Recipe Revamping: Tiramisu


“But you don’t like coffee….”

When we came to the States from Japan, we lived on a military base just outside of New York City which meant I had access to all the city had to offer such as Little Italy where you could go to a restaurant and get tiramisu freshly made with chef-made whipped cream.

For folks who know me, they are confused by my love for tiramisu because I am not a coffee drinker. I like to smell everyone’s coffee but I never drink it. I prefer tea. Coffee has a bitterness to it which I have never had an appreciation for. I do, however, like coffee flavored foods. Before I developed my dairy allergy, coffee ice cream was one of my favorites, and tiramisu was my favorite dessert splurge.

For folks unfamiliar with tiramisu, it’s an Italian dessert which layers sponge cake dipped in coffee between a mixture of mascarpone cheese and whipped cream or mascarpone cheese and egg yolks. Most recipes make it “mocha” style and call for sprinkling cocoa powder in between the layers and on top. You can also make cinnamon tiramisu which sprinkles cinnamon instead of the cocoa powder.

If you have gluten and dairy allergies, though, tiramisu can be a thing of the past for you… made the traditional way, that is. I’ve come up with a way to make it for me, though, which is not only tasty but just as creamy. It does, however, use coconut whipped cream, so if you have an allergy to coconut, I’m afraid my recipe won’t work for you.

I have learned, though, from folks that you can make whipped cream from canned chickpea liquid which I haven’t personally tried in tiramisu yet but I’m thinking I’ll experiment in the future with it. The recipes I’ve found say that you take the liquid from 2 cans of chickpeas, mix it with ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 cup of sugar, and then whip it all up into whipped cream. It may be that this version can be used as a substitute for the coconut whipped cream if legume aren’t an issue for you.



Two containers Tofutti dairy free cream cheese, at room temperature

One container So Delicious dairy free coconut whipped cream, partially thawed (I usually just take it out of the freezer and let it sit while I’m pulling together everything else)

Two containers Schar’s gluten free ladyfingers

4 cups strong coffee (I use double the coffee called for per cup)

unsweetened cocoa powder or ground cinnamon

Optional: shaved chocolate or cinnamon sticks

Assembling Instructions:

  1. Use a 8 x 11 rectangular glass pan. It perfectly fits the two boxes worth of ladyfingers.
  2. Using a mixer, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
  3. Mix in the coconut whipped cream until well blended and creamy.
  4. Open one of the packages of ladyfingers and dip both sides of each ladyfinger into the prepared coffee. Layer the ladyfingers in the pan.
  5. Spread half of the whipped cream cheese/cream mixture over the ladyfingers and sprinkle either unsweetened cocoa powder or ground cinnamon over the top.
  6. Open the second box of ladyfingers, dip both sides of each into the coffee and layer the ladyfingers on top of the whipped cream cheese/cream mixture.
  7. Spread the remaining half of the whipped cream cheese/cream mixture over the ladyfingers and sprinkle either unsweetened cocoa powder or ground cinnamon on top. If you like, you can decorate it with shaved dairy free chocolate pieces or cinnamon stick shavings.
  8. Refrigerate for at least several hours. (This is one of those desserts which tastes even better the second day when everything has “settled” well.)

One thought on “Recipe Revamping: Tiramisu

  1. So glad I came across your blog! I used to love tiramisu when I was little, but since I found out I can’t eat gluten I haven’t had a good tiramisu. I’m always looking for healthy alternatives to my favorite desserts, so I’m definitely going to try this recipe. Can’t wait to see more of your blog posts!

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