Vegan-Friendly Tiramisu Recipe

Classic tiramisu is the ultimate dessert after a large meal. Literally translating from Italian to "lift me up," the little kick of espresso can give you the energy you need after sitting at the table for a few hours. Traditionally, tiramisu is made with ladyfingers, a soft, sponge cake–like cookie. These get dipped in strong, freshly brewed espresso and are then layered in a glass dish between a whipped egg, sugar, and mascarpone mixture. Today, we're making a vegan version! Instead of using dairy products and eggs, we'll use entirely plant-based products to make a tiramisu that's just as delicious as the original.

Non-dairy eaters have many options these days when it comes to suitable replacements. For this recipe, we'll make our own ladyfingers using an aquafaba meringue. You can get aquafaba by draining a can of chickpeas and saving the liquid — that's what will whip up into a nice foam! For whipped cream, we're using a plant-based whipping cream substitute, and for mascarpone, we decided on a tofu-based cream cheese. Once it's all paired together, a chill in the fridge will meld all of the flavors into the perfect dessert.

Grab the ingredients for vegan-friendly tiramisu...

For our vegan-friendly tiramisu, we're gonna need some coffee, of course! ½ cup of freshly-brewed espresso (this can be swapped for very strong black coffee) and a splash of espresso liqueur will give our tiramisu that signature coffee flavor that makes it so unique. For our vegan whipped cream, we chose a plant-based heavy whipping cream from Country Crock, which was a great swap for traditional whipped cream made with dairy. Besides those two special ingredients, the only one that may be tricky to find is the vegan cream cheese, which we found from the popular, tofu-based brand Tofutti.

From the pantry, you'll need some granulated sugar, powdered sugar, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and a little cocoa. You'll also need ¾ cup aquafaba, the drained liquid from 1–2 cans of chickpeas. If you want to try for gluten-free ladyfingers, you can substitute in a cup-for-cup gluten-free all-purpose flour instead of regular flour.

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Step 2: Prepare a baking sheet

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 3: Whip the aquafaba

Add aquafaba to a mixing bowl and whip to stiff peaks.

Step 4: Stream in the sugar

Stream in the sugar slowly, and continue whipping on high until stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes.

Step 5: Add flour, oil, and cornstarch

Add flour, oil, and cornstarch, and gently fold in with a spatula until just combined.

Step 6: Pipe ladyfingers

Add the batter to a piping bag and pipe 18 1-inch-thick lines, leaving ½ inch between each.

Step 7: Bake the ladyfingers

Bake for 17–19 minutes, until puffed and set. Cool completely.

Step 8: Prepare the whipped cream filling

Add cream cheese, whipping cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar to a mixing bowl. Whip until thick and combined.

Step 9: Make the espresso mix

Add espresso and coffee liqueur (if using) to a small bowl.

Step 10: Soak the lady fingers

Dip each lady finger in the mixture for 10–20 seconds.

Step 11: Layer the ladyfingers

Place the soaked lady fingers in the bottom of a small baking dish.

Step 12: Spread on the whipped cream

Spread over half of the cream cheese mixture in an even layer.

Step 13: Add another layer of lady fingers

Add a second layer of soaked lady fingers, then the remaining cream cheese mixture.

Step 14: Refrigerate

Chill for 4 hours, or overnight.

Step 15: Top with cocoa to serve

Serve, topped with cocoa powder.

What is aquafaba, and how can you use it in vegan baking?

Aquafaba is a common plant-based substitute for egg whites, especially in vegan cooking and baking. It's simply water that has had legumes, like chickpeas, cooked in it. While you can use the liquid from other beans, such as cannellini or red kidney, chickpea aquafaba is typically favored for its more neutral flavor and color. The "bean juice" is thicker than water and great at trapping tiny air bubbles. It's an excellent egg white swap, and, typically, you cannot taste any residual bean flavor.

To whip aquafaba into a meringue, it should essentially be treated like a meringue with egg whites. Make sure the mixing bowl you're using is very clean and free from any residual oils — you can wipe it out with a clean paper towel and a bit of white vinegar to make it extra clean. Whip with a high-speed mixer, whether it's an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. You could whip it by hand, but it would take a really long time, and stiff peaks may not be as achievable. Once the aquafaba is whipped, sugar is slowly streamed in and the mixture is beaten for a further 5–10 minutes, until it's glossy and stiff. 

How can I make vegan whipped cream with coconut milk?

It may be hard to find plant-based whipping cream in certain markets. If you're having a tough time, you can try using a different vegan whipped cream recipe. We love using canned coconut milk for vegan whipped cream since its high fat content makes it super rich and creamy. As long as you don't mind a little coconut flavor, it will work great in this recipe. 

You'll need two cans of full-fat coconut milk that have been chilled overnight (or for at least 4 hours). Once the coconut milk is fully chilled, open both cans. Remove only the fat, white layer near the top of the cans. Leave any remaining liquid in the can and save for another use, as this liquid will prevent the coconut cream from whipping up. Whip the coconut cream to stiff peaks with a hand or stand mixer and add some powdered sugar for sweetness. Use as directed in the recipe between layers of vegan lady fingers.

Vegan-Friendly Tiramisu Recipe
5 from 11 ratings
Through an aquafaba meringue and tofu-based whipping cream, the luscious, espresso-soaked delight of tiramisu gets a plant-based update in this vegan recipe.
Prep Time
4.5
hours
Cook Time
19
minutes
Servings
8
servings
vegan friendly tiramisu
Total time: 4 hours, 49 minutes
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup aquafaba (chickpea liquid)
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces vegan cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups dairy-free whipping cream
  • ½ cup freshly brewed espresso
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, for serving
Optional Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Add the aquafaba to a mixing bowl and whip to stiff peaks.
  4. Stream in the sugar slowly, and continue whipping on high until stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add flour, oil, and cornstarch, and gently fold in with a spatula until just combined.
  6. Add the batter to a piping bag and pipe 18 1-inch-thick lines, leaving ½ inch between each.
  7. Bake for 17–19 minutes, until puffed and set. Cool completely.
  8. Add cream cheese, whipping cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar to a mixing bowl. Whip until thick and combined.
  9. Add espresso and coffee liqueur (if using) to a small bowl.
  10. Dip each lady finger in the mixture for 10–20 seconds.
  11. Place the soaked lady fingers in the bottom of a small baking dish.
  12. Spread over half of the cream cheese mixture in an even layer.
  13. Add a second layer of soaked lady fingers, then the remaining cream cheese mixture.
  14. Chill for 4 hours, or overnight.
  15. Serve, topped with cocoa powder.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 591
Total Fat 36.3 g
Saturated Fat 16.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 66.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 63.2 g
Dietary Fiber 3.7 g
Total Sugars 36.1 g
Sodium 188.2 mg
Protein 8.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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