This tiramisu cheesecake is easy to make and it’s a completely no bake dessert—you don’t even need to bake the crust! It’s creamy, has a layer of espresso-soaked ladyfingers, and it’s topped with whipped cream and cocoa powder. If you love traditional tiramisu you’ll love this cheesecake too!
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of those links I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only link to products I love and use myself. For the full disclosure, see here.
Seriously—creamy cheesecake, espresso-soaked ladyfingers, rum-spiked whipped cream on top. . .how could you not lose your mind over it?
Say hello to your newest dessert obsession! Or maybe just say hello to my newest dessert obsession—I’d hate to presume you’ll love this like I do.
But it’s totally no bake, easy to make, and has all the flavors of classic tiramisu. So maybe you can excuse my presumptuousness?
Why you’ll love this tiramisu cheesecake:
- The recipe has several components but they’re all really easy, even if you’ve never made a cheesecake before. This is a great entry into the delicious world of cheesecake-making because you don’t need to fuss with a water bath!
- The filling calls for a little mascarpone cheese, which is a traditional ingredient in tiramisu and adds a special flavor to the filling. But you can absolutely substitute regular cream cheese if you prefer!
- Because the cheesecake has to chill overnight, this is a really good dessert to make ahead for a special occasion. (And the flavor of the cheesecake improves overnight anyway, so it’s win-win!)
How to make your graham crust
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and salt
- Stir until the crumbs are saturated with the butter
- Press into the bottom and a little bit up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan
Then just freeze while you work on the filling.
If you prefer, you can use chocolate or vanilla cookie crumbs (regular or Golden Oreos would work well!).
How to make the cheesecake filling
- Beat cream cheese, mascarpone, powdered sugar, and a few other ingredients together until smooth
- With mixer on low, gradually beat in heavy cream
- Turn mixer to high and beat until the mixture is very thick and holds stiff peaks (stiff peaks are formed once you can pull the beaters out of the filling and it holds its shape without collapsing on itself)
- Spread about 1/2 cup of filling over the chilled crust and set aside for a moment
- Combine water, espresso powder, and rum (see notes below) in a small bowl and stir to dissolve
- Dip both sides of each ladyfinger in the espresso mixture
- Set on top of the cheesecake layer you’ve poured into the pan
- Once you’ve covered the bottom with ladyfingers, carefully pour the rest of the filling over the ladyfingers and smooth the filling with a spatula
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight!
- Be sure your cream cheese and mascarpone are at room temperature so they mix together well and you don’t have lumps in your final product.
- Don’t skimp on the amount of time you spend beating the filling once you’ve added the heavy cream. That’s what helps the cheesecake hold its shape.
- I used instant espresso powder and water to make the espresso for the ladyfingers but you can replace that with actual espresso if you want, just be sure it’s strong.
- If you don’t want to add rum to your espresso, you can leave it out or replace it with a little vanilla extract.
- Dip both the top and the bottom of the ladyfingers in the espresso—the ladyfingers should be saturated but not dripping wet.
How to finish your cheesecake
- Beat heavy cream, powdered sugar, and a couple other ingredients until it holds stiff peaks
- Pipe over the chilled cheesecake
- Dust with cocoa powder
Then you’re ready to slice and serve!
I added rum to my whipped cream to give it an extra flavor kick. You can omit the rum or use an additional 1/2-teaspoon of vanilla in its place.
I also used a large round tip to pipe the whipped cream over the cheesecake, then finished it off with a dusting of cocoa powder.
But you have lots of options for the topping:
- Use a large open star tip instead of a round tip
- Don’t own piping tips? Just spread the whipped cream over the top of your cheesecake!
- Instead of cocoa powder, grate chocolate over the whipped cream
How to store your cheesecake
Uneaten cheesecake (should you actually have such a thing) can be stored in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to 3 days or in the freezer (tightly wrapped) for about a month.
I think the cheesecake is best eaten the day after it’s made, however; the moisture from the espresso-soaked ladyfingers seeps into the cheesecake and can make the bottom of the cheesecake soggy if it’s stored a long time.
You can defrost frozen cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight or just let it sit at room temp for a bit. I always prefer freezing individual slices of cheesecake rather than the whole thing so I can just pull out one or two servings at a time.
I recommend placing slices of cheesecake on a baking sheet and freezing until the whipped cream on top sets. Then you can wrap your slices with plastic wrap and foil without smearing/smooshing the whipped cream.
What is tiramisu?
Tiramisu is an Italian dessert made with layers of espresso-soaked ladyfingers (aka savoiardi) and mascarpone cheese, which has typically been mixed with eggs to make a very light and creamy filling.
It’s usually dusted with cocoa powder, although sometimes you see it topped with chocolate shavings. Brandy, marsala, and rum are also frequent ingredients.
If you’ve never had tiramisu (which translates to “pull me up” or “pick me up” or even “cheer me up” depending on which translation you use) I strongly recommend trying it soon.
Or better yet, try this cheesecake. It’s SO FREAKING GOOD!
Did you make this tiramisu cheesecake? That’s great! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below. Then post a pic on IG–tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see your delicious creations!
Tiramisu cheesecake is an easy, no bake dessert that tastes like classic tiramisu!
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 8-ounce packages full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese at room temperature*
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream very cold
- 3/4 cup heavy cream very cold
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon rum optional
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- Spray a 9-inch springform pan lightly with cooking spray and set pan aside.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
- Press the mixture firmly into an even layer in the the bottom and about an inch up the sides of the prepared pan.
- Freeze for 20 minutes; leave in the freezer while you work on the filling.
- Combine the cream cheese, mascarpone (if using), and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low to combine. Turn mixer to medium and beat until very smooth and creamy, 3 or 4 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then beat in the vanilla and salt just to combine.
- Turn mixer to low and gradually beat in the heavy cream. Once you’ve added all the heavy cream, gradually turn mixer to high and beat until the mixture is very stiff (basically, it should hold stiff peaks like whipped cream would). This will take several minutes.
- Spread about 1/2 cup of filling (enough just to cover the bottom) into your chilled crust. Set the remaining filling aside for a moment and work on your ladyfingers.
- Combine the water, espresso powder, and rum (if using) in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the powder.
- Working one at a time, dip both sides of each ladyfinger in the espresso mixture (work quickly because the ladyfingers start to dissolve once they hit the liquid), then set on top of the cheesecake layer you’ve poured into your pan.
- Continue until you’ve covered the entire pan with dipped ladyfingers; it’s fine if you have to break a few of them in order to get the whole pan covered.
- Carefully pour the remaining filling over the ladyfingers and smooth the top.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours.
- Half an hour before you’re ready to serve, place a medium bowl and the beaters for an electric mixer in the fridge (this helps your whipped cream hold very stiff peaks).
- Beat the heavy cream in the chilled bowl until it begins to thicken. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until the whipped cream holds stiff peaks. Quickly beat in the rum (if using).
- Spread or pipe over the top of the chilled cheesecake and dust the top with cocoa powder.
- Slice and serve.
- *You can substitute 8 ounces of cream cheese for the mascarpone if you prefer.
- **You can substitute 3/4 cup strong espresso for the water and espresso powder if you prefer.
- Be sure to use products labeled “heavy cream” or “heavy whipping cream” not “whipping cream.” Whipping cream doesn’t set up as stiffly as heavy cream does.
- Once you’ve added the heavy cream, don’t skimp on the time you spend beating it. Beating it well helps the cheesecake hold its shape.
- If you want your dessert non-alcoholic, you can either omit the rum entirely or replace it with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in the espresso mixture and add an additional 1/2-teaspoon of vanilla to your whipped cream.
- Light or dark rum is fine; use what you have.
- Uneaten cheesecake can be stored in the fridge (covered) for up to 3 days or in the freezer (tightly wrapped) for about a month.
- I think the cheesecake is best eaten the day after it’s made, however; the moisture from the soaked ladyfingers seeps out into the cheesecake and can make the bottom of the cheesecake soggy if it’s stored very long.