Keto Tiramisu is a low carb and sugar free twist on the classic Italian dessert. The vegan mascarpone is made with no dairy, but you’d never tell! 2 grams net carbs.
Whenever we dined out at Italian restaurants, I was never the kid who chose gelato for dessert. Every single time, I’d always order the homemade tiramisu. Making a low carb tiramisu has been on my agenda for quite some time, especially after revisiting Italy last year.
This is the kind of keto dessert you’d bring to events and unlike traditional tiramisu, is SO easy to put together.
What is Tiramisu?
Tiramisu is a classic Italian coffee flavored dessert. It’s made up of sponge biscuits soaked in coffee syrup (or coffee liqueur), layered with a mascarpone cream that has been whipped with eggs and sugar. It can be made with or without alcohol.
While traditional Tiramisu is NOT keto friendly, my version is. It’s also vegan, as I’ve omitted the dairy when making the mascarpone.
It’s healthier than traditional tiramisu, and also completely sugar free. However, it tastes just as good as the classic version- Creamy, rich, and with a delicious coffee flavor.
Keto Tiramisu Ingredients
Sponge cake/cookie layer
- Vanilla Cake OR ladyfingers– You can either use a keto vanilla cake or homemade ladyfingers. I haven’t seen any keto ladyfingers or vegan ladyfingers that are available for sale, so either way, you’ll be making your own. The vanilla cake, once soaked with the coffee, will have a similar texture to traditional ladyfinger biscuits.
- Cashews- Raw and unsalted cashews. This will be blended to make the vegan mascarpone, without the need for any cream or butter!
- Unsweetened almond milk– Any milk will work, like coconut milk, cashew milk, etc.
- Coconut oil– Measured out when it is melted, not firm!
- Sugar Free Maple Syrup– Monk fruit sweetened maple syrup, which is a sugar free and keto maple syrup.
- Lemon juice– Helps hold the mascarpone together, thanks to the acidity. Do not substitute this for something else.
- Vanilla extract– A subtle vanilla flavor!
- Canned coconut milk– The coconut milk MUST be from a can and must be chilled prior. Only the cream part will be used, so reserve the leftover liquid for a smoothie or ice cream.
- Sugar Free Powdered Sugar– This will be beaten with the coconut cream to produce a fluffy, sweet cream.
- Cold brew OR instant coffee– Either cold brew or instant coffee can be used. The coffee must be at least room temperature, but preferably cold. You can make it decaf if you prefer.
- Sugar free maple syrup– Optional, but if you want your coffee to be slightly sweet.
- Coffee liquor– Optional, but you can add this if you want a very traditional style Tiramisu. I made mine with no alcohol.
How to make a keto tiramisu
Step 1- Prepare your sponge cake layer
Either prepare the keto cake or homemade ladyfingers.
Instead of preparing the cake in a cake pan, use a square pan instead. The baking time will not differ at all. Once it is cooked, let it cool completely, before slicing into 1-inch by 2-inch rectangular pieces. Place the sliced cake pieces in a shallow dish.
Step 2- Prepare the keto mascarpone
In a blender, add your cashews, unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, sugar free syrup, vanilla extract, and lemon juice, and blend until smooth and creamy. Set that aside. In a large mixing bowl, add the top layer of the chilled coconut cream, discarding the liquid part to use for something else. Add the powdered sugar, and using a hand mixer, beat together the coconut cream with powdered sugar, until light and fluffy. Once it is fluffy, slowly fold through the cashew cream mixture into it.
Step 3- Assemble the tiramisu
Lightly grease an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Using a rubber spatula, spread out a thin layer of the mascarpone cream to the bottom of the dish. Next, pour the chilled coffee over the top of all the cake. Place pieces of the cake over the top of the mascarpone, in a single layer. Spread more mascarpone on top, before adding another layer of the cake. Repeat once more. Finally, spread the remaining mascarpone over the top of the tiramisu, before dusting with cocoa powder. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Keto Tiramisu Tips
- Don’t worry if your vanilla cake is too a little overbaked, or slightly crumbly. When soaked in the coffee and covered in the mascarpone, it softens beautifully.
- If you don’t want to use the keto cake, you can make any keto ladyfingers or vegan ladyfingers recipe.
- Slowly fold in your cashew cream into the coconut whipped cream. Do not simply mix together, otherwise it will lose its thick and fluffy texture.
- For an even stronger coffee flavor, you can substitute the vanillas extract for coffee extract.
How to store and freeze Tiramisu
- To store: Low carb tiramisu must always be stored in the refrigerator, covered. As this uses a dairy free mascarpone, it will keep longer than traditional tiramisu. It’s best enjoyed within 5 days.
- To freeze: Store leftover portions of tiramisu in the freezer. Place portions in freezer friendly containers and they will freeze well for up to 2 months. Thaw tiramisu in the refrigerator the night before enjoying.
More Low Carb Dessert Recipes
Keto Tiramisu (No dairy!)
For the sponge cake/ladyfingers
- 1 batch vanilla cake * See notes
For the mascarpone
For the coffee syrup
- 1 1/2 cups coffee chilled
- 1 tbsp keto maple syrup optional
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- Prepare your sponge cake as directed. Once cooled, slice into 1 x 2-inch slices and place in a shallow bowl.
- In a blender or food processor, add your cashews, almond milk, sugar free syrup, coconut oil, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the hardened cream portion from the cans of the coconut milk. Reserve the excess liquid for another use. Add your powdered sugar and beat using a hand mixer until flufy.
- Gently fold through the cashew cream into the whipped coconut cream until combined.
- Put together your tiramisu. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Using a rubber spatula, spread out a thin layer of the mascarpone on the bottom. Next, pour the coffee syrup over the slices of cake. Place a single layer of the sliced cake, before adding another layer of the mascarpone. Repeat once more, before spreading the top with the remaining mascarpone.
- Refrigerate the tiramisu for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Once set, dust with cocoa powder.
- TO STORE: Leftover tiramisu must be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze portions of tiramisu in a freezer friendly container, for up to 2 months.