Dessert, Food, Gluten-free, Spoon desserts, Vegan/Vegetarian

Vegan Tiramisu Reinterpreted

Nicoletta April 2, 2016

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There comes a time when reinterpreting a classic recipe like Tiramisu in a light, creamy, vegan and gluten-free version, actually feels good.

Vegan Tiramisu

Ok, I was the one who said don’t mess with classic recipes like Tiramisu. And what am I doing now? Presenting you an adultered version of the most traditional Italian dessert: a Vegan Tiramisu… Am I crazy or what??



I can blame spring, and the desire for novelty, the excitement for the arrival of April -the month- which will bring me back to my husband, but still, I shouldn’t have done that. One should practice what one preaches. But lately, other than being inspired by making easy, light and tasty dolci al cucchiaio (spoon desserts, see my pannacotta), I’ve been fascinated by vegan baking (and also non-baking) ever more often. Moreover, I was curious to see how a Tiramisu actually tasted in a vegan and gluten-free version. Thought that maybe there would be more people that can enjoy this amazing dessert if I made a Vegan Tiramisu (not that I have any vegan friends or family, BTW).

Now Putting This Vegan Tiramisu Together:

I started by making a vegan cream: tofu and vegetable cream, with hints of vanilla, drops of lemon juice and almond milk. I used tofu al naturale (natural tofu, don’t ask me what that means), which is the only tofu I was able to find in Rome (after a little running around in grocery and specialty stores, it seems we don’t have the different varieties), but I’m sure if you use the soft tofu it will taste even better. My tofu had a firmer texture, plus I used the only sugar that was in my pantry: whole, raw cane sugar (I guess it’s the equivalent of muscovado or turbinado), which is darker in color, with bigger grains and a strong molasses flavor. That made for a darker color of the cream, a slightly gritty texture and a pretty strong molasses flavor.

Vegan Tiramisu

As for the cookies, I used vegan/gluten-free biscuits made with corn and rice flour. The shape of the cookies was perfect for the image I had of individual Tiramisu glasses. Two biscuits fit perfectly into the glass. I did three layers, assembled like the classic Tiramisu: first the cookies dipped in the coffee, then the tofu cream, a dusting of cocoa and so on, rotating the side of the biscuits for a better hold, and finishing with some dark chocolate shaved on top.  The corn flour in the biscuits reinforced the grainy texture, but the overall experience of this Vegan Tiramisu was very positive.  I had some of my Italian entourage taste their first Vegan Tiramisu. As well as their first taste of tofu. Yes, your eyes are not mistaken, there are actually people that have never had tofu before (in specific: my brother, two of my cousins and my coworker. I did not dare ask my parents to taste it since they cannot be defined as adventurous eaters 🙂 ).

So I guess it counts double if I tell you that they polished the glass, licked the spoon clean, and said it had a distinct flavor, but it was actually really good. There you go, coming from an Italian it counts tenfold.

Vegan TiramisuVegan Tiramisu

Next time I make it, and I’m going to make it again for sure, I will be in Canada, I’ll buy the soft tofu and I’ll use a much lighter brown sugar. I’m sure that if I used Savoiardi nobody would even taste the difference with the classic Tiramisu. I truly enjoyed it, anyway. And the day after it was even better because the flavors had had the time to meld and blend together in a mouthwatering creamy, coffee flavored, chocolate-y dessert.

Vegan Tiramisu

To all of you intrepid and venturous people, enjoy!

Song of the day: “Put Your Records On”, by Corinne Bailey Rae.

Vegan Tiramisu

Vegan Tiramisu

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6/8 people 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No-bake
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 1 cup espresso coffee (+ 2 Tbsp water)
  • 250 g soft tofu
  • 150 g light brown sugar (I used raw cane sugar)
  • 150 ml vegetable cream (like coconut cream)
  • 30 g unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp almond, soy or rice milk
  • 150200 g vegan cookies (I used gluten-free rice and corn biscuits)
  • dark chocolate shavings, optional


  1. Start by making the espresso coffee, then put it in a low, wide bowl and add some water.
  2. Prepare the tofu cream: cut the soft tofu into cubes and put it in a blender with the sugar, vanilla and lemon juice.
  3. Blend for a few minutes, intermittently, adding the milk to soften it, until it becomes a smooth and homogeneous mixture.
  4. In a medium bowl whip the cold vegetable cream (coconut cream) with a hand blender and then add it to the tofu mixture. Your cream is ready.
  5. Now proceed to the composition of the layers: dip the biscuits in the coffee and lay them flat on a baking dish or individual glasses; add the tofu cream, a sprinkle of cocoa and continue layering the soaked biscuits, tofu cream and cocoa (I did 3 layers).
  6. Finish with a sprinkle of dark chocolate shavings.
  7. Let cool in the refrigerator a few hours before serving.
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Ricetta in Italiano:

Vegan Tiramisu

Tiramisu’ Vegano

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes


  • Caffè x 6 (allungato con un po’ d’acqua)
  • 150 g zucchero di canna
  • 150 ml panna vegetale
  • 30 g cacao amaro
  • 1 cucchiaio latte di mandorla, soya o riso
  • 1 cucchiaino vaniglia
  • 1 cucchiaio succo di limone
  • Biscotti secchi (vegani, io ho usato biscottini riso e mais)
  • scaglie di cioccolato fondente, opzionale


  1. Preparate il caffè, mettetelo in un piatto basso e largo, allungatelo con un po’ d’acqua.
  2. Ora preparate la crema di tofu tagliandolo a cubetti e mettendolo nel frullatore insieme allo zucchero, la vaniglia e il succo di limone.
  3. Frullate per alcuni minuti, a intermittenza, aggiungendo il latte per ammorbidire,finché diventa una crema vellutata ed omogenea.
  4. Montate la panna vegetale ben fredda e unitela al composto di tofu. La vostra crema è pronta.
  5. Ora procedete alla composizione degli strati, bagnando i biscotti nel caffè e foderandovi una teglia o bicchieri individuali; proseguite con la crema di tofu, una spolverata di cacao e quindi ancora biscotti inzuppati, crema e cacao. Finite con una spolverata di cioccolato a scaglie.
  6. Lasciate raffreddare in frigorifero un paio d’ore prima di servire.


  • Serving Size: 6/8 persone
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Vegan Tiramisu

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  • Avatar
    Reply Bethany @ athletic avocado April 3, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    WOW this looks amazing! I cant believe you made this classic dessert vegan! props to you 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 3, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Thank you so much! It tasted reeaaally good 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply demeter | beaming baker April 4, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Vegan Tiramisu! Nicoletta, I just about fainted. One day, friend, we’re gonna have to get together and do some vegan baking. It’ll be so much fun! I just love that this recipe is also gluten free. Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, so you just took it up to a whole new level. 🙂 I think it’s wonderful that you “messed” with a classic recipe. Look how amazingly that turned out. Have a happy Monday, Nicoletta! Thanks for sharing an amazing recipe.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 4, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      I’d love to get together for some fun vegan baking, Demeter! And thanks so much for your comment. I loved this tiramisu, and even my non-vegan family appreciated it 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Alexa April 7, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    This looks great! You will have to make it for us when you are back in Canada 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 7, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      Thank you Alexa, I will. You’re going to love it 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply simonacallas April 10, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I love how you interpreted the tiramisu 🙂 I’ve made a vegan version using coconut cream and cashews, but I would like to try this one, with tofu. It looks creamy and delicious 🙂 Thank you for sharing ❤

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 10, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you so much Simona! Your version with coconut cream must have been good! Let me know if you try the tofu, it makes it really creamy!

  • Avatar
    Reply David Summerbell June 14, 2016 at 11:16 am

    I just want to let you know that I tried this today and absolutely loved it. I have been a vegan for almost 2 months and never knew this stuff could taste so good. While I still have cravings for a good steak once in a while, recipes like this keep me from cheating so thanks so much :).

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 14, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      Oh you’re welcome! I am so happy when somebody tries our recipes and gives us a feedback. So, thank you! Glad you enjoyed it, it is really good, as I said in the post it was enjoyed also by my Italian family who is not at all vegan 🙂 . I find vegan baking extremely pleasant. We have other good vegan “treats” (like chocolate chip cookies, chocolate pear muffins, etc) if you want 😉 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Çitra Kale @Çitra's Home Diary December 23, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Never try tiramisu in vegan version before…maybe İ should try it in my kitchen! awesome pictures as well

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 23, 2016 at 7:21 am

      Hi Citra! Hope you try it and let me know. It was delicious, it was my first time as well for a vegan tiramisu 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Sasha @ Eat Love Eat December 29, 2016 at 3:56 am

    Hey Nicoletta! Tiramisu is hands down my favourite dessert (well, definitely top 3, I can never decide!) and I’m always game for new versions! This looks so good! I like how you’ve served it in a glass too, far more relaxed than the normal way. Although I have no issues with tiramisu however it comes – I’ll eat it all! One question – what is vegetable cream?

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 29, 2016 at 7:42 am

      Thank you Sasha! It was so good, I have to make it again! That is a good question about vegetable cream, thank you! I made this when I was in Rome and in Italy we have panna vegetale (that I translated vegetable cream) and basically is a whipping cream but plant based. In Canada I could not find any equivalent and at planet organic, when I explained what it was in Italian, they suggested I try to use coconut cream, whipping it like a cream. And that makes perfect sense. I updated the recipe, now, adding coconut cream. Hope I helped.

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