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Strawberry Lemon Tiramisu

Layers of lemon syrup-soaked lady fingers, silky smooth mascarpone cream, and perfectly-ripe summer strawberries. It may not be a traditional tiramisu, but it just might become your new favorite. Edible flowers optional but oh so pretty. 
Prep Time4 hrs
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 12
Author: Emily Clifton, Nerds with Knives


For the Lemon Syrup

  • 1 1/2 cup 120ml water
  • 1 1/2 cup 300g sugar
  • 2 large lemons peeled with a sharp vegetable peeler to avoid the white pith (about 10 strips)
  • 3/4 cup 180ml fresh lemon juice (juice of 2 large lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons 30ml Limoncello (optional)

For the Mascarpone Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons 45ml water
  • 2 tablespoons 25g sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 16 ounces 2 cups, 340g mascarpone cheese, cold
  • 3/4 cup 100g confectioners’ sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1 cup 250ml heavy cream, cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 quarts about 2.5 lbs fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced (or other berry of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 packages of ladyfingers about 36 cookies
  • Borage flowers or other edible flowers optional


  • Make the lemon syrup: Add water, sugar and lemon peel to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 1 minute, or until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and Limoncello, if using, and set aside. Allow to cool and remove peels.
  • Make the cream: Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar dissolves, 1 minute. Place egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whisk on medium-low. With the mixer running, slowly and very carefully drizzle in the hot sugar syrup. Increase the mixer’s speed to medium-high and beat until the bowl is no longer hot to the touch and the mixture has tripled in size, about 5 minutes. Turn mixer to medium speed and add mascarpone in a few large dollops, letting each incorporate before adding the next. Add confectioners sugar and beat until just combined and smooth.
  • In a separate clean and chilled bowl, beat cream and vanilla to stiff peaks. Using a spatula, gently fold whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  • Pour lemon syrup into a shallow bowl and dip ladyfingers, turning once to coat for a few seconds, allowing them to absorb some of the syrup. Line the bottom of the 9x13 baking dish with a single layer of the ladyfingers. If you have a lot more than half the syrup left, drizzle an extra two or three tablespoons syrup over the ladyfingers in the dish.
  • Top ladyfingers with half of the mascarpone mixture and smooth the surface with an offset spatula or butter knife. Place a layer of sliced strawberries all over the mascarpone mixture, reserving the remaining strawberries for the top.
  • Repeat with the second layer of dipped ladyfingers, and top with the remaining mascarpone mixture. Smooth the top.
  • Decorate the top with the remaining strawberries. For a flower pattern, work from the center-out and angle the strawberries slices, continuing around the dish until you have a flower-like pattern. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours and up to 1 day. Top with a sprinkle of edible flowers, if desired, then slice and serve.
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