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Tiramisù al limoncello

Published on May 21, 2012 by Cara @ Due Spaghetti
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Tiramisu al limoncello with a spoon next to it and a lemon on a cutting board in the background.

The night before we flew back to the States, while we crammed things back into our suitcase hoping it would all fit, Stefano’s papà, Andrea, stopped by Nonna Pierina’s house and picked a crate full of lemons from the very prolific lemon tree that grows outside of her ground floor apartment.

Andrea sat at the little table in the kitchen and carefully peeled those lemons. He wrapped the lemon peel in paper towels, packaged it carefully in zip lock plastic bags, and then added ice packs to keep it cold. When we thought that nothing more could possibly fit into our suitcases, he came into the bedroom and presented us with these parcels of lemon peel. “Ecco,” he said. “Quando tornate in America potete fare il limoncello.” When we get back to America, we can make limoncello. He held us to it, too. He called us every day to ask if Stefano had bought the alcohol to soak the lemon peel in, until Stefano finally told him that he had.

We wrote about how to make limoncello, the sweet, lemony liquor from Italy’s Amalfi Coast, in another post. Today, we’re sharing a  variation of Italy’s most famous dessert, tiramisù.  We posted the original recipe, with espresso, brandy and cocoa, nearly a year ago.  This version, tiramisù al limoncello, is a rich and flavorful summertime adaptation of the classic recipe.

Take note – it is best when refrigerated overnight, so plan ahead.

Tiramisu al limoncello with a lemon on a cutting board in the background.

Tiramisù al limoncello

Yield: 9-12 servings

Tiramisù al limoncello is a variation of Italy's most famous dessert, made with the lemony liquor limoncello, rather than with espresso and brandy. It is a rich and flavorful summertime adaptation of the classic recipe.


  • 6 large eggs, yolks and white seperated
  • 200 grams + 1 pinch sugar
  • 450 grams or 16 oz mascarpone
  • 250 ml + 6 tablespoons limoncello
  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 400 grams or 14 oz Savoiardi (Lady Fingers)
  • Pearl sugar, or other decorative sugar


  1. Combine the egg yolks, 6 Tablespoons of limoncello, and the sugar in a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Beat with a stand mixer or electric mixer for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the mascarpone and beat for 3-5 more minutes until the consistency is smooth.  Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, add a pinch of sugar to the egg whites. Beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
  5. Gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture. Set aside.
  6. Warm the milk and pour it, along with the rest of the limoncello, into a shallow container.
  7. Submerge the ladyfingers into the limoncello and milk one by one, and layer them on the bottom of a 9x13 glass baking pan. Soak the lady fingers just enough so that they are not crunchy, but not so much that they break.
  8. Spread 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture on top of the lady fingers. Sprinkle pearl sugar over the mascarpone mixture. 
  9. Add a second layer of ladyfingers and top with another layer of the mascarpone mixture and pearl sugar.
  10. Refrigerate overnight before serving.


We use Bel Gioioso Mascarpone, which is sold in 8 oz. tubs.

We use Alessi brand Savoiardi.

Powdered sugar or any other decorative sugar can be used instead of pearl sugar, or you can skip it altogether.

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