This Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu is aromatic, super creamy and much healthier than the traditional version! It’s the best crowd-pleasing dessert for easy entertaining!
I decided to make this Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu because I was thinking the other day about all the amazing desserts I haven’t been able to eat since I changed my way of eating…and one of the things that came to mind was Tiramisu!
Not only is Tiramisu an elegant yet low-maintenance dessert that’s effortless to make in large quantities, but it also tastes incredible: buttery ladyfingers soaked in coffee and liqueur, layered with silky, tangy mascarpone and finished with a dusting of cocoa powder. Can you think of a better combination?
Why you’ll love this Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu:
- it’s undetectably vegan and gluten-free
- it’s egg-free and dairy-free
- it’s refined sugar free
- it’s perfectly coffee-infused
- it’s slightly boozy
- it’s super moist
- it’s creamy and tangy
- it’s perfectly sweet
- it’s a great make-ahead dessert
- it’s easy to make!
How to make this Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu
This Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu starts with a DIY sponge inspired by my go-to cake recipe. It requires just one bowl and familiar ingredients, and is really versatile (see below for substitution ideas).
Once you’ve cooked the sponge, you cut it up into small rectangular shapes, then slice those in half (which, trust me, is much more manageable than trying to slice the whole thing in half before cutting it into small rectangles).
Then you just rearrange these sponge rectangles in a large dish (a lasagna dish is perfect) and pour over some freshly brewed coffee, spiked with a liqueur of choice.
What type of coffee should you use for tiramisu?
You should make sure the coffee you use is strong so that the flavour is distinguishable, and warm so that it soaks into the sponge better.
When making coffee-based desserts, the quality of the coffee can be a deal-breaker. If you use an overly acidic, watery coffee, no amount of sugar can make it taste better.
What type of alcohol should you use for Tiramisu?
You can use an alcohol of your choice, but the recipe usually uses any of the following:
- Marsala wine (or any other dessert wine)
- coffee liqueur.
Tip: If you need this recipe to be gluten-free, make sure to check that the alcohol you use is gluten-free. If you need it to be vegan, you can use the website barnivore.com to make sure that your alcohol is vegan.
If you want to make it alcohol-free or are making it for kids, you can omit the alcohol completely.
As a mascarpone substitute, I used coconut whipped cream mixed with maple syrup for sweetness and lemon juice for tanginess.
Once you’ve piled on some fluffy clouds of vegan mascarpone, you’re ready to add the next layer of sponge and soak these in the coffee mixture, before adding the final layer of creamy vegan mascarpone.
Then all you need to do is cover the whole thing in a dusting of cocoa powder and you’re good to go!
Equipment you’ll need to make this Tiramisu:
- glass mixing bowl – for mixing together the cake batter and for making the marscapone
- measuring jug – for measuring out the plant-based milk for the cake batter and for measuring out the coffee
- square baking tin – for making the sponge
- baking paper – for lining the baking tin to make the sponge
- electric whisk – for whipping up the coconut milk to make the mascarpone
Substitutions you can make to this Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu recipe:
- you can use any type of oil: coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil
- you can use any type of plant-based milk: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk etc
- you can use any type of liquid sweetener: maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup etc
- you can substitute the ground almonds (almond meal/almond flour) with ground walnuts
- for a nut-free version: substitute the ground almonds (almond meal/almond flour) with ground sunflower seeds or use 30g (1/4 cup) coconut flour instead of 150g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds
- you can use plain flour, wholemeal (whole wheat) flour or spelt flour instead of the gluten-free flour if you’re not gluten-free
- to make it caffeine-free, you can use chicory powder to make your coffee
- you can substitute the coconut milk with coconut yogurt (or any other plant-based yogurt) if you’re feeling lazy.
How long does this Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu keep for?
This Tiramisu can be devoured immediately, but also keeps well covered in the fridge for up to a day, which means it’s great for preparing ahead when entertaining. The quantities can easily be doubled or tripled if you’re feeding a large crowd.
More delicious coffee desserts:
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo @rhiansrecipes #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu
For the sponge:
- 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 200 ml (4/5 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar * (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds (almond meal) **
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
For the coffee mixture:
- 400 ml (1 2/3 cup) coffee , strong and warm
- 2 tablespoons liqueur of choice to taste (ensure vegan/gluten-free if necessary)
For the mascarpone:
- 800 g (28 oz) tins of full-fat coconut milk ***
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cocoa powder , for dusting
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
- Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the vinegar, maple syrup and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
- Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
- Transfer mixture into a square baking tin lined with baking paper (I used a 23cm/9inch square baking tin)
- Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean
- Leave the sponge in the tin to cool completely before cutting
For the coffee mixture:
- Measure out the coffee in a jug and mix in the liqueur
For the mascarpone:
- You’ll need to keep your tins of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won’t happen and you won’t be able to make this cream!
- Open the tins upside down – the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to soups or smoothies)
- Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl
- Add the lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla extract
- Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy
- Cut the sponge in half both ways, then cut each square into three, so that you end up with 12 rectangular-shaped sponges
- Use a chopping board to carefully slice each rectangular sponge in half horizontally
- Lay half of the sponge rectangles along the bottom of a large lasagna dish (I used a 25cm/10inch by 22cm/8.5inch dish)
- Carefully spoon half of the coffee mixture over the sponges until absorbed completely - you will get more precision using a spoon to do this
- Spread half of the mascarpone over the sponges
- Lay the rest of the sponges on top of the mascarpone and carefully spoon over the remaining coffee mixture
- Top with the remaining mascarpone and finish with a fine dusting of cocoa powder
- Keeps well covered in the fridge for up to a day
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