The rich and decadent flavors in this Vegan Tiramisu will have you going back for seconds. It’s an uncomplicated recipe that can be done days ahead of time or all at once. Simple ingredients only!
This Vegan Tiramisu is not your average cake. Elegant and delicious, it’s the perfect dessert to serve after a vegan Italian feast (such as Vegan Baked Ziti) or for a special occasion. Layer after layer of espresso-soaked cake, vegan mascarpone, and cocoa powder on top will have you rushing back for a second or third helping.
It’s actually very fun to make and I only use simple, easy ingredients that you can find at most grocery stores.
Enjoy a slice of vegan tiramisu while sipping on a pumpkin spice latte, or try my vegan coffee cake instead!
What is tiramisu?
Classic tiramisu is a dreamy and creamy cake with layers of espresso-dipped ladyfingers, mascarpone cream, and cocoa powder on top. It’s a rich and decadent dessert from Italy with depths of flavor. The traditional recipe is loaded with dairy and eggs, but luckily I have found a way around this!
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- All-purpose flour – Turn this recipe into a vegan gluten-free tiramisu by using gluten-free all-purpose flour in place of regular in the vanilla cake.
- Soy milk – You can substitute the soy milk for any dairy-free milk in the cake.
- Canola oil – Melted coconut oil or vegan butter can be used in place of canola oil in the cake.
- Apple cider vinegar – To help your cake rise and level as it bakes. Regular white vinegar should work in its place.
- Vegan cream cheese – I used Tofutti cream cheese, but Trader Joe’s, Miyokos and Daiya should all work in this recipe.
- Sugar – Use cane or coconut sugar as an alternative.
- Coconut oil – This is essential when the cream layer needs to firm up.
- Coconut milk – Use full-fat canned coconut milk so you don’t miss out on any flavor in the cream layer of the tiramisu.
- Espresso – As used in every traditional tiramisu recipe. Use your favorite espresso (I have this espresso machine and love it!) or even pick up a freshly brewed cup from your local coffee shop. A strong cup of coffee OR espresso can be used.
- Coffee liquor – I used Kahlua, but dark rum would work as well. Leave the alcohol out of this recipe if kids will be eating the cake or you prefer not to use it.
How to make vegan tiramisu
Save yourself a long day in the kitchen by making this vegan tiramisu recipe in steps over a day or two. Let’s start with the cake…
Vanilla cake “ladyfingers”
Instead of traditional and not-so-vegan ladyfingers, the base of the tiramisu will be vanilla cake strips. Make the cake up to two days ahead of time.
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 10×15 inch sheet pan.
- Add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and sugar to a large bowl. Whisk well to combine. Next, pour the canola oil, soy milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract over the dry ingredients in the bowl. Mix with a large spoon until just combined, but be careful not to over mix the batter or your cake won’t be soft and fluffy.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool on a cooling rack. Slice the cake into 1 1/2 inches wide strips to replicate ladyfingers.
Vegan cream layer
This part is easy and we don’t need any complicated ingredients like cashews or silken tofu. The vegan cream cheese and coconut milk cream layer tastes heavenly when blended together.
- To a food processor (or blender), add the vegan cream cheese, sugar, coconut oil, a tiny pinch of salt, vanilla, and coconut milk. Mix or blend until smooth, then place in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. This will help the cream firm up.
Assembling the cake
Here comes the fun part! Now that the hard part is done, we can put our tiramisu cake together.
- Make the espresso sauce by stirring together the espresso or strong coffee, liquor, and sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Get out an 8×8 inch cake pan or a dish with tall edges or walls. Dip each cake strip into the espresso mixture and place it on the bottom of the pan. Continue until there is an even layer of cake. Use a spatula to scoop half of your vegan cream on top of the cake and spread until it reaches the pan edges. Add another layer of espresso dipped cake pieces, then the rest of the cream and refrigerate.
- Leave the cake in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight to let the cream firm up and the flavors mingle. When you’re ready to serve, use a sifter to dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder.
Tips for success
- A 9×13 inch sheet or cake pan will work for the cake recipe if you don’t have a 10×15.
- Mix the cake batter until the wet ingredients are only just combined with the dry. Avoiding over mixing the batter will help the vanilla cake taste soft and spongy. Plus, the more spongy your cake, the easier it will soak up the espresso sauce.
- Enjoy the leftover cake strips with a hot cup of tea or dip them in homemade vegan Nutella or whipped cream as a fun snack!
- You can make this recipe for vegan tiramisu in steps a couple days ahead of time or all in one day. Make the vegan cream layer while the cake is baking, then leave it to set in the fridge while the cake is cooling. Once the espresso sauce is made and everything is cooled down, assemble the cake.
How to store leftover vegan tiramisu
This vegan tiramisu cake is actually best when kept in the fridge overnight and served the next day! This way, all of the flavors have gotten to know each other and combined beautifully. Just make sure to only add the dusting of cocoa powder when it’s time to slice and serve the cake.
Storing the cake layers individually is very easy. The cake and cream can be sealed in separate airtight containers or covered in plastic wrap. Store them both in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble.
You can store the leftover assembled cake by putting plastic wrap on top of the serving dish. Leftover tiramisu will stay fresh for two days when stored in the fridge. Any longer and the cake might become soggy and messy.
More specialty vegan dessert recipes
- The Best Vegan Cheesecake
- Vegan Pecan Bars
- Vegan Pumpkin Cake Bars
- 1 Bowl Vegan Apple Cake
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake
Vanilla Cake "Ladyfingers"
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Creamy Mixture (Vegan Mascarpone)
- (2) 8-ounce containers vegan cream cheese (16 oz total)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (use refined for NO coconut flavor)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk, the white creamy part only
- tiny pinch of salt
- 4-6 shots strong espresso or coffee (about 1 cup)
- 4 tablespoons coffee liquor (I used Kahlua)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, for dusting the top
Make the vanilla cake "ladyfingers"
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 10×15 inch sheet pan (9×13 inches would work if needed).
- In a large bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and sugar. Whisk well to combine.To the bowl with the dry ingredients, pour in the oil, soy milk, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract. Mix with a large spoon until just combined, but be careful not to over mix the batter or your cake won't be soft and fluffy.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. If using a 9×13 inch pan, it will need to bake for 40 minutes or so. Check with a toothpick to ensure doneness.
- Let the cake cool, then slice into strips about 1 1/2 inches wide. You will have some leftover cake pieces, which are lovely to have with tea or as a fun snack. Set aside.
Make the creamy filling (vegan mascarpone)
- To a food processor (or blender), add the vegan cream cheese, sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, coconut milk and a tiny pinch of salt. Mix or blend until smooth, then place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. It will firm up somewhat due to the coconut oil.
Make the espresso mixture
- In a small bowl, stir together the espresso or strong coffee, liquor and sugar. Set aside.
Assemble the Tiramisu
- Get out an 8×8 inch pan or tall dish. Dip the cake strips into the espresso mixture and place a layer in the bottom of the pan. Layer on half of the creamy mixture. Add another layer of espresso dipped cake pieces, then the rest of cream and refrigerate.
- Refrigerate for several hours or overnight if possible to let the cream firm up and the flavors to mingle.
- After chilling for several hours or overnight, dust with cocoa powder (I used a sifter for this). Slice and serve.
- Make the tiramisu gluten free by using gluten free all purpose flour in place of regular in the cake.
- Use espresso for best results, but if you can not, strong coffee is an okay substitute. Just make sure to use strong coffee with a flavor you like!
- May use another non-dairy milk in place of soy if you like.
- Melted coconut oil or vegan butter can be used in place of canola oil for the cake.
- I used Kahlua for the liquor, but dark rum would also work. If serving kids or you need to, leave out the alcohol.
Hi Nora 🙂
I can’t wait to make this for a friends birthday in a couple of days.
I’m salivating at the thought of eating already !
Can I use coconut sugar for the granulated sugar ?
Many thanks 🙂
I can’t wait for you to try it! Yes, you can use coconut sugar instead.
Made it on Saturday. It turned out delicious.
Thanks for this recipe.
You are so welcome! I’m glad the cake turned out fantastic! Thank you for sharing your fantastic feedback and review!
I made this and my friend said it’s the best thing I have ever made! It is so delicious, fancy, and rich–it is absolutely delectable. I had the same problem as another commenter … I used a 9×13 cake pan for the vanilla cake, and I didn’t have enough lady fingers to make two complete layers in the 8×8 dish. Then I re-read the instructions … looks like I was supposed to use a sheet pan, not a baking pan — interesting! I’d never think to bake a cake in a sheet pan. I’ll try that next time, but other than not having 2 layers, the taste wasn’t affected whatsoever. 10 out of 10!
Hi Sarah. I’m glad to hear the cake turned out delicious for you! Thanks for your feedback!
Hi Nora – I was hoping to turn this into a layer cake for a birthday, perhaps altering the cream mixture to make it more sturdy by substituting the granulated sugar and coconut cream with icing sugar and butter. Do you think the cake recipe would hold up well in a layer cake? Love your recipes!
Hi Melissa. You shouldn’t need to make any changes to the recipe – it should be sturdy enough to make a layer cake as-is! Happy baking!
It seems impossible to find things like this that don’t use coconut milk. We have IBS and can’t ingest coconut milk or cream without disaster striking (oddly enough actual coconut or coconut oil doesn’t bother us). Can this be made with another kind of milk? This really looks amazing and I’m dying to give it a go. Thanks so much!
Hi Tina. I haven’t tried the recipe without coconut milk, but you could try using a vegan creamer instead.
I trust you with my life. I will be making this for my 18th birthday and I know it will slay
Haha that’s fantastic to hear! I hope you love it!
I used cashew cream and it was sooo delicious I would highly recommend. I boiled half a cup of cashews for 10 mins and added the reserve water a couple tablespoons at a time until it was just thin enough to blend smoothly.
What brand of cream cheese do you recommend? I find that the textures vary so much from brand to brand
My favorite is Tofutti, but Miyokos and the Trader Joe’s brand also have great textures.
Oh My Goodness Thank you Nora for the Delicious recipe !
You are welcome! I’m so glad you love it!
Every time I make this the marscapone separates once I add the coconut oil. Any insight??
Hmm I’ve never had this happen so I’m not sure. I’m not totally sure why that would happen. Are you adding the coconut oil hot? I just put it in semi soft, I don’t melt it first. You also want to stick it in the freezer right after blending so it firms up.
ok. Thanks for responding. Ive tried it both ways….melted coconut oil out of the microwave and ive melted it and let it cool down. I have freezed it and its still separated??? It’s weird, Ive been making this awhile and sometimes it separates and sometimes it doesnt. I do know it never happrns when I use tofutti brand cream cheese, maybe it’s because of the brand??
Which brand do you use that separates? I have lots of issues with violife. It’s such a great cream cheese but doesn’t work for so many vegan dessert recipes. I will be trying this recipe with violife. Will report back with results.
Can almond flour be used? If so, are any adjustments needed?
Sorry, I don’t think almond flour will work here. Though you could probably make my Gluten Free Vanilla Cake instead of the cake here.
Sadly my “ladyfingers” did not come out very well. They are very flat and gummy inside. Not sure what went wrong. Any ideas for next time? Not sure if I will be able to use them. May have to resort to store bought which will not be vegan. ?
Did you forget anything ingredients or substitute anything (such as almond flour for regular flour)? The ladyfingers are basically a cake, similar to other cake recipes on my site and they should be quite fluffy and soft. Recheck the ingredients and make sure you follow the recipe exactly, being careful not to over mix.
Made this tonight and leaving in the fridge to serve for Christmas Eve tomorrow night. I can hardly wait, it already tastes so good! When we decided to make tiramisu for dessert, my husband and I looked at each other and said, “I hope Nora has a recipe!” We always check your site first whenever we need a recipe because they are always INCREDIBLE! Thank you for always gifting us with amazing vegan food. Happy holidays to you and your family, Nora!
Should the coconut oil in the marscapone filling be melted?
It doesn’t need to be melted, just semi-soft so it can blend.
How far in advanced can I assemble this? I’m baking the lady fingers now and plan to serve this for Christmas Eve (2 days from now). Can I assemble today and dust with coco powder Christmas Eve? Of would it be better to assemble on the 23rd?
This vegan tiramisu cake is actually best when kept in the fridge overnight and served the next day! This way, all of the flavors have gotten to know each other and combined beautifully. Just make sure to only add the dusting of cocoa powder when it’s time to slice and serve the cake. Assembling on the 23rd would be perfect! Happy holiday cooking!
Wow! This was the first time I have ever made tiramisu and it was amazing! My guests and my husband raved about it, and said it tasted exactly like the non-vegan version of tiramisu. It was creamy, flavourful and delicious. The only trouble I had was that I only had a 9 by 13 pan to bake it in, which made the cake higher and smaller than it would have been in a 10 by 15 inch pan. Because of the smaller pan, I didn’t have enough ladyfingers to make two complete layers in the 8 by 8 pan. It was still a big hit though. I will definitely make this again! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
This recipe is incredible and just as good as the non vegan versions we used to make. Fabulous!
I’m thrilled you love the tiramisu! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and comments!
This tiramisu cake sounds very very tasty. I am surely going to make it for my family. Thank you, Nora, for sharing your recipes. They are all great.
Hi Nira. Thank you for using my recipes! I’m so glad you are enjoying them! I hope you enjoy the tiramisu, and happy cooking!
Kahlua is not vegan. I saw this recipe awhile ago and did research. I was dismayed about Kailua.
Yes, it appears that has changed. It’s not because it contains milk, but because the sugar supplier they use does not use vegan sugar. You can use a dark rum or other liquor, or simply leave it out if needed.
I noticed the feedback that Kahlua isn’t vegan friendly but apparently Tia Maria is. Guess what I have a bottle of in the cupboard?
Hi, Kamora Coffee Liqueur is Vegan…awesome replacement for Kahlua!
Thanks for sharing!
Kamora is much better than Kahlua anyway in my humble opinion.
Amazing recipe! But quick note, Kahlua is unfortunately not vegan 🙁
Amazing! My partner and I made this recipe this past weekend and it turned out awesome. Flavors blended together perfectly. Nora never does us wrong!!
I truly appreciate your kind comments and wonderful review! I’m glad you guys loved the tiramisu! Thank you for using my recipes! Happy cooking!
Love this recipe! I’ve made it for my non vegan family and they say it’s their favorite tiramisu they’ve every had. So super delicious!!
Thank you for sharing your review and comments! I’m thrilled you and your family love the tiramisu!
Is there a good substitute for the canned coconut milk? I really am looking for no coconut flavor.
You could try using a vegan creamer, but I haven’t tried this.
Hi Nora! I’m excited to try out this recipe, but had a few questions- Do you melt the coconut oil that goes into the mascarpone before blending it all up? And for dipping the ladyfingers, do you fully submerge them in espresso until the whole piece is soaked through or how long do you leave them to soak?
The coconut oil can be melted or just semi solid. For the ladyfingers, I just dip them rather quickly to fully submerge, then take them out. Hope that helps and you enjoy the recipe!
Hi Nora, firstly I love your recipes so much!! Thank you!
I’m planning on making a tiramisu cake for a friends birthday next week but wanted something that can stand up with a few layers and be cut and sliced. I understand it would be a bit different but how could I adapt this recipe for that?
Thanks for loving the recipes! That sounds fun. I don’t know exactly how you want the cake to be, but I’m sure you can adjust it to have a few layers. Having never done that, I’m not exactly sure how you want to do it. Hope it turns out yummy! The cake is sturdy enough for layers.