5" pans for 30-35 minutes.
You can adjust the amounts of rum in the rum-espresso soak and the buttercream depending on how much you like rum. I'd caution against increasing it too much though, especially in the buttercream; you don't want the buttercream to get too loose.