Vintage cakes may scratch a certain itch, but the #FoodTok trend we’re currently most excited about is a touch more effortless and attainable. We’re calling it now: Summer 2023’s trendiest dessert is tiramisu…and it goes way beyond the traditional coffee and chocolate flavors you know. Here’s where the treat is heading, and how you can get your own slice.
The Trendiest Dessert of Summer 2023 Is Tiramisu (but Not in the Way You Think)
Tiramisu Is Trending? But This Dessert Isn’t New…
True, the Italian confection has been around since at least the 1960s, per The Telegraph, but the latest iterations are far from traditional. The original tiramisu is a layered dessert that merges trifle and icebox cake: It contains sweet ladyfinger biscuits dipped in coffee (and often alcohol), layered with a rich mascarpone custard and dusted with a thick layer of cocoa powder. A quick rest in the refrigerator allows the flavors to meld and the cookies to soften into a sliceable, silky, coffee-forward “cake.” But head on over to TikTok and you’ll find that tiramisu contains multitudes, including (but not limited to) coconut, strawberry, lemon, Sakura and matcha.
Italians might object to calling these creations “tiramisu,” but we’re all in on this revival. Like the original, its origins are hard to trace, but we suspect it has something to do with the rise of easy entertaining that still feels elegant—think upside-down tarts, tinned fish boards and jam seltzer.
Why Tiramisu Is the Ideal Summer Dessert
A dessert that requires no oven, can be made ahead and tastes like coffee and cream? You don’t have to twist our arm. But for those who haven’t had the pleasure of making (or eating) tiramisu, those are just a few of the reasons it’s gaining steam ahead of the summer months.
For the alfresco entertainer, there’s the fact that you’re guaranteed to get oohs and ahhs when you plop a gorgeous bowl of tiramisu on the table…even though no one realizes how easy it was to make. In fact, you whipped it up last night.
For the minimalist baker, you can (and should) use store-bought ladyfingers, and you can omit the egg white in the traditional meringue-lightened custard for something entirely egg-free. (This is our favorite way to modify tiramisu when serving it to guests who can’t eat raw eggs, like pregnant people and older folks).
And as summer’s bounty makes its farmers market debut, there’s no shortage of tiramisu inspiration. In May and June, use the freshest strawberries you can find and add rhubarb to the mix. When blueberries and raspberries appear, they’ll be transformed into your next dessert. By August, the stone fruit will be plump, juicy and sweet—we dream of peach tiramisu, but plum or cherry would be just as lovely. (FWIW, finding a recipe is as easy as searching “[insert any fruit] + tiramisu.”)
Tips for Making Tiramisu
No matter the flavor you decide on, there are a few universal tricks that will help you in your tiramisu journey.
- When dunking the ladyfingers, use a deep bowl and a fork to lower and lift the biscuits into the bowl. Don’t soak them too long, or they’ll fall apart—one or two seconds should do the trick.
- Making the custard traditionally involves blending egg yolks with mascarpone and whipping the whites into a meringue, but you can also substitute whipped cream for the raw eggs if necessary.
- Dust the tiramisu with cocoa (or any other powdered topping) before you refrigerate it, so that the powder hydrates and you don’t inhale you way to a coughing fit at first bite.
- Build the tiramisu in a vessel you can easily scoop or slice from, but don’t feel limited to a traditional baking dish. A shallow bowl would work, or you could make mini tiramisus in individual ramekins.
Plus, 3 Tiramisu Recipes to Get You Started
Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City restaurants. She used to sling sugary desserts in a pastry kitchen, but now she’s an avid home cook and fanatic baker.