Tiramisu is a delicious no-bake summer dessert. This version has fresh strawberries and Nutella along with layers of coffee and rum-soaked ladyfingers and creamy mascarpone cheese.
A few months ago, I made a no-bake strawberry tiramisu cake and it was so easy and tasty I’ve been wanting to make a variation. I’ve seen many tiramisu cakes that use ground hazelnuts so I thought I would combine strawberries and Nutella since they go so well together.
What is Tiramisu?
Classic tiramisu is a layered Italian dessert made with ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, espresso, and rum. All of the ingredients are layered together and chilled before serving. While it chills, the ladyfingers soak up all of the rum and espresso and they are so good paired with the creamy mascarpone cheese. Since you don’t have to bake it, tiramisu is a great dessert during the summer and it’s fun to come up with different ways to switch it up like adding strawberries and Nutella.
Ladyfingers are often used in desserts because they are great at soaking up different ingredients. Most of the store-bought ones I find are dry and crispy, which are great for this recipe. There are soft ladyfingers, but I don’t recommend using them so be sure to use crispy ones. Sometimes it’s hard to find them in regular grocery stores, so if you need to you can always order them on Amazon*. Once they’ve soaked in the coffee and rum, they turn spongy and cake-like.
Coffee or Espresso
Traditional tiramisu has espresso, but if you don’t have a way to make espresso you can substitute regular coffee. I recommend using a dark roast coffee (I used an Italian roast) and brewing it stronger than you would a regular cup of coffee. This will ensure the coffee flavor shines through in the tiramisu.
There are only three tablespoons of rum in this recipe and you mix it with the coffee before pouring it over the ladyfingers. Because this is a no-bake dessert, the alcohol will not cook off like it would in a baked dessert.
Dark rums have a lot of flavor that works well in desserts like tiramisu. I don’t recommend using a light rum because the flavor is just too light.
Mascarpone is an Italian cheese that is sort of like cream cheese except it’s richer and creamier. It’s also less tangy and a little sweeter than cream cheese. For this tiramisu, you whip the cheese with some cream and sugar to make it airy and light.
I’ve also used mascarpone cheese frosting for cupcakes and it works great!
Strawberries and Nutella
You won’t find strawberries and Nutella in a classic tiramisu, but the flavor combination is so great I had to try it. It helps to warm the Nutella in the microwave so it spreads easily. I spread it over the mascarpone layer and then sprinkled crushed hazelnuts over the top. Then I layered sliced fresh strawberries over the top of the Nutella.
You’ll notice in the photos that the tiramisu has a layer of Nutella on top, but it was a little overkill for my tastes. I prefer it with just one layer of Nutella inside the cake and I’ve omitted that top layer in the recipe.
I decorated my tiramisu with fresh strawberries, but you can also dust the top with some unsweetened cocoa powder.
*Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).
Strawberry Nutella Tiramisu
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- about 18 lady fingers (see note)
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- 1 cup strong/bold coffee brew I used Italian roast since it is an Italian dessert
- 3 tbsp dark rum
- 1/4 cup ground hazelnuts optional
- Line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Make sure you use a big enough piece so that you will be able to pull the entire cake out later using the parchment paper.
- Line 9 ladyfingers side by side into the bottom of the pan. Brew one cup of coffee and mix in rum. Using a pastry brush, brush each lady finger with the rum mixture, making sure to coat the entire surface of the ladyfingers and that the ladyfingers are soaked all the way through. Any portion left untouched won't soften.
- On high speed with a stand mixer, blend cheese, cream, and sugar until peaks form.
- Using a spatula, spread half of the cheese mixture onto ladyfingers. Spread evenly across. Heat Nutella in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Spread on top of cheese layer. Sprinkle ground hazelnuts on top of Nutella layer. Slice 5 large strawberries, 4 thin slices per strawberry, and lay out pieces on top of the Nutella/hazelnut layer.
- Add a second layer of ladyfingers on top, laying them side by side. Repeat with brushing the lady fingers with coffee and rum.
- Add the final layer of cheese across surface of ladyfingers. Then add more slices of strawberries or whole strawberries. Place in fridge to set for about 1 hour or longer. Leave in fridge until ready for serving. When ready to eat, remove entire cake by grabbing ends of parchment paper. Slice cake so that you slice into the middle of the ladyfinger sections rather than leaving them whole, so that it looks like cake.
- Be sure to buy ladyfingers that are dry and crispy (not soft). Sometimes it's hard to find them at regular grocery stores, but you can order them on Amazon*.
- *Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.