Dec 21, 2021 • 5M

The Recipe for Those Who Love Creamy Desserts

An Earl Grey and orange cardamom spin on tiramisu

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Holly Haines
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Photos: Holly Haines

We are a superfan of Holly Haines: Her recipes, her cooking videos, her writing, and, everything about her. You can find her on The Bittman Project and really explore her recipes on Instagram and her home page. Here’s a little get-to-know-her audio, plus her spin on tiramisu we’re excited to make. Enjoy. — Melissa

My preferred genre of dessert is “creamy.” Give me a panna cotta, a creme brulee, leche flan, I love it all. Naturally, I have quite a few variations of tiramisu. For this version, I’m swapping out the espresso for strongly-brewed Earl Grey tea. The mascarpone is flavored with orange zest and ground cardamom, and sweetened with honey. And, instead of cocoa powder on top, a light dusting of chai masala powder for a hit of warm spices — I like the blend from Diaspora Co

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Orange Cardamom Tiramisu

Makes: 9 servings
Time: 25 minutes, plus chilling


  • 3 cups water

  • 6 Earl Grey tea bags

  • 5 large egg yolks, room temperature 

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 16 ounces (2 cups) mascarpone cheese

  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, from 1 orange

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 24 lady fingers 

  • 1 tsp chai masala powder, for dusting (optional)


1.Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add in 6 Earl Grey tea bags and turn off the heat. Let steep for 8 minutes, then remove and discard the tea bags and let tea cool completely. 

2. In a large bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat together 5 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons honey and 1/3 cup sugar at high speed for about 3 minutes, until almost doubled in volume, thickened, creamy and pale yellow.  Add in 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 2 cups mascarpone, 1 tablespoon orange zest and 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom;  beat on medium-high until the mixture reaches almost stiff peaks; it should look like a very thick whipped cream. 

3. Quickly dip a ladyfinger in the cooled Earl Grey tea and place them side-by-side in an 8x8 dish until you have one single layer, breaking up ladyfingers as needed to fit, about 12 ladyfingers per layer. Top with half of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers and the mascarpone mixture. Loosely cover with plastic film and chill for at least 6 hours.

Just before serving, place 1 teaspoon ground chai masala, if using, in a small sieve and lightly dust the top of the tiramisu.