I Dropped $13 on a Tiramisu Latte, but My Wallet Prefers This At-Home Version

POPSUGAR Photography | Nicolette Baker
POPSUGAR Photography | Nicolette Baker

I've been dreaming of a Mediterranean summer: sweet sun rays, coastal adventures, and (of course) good eats. My checking account, however, isn't on board with an impromptu international flight. Right on cue, I scrolled past the tiramisu latte in my TikTok For You feed. I was struck with visions of myself enjoying the Italian dessert on a leisurely vacay, and so, in the name of "little treat culture," I had to try it.

The trending latte borrows its sweet and tangy flavor profile from the layered dessert, so it's not hard to imagine why it's quickly earned a fanbase. It's more difficult, though, to pin down exactly where the trend originated: Enly, a model-owned cafe in Lower Manhattan, is frequently tagged under #TiramisuLatte, while coffee shops across the country (and even Toronto) offer similar sips. Some, like Sip and Savor in Orange County, CA, even garnish the latte with a fresh ladyfinger for on-the-go snacking.

Why the Tiramisu Latte Is Going Viral

The creamy latte currently epitomizes stands as the epitome of #FoodTok aesthetics. Allow me to paint the picture: thick pillows of vanilla-flavored cream are piped on top of a creamy shaken latte, followed by a heavy dusting of cocoa powder. Under the tiramisu latte hashtag, you'll find multiple videos set to Lana Del Rey's ethereal vocals, while others pan the camera toward an out-the-door line.

All in all, the concept of a drinkable, deconstructed tiramisu sounds irresistible. Feeling creative on a Friday night? You can also easily convert this recipe into an unconventional espresso martini by subbing the espresso for two ounces of cold brew liqueur.

I recently stopped inside Enly to try it for myself. I emerged 20 minutes later with the viral coffee in-hand and was transported straight to caffeinated heaven. Hype? Well-earned. I'll admit that the cream did get messy during that humid day, and things quickly got sticky. So, while this is a beverage that's well-worth the trouble, it's probably best enjoyed in the comfort of air conditioning.

It's not everyone's cup of tea, though. Predictably, its price tag — which rings up close to $13, including tip — is raising some eyebrows. The concept of plopping tiramisu custard on top of a morning coffee might also seem absurd to some, but I see this drink as more of an occasional afternoon treat.

Rest assured that re-creating this recipe in your own kitchen is quicker than the coffee shop's queue (and a lot gentler on your wallet, too).

How to Make Tiramisu Cold Foam

Back at home, I grabbed the ingredients needed for a classic tiramisu and brainstormed how to re-create the flavors. What I came up with? A classic cold foam recipe, consisting of whisked heavy cream and a touch of vanilla, combined with tiramisu's signature mascarpone cheese, espresso, and a teeny bit of sugar. It came together in just five minutes, too.

An electric hand whisk is necessary for creating the ideal consistency here. It thoroughly blends the foam's ingredients and aerates the cream, transforming it into the right airy texture for floating on top of the latte. (If you've been on TikTok since the whipped coffee era, you're likely familiar with this technique.)

While personal preference on cream varies, this particular drink calls for a thick, stiff cream to achieve the tiramisu look and mouthfeel. Meaning, if you can't flip the cup upside-down without spillage (à la Dairy Queen's signature test), it's not ready.

Once you're finished whisking, assemble the latte by pouring espresso over milk and ice. Spoon the cold foam mixture to a piping bag (try rolling parchment paper into a funnel shape and securing it with tape) and pipe onto the drink. Don't forget to sift a bit of cocoa powder on top for that Instagrammable touch.

A quick taste test affirmed my love for the thick sweetness of the tiramisu cream; in future iterations, I'd definitely play with the milk-to-espresso ratio in the latte for a more balanced taste. At the end of the day, though, the original concept feels genius. Who's to say you can't have your tiramisu and drink it, too?

POPSUGAR Photography | Nicolette Baker
POPSUGAR Photography | Nicolette Baker
POPSUGAR Photography | Nicolette Baker
POPSUGAR Photography | Nicolette Baker

Nicolette Baker is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Her expertise lies primarily in food, drink, and fashion media, but she enjoys covering all aspects of lifestyle with an accessible approach. She's written for Food & Wine, Byrdie, Business Insider, VinePair, and Flourish.


Tiramisu Latte

original recipe

INGREDIENTS

    • Cold foam:
    • ¼ cup heavy cream
    • ¼ cup whole milk
    • 2 tablespoons mascarpone
    • ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon espresso
    • Cocoa powder for dusting
    • Latte:
    • 2 shots espresso
    • 4-6 ounces of milk

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Brew two shots of espresso and set aside.

    2. Add heavy cream, marcospone, sugar, vanilla, and espresso to a mixing cup. Using a handheld whisk, aerate the mixture until fully combined and fluffy.

    3. Add ice, milk and syrup to a separate cup. Pour the espresso shots on top, and stir until combined.

    4. Pipe cold foam evenly on top of the latte. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and enjoy.