A fresh berry tiramisu recipe, this strawberry limoncello tiramisu is a delicious twist to a big old classic. Ladyfinger biscuits dipped in limoncello and strawberry juice alternate layers of fresh strawberries and classic mascarpone cream. This is a tiramisu without coffee, its flavour relies completely on the strawberries and lemon liqueur. Perfect for peak strawberry season or throughout the summer!
If you know me personally, chances are I have served you tiramisu at least once. Every time we host a dinner party our Swedish friends always expect something Italian. While I take my dinners with friends as wonderful chances to try out new recipes – like I did with my Georgian eggplant rolls or red cabbage empanadas – sometimes it’s safe to pull out a classic for dessert. Tiramisu never disappoints.
The thing is I’m usually a rebel when it comes to classic tiramisu. While I’m keen on keeping the traditional flavour I often make other changes. For instance, ditch classic Savoiardi biscuits for homemade sponge cake. Which allows me to also ditch the classic casserole dish and present my tiramisu in individual portions or even as a small tiramisu cake. So this time I’m doing exactly the opposite. Here’s classic tiramisu made with savoiardi in a casserole dish. What’s totally not classic is the flavour.
Strawberry limoncello tiramisu ingredients
Since we stressed this is a classic, this strawberry tiramisu recipe follows the traditional recipe with mascarpone cheese and raw eggs. But there is no coffee, nor any cocoa powder in this tiramisu. As the title goes, we’re using limoncello and fresh strawberries!
- Fresh strawberries – the use of frozen strawberries is not recommended as they get too mushy.
- Mascarpone cheese – the most classic ingredient in traditional tiramisu.
- Fresh eggs – choose the freshest eggs you can get, preferably free-range and organic.
- Granulated sugar – used both to sweeten the cream and flavour the strawberries.
- Savoiardi – a type of biscuit known in English as ladyfingers.
- Limoncello – a lemon liqueur from southern Italy, especially from the Amalfi and Sorrento area.
- Lemon – we use the juice with the strawberries, and the zest as decoration.
- Powdered sugar – optional – to lightly sweeten the top layer of strawberries.
For detailed quantities please refer to the recipe card at the end of this post. A step-by-step description of the recipe follows.
How to make strawberry limoncello tiramisu
- Set aside one part of the strawberries picking those that are more or less similar in size. Those will be used for the top layer. Cut the rest of the fruits into a fine dice and season with granulated sugar and lemon juice. Marinate 15 minutes.
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks into two separate bowls. Whisk the egg whites on high speed until hard peak forms, whisking in one tablespoon of sugar at the end.
- Combine the rest of the sugar with the yolks and beat at high speed for 3 minutes until fluffy and light. Add the mascarpone and whisk that in until homogeneous. In the end pour in some of the limoncello.
- Add whipped egg whites to mascarpone mixture and gently fold in with a rubber spatula. Spread an even layer of cream all over the bottom of a casserole dish.
- Drain the diced strawberries retaining the juice. Stir in the rest of the limoncello and place liquid in a shallow bowl that fits a biscuit.
- Quickly dip the savoiardi biscuits in the strawberry juice on both sides, just one second per side. The biscuits should not be soaked in the juice but just lightly dipped. Arrange a layer of dipped biscuits all over the cream.
- Spread half of the drained diced strawberries over the biscuit layer. This will release extra moisture on the biscuits while also providing extra flavour to every bite.
- Spread another layer of cream all over the strawberry layer, trying to keep it level and even.
- Repeat previous steps to create a second layer of dipped biscuits, diced strawberries and a final layer of cream, so that your tiramisu will have 2 layers of biscuits dipped in limoncello between 3 layers of cream.
- Slice the strawberries you had set aside lengthways and arrange them on the top of the tiramisu. If they were not very sweet, you can lightly dust them with powdered sugar. Top with lemon zest for an extra lemony hint and decorate with mint leaves if you wish.
Serving and storing
Tiramisu always tastes better the second day. Resting time allows the final product to set, ensuring the right texture is achieved (no crunchy bites but soft soaked biscuits) and the flavours have finely blended. However, you don’t need to always make it one day ahead. Just make sure your strawberry limoncello tiramisu gets at last a couple of hours resting time.
Being made with raw eggs and a fresh cheese like mascarpone, tiramisu is extremely sensitive to high temperatures. Always store your tiramisu in the fridge and only take it out when it’s time to serve it. Not only does it taste best chilled, but you need to make sure it will not spoil.
Cover leftovers with cling film and store refrigerated for up to 3 days. Freezing is not recommended, it will lose its texture and may separate upon thawing.
Strawberry tiramisu tips & tricks
The right texture of tiramisu is soft throughout. There shall never be any crunch from the savoiardi biscuits. The dip in the strawberry juice (coffee in traditional tiramisu) is mostly meant to give flavour. What ensures the right texture in the biscuits is the resting time. Ladyfingers will absorb moisture from the cream, getting soft throughout. This is why you should always avoid soaking the biscuits too much in the liquid in the first place. Overly soaked biscuits will result in a watery tiramisu.
While limoncello is a key element in the flavour profile of this tiramisu, it does add some booze factor. This strawberry limoncello tiramisu is not recommended for children and is best enjoyed by an adult company. If you wish to make a non-alcoholic version of this recipe, swap the limoncello for the same quantity of sweetened lemon juice. Just make sure to make it really sweet, as limoncello itself is mostly sweet with a hint of lemon zest rather than acidic.
I hope you will enjoy this strawberry twist to classic tiramisu. If you try my recipe make sure to let me know your thoughts in the comment section. And if you’re looking for more strawberry recipes you may also like to check these out:
- Strawberry Bavarian cream
- Strawberry rhubarb crisp
- Asparagus and strawberry salad with halloumi
- Strawberry cheesecake smoothie
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Strawberry limoncello tiramisu
A fresh strawberry tiramisu with a hint of limoncello, a delicious lemon liqueur.
- 650 g strawberries fresh
- 500 g mascarpone
- 4 eggs free range
- 100 g + 2 tbsp granulated sugar divided
- 200 g savoiardi biscuits (ladyfingers)
- 60 ml limoncello divided
- 1 small lemon juiced and zested
- 1 tsp powdered sugar
Set aside one fifth of the strawberries to reserve for the top decoration, choosing those that are more or less the same size. Cut the rest into a fine dice and add to a bowl. Add 2 tbsp sugar, the juice of a lemon, toss and let rest for 15 minutes.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Whip the whites to hard peaks, adding about 1 tbsp sugar during the last minute of whipping.
Add the rest of the sugar to the yolks and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the mascarpone and continue whipping until combined, 2 minutes. Pour in one third of the limoncello, whisk until combined.
Drain the strawberries reserving the juice. Pour it in in a shallow bowl and stir in the rest of the limoncello.
Spread an even layer of mascarpone cream over the bottom of a casserole dish.
Quickly dip the ladyfinger biscuits in the strawberry juice and limoncello mixture on both sides, then place over mascarpone cream. Repeat creating a layer of dipped biscuits. See notes for further info.
Top biscuit layer with half of the diced strawberries.
Add another layer of mascarpone cream, then proceed to create a second layer of dipped biscuits, then top with the rest of the diced strawberries. Spread a final layer of mascarpone cream on top.
Take the strawberries you had set aside and slice them lengthways. Place them over the top layer of the tiramisu covering it all. Top with powdered sugar to sweeten the top layer of strawberries. Add some lemon zest for decoration.
Cover the strawberry tiramisu with cling film. Place it in the fridge and let it rest for 2 hours or overnight.
- Ladyfinger biscuits need to be dipped really quickly in the strawberry juice in order to avoid them being completely soaked. Overly soaked biscuits will cause a soggy and watery tiramisu.
- Tiramisu needs about 2 hours of resting time to ensure the biscuits will absorb moisture and get soft to the core. Proper tiramisu should not have a crunchy texture from the biscuits. Since you cannot over-soak them, you need to give them time to absorb moisture from the cream.
- The nutritional information provided is only an estimate from an online calculator.