Light and Easy Tiramisu Cake

In my pre-Mommy days, special occasions such as my husband’s birthday (which was yesterday) were an excuse for elaborate meals that utilized every pot and pan in my kitchen.  These days our celebrations are a tad more minimalist in nature.  However, I do have a few tried-and-true recipes on hand that are easy to assemble even with two rowdy 18 month-olds underfoot.  Since one of Mr. Two’s favorite desserts is Tiramisu, I was excited to run across a recipe for a quick version of the Italian dessert that only uses six ingredients and no bake time!  For those of you who are health-conscious, it is also lighter in calories than the real thing.  I was able to whip this confection up in less than an hour, including the extra time it took to take a few photos as I went along and also keep the twins from falling head first off the kitchen chairs.  Sounds glamorous, no?

I clipped this recipe from the Fort Worth Star Telegram at least five years ago, but probably even longer.  You can see by the condition of the clipping that I have used it quite a bit.  Unfortunately, there is no author for me to credit listed on my scrap of paper, so hopefully the recipe gods will not strike me down.

The recipe calls for just a few ingredients: softened cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, coffee liqueur (not pictured), heavy whipping cream, a purchased angel food cake, and 1/2 cup strong black coffee.  Since I didn’t have any coffee liqueur, I improvised a bit- more on that later.

First, chill a medium bowl and beaters of an electric mixer. Throw in an ancient bag of tater tots for good measure.  While the bowl is chilling, grab another bowl and toss in your cream cheese, 1/2 cup of your confectioner’s sugar, and 3 tablespoons of coffee liqueur, if you have it.  Since I didn’t, I improvised by taking about 3/4 cup of strong coffee and adding a full tablespoon of cocoa powder and plain white sugar to taste.  I used this mixture as a substitute for the coffee liqueur throughout the entire recipe.  Mix the   cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, and liqueur (or substitute) until smooth and set aside.  Although the recipe doesn’t specify, I have found that an electric mixer helps get out all the lumps quickly.

Next, retrieve your chilled bowl and beaters. Combine your whipping cream, the rest of your powdered sugar, and 2 more tablespoons of coffee liqueur in the bowl.  Beat until stiff peaks form. This will take a little while, so if you have a stand mixer this is a great time to use it.  When you are done, fold half the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture.

Now, carefully grab a serrated knife and cut the cake horizontally into three layers.  Find a pretty serving plate, place your bottom layer on it, and poke holes in the layer with a fork or skewer.

Combine your coffee and the rest of your coffee liqueur (or substitute).  Spoon 1/3 of the mixture over the bottom layer.

Spread half the cream cheese mixture over that.

Repeat the process with the middle layer- place on top, poke holes, spoon 1/3 of the coffee mixture, and top with remaining cream cheese.

Finally, add the top layer back on, poke more holes, and sprinkle/spoon the remaining coffee mixture over the top.

Now for the fun part! Frost the cake with the rest of your whipped cream mixture. I made extra so I would have plenty to pile on.

Top your finished cake with fruit, chocolate shavings, etc.  Pretty, huh?

Miss Toots sure thinks so!

Chill the cake for about 2 hours before serving.  And there you have it! Mr. Two’s birthday cake, otherwise know as Light and Easy Tiramisu Cake.


Light and Easy Tiramisu Cake

Serves 8

  • 8 oz light cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, divided
  • 7 tbsp coffee liqueur , divided
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • Purchased angel food cake
  • 1/2 cup strong black coffee

Chill medium bowl and beaters of an electric mixer.  In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the confectioner’s sugar, and 3 tbsp of the coffee liqueur.  Mix until smooth; set aside.

In the chilled bowl, combine whipping cream, remaining 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar and 2 tablespoons of the coffee liqueur.  Beat until stiff peaks form.  Fold half the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Using a serrated knife, slice the angel food cake horizontally into thirds.  Place the bottom layer on the serving plate.  Poke holes in it with a fork or skewer.  Combine the coffee and remaining 2 tablespoons of coffee liqueur.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the coffee mixture over the bottom cake third.  Spread with half of cream cheese mixture.  Add second layer, poke holes in it with skewer or fork, and sprinkle with another 1/3 of the coffee mixture.  Spread with the remaining cream cheese mixture. Top with the last layer, poke with skewer or fork, and sprinkle with the remaining coffee mixture.

Frost entire cake with reserved sweetened whipped cream.  Chill two hours before serving. Garnish if desired before serving.

Until next time,


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