Lemon Tiramisu

I still have a bunch of lemons that I need to use before they go bad.  I could juice them all and freeze the juice until later, but what fun is that?  Besides, my freezer is pretty packed.

I was poking around the interwebs looking for inspiration and I found a few recipes for a lemon tiramisu.  Basically, it replaces the coffee liqueur with lemon, which sounded good to me.  Especially since I have a bunch of ladyfingers left from the last time I made regular tiramisu, and have to use them before they go stale.

I played around with the different recipes a bit and came up with a hybrid that works for me.  It’s completely refreshing and a really bright twist on the traditional tiramisu.



  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T lemon zest (it’ll take about 3 lemons for the juice and zest, but you’ll also need more for other parts)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks (in addition to the 2 eggs above)
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ t vanilla

Lemon Syrup

  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 T water


  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 8 oz container mascarpone cheese, brought to room temperature
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 t lemon zest


  • 28 ladyfingers


It looks like a lot of ingredients but it’s actually pretty simple to make.  A bit messy if you’re anything like me, but simple.

Start with the curd.  Basically put everything except the vanilla into a medium saucepan – lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, egg yolks and butter.  Turn the heat to medium and stir continuously until the butter melts, the mixture starts to thicken and it starts to boil. 


Take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Let the mixture cool a bit and then pour it into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cool in the fridge for a couple hours.

Next, on to the syrup which is essentially the replacement for the coffee and liquor in traditional tiramisu.  Put all three ingredients – the lemon juice, sugar and water into a small saucepan and stir continuously until the sugar has dissolved.  Cover this and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

Finally, onto the cream part, which is the most work, but it’s not a ton of work.

Put the whipping cream and the powdered sugar into a bowl and beat until stiff peaks form (yay – whipped cream!).  In a large bowl, put the mascarpone, lemon juice and the lemon zest and beat that until smooth.  Take your whipped cream and carefully fold it into the mascarpone.


Now we’re ready to build a tiramisu!

Start with an 8 or 9” square baking dish.  Take your ladyfingers, dip them into the lemon syrup and line the bottom of the dish.  Cover with half of the lemon curd.  Then cover that with half the mascarpone mixture.  Then…we do it again.  Dip the ladyfingers into the syrup and cover the mascarpone, then cover them with the remaining curd and cover that with the remaining mascarpone.


Cover the whole dish and refrigerate overnight.  And enjoy the lemony goodness of this citrus twist on the traditional tiramisu.


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