This gluten-free and vegan tiramisu is rich, creamy, fluffy, decadent, and the perfect treat to impress family and friends.
I love the perfect balance of flavours and the marriage between the sponge, coffee and cream. There’s definitely no holding back on the cream component in this tiramisu. So much so, I created two different cream layers; a coffee cashew layer and a coconut cream one.
This dessert, like many other classic recipes from my childhood that we’ve shared, I thought I’d never have again when I became vegan.
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What is a vegan tiramisu made of?
Since the traditional tiramisu is filled with ladyfinger biscuits (aka savoiardi) that are full of eggs, and then layered with mascarpone cheese, eggs and whipped cream, depending on which recipe you follow, tiramisu if far from vegan. If you took everything away, you’d pretty much be left with sugar, coffee and alcohol (if using).
This vegan version is something that I’ve been mastering for years now. I originally published this recipe back in early 2018 with a recipe I’d been testing for many months.
However, I was not 100% happy with the gluten-free sponge that I created for it originally so I decided to revisit it and go back to the drawing board to make it a recipe I’d be super proud of. So here it is, a vegan tiramisu recipe that I’m really happy with and I’m sure you’ll love too!
This non-dairy tiramisu has three different components. As I mentioned earlier, there’s the coffee cream that has a cashew base, a coconut cream for that undeniable creaminess and light airy texture that coconut provides, and a super simple gluten-free sponge that is a little drier than normal to give it some help with soaking up that delicious coffee without falling apart. This is essentially what ladyfingers are, a super dry biscuit that soaks up liquids really well.
Tips for how to make this vegan gluten-free tiramisu
Once you have a taste of this deliciousness, you’ll be finding excuses to make it again and again. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when making it.
- Tiramisu is always best made ahead of time. This gives the tiramisu time to infuse all its flavours. Another option would be to make it in steps. E.g. Make the sponge and coconut cream layer in the evening and then finish it off with the coffee cream the next day and assemble. The order of making the creams doesn’t really matter. As long as you get the sponge done ahead of time so that it has time to cool, the rest of it isn’t that important with timing.
- You can use both normal and decaf coffee in this tiramisu. I prefer to use decaf so I can enjoy it any time without getting the caffeine hit.
- I haven’t tried it myself, but you can use silken tofu or sunflower seeds in place of cashews in the coffee cream for a nut-free version. The taste, of course, will be different.
- The tiramisu will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- If you want to see when the coconut cream separates from the milk to use for the coconut cream layer, pour it into a clear glass before putting it in the fridge. You’ll notice when the cream has separated to the top and the milk to the bottom. No need to guess with cans anymore.
- For the sponge part of this recipe, please use scales to measure out the ingredients. This is very important, in particular with gluten-free baking.
- Add the cacao powder just before you’re ready to serve; otherwise, it becomes fairly bitter and seeps into the coconut cream and loses that nice brown powdery look on top.
- If you don’t have the liquors mentioned in the recipe below, you can also use marsala wine (traditionally used in tiramisu), rum, and amaretto. Whichever alcohol you choose to use, make sure that it’s vegan. Note: Kahlua is no longer vegan when this post was published in June 2021.
- If you’d like to make this tiramisu alcohol free, add more coffee to the coffee cashew cream to replace it.
- If you don’t need this recipe to be gluten-free, you can use my recipe for the vanilla cake. Still bake it in the sheet pan and adjust the timing accordingly (use the below recipe as a guide).
How to serve these tiramisu cups
Use six glasses to layer the tiramisu for easy single servings. The six portions are generous serves. You can easily feed up to ten people with this dessert if dished out into smaller portions.
If you’d prefer to make it into a cake, you can certainly do that! Just use a deep dish and layer it as you would in the glasses but in the dish instead, spreading it evenly. The sponge should still be cut into ‘ladyfinger’ sticks for layering for a more authentic look and to dunk the sponge into the coffee easier.
You can also use ramekins, dessert glasses, small bowls or trifle bowl to serve it in.
Making it in smaller portions helps so you can see all the layers without having to worry about cutting straight and scooping it out of the dish.
A vegan dessert that will become a staple in your home
This Italian classic dessert may seem a little overwhelming when you first look at it but trust me when you’ve made it once; you’ll be confident to make it again! Not only because you’ll be in heaven with every bite you take but because it’s a very straightforward recipe.
It has no specialty ingredients and even those that don’t usually eat dessert will enjoy this one as it’s not too sweet, just like a tiramisu should be.
This vegan gluten-free tiramisu is:
Other Italian inspired recipes you’ll love:
- Baked Ziti
- Italian Hot Chocolate
- Pasta e Fagioli
- Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Minestrone Soup
- Mushroom Risotto
- Bruschetta Four Ways
- Hearty Lasagna