This Japanese twist to a classic Italian Tiramisu contains a light and creamy mascarpone filling layered with matcha tea-soaked ladyfingers and topped with generous matcha dusting.
Matcha Tiramisu is one of those desserts that my entire family can agree on. Matcha tiramisu is light, airy, rich, bold, and creamy all at the same time. When you switch out the coffee and cocoa flavors with matcha it is a GAME CHANGER. Trust me, this you cannot pass on this Matcha Tiramisu.
What is the difference between Tiramisu and Matcha Tiramisu?
The classic Tiramisu originated from Veneto, Italy. Traditionally, Tiramisu is made with ladyfingers, also called savoiardi, dipped in a rich black coffee and dark rum, layered with a rum-infused whipped mascarpone cheese custard, and topped with cocoa powder.
My twist on this delicious classic substitutes out the coffee and rum with a concentrated matcha tea. Furthermore, instead of infusing the mascarpone cheese with rum I added more matcha tea. Lastly, the dessert is topped with matcha powder instead of cocoa powder. Each layer is infused with matcha tea allowing the earthy and rich matcha flavor to really shine through that rich and creamy mascarpone cheese.
Ingredients for this recipe
Matcha Tiramisu contains five separate layers beginning at the bottom of the pan: 1. Matcha dipped ladyfingers, 2. Mascarpone cream, 3. Matcha dipped ladyfingers, 4. Mascarpone cream, and 5. Dusted matcha powder.
- Matcha is a powdered green tea made of top-quality tea leaves. It provides a deep, earthy green tea flavor. There are three grades of matcha: ceremonial, premium, and culinary. Culinary is generally sufficient but the premium and culinary grades will provide a richer green color. However, the premium and ceremonial grades tend to be more expensive.
- Ladyfingers (Savoiardi) are sweet, dry finger-shaped sponge cookies. You can find ladyfingers in most large grocery stores or you can also purchase them here online. These finger-shaped cookies when dipped in the green tea and topped with the mascarpone cream will soften into a cake-like texture.
- Mascarpone cheese is an Italian soft velvety cheese made from cream. It has a super spreadable, silky consistency and is slightly sweet with a hint of acidity. Cream cheese has a firmer consistency than mascarpone. You should NOT substitute cream cheese for mascarpone cheese if you want that soft and silky cream.
- Eggs are a key ingredient in the mascarpone custard. You gently cook the eggs in a double boiler and will create a lovely curd.
- Vanilla + Sugar add that subtle sweetness to the cream that balances out the earthy matcha flavors.
- Heavy Whipping Cream whisked into a whipped cream will make the mascarpone cream light and airy.
How to Make Matcha Tiramisu
Make the Matcha Mascarpone Cream and Soak the Ladyfingers
- Whisk the matcha tea for the ladyfingers: In a small bowl, whisk the 2 tbsp matcha and 2 cups hot water in a bowl and set aside.
- Whisk the matcha tea for mascarpone cream: In a separate small bowl, whisk ½ tbsp matcha powder and ¼ cup of hot water in a bowl and set aside to cool.
- Mix the mascarpone and matcha tea: In a large bowl, transfer the mascarpone and pour the cooled ¼ cup of matcha tea. Using a hand mixer, whisk until well combined.
- Gently cook egg yolks and sugar: In a medium glass bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together then place over a pot of simmering water making sure the water does not touch the bowl. Whisk over heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is LIGHT yellow in color and thickened. About 10 min.
- Whisk egg yolks with mascarpone mix: Place in the fridge to chill.
- Whip heavy cream and vanilla to medium peaks: Add the cold heavy whipping cream and vanilla to a large bowl. Mix with a hand mixer on low for about 30 seconds then slowly increase speed to high. Beat until the whipped cream has stiffer peaks but don’t over whip.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
- Quickly dip the top and bottom of your ladyfingers briefly in the matcha tea mixture. 1-2 seconds on each side.
- Arrange the ladyfingers in the 9x13 dish. Or in small cups, if you prefer. Cut the pieces so there are no gaps.
- After the bottom layer of dipped ladyfingers is arranged add the mascarpone mixture on top and smooth out to the edges using a rubber spatula. You can also pipe the mascarpone mixture for a more even distribution of cream.
- Dip more ladyfingers, arranging them on top of the filling as you go, and add another layer of the mascarpone mixture.
- Dust top with matcha powder and chill overnight.
- To serve, use a sharp knife and slice the chilled tiramisu into squares. For clean cuts, wipe the knife clean before each cut.
Tips for making this recipe
- Mascarpone cheese is the best type of cheese for tiramisu. Substituting this with cream cheese or any other spreadable cheese will change the flavor and consistency of the cream.
- DO NOT drench your ladyfingers. When dipping the ladyfingers in the matcha tea dip them one at a time and for 1-2 seconds on each side only.
- Take time to slowly cook your egg yolks. This is the key ingredient in the tiramisu cream that holds its structure. The eggs need to be thick, creamy, and light yellow before you remove them from the heat. Remember to continually whisk the entire time it is on the double boiler.
- Gradually increase the speed while whipping your heavy cream. It will create a thicker and more stable whipped cream. Also, remember to keep your heavy cream and mixing bowl cold! It will make the cream easier to whip.
Cover the matcha tiramisu or place in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the tiramisu for up to 3 months and thaw overnight before serving.