{12} Decadent Days of Christmas {12} White Russian Tiramisu Cake

For Christmas and New Year’s every year, I usually make the White Russian Tiramisu from Cooking Light. This tiramisu is made with lady fingers and the usual tiramisu ingredients. However, this time, I decided to try something new… This recipe is made with a homemade sponge cake. It is definitely more sturdy than the usual tiramisu. Where the traditional tiramisu is soft and creamy and more of a dish you scoop out of the dish, this tiramisu cake is one you slice.

One slice of heaven.

White Russian Tiramisu Cake

Sponge Cake

adapted from The Galley Gourmet

Ingredients (Sponge Cake)

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sifted unbleached cake flour
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar

How-To (Sponge Cake)

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Line a 9 1/2″ spring form pan with parchment paper, spray with canola oil cooking spray.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the yolks, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla extract on high with the paddle attachment until it becomes thick and yellow (about 2-3) minutes.
  4. Pour into a large bowl.
  5. Sift the flour on top of the yolk mixture, but don’t mix yet.
  6. Clean and dry the bowl of the stand mixer.
  7. With the wire whip attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
  8. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry peaks.
  9. Using a rubber spatula, fold in half of the egg whites into the egg yolks and flour.
  10. Fold in the remaining egg whites until no streaks remain.
  11. Pour the batter into the spring form pan and smooth the top.
  12. Place the spring form pan on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly pressed.
  13. Set the cake on a cooking rack in the pan and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
  14. Slide a thin knife around the cake.
  15. Remove the sides of the pan
  16. Gently flip the cake over and peel the parchment paper off.
  17. Place on the cooking rack right side up and let the cake cool completely.
  18. Once cooled, cut the cake in half horizontally.
  19. Put the bottom half back in the cleaned and dried spring form pan.

White Russian Filling

adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients (Filling)

  • 1/2 cup ground coffee beans
  • 1 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/8 cup Kahlúa liquor
  • 1(8 ounce) tub of mascarpone cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) block of 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup Kahlúa liquor
  • dark chocolate, shaved

How-To (Filling)

  1. Brew the coffee using the coffee beans and cold water in your coffee maker. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Once cooled, add 1/8 cup Kahlúa and set aside.
  3. In your stand mixer, combine 1/4 cup Kahlúa, cheeses and sugars. Beat on high until smooth.
  4. Drizzle some of the coffee mixture on top of the bottom layer. Use your best judgment here. I probably only used a total of 1/4 of my coffee mixture on the whole cake (being afraid of making it soggy), but it could have used more as you see in the photos.
  5. Spread half of the cheese mixture on the cake.
  6. Sprinkle half of the chocolate shavings.
  7. Place the top half of the cake on.
  8. Drizzle the some more of the coffee mixture on the cake.
  9. Spread the remaining cheese mixture.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate shavings.
  11. Refrigerate in the pan for at least 4 hours.
  12. Remove from the spring form pan and with a knife even out the filling on he sides.
  13. Serve and enjoy!

I hope you and your family enjoy this cake!I hope you had as much fun as I did making all of these sweet treats during chocolate & carrots‘ first ever {12} Decadent Days of Christmas! I also hope you enjoy this final ‘lighter’ decadent treat!


  1. nice to find your blog. simply pretty. my dad put me on to White Russians years ago and its one of my drinks. Tiramisu happens to be his favorite dessert this is just the perfect marriage!

  2. Saw this on Baking Bite’s post for Bites from other Blogs. This cake is delicious! I love tiramisu, but the flair of a white russian drink in the cream filling, MMM!

    1. That’s so awesome! Thanks for letting me know I was on Baking Bites. I had no idea! And yes, the kahula really adds something special. 🙂

    2. Also found the recipe through Baking Bites; looks fabulous. I do have one question, though. The recipe for the filling says to add the 1/8 cup of Kaluha in two different places: to the coffee and to the cheese and sugar mixtures. Where should it actually be added?

      1. That was a typo, sorry. You add 1/8 cup of Kahula to the coffee mixture that you will drizzle on the cake and then you add 1/4 cup of Kahula into the cheese filling. It’s delicious! I hope you get a chance to make it! I’m actually baking another one today for Christmas! 🙂

  3. Hi Caroline 🙂 I LOVE tiramisu and have made it many times the traditional way. This looks and sounds SO good! Have you also made traditional? If so how does this one compare? Think I need to make this SOON!

    1. I have made it the traditional way. I like how this one turned out not only because it looks more fancy than the traditional, but that the sponge cake makes for a softer, yet less soggy version of tiramisu. I actually made it again a week after I made the one that was photographed here and I forgot to drizzle the coffee mixture on the layers. It worked out well though, I just had the coffee mixture next the cake so that people could drizzle as little or as much as they would like (more cakey or more soggy). Plus, it made the parents of children feel more comfortable about giving them a ‘grown up’ dessert (They just didn’t add any coffee drizzle). You should make it soon, indeed. It is a great dessert. Top 3, definitely. 😀 Good luck Lori…I know yours will be great!

  4. Hi Caroline 🙂 Yes I will make this soon for sure and let you know how it turns out. Sure it will be very tasty as ALL your recipes have been so far! Thanks!

  5. Hi!
    I love this recipe and have had sucess with the cake, my only problem is cutting it in half and I feel the cake is a little thin, by thin I mean the sponge cake doesn’t look as thick as yours. Maybe it’s because i’m at a somewhat high altitude. Any suggestions?

  6. Hi! I am attempting to make a more traditional type of cake with a tiramisu base. Do you think this sponge cake (or any for that matter) could be made in a regular 13×9 baking pan? Also, do you think this cake would hold up under a thin layer of homemade marshmallow fondant?

    1. I think it’d do fine in a 13×9 pan. As for the fondant, I’m not sure. I’ve never worked with marshmallow fondant. If you give it a go, I’d love to know how it works out! 😀 Happy Baking!

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