Easy Green Tea Tiramisu Recipe

Updated 29 January, 2009
Originally published 14 January, 2007

This is the dessert that capped our Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 meal.

Green Tea Tiramisu

I got this recipe from my good friend, Elizabeth, with whom I’ve been swapping recipes for a long time. She told me about a green tea tiramisu recipe that she was trying. I was so intrigued by the idea of “Asianifying” tiramisu that I had to try it myself.

I’ve since made green tea tiramisu a few times, and Nate has even taken a video of me making it. Nate has been requesting this dessert as his birthday cake ever since the first time I made it. Yes, that’s how much he loves it.

It’s So Easy!

Making green tea tiramisu couldn’t be easier. I don’t know where people get the idea that making tiramisu is a lot of work. It’s not hard at all and yet the taste is so satisfying.

When you make it a green tea tiramisu (or green tea-ramisu, as Nate calls it), it’s not that much more complicated than regular tiramisu. Granted, if you do it my way, it does take a bit more work to look so pretty. But trust me, even with the extra work, it’s not any harder than baking a cake. And in this case, you don’t even have to bake!

Use Fresh Matcha (Green Tea Powder)

From having made a few of these, I can tell you that the matcha that you buy does affect the color of your tiramisu. If it’s very fresh, the matcha will turn your mascarpone mixture a bright green but if you let the matcha get too old, it’ll start to lose the intensity of color and also the flavor. The one I made this last time used up the last of my matcha and the color was much lighter.

I did notice that the caffeine jolt though was lighter too compared to the first time I made it. The first time I made the green tea tiramisu, I got so wired after just sampling some of the mascarpone mix while making it. This time around, it didn’t have the same effect. Go figure!

A Few More Green Tea Tiramisu-Making Tips

As for the making of green tea tiramisu, you really just need to get yourself some ladyfingers from the store. I’ve found that Trader Joe’s carries them cheapest of all (but I also found out that they are now making it a seasonal thing so I was very fortunate to find them when I went a few weeks ago).

If you want, you could make a sponge cake to go with it but like I said, this is an easy recipe and you’d be spoiling that by having to BAKE!

The next thing you need to do is brew some very strong green tea (not too much), just about a cup’s worth. Let that cool.

For the mascarpone portion of the recipe, I like to whip my egg yolks in a bowl over simmering water to cook the eggs a little. This is probably the hardest part as the egg yolks are really thick and gooey when you first get started on the whipping. (Of course if you don’t care about heating your eggs up, then the work of whipping the yolks with sugar could be done on your electric mixer and then it would be no problem at all.)

Once the egg yolks are whipped to double its volume and pale in color, the rest of it is a breeze. Mix all other ingredients in and then on to assembly.

Now, if you’re keeping it really simple, it’s all a matter of layering. Soak ladyfingers, lay on bottom of pan, add a layer of mascarpone mixture, repeat. End with mascarpone mixture. Just before serving, dust on some matcha.

The end.

Alright, not quite the end. If you want to do the picket fences like what I did, first, you’d have to have a springform pan. Then you need to measure your ladyfingers against the side of the pan and cut the end off one side so that the ladyfinger will stand up just skimming the top of the pan. Cut enough ladyfingers to line them all up around the pan (flat side facing inward). Then do as the above instructions. Not that much more difficult right?

Green Tea Tiramisu

Ingredients

1-1 1/2 cups brewed green tea, cooled
ladyfingers or plain sponge cake (I ended up using a bit more than 2 boxes of ladyfingers, but that was because I doubled the recipe to do the picket fence)

Green Tea Mascarpone Mixture
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
250g mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract, or any orange-flavoured liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
2 tsp matcha (green tea powder)

Japanese Match

Method

1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a stainless steel bowl set over a pot of simmering water, until the mixture is pale yellow and has doubled in volume. Cool the mixture in an ice water bath.

Egg yolks and sugar beaten over simmering water, for green tea tiramisu

2. In a mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese until smooth & creamy. Don’t overbeat it or it will get clumpy (though if that happens, it’s not the end, you can still smooth it out at the end with the cream).

3. Add the matcha powder in small amounts at a time, adjusting according to your taste. If you prefer a stronger matcha taste, feel free to add another teaspoon of matcha powder. Mix to blend well.

Adding matcha powder to mascarpone for green tea tiramisu

4. Fold the mascarpone cheese into the slightly cooled egg yolk mixture above.

5. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Add vanilla or orange liqueur, if using.

6. Fold the mascarpone mixture above into the whipped cream until well blended.

Folding green tea mascarpone mixture into whipped cream for green tea tiramisu

7. Dip each ladyfinger into the brewed green tea (don’t let them sit in the tea too long or you’ll get super soggy ladyfingers but give it a second or two so they do get a little soft). I use a pie plate so that it’s easier to place the ladyfinger in the tea. I just roll the ladyfingers over to get them soaked then remove them and layer them on the bottom of a rectangular glass dish, pyrex dish or springform pan.

layering ladyfingers for green tea tiramisu

8. Spread the mascarpone cream mixture on top, and repeat layers until finished (for me, that is three ladyfinger layers and three mascarpone layers). The top layer should be the mascarpone cream layer.

Top layer of green tea tiramisu

9. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or preferably overnight to let it set well. I find that overnight is best.

10. Dust with matcha just before serving.

Green Tea Tiramisu

Green Tea Tiramisu

Green Tea Tiramisu: A Little Slice of Heaven

Slice of Green Tea Tiramisu

Here’s the video Nate made of the Green Tea Tiramisu production process:

Cheers, Annie

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53 Comments Post a Comment
  1. ee says:

    >help!!!!!!!!! i've made your green tea tiramisu before, at least 3-4 times when it has come out heavenly!

    but the last 3 times it has been a complete FLOP!

    it just turns into watery mush!!! what's wrong!?!

    i was mixing the egg yolk and the green macha mascarpone and mixing it when all of a sudden it just turned into watery MUSH!

    i'm so upset! what am i doing wrong!?!

  2. Charmaine says:

    >looks awesome and tasty!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    >Hihi!

    anyone can help? Is thickened cream the same as heavy cream? Or should I use double cream? I don't have heavy cream here! I have read through the net and it's all so CONFUSING!

    I tried this recipe yesterday and was so dismay to find that my thickened cream wasn't whipping up!

    I used my kitchenaid on speed 4 for at least 7~8 minutes and it wasn't whipping up to form soft peaks! It was lumpy and when I add in the vanilla essence, it all turn watery and lumpy!

    i went ahead to layer with the mushy mix and it's now in the fridge.

    I can't help but dip my finger in and the taste was AMAZING!

    I really want to try it again. Can anyone help?

    sorry for this long comment.

    Es

  4. Annie says:

    >ee–I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner. I didn't notice your comment until just now. I don't really know why your mix turned to a mush. I'm wondering if your mascarpone was overbeaten? Or maybe your egg yolk wasn't beaten enough? I don't have enough information to be able to help you out. The only thing I can say is that if you've had success before, then you should try again. Make sure that you beat the egg yolks until they are very pale in color.

    es–being that I just moved back to Asia, I can understand your confusion. I too am having a hard time finding heavy cream here. You have to look for whipping cream here. They do have that but they add stabilizers to it. Try that and you should be able to whip it to soft peaks. I am not too sure about thickened cream since I have not used that. Try asking around in the baking shops if you're not sure what to do–just tell them you want cream that will whip up to soft peaks and see if they can help you. I'm glad you liked the flavors even if your mix was lumpy. The good thing about tiramisu is that you can eat it out of a glass and just use a spoon to scoop it up. So all is not lost! Hope this helps.

  5. PD says:

    I made this today for a party, and it was REALLY good and everyone loved it! :) Thanks for the picket fence idea, it was very pretty and decorative without being too fussy. I also made your marble cake before which was also really good, so thank you for sharing the wonderful recipes!

  6. Es says:

    Hi Annie!
    It’s me again. Just want to say hi and thank you for your recipe! I’ve tried your cake for the 4th time today. There’s always something wrong with each of my attempts! Haha! But I’m not giving up as the cake is just YUMMY! I noticed a lot of my problems are the same as one of the commenter
    “i was mixing the egg yolk and the green macha mascarpone and mixing it when all of a sudden it just turned into watery MUSH!”
    I have the same problem today too. I’m still not sure why but I will definitely continue to perfect it!
    Thanks again for your wonderful recipe!
    Es

    • Annie says:

      Es,
      I’m sorry something goes wrong every time. Thankfully, it sounds like you still get to eat it even when it does go wrong. For the watery mush problem, I really can’t understand it. Look at my response to that commenter to see if it might relate to you. The only other issue would be if you whipped the mascarpone too long, (if you had added the heavy cream, I would say that could be the culprit too if it’s been whipped too long). Otherwise, I can’t understand what the problem is.
      I’m glad you like it enough to keep trying. Good luck and hopefully your next attempt will be perfect!

  7. eunice says:

    lovely recipe. did 4 batches of it and all came out well :) used whipping cream to replace heavy cream. i prefer my whipping cream whipped till a thicker consistency than soft peaks. thanks for sharing this recipe! :)

  8. Amy says:

    Just wondering… Can I make this recipe 2 days in advance for a party? Because a friend of mine told me that brewing green tea (or any tea) the tea is not good overnight and it turns brown even. Especially from a chinese background, overnight tea is a no-no. So that being said, is it safe to use? Or could I use Matcha powder in water instead? Thanks!

    • Nate says:

      Amy,

      thanks for the great question.

      We don’t recommend making the dessert 2 days in advance, because the ladyfingers will get too soft and the whipped cream will weep/leak.

  9. Sharon says:

    Hi Annie!

    Guess what?!? I did it! I have managed to get the mixture to be quite creamy instead of mushy. I’ve over whipped the cream a little and also I make sure that I beat the egg yolk mixture a little longer than usual.

    and this time round, I’ve managed to make the “fencing” on my tiramisu and it looked fantastic!

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe!

    Es

  10. Nga Che says:

    Hello you two!

    I’ve been a silent fan of yours for a while now… I don’t know why it’s always taken me so long to respond, but I felt like I really had to this time because I have used this recipe, and am quite excited to tell you how successful it was!

    I have been horrible with keeping up with my blog. I like to say that I have the excuse of being too busy with the college student life… but really, half the time I either forget or I’m just too lazy.

    I do plan on getting a post done on this “green teamisu” within the next day. I hope you two have time to check it out when I do get it done. =)

    <3 Nga from the bay!

  11. Cheryl says:

    Are you in Oahu? Where can you buy Lady Fingers in Oahu? Looks good the recipe. I like to try it.

    • Nate says:

      Cheryl,

      thanks for the question.

      We aren’t living on Oahu any more. Lady fingers shouldn’t be too hard to find in the supermarkets like Safeway, Times Foodland, or Don Quijote. You might even try bakeries like Leonard’s or Liliha Bakery.

      Aloha, Nate

  12. Gracie says:

    Hi, was just wondering whether the eggs can be omitted from the recipe? I’ve tried making tiramisus without any eggs and they tasted just fine, but not sure about this recipe. Hope to hear from you soon! :)

    • Nate says:

      Hi Gracie,

      Thanks for your question.

      We’ve never done it without egg, but I don’t see why not. Do give it a try and let us know how it turns out for you!

  13. L says:

    what size springform pan did you use? 7′ or 8′?!

    hopefully you’ll reply asap because im planning to make it on this upcoming mother’s day!

  14. Venysia says:

    Hi, I’ve tried this and it turned out awesome. The only thing is, after I sifted green tea powder and sugar on top of the cake, the green tea powder sunk and absorbed moisture from the cream so it turned dark green (not-pretty-green!). I then learned to sift green tea powder just right before serving the cake, but I really want to make this for a friend and it has to go through 1-2 hr drive. Any tips to make the green tea powder stay dry? Thanks heaps!

  15. bella says:

    annie, this looks great. one comment: when you stand the ladyfingers up around the circumference of the pan in a circle, the dessert is called a “charlotte.”

    • Nate says:

      Bella,

      thanks for your comment.

      We looked it up, and while a charlotte cake indeed has ladyfingers wrapping around, not every dessert with ladyfingers wrapped around is a charlotte cake. Also, a charlotte cake contains fruit puree or custard, but our tiramisu does not.

  16. Ariel says:

    Do you soak the lady fingers that fence the tiramisu too? Or just the layered ones?

    • Nate says:

      Ariel,

      thanks for your question.

      No, we do not dip the lady fingers for the fence. We just brushed the flat side of those lady finger biscuits after standing them up.

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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