Everyone, meet tiramisu's enchanting summery sister. This no-bake, make-ahead treat may stand tall, but you can whip it up in short order: simply whisk mascarpone and heavy cream into glossy peaks, soak store-bought ladyfingers in a quick caramel, and layer both with sliced fresh strawberries. Let the flavors meld in the refrigerator where they'll achieve the texture of a traditional sponge cake without any baking.

Martha Stewart Living, June 2021


Credit: Chris Simpson

Recipe Summary

30 mins
24 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine granulated sugar and 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; continue boiling, covered, until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Uncover and continue boiling, swirling pan gently as color develops at edges of pan, until sugar turns medium amber and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes more.

  • Remove from heat; carefully add lemon zest and juice and 1/4 cup cold water (add water all at once and pull hand away immediately; mixture will splatter and steam). Stir until smooth; if necessary, return pan to low heat to liquefy completely. Transfer to a heatproof bowl; let cool until slightly warm to the touch, about 30 minutes.

  • Whisk mascarpone, cream, confectioners' sugar, and salt on medium-high speed to stiff peaks. Working one at a time, dip 10 ladyfingers in caramel, turning to fully coat and allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Spread a very thin layer of cream mixture on bottom of each dipped ladyfinger (to prevent sliding); arrange on a platter in a snug row.

  • Dollop one-third of remaining cream mixture on top; spread to edges in an even layer. Top with one-third of strawberries in a single layer. Repeat dipping and layering twice more (skipping the thin layer of cream mixture on bottom of cookies for remaining layers).

  • Cover loosely but fully and refrigerate at least 24 hours and up to 2 days. Top with more halved or whole berries. To serve, slice between each row of ladyfingers.