Give Sugar Cookies The Tiramisu Treatment With This 4-Ingredient Frosting

Tiramisu is, inarguably, a tasty dessert — what's not to love about coffee-soaked ladyfingers layered with whipped mascarpone cream, dusted with cocoa powder on top? The only downside is that this Italian treat is not the simplest or fastest dessert to make. Tasting Table's recipe for a classic tiramisu takes about six and a half hours to finish (although most of that is spent waiting for the dessert to set in the fridge). So if you're craving tiramisu ASAP, we have a shortcut for you: a tiramisu-inspired frosting to layer on top of cookies.

This genius dessert topper comes from Tasting Table's recipe for frosted tiramisu sugar cookies, developed by Jessica Morone. The cookies are flavored with espresso, then topped with a four-ingredient mascarpone frosting with all the flavor of the classic treat. You can also whip up the frosting and spread it homemade or store-bought sugar cookies for a hint of tiramisu flavor and very little extra effort.

The four ingredients you need for this frosting are 8 ounces of mascarpone, 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 cup of powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Simply add these ingredients to a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and beat until stiff peaks form, which indicates that the fluffy yet rich consistency is just right. Spread the desired amount right onto your sugar cookies and you're done!

How to make the frosting even more tiramisu-like

This four-ingredient frosting will definitely remind you of tiramisu, but plain cookies instead of our espresso-infused ones can dilute the effect a bit. For even more tiramisu flavor, add an extra ingredient or two. Firstly, borrow from our cookie recipe and sprinkle cocoa powder over the top of the frosting will add visual resemblance to tiramisu, along with a stronger cocoa flavor. The coffee flavor will be missing, though, so try mixing instant coffee into the frosting to fully round out the tiramisu taste. 

Take just one teaspoon of instant coffee and dissolve it in one tablespoon of water, then add it to the rest of the frosting ingredients. You could also mix instant coffee into the cocoa powder topping. Or, take an even more traditional route and briefly dip your cookies in espresso before frosting them. An even easier shortcut is to use mocha cookies instead of plain sugar cookies for a one-two punch of cocoa and coffee.

There's also the option to leave the frosting as-is and add a coffee taste in a different way: by drinking it on the side. Make yourself cup of black coffee or a homemade cafe latte or cappuccino and enjoy alongside your cookies for an Italian-inspired afternoon pick-me-up.