Pumpkin Spice Tiramisu

I’ll tell you now that, as a former bakery counter girl at The Cheesecake Factory (heeeelllppp), I know my way around a tiramisu.  When I say I know my way around a tiramisu, please know that I mean, I would happily thaw out a tray of their frozen tiramisu and take the first, freshest slice all for myself.  No shame in the game. Listen… if you’re going to make me wear those awful white jeans and long white apron… expect that there are consequences by way of me eating all of your desserts at my whim. 

This week I’m offering a no-bake take on pumpkin dessert at my Thanksgiving table inspired by my sneaky bites of tiramisu from years past.  

Lady finger cookies are soaked to soft in very strong coffee that’s been spiked with bourbon. The mascarpone layer is rich, lightly pumpkin-spiced, and folded with sweetened whipped cream.  Like my favorite cake in the world (Tres Leches Cake!!) this dessert is inherently make-ahead because it need an overnight rest to settle into itself.  Feels good.  Feels right.  It’s Autumn with a light kick in the pants.  Have a wonderful week in the kitchen! 

We’ve got a task in front of us to create the lovely layers inherent in tiramisu.  

We’ll need:  

  •  ladyfingers- crisp, super absorbant cookies
  • pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice
  • very strong coffee.  We’ll need the flavor to shine through.
  • egg yolks for richness and thickness – for that custard feel. 
  • Marsala, bourbon, and pure vanilla extract – the good stuff! 

A kick-in-the-pants mix of very strong black coffee, sugar, bourbon, and vanilla extract. Stirred just until the sugar is dissolved then set aside for future dipping. 

The eggs are whisked in a heat-proof bowl with granulated sugar and Marsala wine over a pot of simmering water.  Whisked- and I mean really whisked.  It’s best to use an electric hand beater to add volumes to the eggs as they heat to a safe temperature, about 8 whole minutes.  

Pumpkin puree is whipped together with mascarpone cheese and warm comfort spices.  

Mascarpone is key.  It’s a lightly sweet cheese, similar to cream cheese but more moist. 

Look at this goodness!  

We’ll add the cooked egg mixture to this pumpkin-y cheese and fold together. 

We’ll need another layer, of course.  Lightly sweetened and whipped to soft and spoonable. 

Half of the whipped cream makes its way into the pumpkin + mascarpone + egg mixture.  We’ll fold it gently in keeping our mixture fluffy, light and sweet. 

Assembly (!!!) starts with the lady fingers soaking in that strong coffee we made earlier. 

Get em all cozy in there as our base layer, then add our fluffy pumpkin cream!

Another layer of soaked lady fingers, the rest of the pumpkin mascarpone, and a thin layer of whipped cream.

This is exactly how dreams come true, I’m certain. 

After an overnight rest, the tiramisu is aggressively dusted with cocoa powder and allowed to warm to a chilled room temperature before serving.  

Have a slice!  You can have the first one. 

So creamy and light and subtle and let’s have it for dessert at least once this week, right? 

Have a lovely holiday! xxo 

Pumpkin Spice Tiramisu
Serves 10
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Prep Time
6 hr 30 min
Prep Time
6 hr 30 min
For the Coffee Mixture
  1. 2 cups very strong coffee, hot
  2. 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons bourbon
  4. 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the Filling
  1. 5 large egg yolks
  2. ½ cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/3 cup dry Marsala
  4. 2 cups mascarpone cheese
  5. ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  6. ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  8. ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  9. pinch of allspice
  10. pinch of ground cloves
  11. pinch of sea salt
  12. 2 cup chilled heavy cream
  13. 1 tablespoons powdered sugar
  14. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  15. 36 lady finger cookies
  16. unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together hot coffee, sugar, bourbon, and vanilla extract until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Set a medium pot with two inches of water over medium heat to simmer. In a heatproof bowl whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala. Place the bowl over the simmering water. Using a whisk or a hand beater, beat the egg mixture until it is pale and tripled in volume, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together mascarpone, pumpkin, all of the spices, and sea salt. Add the pumpkin mixture to the eggs and stir until just combined.
  4. Beat the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until it forms stiff peaks. Divide the whipped cream in half, reserving half of the whipped cream to top the tiramisu.
  5. Fold the mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream, keeping the mixture as fluffy and aerated as possible.
  6. To assemble the tiramisu, dip both sides of a lady finger into the coffee mixture. Arrange in the in the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan – 3 rows, 18 fingers total. Trim any edges, to fit.
  7. Spread half of the mascarpone filling on top of the dipped lady fingers. Add another 18 dipped lady fingers on top of the first layer and finish with the remaining mascarpone mixture. Layer with the remaining whipped cream and dust generously with cocoa powder. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  8. Let the tiramisu rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing. Dust with more cocoa if desired. Enjoy!
Joy the Baker http://joythebaker.com/
Photos with Jon Melendez!