Tennessee Tiramisu Recipe

Southern With a Twist

For those who just can’t get enough of Southern classics but like a fresh take every now and then, we’ve got you covered. Here, area restauranteurs dish up some of the best flavors the region has to offer with a little something unexpected.

Photography by Ryan Long Photography

“This dish is not only Southern but authentic to Chattanooga. The cornbread cake has the perfect balance of flour and cornmeal with a hint of vanilla. Instead of the typical rum and amaretto found in tiramisu, Chattanooga Whiskey’s coffee bourbon liqueur adds even more depth to the cornbread cake, and subbing farmer’s cheese for mascarpone adds tartness to the creamy layer of our Tennessee Tiramisu. Don’t tell the Italians, but I have to say I like our version better than the original!”

–Ruth Oehmig, Café on the Corner


Ruth Oehmig and Dixie Baker

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Tennessee Tiramisu from Cafe on the Corner

Tennessee Tiramisu

Café on the Corner
Cook Time 35 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings


For the cornbread cake:

  • 6 Tbsp. yellow cornmeal (¼ cup + 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, room temperature

For the Tennessee tiramisu cream:

  • 4 large egg yoks
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup farmer's cheese
  • ¾ cup heavy cream

To assemble:

  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 ¾ cups high-quality espresso
  • 7 Tbsp. Chattanooga Whiskey coffee liquor
  • 2 tsp. Madagascar vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1-2 oz. bittersweet chocolate shavings and whole roasted coffee beans (optional)


For the cornbread cake:

  • To make the cornbread cake, start by preheating an oven to 350° and lining a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and cooking spray.
  • Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and whisk well. Set aside.
  • Using a paddle attachment on a stand mixer, cream the butter in a bowl until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the sugar and continue creaming for another 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time before adding vanilla and honey. Slowly begin adding in remaining ingredients and alternate between the dry ingredients mixture and buttermilk, but start and end with the dry ingredients.
  • Pour batter into the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to rest for 10 minutes and once cool, slice into 8-inch x 1-inch sections. 

For the Tennessee tiramisu cream:

  • Start the tiramisu cream by whipping together egg yolks and ½ cup sugar until it forms a pale yellow. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  • Whip the farmer’s cheese on high until smooth and set aside.
  • In another bowl, whip cream and remaining ¼ cup sugar until it creates soft-medium peaks.
  • Add farmer’s cheese and continue to whip until it creates a soft spreadable mixture with medium peaks.
  • Gently fold the mixture into the bowl with egg yolks and sugar. 

To assemble:

  • To assemble the dish, dust the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking dish with 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder using a sifter.
  • Combine espresso, whiskey, vanilla, and ¼ tsp. salt, and working one piece at a time, quickly dip cornbread cake into the espresso mixture and then place in the baking dish.
  • Once you have a layer of cake, spread half of the cream mixture on top.
  • Repeat with another layer of cake and then another layer of cream.
  • Dust top layer with remaining Tbsp. of cocoa powder and top with shaved chocolate if desired.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  • Before serving, decorate with coffee beans if desired. 
Keyword Chattanooga Whiskey, Cornbread, dessert, southern dessert, tiramisu, tiramisu recipe
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