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Lemon Tiramisu Recipe | The Recipe Critic

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Meet lemon tiramisu! The most amazing citrusy twist on a classic Italian dessert. The layers of mascarpone cream and lemon curd will have you reaching for another slice!

Now that the temperatures are warming up, bring on the lemon! Here are a few more of my favorite recipes for you to try: lemon icebox cake, lemon cheesecake, and lemon bars!

Lemon tiramisu in a white baking dish.

Why You’ll Love It

I mean, it’s tiramisu… and lemon.. a no-brainer combination! Instead of the chocolate and espresso powder, this recipe opts for layers of zesty mascarpone cream, lemon curd, and of course, those tasty ladyfinger biscuits.

But this time, instead of being soaked in coffee, they’re soaked in a homemade lemon syrup for more bright, delicious flavor! We have been pretty obsessed with this lemon tiramisu at my house, and I know once you try it you will be too. It’s the best balance of tangy and sweet! Perfect for whipping up whenever you get a sweet tooth this spring and summer.

Ingredients You’ll Need

I know it looks like a lot, but most of the ingredients are reused throughout each tiramisu layer. (e.g. lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar.) Since lemon is the main flavor here, I highly recommend using fresh lemon juice rather than bottled. It makes all the difference!

Lemon Curd

  • Eggs & Sugar: The base of the curd, whisked together until it’s light and fluffy.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice, Zest & Salt: A burst of bright lemon flavor balanced by a touch of salt.
  • Butter: Adds richness and helps thicken the curd into a smooth, glossy consistency.
  • Vanilla Extract: For some warm flavor that complements the lemon perfectly.

Lemon Syrup

  • Sugar & Water: Creates a simple syrup to lightly moisten the ladyfingers.
  • Lemon Juice & Zest: Infuses the syrup with more tasty lemon flavor.

Mascarpone Cream/ Tiramisu Assembly

  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Whipped until it reaches soft peaks!
  • Sugar & Vanilla Extract: Sweetens and adds a touch of warmth to the cream.
  • Mascarpone Cheese: Don’t skip this! It’s what makes tiramisu so creamy, delicious, and irresistible.
  • Lemon Zest: So the creamy filling has a little extra citrus flavor.
  • Ladyfingers: Delicate cookies that get a quick dip in the lemon syrup to make them soft and moist.
  • Candied Lemon Slices: These are optional, but will take your lemon tiramisu to the next level. They taste great and look even better!

Lemon Tiramisu Recipe

Don’t mind all of the steps, tiramisu is actually a lot easier to put together than you’d think! And the best part is? No baking required! (Perfect for those scorching hot summer days!)

Lemon Curd

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a medium saucepan, whisk the eggs and sugar together for a minute or so, until light and glossy. Whisk in the lemon juice, zest, and salt. Heat over medium-low heat while whisking constantly for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.
  2. Add Butter and Vanilla: Whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until it is all melted. Continue to whisk the mixture for 5-6 minutes, until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Strain: Use a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon to run the curd through a fine mesh strainer into a storage container. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the top and press it down until it touches the entire surface of the curd. This will prevent a film from forming on the curd as it cools.
  4. Chill: Cover with an airtight lid or another layer of tight plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until completely cooled.

Lemon Syrup

  1. Combine and Heat: Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture is boiling and all the sugar has dissolved, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Mascarpone Cream

  1. Whip: Whip the cream to soft peaks. Add in the sugar slowly, and whip until stiff peaks.
  2. Combine: Combine the mascarpone cheese and ½ cup of lemon curd until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream, vanilla, and lemon zest until smooth.
  3. Dip the Cookies: Dip half of the ladyfingers quickly in the cooled syrup until fully coated and layer on the bottom of a 4-quart baking dish. If you need to cut the cookies to fit in the odd spaces, cut them carefully and fill in the bottom of the pan. 
  4. Layer: Layer half of the cream mixture over them and smooth. Top with ½-⅔ cup of lemon curd and smooth. Dip and layer the other half of the ladyfingers over the top of the cream until it is fully covered with cookies.
  5. Repeat: Spread the remaining cream over the top and smooth out. Top with ½-⅔ cup of lemon curd and smooth. You may end up with a little cream and curd leftover, depending on the size and shape of your serving dish. 
  6. Chill and Serve: Let the tiramisu chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. When you are ready to serve, garnish with fresh or candied lemon slices and sprigs of mint leaves, if desired.

Make it Boozy

To add a little alcoholic kick to your lemon tiramisu, prepare the lemon syrup with a ¼ cup lemon juice and a ¼ cup water. Once the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has cooled, whisk in ½ cup of limoncello.

Tips for Successful Lemon Tiramisu

  • Using Store-bought Curd: If you would like to skip making the lemon curd, you are welcome to use store-bought, though it tends to be much more affordable if made from scratch.
  • Other Types of Citrus: Change things up and make this recipe with any citrus of your choice! Anywhere the recipe calls for lemon juice or lemon zest, replace it with the juice and zest of whichever fruit calls to you. Blood orange tiramisu is next on my list to try!
  • Use Fresh Lemon Juice: Stick with fresh lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice has preservatives in it that will keep your lemon tiramisu from tasting bright and fresh.
  • Don’t Soak the Ladyfingers for Too Long! A quick dunk in the lemon syrup is all they need. If you leave them in the syrup longer, they will soak up too much and become soggy instead of softened.
  • Leftovers: Save the leftover lemon cream and lemon curd to spread on pancakes, waffles, or crepes. Or just eat by the spoonful! Also, the leftover lemon syrup is delicious in various drinks!

A scoop of lemon tiramisu.

How Long Does Leftover Lemon Tiramisu Last?

Lemon tiramisu is a great make-ahead dessert! You may prepare it completely up to 24 hours before serving. Alternatively, you may prepare the lemon curd and lemon syrup up to 5 days before assembling your tiramisu. Preparing those two components in advance will speed up the process when it comes time to assemble the lemon tiramisu.

A serving of the tiramisu on a small plate.

More Amazing Lemon Desserts

Light, bright, and ready for the warm weather! Add one (or all) to your spring dessert list!

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Lemon Curd

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk the eggs and sugar together for a minute or so, until light and glossy. Whisk in the lemon juice, zest, and salt. Heat over medium-low heat while whisking constantly for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.

  • Whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until it is all melted. Continue to whisk the mixture for 5-6 minutes, until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the vanilla extract.

  • Use a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon to run the curd through a fine mesh strainer into a storage container. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the top and press it down until it touches the entire surface of the curd. This will prevent a film from forming on the curd as it cools.

  • Cover with an airtight lid or another layer of tight plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until completely cooled.

Mascarpone Cream

  • Whip the cream to soft peaks. Add in the sugar slowly, and whip until stiff peaks.

  • Combine the mascarpone cheese and ½ cup of lemon curd until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream, vanilla, and lemon zest until smooth.

  • Dip half of the ladyfingers quickly in the cooled syrup until fully coated and layer on the bottom of a 4-quart baking dish. If you need to cut the cookies to fit in the odd spaces, cut them carefully and fill in the bottom of the pan.

  • Layer half of the cream mixture over them and smooth. Top with ½-⅔ cup of lemon curd and smooth. Dip and layer the other half of the ladyfingers over the top of the cream until it is fully covered with cookies.

  • Spread the remaining cream over the top and smooth out. Top with ½-⅔ cup of lemon curd and smooth. You may end up with a little cream and curd leftover, depending on the size and shape of your serving dish.

  • Let the tiramisu chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. When you are ready to serve, garnish with fresh or candied lemon slices and sprigs of mint leaves, if desired.

Calories: 786kcalCarbohydrates: 88gProtein: 10gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 27gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 245mgSodium: 195mgPotassium: 136mgFiber: 1gSugar: 69gVitamin A: 1610IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 113mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.




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