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Fork removing piece of cake on plate with cocoa dusting in the background.

Vanilla Tiramisu Cake

  • Author: Theresa | Quiet Baking Day
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Chilling Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 mintues
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Intermediate
  • Cuisine: Italian


This Vanilla Tiramisu Cake is a spin on the Italian classic – but with vanilla cake layers, mascarpone whipped cream and a coffee syrup soak!

Equipment Needed: 3-6″ cake tins



Vanilla Cake

  • 210g cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 56g sour cream, room temperature

Mascarpone Whipped Cream

  • 3/4c heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 339g (1 1/2-8oz packages) mascarpone cheese, cold

Coffee Syrup

  • 3 tablespoons strong coffee, sweetened to liking
  • Dark or Dutch-processed cocoa powder for dusting
  • Decorations (optional): ladyfingers, Pirouette cookies, white chocolate


  1. Vanilla Cake. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3 – 6″ cake tins and line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar on high until lighter in color and fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in oil.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, with mixer on low. Add vanilla.
  5. Alternating between the flour mixture and milk, incorporate 1/3 of the flour, then 1/2 of the milk. Repeat until fully mixed. Stir in sour cream.
  6. Divide batter between prepared pans. Tap on counter a few times to release air pockets. Bake 24-27 minutes until cake springs back when touched and cake begins to pull away from the sides, or a toothpick comes out clean. 
  7. Cool in tins until cool enough to handle, then transfer to cooling rack.
  8. Mascarpone Whipped Cream. While cake is cooling, whip together heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until stiff peaks form. Gently stir in mascarpone cheese with rubber spatula until just combined. Be sure not to over mix.
  9. Assembly. When cakes are fully cooled, slice tops of cake layers to create an even surface. Dab coffee on cakes using pastry brush or spoon.
  10. Begin to stack cakes as 1 cake layer, 1/3 of the mascarpone whipped cream, and a heavy sprinkling of cocoa powder. Repeat for the 3 layers.
  11. Allow to chill for 2 hours before serving. Decorate as desired.


  • Cakes may be made in advance, wrapped tightly and stored in freezer for up to 3 months. 
  • Store leftover cake in airtight container in refrigerator.

Keywords: italian desserts, layer cakes

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