get new recipes in your email box:

Crazy for Crust

Apr 23

Easy Tiramisu Mousse

This Easy Tiramisu Mousse contains my favorite part of the Tiramisu: the mousse! I’m all about the mousse (no cake).

PIN IT NOW to save for later!

Tiramisu Mousse - an easy no-bake dessert! Layers of tiramisu whipped cream and cocoa powder for the best part of the tiramisu!

Watching a group of food/dessert bloggers eat dessert at a restaurant is like watching vultures attack. It’s hysterical. But I digress.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I was in Santa Barbara this past weekend for the #SBFoodieEscape. I apologize for my overgramming, I just wanted to share allthethings. In fact, I have so much to share about the weekend that I’ll have a whole post soon, but for now I just wanted to talk about Tiramisu.

Because we were a group of food bloggers, eating was a central theme to our weekend. Each meal and restaurant was planned with a group of food and dessert bloggers in mind. Our last dinner was eaten at the Santa Ynez Kitchen in Santa Ynez, CA.

OMG. You guys. That food. If you’re ever in the Santa Barbara/Solvang area go here to eat. Some of the best Italian food ever. Also? I tried octopus, beets, and artichokes. It was a red letter weekend for this picky girl!

{BTW, beets will forever and always taste like dirt to me. How do people eat them and like them???}

The highlight of the dinner was dessert. #obviously

The highlight of dessert, for me? The layered Tiramisu.

Easy Tiramisu Mousse

When the waiter placed the selection of 4 desserts on the table, the 8 of us attacked them so fast with our spoons that literally the plates were licked clean in less than 5 minutes.

At one point Julianne was laughing so hard because there were 6 spoons at once in the teeny tiny jar of pana cotta and she decided to just let it go rather than fight it.

That’s how food bloggers do. Making copycats of my favorite things is how I do. Hence this Tiramisu Mousse copycat.

It was the best thing I ate all night. (Except for the mushroom pasta that was life changing.)

Tiramisu Mousse

I absolutely love Tiramisu. I would order it at every single restaurant I go to except for one thing: I’m not much a fan of the cake or ladyfingers in the center. What I really love about Tiramisu is the cream. The marscarpone, espresso, whipped cream, and chocolate are what I dream about when I think about tiramisu.

Lady fingers dipped in espresso? Meh.

Piles of tiramisu mousse in a glass? YES!

That’s what I loved about the dessert at the restaurant last weekend: there was no cake. It was a jar full of my favorite stuff in the world, which is kind of genius.

Also? Do you know how hard it is to find mainstream lady fingers? When I was writing my book I wanted to find some to go with the Tiramisu Dip. I went to 4 grocery stores – NADA.

Which is why just making a bowl of all the other good stuff is perfect. No ladyfinger hunting is needed.

Tiramisu Mousse - an easy no-bake dessert! Layers of tiramisu whipped cream and cocoa powder for the best part of the tiramisu!

This recipe is super easy, fast, and delicious. Just a few components go into making the best Tiramisu Mousse you’ll ever eat, I promise.

1. Marscarpone. Tiramisu is traditionally made with marscarpone, which is an Italian cheese. It’s very similar to cream cheese, but smoother. You can use marscarpone in this recipe or you can use cream cheese. I used cream cheese because I didn’t want to go to the store and I wanted tiramisu NOW. Use what you have or what you can find.

2. Coffee. Tiramisu has a varying espresso flavor depending on where you get it. I like a strong tiramisu, so I add more coffee than some. You make the coffee flavor by brewing instant coffee in a small amount of water. I always have little instant Starbucks Via coffee packets on hand (what? doesn’t everyone travel with them?) One of those packets plus 1/4 cup of hot water will make your espresso flavoring. You can add from 1 tablespoon of this espresso up to the full amount in your tiramisu. Add to your flavor palate.

3. Whipped Cream. I used fresh whipped cream, but you can substitute whipped topping if you want, which can also make this lower in fat and calories or sugar, depending on your preference. See the notes in the recipe.

4. Chocolate. Instead of layering the tiramisu with cake or ladyfingers, I layered it sand-art style with unsweetened cocoa powder. The top gets a dusting of grated semi-sweet baking chocolate. I don’t recommend using the unsweetened cocoa on top because it’s bitter. The first bite that hits your tongue shouldn’t be bitter.

Mix, chill, pipe, repeat. That’s it. 20 minutes to an addicting dessert.

Easy, No-bake Tiramisu Mousse

For me, this dessert just reminds me of a very fun weekend. Hopefully it’ll make memories for you too!

Easy Tiramisu Mousse

Yield: 4 servings (6 ounces each)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

This Easy Tiramisu Mousse comes together in minutes and is the best of the tiramisu - the cream!


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee (I use the Starbucks Via packs)
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (see note)
  • 8 ounces marscarpone cheese or cream cheese (low fat cream cheese is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ounce semi-sweet baking chocolate


  1. Place the instant coffee in the hot water and stir. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Chill until ready to use. (Alternately: you can use an 8 ounce carton of whipped topping. See note.)
  3. Mix powdered sugar and marscarpone/cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth. Mix in vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of the coffee. Add up to the entire amount of coffee, depending on how strong you want your tiramisu. (I added all of it because that’s how I roll.) Mix in vanilla.
  4. Fold whipped cream into coffee mixture gently. Place the tiramisu in a gallon size ziploc bag that is fitted with a large round or 1M tip.
  5. Pipe a small amount the bottom of each of 4 serving glasses (my glasses were 6 ounce size). Top the layer with a dusting of cocoa powder. Continue layering the tiramisu and cocoa powder. Once you get to the top layer, grate the 1 ounce of semi-sweet baking chocolate over the tops of the serving dishes (instead of the dusting of cocoa powder). This gives a sweet first taste instead of being bitter from the unsweetened cocoa. Chill, covered, in the fridge until ready to serve.


Whipped cream note: you can substitute whipped topping for the 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. Use about 8 ounces, no whipping needed. Just skip step 2.

I used cream cheese because I can't always find marscarpone at my store. It's often in the specialty cheese section and is basically an Italian cream cheese. Use whichever you can find!

Coffee note: mine was strong instant coffee and I added a lot. Taste as you go and make this as strong as you like it. The color will vary depending on the amount of coffee used.

Powdered sugar note: if you use whipped topping and/or less coffee you may need less powdered sugar. Start at 1 cup and increase as needed.

I piped this recipe using a ziploc bag instead of a pastry bag. See how I did it here:

piping frosting FB


S’mores Pudding

smores-pudding (1 of 4)

Chocolate Malted Pudding

malted-pudding (1 of 4)w

Tiramisu Cups to go


Sweets from friends:
Classic Tiramisu by Life, Love, and Sugar
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Tiramisu by Grandbaby Cakes
Tiramisu Pana Cotta by Heather’s French Press

84 comments on “Easy Tiramisu Mousse

  1. Hi there! Can you please let me know if this is gluten free? I would love to make this for an office party but need to be careful that it’s a gluten free recipe 🙂

    Thanks in advance!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 28th, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      I’m pretty sure it is. Just check your ingredients when you buy them in case any of the brands include gluten (most don’t, but you never know!)


  2. I was out of vanilla extract I have no idea how, but I used hazelnut extract instead and it was delicious! Next time I’ll try with vanilla for a comparison.


  3. Made this today, pretty simple an ohhhh so yummy


  4. For a larger group, can you multiply the recipe and layer it in say a punch bowl?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on May 9th, 2016 at 6:16 pm

      I haven’t done it but I’m 99% sure that will work! I often half or double recipes like this. Enjoy!


  5. Sounds like this is right up my ally. I’ve made myself a name as the tiramisu master almost my friends, only thing is I can’t ever have any because of the gluten. Good solution. I’ll still have the fingers on the side people can just dip’em in the mousse…


  6. The easy Tiramisu Mousse sounds lovely… and it’s gluten free…right?
    Also, do you know if it would freeze well?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on June 30th, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      If you use Cool Whip it would freeze okay…regular whipped cream may not thaw well. And it should be GF as long as you double check your powdered sugar!


  7. I can’t wait to try this!! Does the cream cheese need to be softened?? TIA!:)


  8. Is instant coffee necessary or is regular coffee okay?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 27th, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      You can use leftover brewed coffee if you have it! I just never have any left over, which is why I used instant.


  9. Oh my, tiramisu is my absolute FAVOURITE dessert!! I will def be making this and will also add a splash of marsala to the cream cheese mixture… because that’s how I roll!! 🙂 I always use cream cheese instead of mascarpone because here in New Zealand it’s about a quarter the price! By the way, your entire website is making me drool!!!!!!


  10. Would you advise if this can be made the night before, or should it be done the day of? Thanks!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 3rd, 2016 at 10:20 am

      It will last a day in the fridge, no problem.


  11. Ohhhh my god this is so good. This is a life changing recipe. I may end up gaining 100 lbs from eating this nonstop. I’m eating some as I type this comment. I did the easier cool whip method, and used espresso instead of instant(and more like 1/2 cup than 1/4) since I have a stove stop espresso maker. Bringing this to Thanksgiving tomorrow, and everyone is going to love me!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *