Lemon Curd Tiramisu

The brightness of lemon and the creaminess of custard come together in perfect harmony in a luscious lemon tiramisu recipe.

The brightness of lemon and the creaminess of custard come together in perfect harmony in a luscious lemon tiramisu recipe. Earl Grey-soaked ladyfingers are nestled twixt layers of decadent lemon mascarpone custard and topped with zesty lemon curd in this reimagining of classic tiramisu. If you’ve ever fallen in love at first bite with a lemon cheesecake, lemon curd tiramisu is sure to be your newest flame! 

Fall in Love with Lemons

Lemon is a flavor that brightens any time of year. From vibrant lemon bars in the dead of winter when berries are a distant memory, to ice-cold lemonade in the heat of the summer when you need a thirst-quenching pick-me-up, lemons refresh and invigorate all year long. 

Now lemons provide a vivacious new twist for tiramisu. The velvety texture of lemon curd seems almost designed to blend perfectly with the dreamy lushness of mascarpone custard—it lends a subtle tang that perks up the mellow sweetness of the cream in a way that feels fated.  

While lemon and coffee is a perfectly nice combination, lemon and Earl Grey is a power couple that won’t quit! (Though as a tea blogger, I might be a little biased.)

If all that’s missing from your love affair with tiramisu is a little pop of lemon, by all means, stick with the traditional coffee-dipped ladyfingers—but if you’re looking to take the flavor relationship to the next level, I highly recommend swapping the espresso for the Earl. 

If you’re so inclined, a tablespoon or two (or three) of Amaretto makes Earl Grey especially regal, and it’s a delicious substitute for the more conventional rum. 

In this lemon tiramisu recipe, the traditional dusting of cocoa powder is replaced by a layer of lemon curd. If the combination of chocolate and lemons is your thing, of course, dust away! Sprinkle that cocoa all over that lemon curd and live your best life!

If, however, you like that bit of texture but don’t ship that flavor pairing, try a coating of powdered sugar instead. Lemon bars prove that the relationship between lemon curd and powdered sugar will stand the test of time! 

Fresh lemons and loose-leaf Creme Brulee Earl Grey Tea.

Long-Term Commitment or Just a Fling?

How willing are you to commit to this lemon curd tiramisu? Are you ready for something long-term or are you just looking for a fling? 

If you want to keep things casual, there are plenty of ways to keep the lemon tiramisu recipe simple. 

You can use store-bought ladyfingers. (Or even Nilla wafers, in a pinch!)  

You can use store-bought lemon curd. 

You can use instant vanilla pudding. 

If mascarpone is difficult to track down, you can substitute cream cheese if necessary. 

With a combination of shortcuts, you can create memories with your lemon tiramisu that will last a lifetime, even if the prep only lasts fifteen minutes! 

Like any good relationship, if you’re willing to put in the work, it always pays off in the end! 

Making your own custard for the tiramisu makes a world of difference in the flavor, and it can come together in just a few minutes with a handheld mixer. (If you don’t have a mixer, don’t worry, you can still make it with a whisk, but you will have to put in a bit more elbow grease.) 

Ladyfingers are a snap to make, which is great because sometimes they can be difficult to find at the grocery store. Using a standing or handheld mixer, they take about ten minutes of prep and another fifteen minutes or so in the oven. 

To make it even easy-breezier, rather than piping out the dough, this recipe instructs you to spread it in a nine-by-fifteen-inch pan so you can simply slice the ladyfingers into the appropriate shape when you’re ready to assemble your dessert. 

Homemade lemon curd is almost absurdly easy to whip up. (Literally!) With just sugar, fresh lemons, and eggs, you can be eating homemade lemon curd in minutes. Really. It could be yours. 

Although each of these components of the tiramisu are really quite simple to make, doing it all in one go can feel like a lot of whipping. If you have the time, you can leisurely make your way through each of the steps over a day or two or three. 

Letting the ladyfingers rest on the counter overnight provides optimal texture, so if time allows, it really is a win-win—less work all at once, and suitably dry sponge cake to soak up all the delicious amaretto-spiked Earl Grey. 

Whether you’re in the mood for a make-shift tiramisu you can enjoy within thirty minutes, or looking forward to an ongoing baking project to entertain you throughout the week that you can present with a glorious flourish at a dinner party, lemon curd tiramisu could be the dessert that has you asking, “Where have you been all my life?” 

With its luxuriantly creamy custard, silky smooth lemon curd, and bergamot black tea-soaked ladyfingers, lemon curd tiramisu will be a love that lasts. 

A plated lemon curd tiramisu with accompanying earl grey tea and a backdrop of lemons.

Lemon Tiramisu Recipe


  • Ladyfingers (store-bought or homemade, recipe below) 
  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • 6 egg yolks 
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Salt 
  • 2 cups mascarpone 
  • 2 cups Lemon curd, divided* (store-bought or homemade, recipe below)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons amaretto or rum (optional) 
  • 2 cups strongly brewed Earl Grey tea (suggestion: 1 Tablespoon loose leaf tea to 2 cups boiling water, steeped according to package directions) 

*If you like a strong lemon flavor, top tiramisu with a layer of plain lemon curd. For a more mellow flavor, use only 1 cup of lemon curd to fold into the mascarpone.


Brew your Earl Grey tea and set aside.

To make your custard, choose a medium or large mixing bowl that will fit well over a pot or saucepan without touching the bottom. Fill your pot with a shallow amount of water. Bring to a simmer.

Combine sugar and egg yolks in mixing bowl and fit the bowl over the steaming pot. Whisk until the sugar is mostly dissolved, then switch to a handheld mixer if possible. mix over heat until the egg mixture is about 2.5 times its original volume and holds medium-thick ribbons. (Can be done by hand, just be prepared for a lot of whisking!) Remove from heat and let cool slightly as you assemble other ingredients.

Whip your mascarpone until smooth.

Whip the heavy cream. Just before soft peaks form, add 1 cup of the lemon curd and whip until combined.

Fold or beat mascarpone into your custard. Gently fold in lemon cream mixture. If not using immediately, refrigerate until ready to use.

Add amaretto or rum to Earl Grey if using.

To assemble your tiramisu, select a serving dish. Mine fit well into a 9x9ish dish, or you could use two loaf pans, or even individual pudding cups, depending on the aesthetic you’re going for in the final presentation.

Arrange a layer of ladyfingers at the bottom of your dish. Depending on how soft you like them to be, either dip each ladyfinger for 1-2 seconds in your Earl grey mixture, or use a basting brush to moisten them.

Top with a layer of custard.

Repeat the last two steps once or twice, until you have used up your ingredients.

If desired, top with a layer of remaining lemon curd.

Enjoy immediately or cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Custard recipe originally by Joshua Weissman

A fork smoothly cuts through the slice of lemon curd tiramisu.

Ladyfingers Recipe


  • 3 eggs, separated, at room temperature 
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 3/4 cup flour, sifted. 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sift flour, set aside.

Grease 9x13 pan.

Beat egg whites, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar on medium speed using a handheld or stand mixer until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Increase speed to high, gradually add remaining sugar, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Lower speed on mixer, add egg yolks, mixing until just combined.

Gently fold in flour until fully incorporated, taking care not to deflate your mixture any more than necessary.

Gently divide mixture between loaf pans. (Or pipe into 3-inch-long ladyfingers using a 1-inch piping tip.)

If using piping method, generously dust with powdered sugar before baking.

Bake about 10 to 13 minutes, or golden brown.

Remove from oven, remove from pan, and cool.

If time allows, let dry on counter overnight for optimal texture!

When ready to assemble your tiramisu, cut ladyfingers into strips or other shape appropriate for selected pan.

Recipe by Bruno Albouze

Lemon Curd Recipe


  • Zest of four lemons
  • Juice of four lemons
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 8 Tablespoons butter
  • Pinch of salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)


Combine lemon juice and zest, sugar, water, and eggs in a medium saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens and gently bubbles, about 10 minutes. (Or until it reaches desired consistency.)

Remove from heat, let stand about 5 minutes. Stir in butter cubes until fully incorporated. 

This recipe is a double batch and yields about 2 cups. If you like a strong lemon flavor, use half the curd as a final layer of your tiramisu. For a milder flavor, reduce recipe by half and fold resulting curd into mascarpone layer. For extra strong lemon flavor, increase recipe by 50 and add an extra layer of lemon curd in the middle of your tiramisu. 

Erica Jolly

Erica Jolly is a born and raised Pacific North Westerner. Rainwater flows through her veins. She is a tea drinker by day, wine drinker by night, and lover of food, yoga, and rambling conversations.
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