Lemon Hazelnut Tiramisu

I am so beyond excited to finally  share this recipe because, YOU GUYS, I’ve been holding it hostage on to it for a year.  AN ENTIRE YEAR!  That’s such complete craziness to me considering how much I adored this most excellent tiramisu adaptation.

I served this for Easter last year.  It was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had.  It was originally just going to be a small family holiday, but when I found out two of my best friends from school would be without family, my family and I knew we wanted to invite them.  We had so. much. fun.  We laughed and laughed and ate and ate.  My mom and I put together an Italian menu, and this dessert was the crowning glory.

Just like traditional tiramisu, which literally translates into “pick me up,” this beauty is airy and fluffy.  The classic coffee and chocolate combination is swapped out for lemon and hazelnut, which make for a lighter, brighter spring flavor profile just made for Easter or any number of events that always seem to pop up this time of year.  The lemon syrup and sunny flecks of lemon zest perfectly contrast the layers or sweet whipped cream, and the hazelnuts create textural balance.  The dessert is supposed to be made and assembled the night before, which is really important to me when I entertain.  To keep the very top layer of chopped hazelnuts nice and crunchy, I added them shortly before my guests arrived.  Other than that, all I did one the day of the event was serve up this beauty and enjoy every last bite with my family and friends.  Love, love, love.

lemon hazelnut tiramisu

Lemon Hazelnut Tiramisu
from Giada De Laurentiis, Giada at Home


For the lemon syrup:
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. sugar

For the tiramisu:
1 1/2 c. whipping cream
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
5 TBSP granulated sugar
1 (15-oz.) container mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
zest of 1 lemon, divided
1/2 c. hazelnut liqueur (such as Frangelico)
48 ladyfinger cookies
1 1/4 c. (5 oz.) lightly chopped toasted, skinned hazelnuts

1.  In a small saucepan, combine all three ingredients for the lemon syrup.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved.  Set syrup aside and cool to room temperature.

2.  Using either a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a large bowl and hand mixer, whip the cream until thick.  Add the cinnamon and 2 TBSP sugar and continue to whip until soft peaks form.  

3.  In a separate large bowl, cream together remaining sugar and mascarpone cheese for 30 seconds.  Mix 1/4 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone, then fold in the remaining whipped cream and half the lemon zest with a rubber spatula.  Set aside.

4.  Pour the hazelnut liqueur in a small shallow bowl.  Dip 16 ladyfingers in the liqueur and place them in the bottom of a 13x9x2 serving dish.  Spoon any remaining liqueur over the dipped cookies.  Spread 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture of the cookies and top with 1/3 of the hazelnuts.

5.    Place the lemon syrup in a small shallow bowl.  Dip 16 ladyfingers in the syrup and arrange on top of the hazelnuts.  Spread 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies, then top with 1/3 hazelnuts.

6.  Dip last 16 ladyfingers in the lemon syrup, arrange in the serving dish, and drizzle with any remaining lemon syrup.  Top with the last 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture.  Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

7.  To serve, remove tiramisu from the refrigerator one hour before serving.  Mix remaining hazelnuts and lemon zest and sprinkle generously over the top of the tiramisu.

Yield: 10-12 servings

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  1. Josie
    April 11, 2014 / 1:42 pm

    Kelsey, this is just such a gorgeous dessert – I love everything about it! Love the table setting too. I hope you have a lovely Easter, my friend 🙂

  2. Debby@Just Breathe
    April 11, 2014 / 2:47 pm

    I love Tiramisu and am a huge fan of lemon everything so this has got to be awesome!

  3. Lexie Rochelle
    April 14, 2014 / 2:59 pm

    This was absolutely the best dessert ever. It was perfect for Easter and our family gathering. Having Kelsey's friends join us was such a blessing and so much fun! After a wonderful meal, this dessert was perfect because it was refreshing, light, and delicious…did I say delicious! I will always prefer this version of Tiramisu over the traditional type from that day forward. Thank you.

  4. Caroline {TheBarbeeHousewife}
    April 15, 2014 / 3:16 pm

    This looks like the perfect Spring dessert. I love lemon desserts, can't wait to try this one!

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