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Baileys and Vanilla Tiramisu

Baileys and Vanilla Tiramisu

It’s become an unofficial tradition for me to make tiramisu for New Year’s Eve. I’m not sure how it came about, but it’s definitely not a bad thing. Tiramisu has always struck me as a kind of elegant dessert, with its layers of ladyfingers and mascarpone cream. That said, it is also very easy to put together and can be made well in advance – huge plusses for just about every dessert. It also uses a bit of alcohol, which makes it fit in nicely with the usual festivities of a New Year’s Eve gathering (or even just a nice dinner), and a bit of coffee, which might give you an edge in staying up until midnight.

It’s pretty easy to vary the flavors of a tiramisu by using different liquors. Rum and marsala wine are often featured in it. For this version, I used Baileys Irish Cream with coffee (though classic Irish Cream would be fine) to dip the ladyfingers and I infused a vanilla bean into the cream I used to make the mascarpone cream layers. Because it is easier, I included instructions for using both vanilla extract and vanilla-infused cream with this recipe. It is also worth noting the the size of ladyfingers varies by brand, so don’t be concerned if you need more or less than I’ve called for here, as long as your dish is fully covered as you construct the dessert.

The finished dish is delicious. It is ultra creamy and very light. I really liked the hint of Baileys in with the coffee, too. It’s easy to eat a big piece, but since it is rich it is best served in slightly smaller portions.

Baileys and Vanilla Tiramisu
8-oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup heavy cream, cold*
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream or other coffee liqueur
approx 30-36 ladyfingers
unsweetened cocoa powder, for finishing

In a large mixing bowl, beat mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream and vanilla at high speed until mixture is fluffy and very smooth.
In a small, shallow bowl, combine coffee and Baileys. Dip each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture to let it soak up some of the liquid (2-3 seconds) and place in the bottom of a 8×8 or 9×9-inch baking dish. The bottom of the pan should be completely covered with the ladyfingers in a single layer. Do not completely soak the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture.
When there is a full layer of ladyfingers, spread half of the cream mixture on top of them.Repeat with remaining ladyfingers and cream mixture.
Dust with cocoa powder
Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours.

Serves 9-12

*Note: While this works fine with vanilla extract, and that is certainly the easiest way to make the recipe, you can also infuse the heavy cream with a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the cream before using it. Combine the cream and a split bean in a small saucepan, bring almost to a boil and remove from heat. Let stand for about 10 minutes, then scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the cream and chill cream until it is very cold. This can be done a few days in advance. Then you can proceed with the recipe as written.

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  • Steph
    December 30, 2009

    This looks great and easy to make. I have some Bailey’s I need to use – I might try this tomorrow! Thanks!

  • The Local Cook
    December 30, 2009

    Baileys in the tiramisu? Brilliant!

  • Amy
    December 30, 2009

    Nice! I bet you could use Kahlua too…I’ve always thought brandy was a little boring for tiramisu.

  • Carrie Z
    December 30, 2009

    I just died and went to dessert heaven! This sounds delicious.

  • Julie
    December 30, 2009

    Oh my goodness yes! Looks just amazing….some of my favorite flavors all together in creamy goodness!

  • Sweets at Vicky's
    December 31, 2009

    Bailey’s seems to be everywhere! Just two days ago I had the most divine Baileys Cheesecake topped with a chocolate ganache and a oreo base. MMMM. now you’ve shared this with us, I think I need me some Bailey’s for the new year! 🙂

  • Elyse
    December 31, 2009

    Love love this dessert! Great idea for the holiday

  • Tim
    January 1, 2010

    You’ve never yet turned me in the wrong direction. I had a New Year’s Eve party last night and was told NOT to bring anything, but after reading your post had to give this a try – turned out great! Thanks for another great recipe.

    Incidently, I used the “Bailey’s with a hint of Coffee” and recommend it highly!

    Grace and Peace,

  • Mike
    January 2, 2010

    I was given a huge bottle on Baileys at Christmas and wondered if I would be able to drink it all. I will most certainly try out this recipe, however I will omit the coffee because I can’t stand the stuff 😉

  • Hanna
    January 5, 2010

    It’s a very delicious recipe!
    instead of Baileys I’ve insert caramel.
    For the Kids =) The Adults got Baileys. 🙂
    It also taste nice and our kids were keen.

  • Gayle
    January 19, 2010

    is their a substitute for mascarpone cheese? can i also use cream cheese with all purpose cream instead?

  • Anna Mazur
    January 25, 2010

    Mhmm I will try to bake this cake today. It looks delicious.

  • Gayle
    January 30, 2010

    i have made this today & made somw adjusments 🙂
    my friends loved it! not too sweet, just d right taste

  • Chelsea
    January 29, 2011

    An absolutely delicious dessert!

    I went through an endless search in trying to find a tiramisu cake recipe. I finally found this one, where it was easy to make, but has just the right balance in taste.

    Exactly what a tiramisu cake should be like, where this one is definitely a keeper!

    Thank you!

  • evolvingtastes
    January 18, 2013

    This is a wonderful recipe that I have made repeatedly! I would like to get your permission to post an adaptation on my blog. Thanks!

  • […] even my sweet tooth got a little tired of it. I’m glad I succeeded with a modification of Baking Bites’ recipe. The cheese and heavy cream filling was light and airy, and the strong coffee I brewed […]

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