Here we show you how to make the best vegan tiramisù that we have ever had, with simple plant-based ingredients.
We developed and tested several recipes for months to recreate a flavor and texture that is as close as possible to the one of real Italian tiramisù.
Check out our best plant-based dessert recipes!
What to expect
Tiramisù is the most recognizable and the most loved Italian dessert in the world.
Its distinct, strong, Italian coffee flavor, wrapped in soft, moist savoiardi biscuits (ladyfingers), and layered in a sweet, velvety mascarpone cream make this masterpiece of Italian cooking impossible to resist.
Here we show you how to make a tiramisù without eggs, without dairy, and without nuts, but with all the same textures and flavor nuances of a real Italian Tiramisù.
Trust me, I had so much tiramisù growing up in Italy, I almost cried when I tasted this version for all the memories that brought back.
- Hand mixer.
- Sieve + Clean Kitchen Cloth or Cheesecloth.
- Baking dish 1.7qt (11.6×6.7 inch) or (29 x 18cm).
- Pastry piping bag if you make your own ladyfingers.
1. Vegan Ladyfingers
So, let’s start right away by preparing the ingredients for the ladyfingers. For this recipe, it’s best to use a digital scale and grams measurements.
In a bowl, put 100 grams (½ cup + 2 tablespoons) of flour, 100 grams (½ cup + 1 tablespoons) of potato starch, and 8 grams (½ tablespoon) of baking powder.
Give it a quick stir and set aside.
In another bowl put the seeds of a vanilla bean along with 30 grams (2 tablespoons) of sunflower oil.
You can also use vanilla extract if you don’t have a vanilla bean. Give it a stir to distribute the vanilla in the oil and set it aside.
At this point, preheat the oven to 375F or 190 C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Now that our ingredients are ready, pour 120 grams (½ cup ) of aquafaba into a large bowl.
Aquafaba is nothing more than the soaking water from the chickpeas. We use room-temperature canned chickpeas. Aquafaba is a versatile ingredient and works as an egg-white substitute. It gives air and fluff to many vegan desserts, for examples vegan meringues and even vegan brownies.
Make sure the bowl is clean and that there is no chickpea residue in the aquafaba. I pass it through a sieve to be sure.
Traditional ladyfingers are very light and airy cookies, perfect for soaking coffee because they are made by first whipping the yolks and then the egg whites separately with sugar, thus incorporating a lot of air.
The aquafaba will allow us to achieve the same result, giving lightness and airiness to the biscuits, and without leaving any taste of chickpeas.
Whip the aquafaba with a hand mixer at maximum speed for 5 minutes. It’s important to whip for the full 5 minutes, so I recommend setting a timer.
At the end of 5 minutes, you’ll have a very whipped mixture to which you add 100 grams (½ cup) of white sugar, a little at a time, continuing to whisk at maximum speed for another 5 minutes.
In the end, you will have a smooth, airy, and stable mixture. Add in a third of the sunflower oil and a third of the flour mix, then mix it with a silicone spatula, gently, from the bottom and up.
Try to incorporate the ingredients gently, this is important. Then add a little more oil and flour and continue to incorporate the ingredients, with a rotary motion from the bottom to the top of the bowl.
Go on like this until all ingredients are incorporated, then transfer the mixture into a pastry piping bag.
Now shape the ladyfingers. With the pastry piping bag make sticks of about 2.5 inches (6 – 7 centimeters), leaving a little space between each ladyfinger, considering that they will expand a bit during cooking.
You’ll be able to make two baking sheets of ladyfingers, about 30 biscuits, with these doses.
Before baking, take one of the baking sheets and dust the ladyfingers with white sugar, then with powdered sugar.
This step is optional, and if you want to use less sugar you can also avoid it.
In addition to adding sweetness and making the savoiardi prettier, the sugars on top help trap moisture in the savoiardi during baking, making the biscuits lighter and airier.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375F or 190C for about 12 minutes. Baking time may vary depending on your oven, so keep an eye on them and remove them when they start to brown on top.
Repeat the process with the second pan, bake, and once cooked let them cool completely before proceeding with the tiramisù.
This ladyfingers’ recipe is very easy, and in less than half an hour you will have homemade eggless ladyfingers that taste much better than the store-bought.
They are very light, airy, and perfect for soaking the coffee in the tiramisù and we can even prepare them a day or two in advance.
2. Vegan Mascarpone Cream
Now let’s make the first tiramisù, which I call classic tiramisù because in our plant-based world it’s the one that most resembles the traditional tiramisù made with mascarpone.
Mascarpone is a very fatty dairy product mainly made with cream processed together with citric acid. In tiramisù, mascarpone is added to yolks and egg whites whipped with sugar.
To recreate the same velvety and airy texture we are going to use two ingredients.
A 100% plant-based whipping cream, and unsweetened soy yogurt.
First, drain 500 grams (2 cups) of unsweetened soy yogurt. Place a strainer over a large bowl/pot, then cover it with a clean kitchen towel made with 100% cotton or with a cheesecloth.
Pour the soy yogurt into the cloth, wrap it, put a weight on top and let it drain for at least 2 hours, even better overnight.
Once drained, transfer it into a bowl, add 80 grams (a little less than ½ cup) of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Beat with a hand mixer for two or three minutes until the sugar has practically dissolved in the yogurt.
Tip: make sure your kitchen towel is 100% cotton and with a fine mesh or else the yogurt will go through. You can also use cheese cloth.
Now whisk the plant-based whipping cream, cold from the fridge. Once whisked add in the yogurt, a little at a time, and mix gently with a silicone spatula.
Continue until cream and yogurt have become one smooth, creamy mixture.
The drained yogurt adds a slightly tart and fresh touch to the cream. The mixture is very similar to that made with mascarpone cheese, it is velvety and delicious, despite being much lighter.
3. Assemble the vegan tiramisù
Make 400 grams (1⅔ cups) of coffee, best if strong Italian coffee, then we put it in a large container, I use a baking dish.
Let the coffee cool down, otherwise, it will soak the cookies too quickly when it’s hot, then start dipping one ladyfinger at a time, turn it a bit in the coffee, let excess coffee drain, and place it in the baking dish.
We use a 1.7qt (11.6×6.7 inch) or 29 x 18cm glass baking dish here, which is enough to serve 6 – 8 people.
Once the ladyfingers’ layer is finished I like to add a touch more coffee, then we proceed with about half of our mascarpone cream, and spread it evenly on top of the ladyfingers.
Continue with the second layer of ladyfingers soaked in coffee. This time place them in the opposite direction, then cover everything with the rest of the cream.
Spread evenly, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Then when you are ready to serve the tiramisù cover it with a nice dusting of unsweetened cacao powder and serve it with a large spoon, and eat it with a small spoon.
Store the tiramisù in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap or with a lid, for up to 3 to 4 days. I would not recommend freezing it.
Variations for vegan tiramisù
For the following variations, we use a smaller baking dish to assemble the Tiramisù. The smaller dish is 8.5″L x 5.5″W (22 cm x 13 cm).
If you want the use a bigger dish of 11.6″L x 6.7″W (29cm x 18cm) like the one we use in the recipe above, then multiply all ingredients by 1.25.
1. Vegan Sponge cake
You can use vegan sponge cake to replace the vegan ladyfingers. While ladyfingers are more true to the original recipe of tiramisù, vegan sponge cake is easier to make.
To make the vegan sponge cake mix 120 grams (½ cup + 1 tbsp) of brown sugar, 170 grams (⅔ cup) of plant milk (such as oat, almond, or soy), 30 grams (2½ tablespoons) of sunflower oil, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a bowl.
Then sift in 210 grams (1 ⅓ cups) of all–purpose flour and 12 grams (1½ teaspoons) of baking powder.
Mix for just a minute with a hand mixer, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With these doses, you can use a squared baking sheet of 8 x 8 Inches (20 x 20 cm), or a round baking pan 8 inches (21 cm) in diameter.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350F or 180C, between 15 and 20 minutes depending on the pan we use. In a pan with low edges, it takes about 15 minutes, in one with taller edges it takes around 20.
The sponge cake should be golden on top and dry inside, we always do the test with a toothpick. It should come out dry. Once baked make it cool down completely, otherwise, you won’t be able to cut it.
Once cooled, cut the sponge cake with a serrated knife, like the one for bread, into slices about 1 cm thick.
Then place the slices in your tiramisù dish and wet it well with coffee.
Cover the sponge cake with half of your chosen vegan mascarpone filling (we show you 3 more variations below).
Continue with another layer of sponge cake, this time put in the opposite direction than the previous layer.
Wet it with coffee, then cover with the rest of the cream.
Put to rest in the fridge for at least an hour, then before serving the vegan tiramisù we dust it with unsweetened cacao powder.
With the same sponge cake, you can make smaller single portion tiramisù. All you need to do is cut the sponge cake into disks rather than slices, then assemble the tiramisù.
2. Vegan Ricotta Filling
Use this as a lighter vegan tiramisù version to replace the vegan mascarpone cream.
Heat up 1 liter (¼ gallon) of soy milk. It should be very hot, almost boiling, then add 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice.
Stir and set it aside for a couple of minutes to curdle.
In the meantime, place a strainer over a large bowl/pot, then cover it with a clean kitchen towel made with 100% cotton with a fine mesh, or with a cheesecloth.
Pour the curdled soy milk into the cloth, wrap it, put a weight on top and let it drain for 30 minutes. No more than that or the ricotta will be too dry for this recipe.
While the ricotta is draining prepare the custard. In a saucepan put 400 grams (1⅔ cups) of plant milk (oat, almond, or other), 70 grams (⅔ cup) of brown sugar, 40 grams (6 tablespoons) of cornstarch, a pinch of turmeric, optional just to give a touch of color, and stir until all lumps are gone.
Bring to medium heat and continue stirring until the mixture becomes creamy. This will take a couple of minutes at most.
Transfer to a bowl, let cool a few minutes stirring a bit, then add 150 grams (about 1 cup) of the soy ricotta that should be ready by now, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Beat it well with a hand mixer until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Use this in the tiramisù to replace the vegan mascarpone cream.
This tiramisù variation is also amazing, despite having very low fat content. It’s creamy, light, and it has the unmistakable flavour of tiramisù.
3. Yogurt Filling
This is our lightest and easiest variation of all.
As in the previous version, we prepare a base custard made with 400 grams (1⅔ cups) of plant milk, 70 grams (⅓ cups) of sugar, a pinch of turmeric, and in this case 50 grams (½ cup) of cornstarch. We want a slightly thicker custard here.
Once the cream has cooled stir in 150 grams (⅔ cup) of unsweetened soy yogurt, or another plant-based yogurt, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Mix well with a whisk and there you have a super easy, delicious, and light tiramisù filling. Use to replace the vegan mascarpone filling.
4. Silken tofu filling
This is a variation for those of you who can’t find plant-based whipped cream, but still want to eat a full-fat, indulgent, vegan tiramisù.
Put 500 grams (2 cups) of unsweetened soy yogurt to drain for at least 8 hours. I use a sieve wrapped in a clean kitchen cloth or cheesecloth, with weights on top (better if it drains overnight).
With an immersion blender in a tall container, blend 60 grams (¼ cup) of soy milk with 125 grams (½ cup) of melted vegan butter (or good quality vegetable margarine, without hydrogenated fats).
This creates an emulsion that is velvety and pleasant to the mouth.
Now in a blender add the butter and milk emulsion, drained yogurt, 250 grams (8.8 ounces) of soft silken tofu, 125 grams (⅔ cup) of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Blend till smooth, this is your replacement for vegan mascarpone cream.
If you like this vegan tiramisù, let us know in the comments below and leave a star rating. Feedback helps us improve our recipes and help other people too.
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Vegan Tiramisù | Nut-free
- Hand mixer
- Sieve + Clean Kitchen Cloth or Cheese Cloth
- Baking dish 1.7qt (11.6×6.7 inch) or (29 x 18cm)
- Pastry piping bag if you are doing the homemade ladyfingers
- 120 grams aquafaba the water in a can of chickpeas
- 100 grams sugar white
- 100 grams all-purpose flour
- 100 grams potato starch
- 30 grams sunflower oil
- 8 grams baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 100 grams sugar optional, for topping the ladyfingers
- 100 grams powdered sugar optional, for topping the ladyfingers
Vegan Mascarpone Cream
- 500 grams soy yogurt unsweetened
- 300 grams vegan whipping cream sweetened
- 80 grams sugar double that if your whipping cream is unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coffee + Topping
- 400 grams coffee strong and black
- 30 grams cacao powder unsweetened
- STEP 1: Prep all ingredients and set them aside:1) to a bowl, add flour, potato starch, and baking powder. Stir with a whisk to combine.2) to a large bowl, add the aquafaba. Make sure there are no chickpea pieces in the aquafaba. Use a strainer. The aquafaba should be at room temperature.3) to a small bowl add the sunflower oil and the vanilla extract.4) to a small bowl add the sugar.5) line two baking sheets with parchment paper.6) preheat the oven to 375F or 190C.
- STEP 2: With an hand mixer at full speed, beat the aquafaba for 5 minutes. Use a timer. You should have stiff peaks.Keep beating the aquafaba for another 5 minutes, this time adding sugar a little at a time, till the 5 minutes are up. Use a timer. You should have stable, stiff peaks.
- STEP 3: To the bowl with the aquafaba, add around ¼ of the sunflower oil and ¼ of the dry ingredients (flour, potato starch, baking powder mix). The dry ingredients should be sifted in.With a silicon spatula, incorporate the ingredients together, with gentle movements, mixing from the bottom to the top of the bowl.Once incorporated, repeat the previous step: add more oil and dry ingredients, in ¼ increments, till you run out, mixing gently with the silicon spatula.Tip: watch video for technique.
- STEP 4: Transfer the mixture to a pastry piping bag then shape the ladyfingers onto the first baking sheet.Each ladyfinger should be about 2½ inches (7 cm) long. Keep some space between each biscuit, as they'll expand a little.Sprinkle each biscuit with some white sugar first, then with powdered sugar.Tip: sprinkle the white sugar with your hands, and the powdered sugar with a small sieve.
- STEP 5: Bake in a preheated oven at 375F or 190C for around 12 minutes.Baking time varies greatly between ovens so keep an eye on the ladyfingers and take them out when they are slightly golden on top. Bake one tray of ladyfingers at the time.Let cool down completely before using for cakes and tiramisù.
Vegan Mascarpone Cream
- Make the coffee and pour it into a large dish to cool. Best if the coffe is strong espresso.
- Place a strainer over a large bowl/pot, then cover it with a clean kitchen towel made with 100% cotton with a fine mesh or with a cheese cloth. Pour the soy yogurt in the cloth, wrap it, put a weight on top and let it drain for at least 2 hours, even better overnight.
- Transfer the drained yogurt in a bowl, add the sugar, and mix with an hand mixer at full speed for about 3 minutes, till the sugar is fully combined in the yogurt.In a separate bowl, whip up the plant-based whipping cream, then add the yogurt in, a spoonful at a time, and fold it in gently with a spatula till all the yogurt is combined with the whipped cream.
Assemble the Tiramisù
- Dip the ladyfingers, one by one, in the black coffee. Turn them around a couple of times, drip excess coffee, and place in your chosen tiramisù dish, forming a base layer of ladyfingers. Tip: the coffee should be cold. You can add a tablespoon of sugar to the coffee if you like it sweeter.
- Add half of the mascarpone cream on top of the ladyfingers, and spread evenly with a spoon.
- Repeat with a second layer of ladyfingers, dipped in coffee. This time place them in the opposite directions than the ones on the bottom layer.Cover with the remaining mascarpone cream, spread it out evenly, and let set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, and up to 12 hours.
- Before serving, add a generous amount of unsweetened cacao powder sifted on top. Serve the tiramisù with a large spoon, and eat it with a small spoon.