No, Tiramisu Doesn't Always Have To Be Coffee-Flavored

It's no surprise to hear coffee lovers say their favorite treat is the Italian dessert known as tiramisu. This layered, delicate, coffee-forward, and slightly sweet dessert has gained the hearts of many and is easily replicated by home cooks and pastry chefs alike. However, people who aren't fond of coffee shouldn't miss the opportunity to try this custardy dessert. Enter one TikTok user's recipe for a lemon version of this classic dessert.  

In the TikTok video, the creator shows how lemon tiramisu is made using the same basic steps as the classic recipe — but with a refreshing, citrusy twist. Ladyfingers (a type of cookie) are dipped in lemon and basil-infused simple syrup and then covered with mascarpone cheese, lemon curd, and whipped cream filling. The same creator also suggested one way to elevate the recipe: "Add limoncello to dunk ladyfingers to spike it up." 

"This was absurdly soothing and 10/10 would eat the whole thing," and "I made it to lemon tok and I'm never leaving," read a few of the comments. Other users celebrated the "lemon all things" trend but confessed they would try a coffee and lemon combo. On Instagram, many praised the creation, saying this was their "kind of tiramisu." Still, some debated whether using the word tiramisu to describe this lemon dessert — or any other uniquely-flavored version — was accurate. 

The best tiramisu is the one you like

Some people ended up taking issue not with the dessert but with the choice to call it a tiramisu. "Let's be honest, this is far from tiramisu. I know my Italian friends are laughing," said one user. Other commenters said there is only one type of tiramisu and chose to call this lemon-layered dessert, although delicious, a "lemon parfait." This criticism could stem from the fact that the word tiramisu means "pick me up" in Italian since it has coffee in it to wake you up. The dessert was also reportedly once served as an aphrodisiac.


Tiramisu, but lemon 🍋 Followed's awesome and it is TO. DIE. FOR. 🍰 #lemontiramisu #dessertrecipe #tiramisu #lemoncurd #mascarponecheese

♬ Beautiful Memories – Lux-Inspira

Like anything in the food world, you can choose whether you prefer more traditional recipes or are open to new ideas. If you believe tiramisu can go beyond rich, bold coffee and chocolate flavors, options are endless: One TikToker suggested a coconut tiramisu, while others created a matcha-inspired tiramisu. You can also follow tradition but add a few upgrades: Swirl coffee, milk chocolate, and white chocolate together or try Giada De Laurentiis' tiramisu recipe, which adds vanilla and strawberries to the recipe for a Neapolitan ice cream combo. Or, add some crushed pistachio to the top for crunch. Ask yourselves what flavors you would like to eat in a layered dessert, and you may unlock a new twist on this recipe all on your own.