Easy vegan tiramisu using only 5 key ingredients, no cashews, no vegan cream cheese or added coconut oil! It takes only 20 minutes to prepare and is as creamy and delicious as the classic Italian dessert!
Unlike other vegan tiramisu recipes, you don't need to make ladyfingers or sponge fingers for this recipe. And you don't need to soak any nuts or cashews for the cream! This vegan dessert is naturally eggless, can be made gluten-free and refined sugar-free.
What are the ingredients of tiramisu?
Notes about the ingredients
Vegan-friendly cookies (sweet and plain). Store-bought lady sponge fingers are not vegan as they usually contain egg whites! Cookies are an excellent substitute especially if you're short on time yet still want a delicious tiramisu :).
Interestingly, graham crackers or even crispbread will work (which you can see in my Instagram video)! If you use either of these, I'd recommend adding a little more sugar to your coffee because it's a dessert after all. If you'd like to make ladyfingers from scratch, try Addicted to Dates' vegan ladyfingers recipe!
Thick canned coconut cream (not coconut milk). The natural coconut oil in the coconut cream makes the mascarpone thick and CREAMY.
I'd recommend buying several cans of full-fat coconut cream or Nature's Charm coconut whipping cream for this recipe. I haven't tested this recipe with other types of vegan whipped cream.
Firm silken tofu which is basically halfway between extra firm tofu and extra soft silken tofu. When pureed, tofu adds a silky richness to the coconut cream and minimizes any coconut flavor.
Optional add-ins include
- Lemon or apple cider vinegar for the vegan mascarpone cheese to give it a tang similar to the real deal.
- Vanilla and salt to add flavor to the vegan mascarpone.
- Alcohol such as rum to add to the coffee.
- Cocoa powder, to decorate
The full list of ingredient quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Preparing the dairy-free mascarpone cheese
The easiest way to make the mascarpone is in a food processor or high-powered blender. All you need to do is:
- Add the tofu, sugar and optional flavorings to your appliance and process until SMOOTH. Just make sure there are no bits of tofu.
- Add your canned coconut cream and process for 1 minute until well combined. You're done!
I do not recommend combining all the ingredients at once as it takes more time to blend the tofu than the coconut cream. If you over-mix the coconut cream, your mascarpone mixture will split. For our sanity, it's best to blend the mixture in two steps is the best way!
Eventually, you'll end up with a dreamy thick batter. If you over-blended or you're in a warm climate, your mixture may be a little runny. But don't worry, it will thicken when chilled.
Note: If your mascarpone does split and you're using a high-powered blender, blend it for another 5 minutes. This will warm up the mixture and everything will emulsify again. If you used a food processor, gently melt the mascarpone in a saucepan until it's emulsified again. Allow the mixture to slightly cool then use it in your tiramisu (you don't need to blend it again).
Tips for dipping the cookies in coffee
I'd recommend dipping the cookies only one by one for around 2-3 seconds each. This will depend on the thickness and density of your cookies.
Like any tiramisu, dipping them too quickly will mean your plant-based tiramisu will barely taste like coffee. However, dipping them for too long will mean your cookies will disintegrate right in front of you (not to sound dramatic or anything haha).
That's why it's important to dip the cookies one by one!
TIP: Alternatively, you can arrange the cookies in your baking tray then brush/pour over your coffee. This is great for the smaller cookies which you may break to fill in the gaps. However, just make sure you brush/pour on enough coffee so the bottom of the cookies is soaked!
I poured a little too much coffee on my top layer but I loved the extra flavor in my vegan tiramisu! 🙂
Assembling the vegan tiramisu
The easiest way to assemble this vegan tiramisu is:
- Dip cookies one by one into coffee and arrange in your baking dish. Stack 2 layers of cookies on top of each other.
- Spread half of the mascarpone on top.
- REPEAT the cookie and mascarpone one more
Alternatively, since we're using thin cookies rather than ladyfingers, you have the option of creating 3 layers of cookies and mascarpone. So that would be:
- One layer of cookies. one layer of mascarpone.
TIP: Alternate the direction of your cookies so one layer is vertical and the other is horizontal. This creates a more sturdy vegan tiramisu!
Time to chill
Once you've created all your layers, cover the vegan tiramisu and chill. I mean, chill the tiramisu AND you can chill out. You've worked hard and don't need to do much else!
This vegan dessert is best chilled overnight. That saves you prep/energy on the day of your celebration (and feasting).
I'd recommend dusting cocoa on top right before serving as its appearance can change a little over time.
Tips for serving the tiramisu
This vegan tiramisu makes 9 generous slices (pictured) but the portions are too large for dessert after dinner (even if you love dessert as much as I do)! I'd recommend cutting the tiramisu into 12 smaller slices.
I'd happily eat many desserts straight from their pan. However, if you need a presentable dessert (i.e. Christmas, Thanksgiving), here are a few tips:
- Serve the tiramisu CHILLED. This mascarpone is more sturdy when cold.
- If you're serving the tiramisu straight from the baking pan, the first slice will almost always be messy. But it creates more room for you to remove slices easily and neatly afterward!
- Use a spatula/serving tool that is as big as your individual serving slices. A large metal spatula will create much neater slices than a pie server!
- Make the tiramisu in a cake tin (with a removable bottom). This tiramisu will hold shape for 30-60 minutes at room temperature if you need to remove it from the tin. Or make/serve the tiramisu in individual clear glasses.
Questions and Answers
Yes, use sugar-free cookies and use maple syrup in the mascarpone. The maple syrup makes the mascarpone runnier so I've included adjusted ingredient ratios in the recipe card below.
I'm not sure it'd work. I personally haven't had luck using a hand mixer to blend tofu into a fine cream. If yours can, great!
That should work, though your mascarpone might be a little thicker.
Try replacing the coffee with a strong hot chocolate mixture or check out my vegan tres leches recipe where a sponge cake is soaked in a three-milk mixture.
More coffee and chocolate recipes
Easy Vegan Tiramisu
- 300 g firm silken tofu, drained
- ½ - ¾ cup (100-150g) granulated sugar, or caster sugar, to taste (note 1 for sugar-free)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, (optional)
- Pinch of salt, (optional)
- 2 cups (480g) thick scoopable canned coconut cream, (note 2)
- 1 cup (240g) very strong coffee, (note 3)
- 360 g plain sweet vegan-friendly cookies, gluten-free if needed (note 4)
To decorate (optional)
To make the dairy-free mascarpone
- Add the tofu, sugar and the optional flavourings to a food processor or high powered blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth and there are no chunks of tofu.
- Add the coconut cream and blend for 1 minute or until the mixture is *just* combined. Be careful to not blend it for too long otherwise the mixture may split.
To assemble the vegan tiramisu
- Set up your kitchen so you have an 8x8 inch baking dish, a bowl of coffee and your sweet cookies.
- Using 1-2 forks or your fingers, dip a cookie in the coffee for 2-3 seconds then quickly transfer to the bottom of your baking dish. Repeat so you have two layers of cookies directly on top of each other (note 4).
- Pour half of the dairy-free mascarpone on the soaked cookies. Smooth the surface with the back a spoon.
- Repeat with the remaining cookies and create one more layer of mascarpone.
- Cover the tiramisu and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Just before serving, dust the tiramisu with cocoa powder. Cut into 9, 12 or 16 serves and enjoy! Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- You can substitute the cane sugar for coconut sugar, though it will change the color of the mascarpone. If you'd like to use maple syrup, I'd recommend using 260g firm silken tofu, 520g thick coconut cream and 100g maple syrup. Maple syrup makes the cream runnier so the ratios for the mascarpone need to be adjusted so the tiramisu still 'sets'. You can see the texture of the mascarpone in my Instagram video.
- I tested this recipe with Nature's Charm coconut whipping cream (recommended) and conventional brands of canned coconut cream. I haven't tested this recipe with other types of dairy-free whipping cream.
- To make a quick strong coffee, I combined ¼ cup espresso powder and 1 cup of water. If you're not serving the dessert to children, you can also add 2 tablespoons of rum, amaretto, marsala wine or coffee liqueur.
- Digestives or any plain sweet cookie will work well. Surprisingly, crispbread is a great low-sugar option as you can see in my Instagram video. However, I had to add a little sugar to the coffee as crispbread isn't sweet.
- Alternatively, you can create just one layer of coffee-soaked cookies and pour on just ⅓ of the mascarpone to get 3 total layers of soaked cookies/mascarpone.
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