Tiramisu roulade

This is my roulade take on the classic Tiramisu (one of my favourite desserts) and it has proved very popular whenever I have made it for dinner parties.

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This is a very moist roulade, with an intense chocolatey flavour with that wonderful rich coffee flavour coming through.

The sponge handles easily and in the dozens of times I have made it, it has fortunately not cracked.

I have gone for two fillings here: a simple milk ganache, flavoured with espresso, and a vanilla cream into which i have mixed some mascarpone cheese. I have sometimes made this just with the cream filling and it works very well, but I give both options here.

You can go to town with the decorations for this roulade, but I prefer to keep it simple and let the flavours of the coffee, chocolate and vanilla speak for themselves.

Recipe: tiramisu roulade – serves 6 generously

For the sponge:
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons coffee granules mixed with 60ml boiling water
  • 20g unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 80g golden caster sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons Marsala wine, or liqueur of choice
For the fillings:

Milk ganache

  • 150ml milk (full-fat or semi skimmed)
  • 200g dark chocolate, in small pieces
  • about 50ml very strong espresso
  • a generous pinch of fine sea salt

Cream filling

  • 150ml double cream, lightly whipped
  • 250ml mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50g white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tablespoon Marsala wine, or liqueur of choice
To finish
  • icing sugar to dust over
  • melted white chocolate

(1) Heat the oven to 160C (fan). Lightly butter one Swiss roll tin – about 13″ x 9″. Line  with a piece of buttered greaseproof paper: even if the paper is non-stick, it really helps to butter it.

(2) Mix the cocoa powder into a small bowl with the dissolved coffee and melted butter and mix together to form a thick paste.

(3) Put the egg yolks into a large bowl with 50g of the sugar. Use an electric hand whisk to whisk them for 3-4 minutes until pale and thick: when you lift the whisk out, the mixture should just hold its shape.

(4) Add the chocolate mixture and whisk for another couple of minutes, scraping down the bowl a few times: you will have a mixture that is like softly whipped cream (albeit chocolately!).

(5) In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites for a few minutes until they form fairly stiff peaks. Sprinkle over the rest of the caster sugar and whisk for 3-4 minutes further to give a light meringue.

(6) Using a large metal spoon, stir a few spoons of the meringue mixture into the chocolate mixture to loosen it up. Using the metal spoon, fold the rest of the meringue gently through the mixture until there are no lumps of meringue showing.

(7) Spoon the mixture into the tin and level out with a palette knife. Bake for 15-16 minutes until slightly wrinkly around the edges. Don’t over-bake or it is liable to crack..

(8) Remove from the oven and place a damp tea towel over the top of the sponge until it has completely cooled.

NB: this is crucial to prevent the sponge cracking.

Make the fillings: (which can be done ahead)

For the ganache filling, heat the milk just until it boils (this is easiest in the microwave) and leave to cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle the chocolate over and leave for a few mintues before gently stirring and giving a smooth mixture. Stir in the espresso and salt. Cover with clingfilm and chill until it is a spreadable consitency.

For the cream filling, mix the mascarpone with the icing sugar, Marsala and vanilla. Stir into the cream and lightly mix in the white chocolate. incorporate. Set aside until needed.


(1) Turn the cakes onto a sheets of greaseproof paper and gently peel off the paper they were baked in. Put the sponge so one of the shortest edges is closest to you. Sprinkle over the Marsala.

(2) Spread the ganache over the sponge, leaving about 1cm uncovered at the short edge furthest away from you. Spread the cream over the ganache.

(3) Roll up from the shortest edge facing you, going fairly tightly and using the greaseproof to help roll it up. Pop the seam underneat and place on a serving tray. Drizzle over melted white chocolate* or any decoration of choice and chill until needed.

NB: once the chocolate has set, cover loosely with clingfilm to stop the cake from drying out.


Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

3 thoughts on “Tiramisu roulade”

  1. Tiramisu is one of our favorite desserts, maybe Phil’s top choice, actually – I am definitely saving this one for a near future, as only recently I’ve lost my fear of roulades (ah, the things we fear!)

    Liked by 1 person

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