Creamy Italian Zabaglione

Italian Zabaglione
Philip Wilkins/Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
283 Calories
8g Fat
38g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 283
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 325mg 108%
Sodium 519mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 35g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 54mg 4%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 166mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Zabaglione or zabaione is one of the most classic Italian desserts. Similar to a custard, though not made with milk, zabaglione is a simple and flavorful dessert that takes very little time to prepare and can be a last-minute dessert to offer to your guests. All that you need are egg yolks, Marsala wine, sugar, and an optional egg white beaten to firm peaks. If perhaps you don't know what to do with that Marsala wine that has been sitting in your cabinet, this is a great recipe to put it to good use. Serve this zabaglione in individual cups and garnish with your favorite fruit, such as fresh berries or peaches, and a couple of ladyfinger cookies.

Served as a thick and creamy custard, or sometimes lighter as a beverage, zabaglione is very popular in areas with high rates of Italian immigration, like many parts of the Eastern United States, and countries in South America like Argentina and Uruguay. The eggy concoction has many fans around the world, and similar preparations have taken hold elsewhere using local ingredients and traditions, like French sabayon or other sweet beverages based on alcohol and eggs like eggnog, Hispanic coquito, or Dutch Advocaat. If you've never had Marsala wine, expect a sweet vanilla-like and nutty flavor from this Sicilian wine. Buy good quality wine, though; if you won't drink it by the glass you probably won't like the flavor of it in your zabaglione.

For this recipe, you need a double boiler to gently cook the egg cream without it scrambling. If you don't have a double boiler, you simply need two pots, one large and one medium that can easily and firmly fit on inside the bigger one. Add one or two inches of water and cook the egg mixture in the smaller pot. Voilá! No need to spend money on a proper double boiler, unless you plan on using this method of cooking often.


  • 6 large egg yolks

  • 2/3 cup/120 grams sugar

  • 18 tablespoons Marsala wine, approximately one cup plus 2 tablespoons

  • Optional: 1 large egg white, beaten to firm peaks

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Beat the yolks and the sugar until the mixture is palest yellow, tending towards white.

  3. Then beat in the Marsala and cook over a double boiler.

  4. Do not let it reach a boil, but remove it from the fire as soon as it thickens.

  5. When it has cooled to merely warm, you can, if you like, fold in an egg white beaten to very firm peaks.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.