Limoncello Tiramisu Recipe

Tiramisu is an Italian classic and a favourite of mine, however tiramisu doesn’t have to be coffee flavoured. This particular variation with lemon juice and limoncello is refreshing and tangy, and the perfect ending to any meal or dinner party and will be a favourite for those who love creamy lemon desserts. I don’t like the idea of making tiramisu with raw egg yolks like many traditional Italian recipes call for, so I cook it with limoncello to form a sabayon sauce (Italians call it zabaglione) which involves cooking the yolks with the lemon juice and limoncello over a double boiler, whisking continuously until it thickens and cooks. This only takes about 10 minutes at the most and in my opinion is worth doing.

Limoncello Tiramisu Recipe
Yield: 8 Servings
Difficulty: Medium
Cooking time:


For the tiramisu

  • 125 g sugar
  • 3 egg yolks(medium)
  • 4 tbsp limoncello
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of 1½ lemons
  • 250 g boudoir biscuits (sponge fingers)
  • 500 g mascarpone cheese
  • 250 ml whipping or double cream

For dipping the biscuits

  • 100 ml of limoncello
  • 200 ml lemon juice
  • 25 g sugar


For the tiramisu

  • 1¼ cup of sugar
  • 3 egg yolks(medium)
  • 4 tbsp limoncello
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of 1½ lemons
  • 9 oz boudoir biscuits (sponge fingers)
  • 18 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup whipping or double cream

For dipping the biscuits

  • 6½ tbsp of limoncello
  • ¾ cup of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of sugar



  1. Add hot water to a pan and heat up to a medium simmer. Once the water is simmering place a bowl over the pan and ensure the level of the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl so that the yolks do not warm up too quickly and scramble.
  2. Separate the eggs and add the yolks, 4 tbsp of limoncello and 3 tbsp of lemon juice to the bowl. The egg whites can be stored for future use.
  3. Whisk continuously for about 10 minutes until the mixture lightens in colour, thickens and becomes of a creamy consistency. An electric hand mixer makes it much easier and quicker. Doing it by hand will take a bit longer.
  4. Add the lemon zest, whisk for another minute or so, remove from the heat and allow to cool down. This in effect is a sabayon and is a way of cooking the yolks so they are not raw. You can keep a couple of tablespoons of the sabayon to one side to decorate the tiramisu at the end.
  5. When the sabayon has cooled down somewhat whisk in the mascarpone and mix well so that it is fully combined and there are no lumps.
  6. In another bowl pour the cream and whisk until peaks are formed.
  7. Fold the cream into the mascarpone until it combines. I prefer to do this in stages to ensure it combines easily and the air stays in the whipped cream.
  8. Prepare the liquid for dipping the biscuits by adding 100ml of limoncello, 200ml of lemon juice and 25ml of sugar into a dish. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
  9. Dip the biscuits, one by one into the lemon mixture for a couple of seconds on each side, and cover the bottom of a 22cm by 22cm baking dish to form a layer of dunked biscuits. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of the lemon mixture over the layer to drench the biscuits, otherwise they can be a bit dry.
  10. Add a layer of mascarpone mixture and spread evenly on top.
  11. Repeat the step of dipping biscuits in the lemon mixture to form another layer of biscuits on top of the layer of mascarpone mixture.
  12. Add another layer of mascarpone mixture to the top of the dish.
  13. To finish off the tiramisu, add 1 tbsp of the lemon mixture for dipping the biscuits to the sabayon which was set to one side earlier to loosen it up as it will be quite thick. Drizzle on the top of the tiramisu.
  14. Allow to set in the refrigerator for a few hours, preferably overnight.
  15. Before serving garnish with some toasted flaked almonds. These can be toasted on a dry frying pan over a medium heat and only takes a couple of minutes. Allow them to cool before sprinkling over the tiramisu.

    Limoncello tiramisu, lemon variation of the classic tiramisu
    Limoncello tiramisu, lemon variation of the classic tiramisu

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