This no bake tiramisu trifle is a quick and easy take on a classic tiramisu recipe. The dessert has angel food cake soaked with coffee and rum, topped with a creamy Mascarpone layer and whipped topping. Perfect for the holidays or anytime you want a spectacular, crowd pleasing dessert!
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Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, because it combines cake with coffee and whipped cream, all some of the best flavors imaginable! But a classic tiramisu is kind of complicated to make – from baking ladyfingers to creating a creamy egg rich custard to letting it rest in the refrigerator for hours. In contrast my no bake tiramisu trifle is a semi-homemade recipe that will be ready to eat in half an hour. I love quick and easy recipes like this one!
Why you should make this easy Tiramisu Trifle
- There is no baking, which means no heating up the house and fewer dishes to wash
- It has only a few simple steps and takes less than half an hour
- You can enjoy it right away
- Making the trifle in individual containers makes it easier to fit the dessert in the refrigerator and means you know exactly how many the dessert will serve
So if you want a classic Italian tiramisu recipe try this one from the New York Times. If you want a quick and easy dessert keep reading!
How to Make Tiramisu Trifle
The first step is to take some instant vanilla pudding and mix it with milk and a little bit of coffee. Not hot coffee, or the pudding won’t set! Then put the mixture in the freezer or refrigerator for 10 minutes so it can thicken.
While the pudding sets cut the store bought angel food cake into small squares. Using store bought cake for this recipe really makes it a fast dessert. Of course you could be a little more authentic and use ladyfingers if you like. Pound cake also works – you just need some kind of spongey cake to absorb the coffee and rum.
Once the pudding has soft set use a mixer to stir room temperature Mascarpone cheese into the mixture to make a coffee flavored cheesecake filling.
Then it is just a matter of layering the dessert into trifle cups. I used a layer of angel food cake, sprinkled the cake with a little bit of coffee and rum and topped it off with the pudding mixture. Then I repeated the layers and finished the whole dessert off with a dollop of whipped topping and dusted it with cocoa powder.
If you don’t have trifle cups then pint sized mason jars are excellent for serving trifle. I have also used large wine glasses or martini glasses. Basically you just need something glass – to show off the delicious layers – that has a wide enough mouth to make layering easy. You can also use a large full size trifle bowl or punch bowl if you are serving a crowd.
Does Tiramisu Have Alcohol?
Traditionally dessert does have a little bit of alcohol in the ingredients. Marasala wine is commonly used, but many people use Bailey’s, rum, brandy or kahlua. I usually use rum just because we almost always have some on hand. But if you don’t like alcohol or are serving the dessert to children you can leave it out. One of the advantages to making this in individual cups is you can make half with alcohol and half without and use a sticker on the cup to indicate which is which, keeping everyone happy.
Easy Trifle Dessert
You can eat this tasty dessert right away, or keep it in the refrigerator until dinner time. It should keep well in the refrigerator for two days. I specified using whipped topping in the recipe because it keeps better that way. But if you prefer real whipped cream just wait until serving time to add it to the dessert.
These Tiramisu trifle dessert cups are super easy to throw together and are sure to be appreciated, even by non-coffee fans. They look elegant, so guests and family will think you spent more time an effort making them than you really did!
Easy Tiramisu Trifle
- Add the pudding to a bowl along with the milk and whisk until combined.
- Add 4 T of the coffee to the pudding mix and stir. Refrigerate the coffee flavored pudding for 10 minutes or so until it is soft set.
- Add the Marscapone cheese to the pudding mix and use a mixer to combine the ingredients.
- Cut the Angel Food cake into small squares about 1/2 inch sized.
- Mix the 2 T of rum into the remaining coffee and stir.
- Cover the bottom of a trifle cup with cake pieces.
- Drizzle a few tablespoons of the coffee mixture over the cake pieces. Make sure not to drench them, just get them wet.
- Cover the cake pieces with a layer of the coffee cheesecake filling.
- Repeat the layers one more time, filling the dish.
- Top the trifle with some whipped topping and sprinkle with cocoa powder.
- Store the trifles in the refrigerator until time to serve.
- Made as pictured (in dessert cups) this recipe makes two large desserts. If you serve it in pint sized mason jars it would serve four, and be a more reasonable serving size. If you want to make a large full sized trifle bowl you would need to double the recipe.
- Tiramisu is traditionally made with Mascarpone cheese. But at my grocery store Mascarpone costs about twice what regular cream cheese costs, so I’ve used regular cream cheese before and it still tastes delicious.
- While this recipe doesn’t take long to make you do have to do a little planning ahead of time. The Mascarpone (or cream cheese) needs to be room temperature and the coffee shouldn’t be hot. So in the morning make an extra cup of coffee and take the Mascarpone cheese out of the refrigerator.