Caramel Chai Tiramisu

This Caramel Chai Tiramisu is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!

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This Caramel Chai Tiramisu is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!I was talking with one of my friends the other day about favorite desserts.  He was making a solid argument for cookies.  More specifically, his favorite was a chewy chocolate peanut butter cup cookie.  They’re delicious, easy to make and can be eaten with one hand.  Ok, I had a hard time arguing with that logic.  Any dessert that can be eaten with one hand deserves bonus points.  And I admit that chocolate and peanut butter is indeed a delicious combination.

But I countered back with one of my all-time favorites: tiramisu.  Ok, truthfully, I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and it’s difficult to select favorite desserts.  I like them all!  But tiramisu has Italian roots, and therefore it gets bonus points wins.  I truthfully can’t remember when I first had tiramisu.  Since it features coffee, I’m assuming it wasn’t when I was a kid as I didn’t like coffee-flavored anything until high school.  Traditional tiramisu also includes rum, so I’m guessing my first experience with tiramisu was sometime after I was 21.

This Caramel Chai Tiramisu is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!In fact, tiramisu was one of the first recipes I mastered when I was first learning my way around the kitchen.  It’s really rather simple to make, and it’s one of those impressive desserts to serve.  No offense to the tasty chocolate peanut butter cup cookie, but tiramisu wins in the presentation category!

This Caramel Chai Tiramisu is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!I’ve shared my go-to classic tiramisu recipe here before, but I decided to get creative the other day.  I had some of International Delight’s Caramel Chai Tea Latte in my fridge, and I decided to use that in place of the milk.  Traditional tiramisu also uses raw eggs.  My wife can’t eat raw eggs right now, so I used a cooked custard version for this Caramel Chai Tiramisu.  I was a little skeptical about veering away from the traditional tiramisu method, but the result was excellent!  I also subbed out the traditional cocoa powder on top in favor of cinnamon to go with the flavors in the chai tea.  And since cinnamon makes everything better, I was pretty much in heaven with this recipe!

This Caramel Chai Tiramisu is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!While this recipe does call for cooking the egg yolks indirectly over simmering water, that’s about the only heat required.  Other than that, you just layer the espresso-soaked ladyfingers with the delicious caramel chai custard and toss the whole pan in the fridge for a few hours.  Right before serving, I topped these tiramisu squares with a little dusting of cinnamon and fresh raspberry.

This Caramel Chai Tiramisu is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!How do you find time to relax during busy summer days?  I know summer is supposed to be a time to sit back, slow down and soak in the rays…but it never seems to work out like that.  There’s always lawns to mow, pools to swim in and gardens to weed.  (Ok, maybe the pools part isn’t all that bad.)  For us, we like to take 10 minutes at the end of the workday to walk around the backyard and look at the flowers and garden.  I also enjoy grabbing a book and reading in the hammock on Saturday afternoons with an ice-cold glass of Caramel Chai Tea Latte.  My wife enjoys her glass heated up in the morning instead.  Either way, that little 10-minute break on a busy day is sometimes all I need to recharge the batteries!

What is your favorite dessert?  (You get a bonus point if it is Italian.)

This Caramel Chai Tiramisu is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!

Caramel Chai Tiramisu

This Caramel Chai Tiramisu is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 534kcal


  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • ¾ cup Caramel Chai Tea Latte
  • 16 oz. mascarpone cheese room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 36 ladyfingers
  • cups espresso or strongly-brewed coffee
  • Optional garnishes: cinnamon and fresh raspberries


  • Line a 9”x9” square baking pan with plastic wrap. (Note: Use extra plastic wrap so that the edges hang over. This will help remove the Tiramisu later.)
  • Using a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and chai tea latte. Place bowl over a gently simmering saucepan of water. (Note: Do not let the bottom of the heatproof bowl actually touch the water. It should just sit on top of the saucepan.)
  • Heat, whisking frequently, until custard reaches 170°F (~6-8 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and set aside to cool. (Tip: You can place the bowl in the refrigerator for several minutes to speed up this step.)
  • Add mascarpone cheese and lemon juice to the custard; stir until just combined.
  • Whip heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
  • Place the espresso in a shallow bowl. Split each ladyfinger in half. Gently dip 18 of the halves into the espresso and then place in three rows in the 9”x9” baking dish.
  • Spread ½ of the mascarpone mixture evenly on top of the ladyfingers.
  • Repeat with remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.
  • Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • Cut into squares and garnish with cinnamon before serving. (optional)
  • Place raspberry in the center of each square before serving. (optional)

This conversation is sponsored by International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

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    1. Thank you so much, Alice! I was a little skeptical about messing with the classic tiramisu recipe, but these turned out quite well! 🙂

  1. David, I’m a huge fan of tiramisu, and in my book it’s one of the best desserts ever. I just recently found out I hadn’t been making any for 2 years (I used to make it quite often, and I’ve tried a lot of lovely combos) and thought about incorporating (please, have a seat and don’t laugh)….lavender:) Talking about the flavors, it’s one of the most sophisticated I’ve ever seen! I still prefer tiramisu made in a large bowl, but sure this way of servings looks great too. And I love you didn’t use raw eggs – I always make with raw, but sometimes it’s just an essential thing to do! Impeccable job, David, and have a lovely weekend!

    1. Thank you so much, Ben! I usually go with the classic tiramisu, too…and tiramisu is absolutely one of the best desserts ever! But I decided to mix up the flavors a bit…and the combo totally works. Plus, they are served cold…which is perfect for summer!

  2. Spumoni. Hands down. I do love tirmisu too though. This one of yours is so creative! I’ve never actually tried to make it and always had it in restaurants. I bet yours is better! 🙂 Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

    1. Tiramisu is surprisingly easy to make at home, Rachelle! It’s one of those fancy sounding desserts that totally blows guests away…but you can make it with just a little bit of effort. Give it a shot! Now pass me that spumoni!

    1. I was a little skeptical about playing with the flavors of traditional tiramisu just because I think it’s one of the best desserts ever…but this totally worked! Caramel + chai for the win! 🙂

  3. What a unique version of tiramisu. I actually used to hate tiramisu until we went to Rome last year and I thought I would try it because, you know, when in rome and all that and it was better than anything I had ever had before, so now I am a total convert.

    1. Yes! I totally agree with you, Dannii! The first time I went to Italy, I got hooked on tiramisu, and I’ve been hooked on it ever since. This was a fun variation on the flavors…and equally as delicious as the classic version! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Shelby! The caramel was a fun twist on the classic tiramisu flavors…and it totally worked. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    1. Hey, that’s what I’m here for, Arman…to intensify your cravings for ladyfingers. I hope you got that craving satisfied. If not, then just stop reading right now and go find ladyfingers and espresso! Make it happen, mate!

    1. I think this would make an excellent bday present, Gina! In fact, my birthday is coming up soon…want to make a double batch? Haha! 🙂

  4. Oh I love your playful and delicious spin on tiramisu! Tiramisu happens to be my husband’s all time favorite dessert as well! I’m willing to bet lots of money he would LOVE your version! As for me and my favorite dessert… i dont have one. I’m sure I just lost allllll my points on that one! But I have a pretty valid excuse, I am allergic to chocolate! So I never really got a chance to develop a sweet tooth! But my husband is part italian… and I was smart enough to marry him… so can I collect a few points back for that?? This looks great, and I’m definately going to whip this up for my hunny! Cheers to a great weekend!!

    1. You just lost all points ever created, Cheyanne. No favorite dessert? How is that even possible? Oh, you’re allergic to chocolate. Ok, I get it then. You almost went into negative points, but the fact that you married an Italian totally just saved you! There’s no chocolate in this recipe…so it won’t kill you! (That gets bonus points, right?)

    1. Oh, it is…err, was…super tasty, Manali. I was skeptical about playing with the traditional flavors of tiramisu, but this caramel chai version totally rocks! 🙂

  5. Wow tiramisu is like one of my favorite desserts – I’d have to put that over cookies anytime!! This version with the chai spices sounds extraordinary!! Love how creative it is! I will have to find a reason to make this – dinner party in my future (I can’t be trusted with a pan of tiramisu to myself).

    1. I totally agree, Sam! I can’t be trusted around some desserts…and tiramisu is most definitely one of them. So invite some friends over so that you have an excuse to make delicious dessert for everyone! 🙂

  6. Hi David! This looks so light and luscious! Perfect ending to a meal of Ragu’ Bolognese! I like ALL desserts!

    1. I’m with ya, Dorothy…pass me one of each of the desserts! I mean, we have to be fair, right? We can’t go favoring one dessert over the other! 🙂

  7. Call me crazy, but I have never been a fan of the tiramisu, don’t know exactly why, but I think it’s the texture. This sounds like a wonderful spin on the traditional as I love chai. Nice job Dave!

    1. I could see that, Kevin…tiramisu is definitely a unique dessert. But I love it! Plus, it’s Italian…and everything Italian gets extra awesome points in my book. Haha! 🙂

  8. I sure do adore my desserts – but, tiramisu, is hands down my all time favorite! Part of the reason I think is that I cannot make it at all! David – this is phenomenal!!! Oh my gosh!!! What a fantastic idea to use ID coffee creamer in this version! And – wait – Mrs. Spiced cannot have raw eggs? Is there a Lil Spiced gonna debut soon?

    1. Oh, Shashi! I was waiting to see if anyone picked up on that little nugget in the post. You are just too smart for your own good! But back to tiramisu…I think I could eat that stuff every day! I was a little skeptical about messing with the traditional flavors, but the caramel + chai version totally worked. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Alyssa! I was a bit nervous about playing with the traditional flavors of tiramisu, but I gotta say that this caramel chai version turned out quite well. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

  9. Am I the only one that is going to ask the question? You know, why your wife can’t have raw eggs right now?:-)

    Okay, back to the tiramisu. Like you , this is one of my favorite desserts and I’ve seen several remixes of this classic dessert and I love them and your spin as well!!

    1. Hahaha…you’re technically the second person to ask, Tamara, but the first one was an email instead of a comment. You know…sometimes women just can’t have raw eggs! Oh, and stay tuned…I may or may not have some exciting news to announce soon. 😉

      Thanks so much! I was skeptical about going away from the classic flavors here, but I do love chai and cinnamon. This version totally worked, too! It’s perfect for summer since it’s served chilled, too.

  10. Your tiramisu sounds delicious but I’m not a coffee drinker. Is there something else I can use in place of the expresso/coffee? Thanks.

    1. Hey Adrienne! Hmmm…that’s a good question. I bet you could use more of that Caramel Chai Latte as the liquid for soaking those ladyfingers. The flavor would match the rest of the dessert, so it should still work quite well! Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy this recipe! 🙂

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