This Tofu Tiramisu recipe is creamy, delicious and so addictive! It is dairy-free and eggless - turning it entirely vegan. Plus it's entirely nut-free. A rich, yet light dessert, that is classic and new at the same time. Instead of making vegan ladyfingers, this recipe takes a shortcut with a ladyfinger cake. Which is then soaked in a boozy coffee mixture.
💡 The recipe in a nutshell
- Vegan (eggless and dairy-free)
- Made from scratch
- Simple to make
- Classic Italian cuisine made plant-based
- Dairy-free mascarpone made with silken tofu
If this isn't your first time reading about the origin of an Italian dish on my page, you probably already know the answer to this. As with most Italian dishes, the real origin of Tiramisu is controversial. There are many theories and stories about how and who invented Tiramisu. However, similar types of the present-day Tiramisu can be traced back as far as the 1800s!
All in all the dessert became widely known in the 80s, through a Vin Vento magazine article by Giuseppe Maffioli. It was about a dessert from the restaurant Le Beccherie in Treviso. Here it was reported that Alba di Pillo, together with the young chef Roberto Linguanotto, had invented the tiramisu in 1972 "by simply combining ingredients that had always been used and were known to everyone".
According to Linguanotto, the invention was also the result of a mix-up when making vanilla ice cream. He had accidentally added mascarpone cheese to a bowl of egg yolks and sugar. After tasting the result, he told Alba di Pillo, the owner's wife. The both of them then perfected the mixture into a dessert.
When the owner Ado Campeol died on 30. October 2021 at the age of 93, he was mourned throughout Italy as the "father of tiramisu", although the invention was primarily due to his wife and chef Linguanotto.
By the way, the literal meaning of Tiramisu in Italian is “pick me up” or “cheer me up”.
What to use instead of mascarpone cheese?
Mascarpone is a creamy Italian sweet dairy cheese that is one of the main ingredients in a traditional tiramisu. Great substitutions for mascarpone cheese are whipping cream, cream cheese, or a combination of both. Some even make a mascarpone by using quark or blending cashews into heavy cream.
This recipe makes vegan Mascarpone cheese by mixing silken tofu, coconut cream, cane sugar, some vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract), fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.
🥃 What alcohol to use in tiramisu?
Traditionally, the ladyfingers for tiramisu are drizzled with or dipped in cold espresso, and Marsala (an Italian dessert wine) or Amaretto. Alternatively, brandy or other dark rum is used. This recipe uses a mixture of espresso, marsala, amaretto, and cane sugar.
🤔 Can I make tiramisu alcohol-free?
Yes, you can. Simply skip the alcoholic beverages and use just espresso or strong coffee to dip your ladyfingers, or cake in.
Store layered Tofu Tiramisu covered in the fridge for up 5 days. If you’re planning to serve it later, dust in cacao powder shortly before serving.
To store unfrosted ladyfinger cake wrap it tightly in plastic wrap; be sure and secure the top, sides, and bottom. Then place it in a plastic zip-top bag and store it on the kitchen counter at room temperature for up to three days. Make sure no air is touching the cake! If you need to keep the cake longer than that, freeze it for up to 3 months.
Tofu Tiramisu Recipe (dairy free + vegan)
- for ladyfinger cake: 10×15 inch sheet pan, electric mixer, mixing bowl, food processor
- to assemble tiramisu: 8x8" or 9x9" pan to layer tiramisu - it should be 2.5 - 3" high (20x20cm, or 23x23 cm pan that is 6.5 to 7.5 cm high)
- 330 g cake flour (2 ¾ cups)
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch (20g)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 170 g organic cane sugar (¾ cup)
- 180 ml vegetable oil (¾ cup)
- 360 ml plant milk, unsweetened (1 ½ cups)
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (10ml)
- 2 packages of vanilla sugar (16g), or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 240 ml espresso, or strong coffee (1 cup)
- 2 tablespoon Marsala (Italian Dessert Wine, eg. Lombardo or Pellegrino) (30ml)
- 1 tablespoon amaretto liquor (15ml)
- 2 tablespoon organic cane sugar
- unsweetened cocoa powder to dust on top
- 450 g silken tofu (16 oz)
- 150 g coconut cream, chilled overnight (5.3 oz - only use the hardened part on the top! You’ll need 1-2 cans depending on the brand)
- 2 packages of vanilla sugar (or 2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- ¼ cup organic cane sugar (60g - add more if you want it even sweeter)
- pinch of salt
- generous spritz of fresh lemon juice
Preparing the Ladyfingers cake:
- Heat oven to 180°C / 350°F and grease a 10×15 inch sheet pan (or 9×13 inches would work if needed).
- In a large bowl, sieve the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Whisk well to combine. To the bowl with the dry ingredients, pour in the oil, and mix with a fork until all dry ingredients are covered with fat. Then add plant milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract to a measuring cup and whisk together. Add to flour fat mix and whip quickly together with an electric mixer until no climbs remain. 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 completely. Then slice into strips about 2cm wide, 10 cm long (1 inch wide, wide.4 inches long). You should end up with around 32 strips. Half six of the sticks.
Preparing Espresso Mixture
- In a small bowl, stir together the espresso or strong coffee, Marsala, amaretto liquor, and cane sugar. Mix until sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.
Preparing Tofu Mascarpone
- To a food processor (or blender) add silken tofu and blend until smooth. Scrape down sides if needed. Then add all other mascarpone ingredients and blend until smooth again. When using the coconut cream, make sure to only use the cream part. Discard liquid, or use in smoothies. Chill mascarpone for 1 hour, or overnight. If you need the Mascarpone quicker, stick it into the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- Get out an 8x8 inch pan or tall dish. A 9x9 works too if you leave a bit of space on one side. Dip the cake strips into the espresso mixture and place a layer on the bottom of the pan. Layer on half of the mascarpone. Add another layer of espresso dipped cake pieces, then the rest of the cream, and refrigerate.
🎥 How-to video
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