This Ice Cream Tiramisu Recipe Is the Perfect No-Bake Dessert for Summer

Ice cream tiramisu.
Ice cream tiramisu. / Institute of Culinary Education

Summer is a tough time for bakers. When air conditioners struggle to keep up with the heat, a hot oven can make an already stuffy kitchen unbearable. Fortunately, you don’t need to choose between your comfort and your sweet tooth when the weather warms up. This ice cream tiramisu recipe from the Institute of Culinary Education requires no special equipment—not even an oven.

Tiramisu is traditionally made by layering a mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone with spongecake or lady fingers soaked in coffee. This version swaps the mascarpone mixture for pre-made ice cream, making it a perfect summertime treat. “There’s no eggs to cook or anything like that,” ICE’s lead recreational chef-instructor Roger Sitrin tells Mental Floss. “It’s quite easy to do. It’s quite a crowd-pleaser as well.”

After lining a square pan with plastic wrap, arrange your lady fingers on the bottom in a single layer. Brush them with a mixture of brewed coffee, espresso powder, and coffee liqueur to infuse them with a sweet coffee flavor. Next, spread a pint of softened coffee ice cream over the cookies and sprinkle it with grated bittersweet chocolate. 

In this simple recipe, getting the ice cream to a spreadable consistency may be the trickiest step. “The problem with leaving it on your counter is that it’s going to start defrosting from the outside in, so by the time the inside gets to that right consistency, the outside’s going to be liquid,” Sitrin says. He recommends heating it in the microwave in three 10 second increments, checking the ice cream between each blast.

Continue layering your tiramisu with your remaining lady fingers, coffee mixture, vanilla ice cream, and grated chocolate. Cover the pan with foil and allow it to set in the freezer before serving.

The Institute of Culinary Eduction is one of the world’s largest culinary schools. If you’re interested in enrolling in their courses—which cover the culinary arts, pastry and baking arts, hospitality and hotel management, and more—you can check out their curricula on their website.

Ice Cream Tiramisu

Serves 6 to 9

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
24 ladyfingers, broken in half
¼ cup brewed coffee
2 teaspoons espresso powder
¼ cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
1 pint coffee ice cream, softened
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
Garnish: Chocolate covered expresso beans (optional)

  1. Line an 8-inch square pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
  2. Grate 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (about 1 cup).
  3. Arrange 12 ladyfinger halves on the bottom of pan, in a single layer.
  4. Combine the brewed coffee, espresso powder and coffee liqueur in a small bowl; brush the ladyfingers with half of this mixture.
  5. Place 1 pint coffee ice cream in large bowl; stir until smooth but not melted. Spread over ladyfingers, then sprinkle with half the grated chocolate. Create another layer (ladyfingers, brushed with coffee/Kahlua mixture) this time topped with 1 pint softened vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle with the remaining grated chocolate.
  6. Cover with foil and freeze until firm.
  7. Before serving, place in refrigerator to soften slightly. Peel off foil and place on serving plate. Garnish with chocolate curls and cut in squares.