This keto tiramisu recipe takes everything dreamy about traditional tiramisu and transforms it into a sugar-free and gluten-free version! A creamy mascarpone filling, sponge cake layers soaked in coffee, and a dusting of cocoa powder on top are the key elements of the classic Italian dessert.
My version has all that and more, with easy swaps like keto ladyfingers and a powdered monk fruit sweetener to create a sugar-free tiramisu that tastes like the real thing.
It should be said that tiramisu is my all-time favorite dessert.
I can't turn down a good coffee-flavored treat (it's why this Keto Coffee Cheesecake is a close second).
With tiramisu, there's something about the combination of the delicious flavor of rich espresso and a fluffy mascarpone mixture layered between ladyfinger sponge cookies. It's rich and creamy and light. And totally irresistible.
I usually indulge in a slice of classic tiramisu on a date night or as a birthday treat. And for the longest time, I was intimidated to even try making it on my own. I had one failed attempt at a traditional recipe a few years ago and ever since, I wrote it off as a dessert best enjoyed at our favorite Italian restaurants.
But the truth is, tiramisu - even keto tiramisu- couldn't be easier to put together.
why this recipe works
I'm giving you two options for this keto tiramisu recipe!
You can make this delicious dessert with a batch of my Keto Ladyfingers, which you can easily prepare a day or two in advance.
Ladyfingers create the sponge-y, coffee-soaked, cake-like layer in a traditional recipe for tiramisu. My homemade ladyfingers use almond flour and monk fruit sweetener for a healthier, low carb version.
But I'm also giving you a shortcut!
I have included a quick and simple vanilla sponge cake recipe that serves as the perfect stand-in for homemade ladyfingers.
It will save you some time and still result in a keto tiramisu cake with a delicious flavor and texture.
Here's why you'll love this sugar and gluten-free tiramisu recipe:
- It makes the perfect dessert for holidays and special occasions, and it's a treat that even non-keto eaters will enjoy!
- Tiramisu is one of those easy yet elevated keto desserts that is sure to impress.
- It is low-carb diet friendly, blood sugar friendly and a great way to indulge in something delicious without the added sugar.
To make this easy keto tiramisu cake, you will need the following ingredients:
- Sugar-free ladyfingers. Check out my keto lady fingers recipe or view the recipe card below to create a quick and simple cake layer instead! Both are great options.
- Heavy whipping cream. Just like a traditional tiramisu recipe, you'll whip the cold, heavy cream until it's fluffy, then fold it into the cheeses to lighten them up.
- Mascarpone cheese. This is a fresh Italian cheese made with whole cream. It creates a rich and creamy layer in tiramisu and is the perfect way to work around making tiramisu with raw eggs (the proper method for authentic tiramisu). Soften it to room temperature.
- Cream cheese. I add a little bit of cream cheese to this recipe to help stretch the creamy filling. Make sure to use softened, block cream cheese (not whipped) and go with full-fat cream cheese over low fat.
- Powdered monk fruit sweetener. This ingredient replaces the sugar and adds the perfect amount of sweetness. Use powdered monk fruit sweetener instead of granulated.
- Strong coffee. The classic dessert contains alcohol in the form of rum, cognac, Kahlua or a coffee liqueur, but we're skipping those high-carb ingredients to create a low-carb swap using coffee, vanilla and sweetener.
- Espresso powder. A little dash of instant espresso powder will give this sugar-free tiramisu cake a bold coffee flavor!
- Pure vanilla extract. For the coffee mixture and the cake.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder. To create that pretty dusting of cocoa powder that gives tiramisu a chocolate-y finishing touch.
If you're using a batch of keto ladyfingers, the process will be super similar to that of a traditional tiramisu recipe.
If you're opting to create a quick vanilla sponge cake to use instead of ladyfingers, check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page to view the instructions in the recipe notes.
Before you begin: Make sure you have all the equipment ready, including an electric mixer (either a stand mixer or hand mixer works well- I end up using both!).
In a large mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream until it's light and fluffy and stiff peaks form. In a small bowl, combine the coffee, ½ teaspoon espresso powder, 1 tablespoon of vanilla and a couple of tablespoons of sweetener.
In a separate large bowl, beat together the mascarpone and cream cheese for 1-2 minutes on medium speed to mix. Mix in the powdered sweetener.
Add 2 tablespoons of the coffee mixture, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon of espresso powder. Mix until smooth.
Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture with a rubber spatula.
Assemble the keto tiramisu cake. Give each ladyfinger (or cake piece) a quick coffee soak and place it in the base of the prepared pan. Repeat until you have a single layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers.
Spread half of the cream mixture on top. Create a second layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers on top of the mascarpone layer. Top the ladyfingers with the remaining mascarpone filling.
Spread it evenly across the top. Use a fine-mesh strainer or sifter to dust the top of the tiramisu with a little bit of cocoa powder.
Refrigerate for 4-5 hours, preferably overnight. The keto tiramisu cake will firm up and the flavors will intensify.
When it's time to serve, you can use a spoon to dig right in and scoop out servings, or cut the cake into square slices.
for the sponge cake layer
If you don't want to go through the process of making homemade keto ladyfingers for this low carb tiramisu recipe, you can easily whip up a vanilla sponge cake!
The full recipe is included in the Notes section of recipe card at the bottom of the page.
It comes together quickly but you will need to account for resting time for the cake as it should be completely cooled before you can use it in this sugar-free tiramisu.
tips for the best results
- When dipping the pieces of sponge cake or the keto ladyfingers, work quickly and don't let them sit in the liquid for longer than 1-2 seconds. A quick dip is all they need otherwise they may absorb too much moisture and turn out soggy.
- Make sure to cover the tiramisu when it's chilled or stored in the fridge. Either transfer it to an airtight container (like a cake stand) or cover the baking dish with a sheet of plastic wrap. If left uncovered, the top will dry out and the monk fruit sweetener is more prone to crystallize.
- The best way to get clean slices is to leave parchment paper "wings" around the edges of baking dish. After the cake has chilled, it's easy to gently lift the tiramisu out of the pan with these wings and use a sharp knife to cut the tiramisu into clean slices (wipe the knife off after each cut).
you might also love
- This Gluten Free Orange Cake has a bright citrus flavor and a tender crumb. Top a slice with a sweet, Greek yogurt cardamom cream for extra yumminess.
- My round-up of Sugar-free Cakes is a great place to get all the sugar-free and keto dessert inspiration for the holidays, special occasions and just your everyday craving.
- Keto Créme Brûlée, anyone? This rich, vanilla custard only requires five ingredients and includes a few recipe variations to fit your needs!
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
- ¾ cup strong coffee
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, divided
- 1 teaspoon + ½ teaspoon espresso powder, divided
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered monk fruit sweetener, divided
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
- 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened
- 28-32 keto ladyfinger cookies (or use vanilla sponge cake recipe below in Notes)
- 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- Prepare the pan: Line an 8x8 cake pan with parchment paper, keeping 1-2 inches of excess on all sides (this is helpful if you prefer to lift the tiramisu out of the pan to get clean cuts when slicing).
- Whip the cream: In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until it's light and fluffy and stiff peaks form. Keep chilled in the fridge until ready to use.
- Make coffee mixture: In a shallow bowl, mix together the coffee, 1 tablespoon vanilla, ½ teaspoon espresso powder, and 2 tablespoons of the powdered monk fruit sweetener. Set aside.
- Mix mascarpone: In a separate large bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together the softened mascarpone and cream cheese for 1-2 minutes on medium speed to mix. Add in the remaining 1 cup of powdered monk fruit sweetener and mix, just until it is incorporated.
- Flavor mascarpone mixture: Add 2 tablespoons of the coffee/vanilla/espresso mixture (set the rest aside), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon espresso powder to the mascarpone cream. Mix until well combined.
- Fold: Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
- Assemble the keto tiramisu cake: Set the shallow dish with the coffee mixture next to your prepared pan. Dip each ladyfinger (or sponge cake piece) in the coffee quickly, then place it at the bottom of the pan to create the first layer. Repeat until the entire pan is covered in ladyfingers. Spread half of the cream mixture on top. Create a second layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers on top of the mascarpone layer. Top the ladyfingers with the rest of the mascarpone filling and spread it evenly across the top.
- Dust with cocoa powder: With a fine-mesh strainer or sifter, dust the top of the tiramisu with cocoa powder.
- Refrigerate: Transfer the tiramisu to the refrigerator to chill for 4-5 hours, preferably overnight. It will firm up and the flavors will intensify.
- Serve: When it's time to serve, you can use a spoon to dig right in and scoop out servings, or use the parchment paper "wings" to gently lift the cake out of the pan to easily cut it into square slices.
Mixing mascarpone: Only mix the mascarpone until it is well combined with the other ingredients. Mascarpone can split easily due to its high fat content so be careful that you do not over mix it!
Dipping ladyfingers: When dipping the pieces of sponge cake or the keto ladyfingers, work quickly and don't let them sit in the liquid for longer than 1-2 seconds, otherwise they may absorb too much moisture and turn out soggy.
Storing: Make sure to cover the tiramisu when it's chilled or stored in the fridge. Either transfer it to an airtight container (like a cake stand) or cover the pan with a sheet of plastic wrap. If left uncovered, the top will dry out and erythritol in the sweetener is more prone to crystallize.
Vanilla Sponge Cake Recipe (substitute for ladyfingers): If you prefer, you can prepare this easy vanilla cake recipe for the tiramisu instead of using my keto ladyfingers. Make sure to let the cake chill completely before cutting it into smaller pieces to dip in the coffee mixture.
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 cup powdered monk fruit sweetener
- ½ cup melted butter
- 1-½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1-½ cups blanched almond flour
- 1-½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. With an electric. mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks with the sweetener, melted butter, baking powder, almond flour, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. It will turn into a thick batter.
- Fold portions of the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture until fully incorporated.
- Spread the batter onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
- Let the cake cool completely on the baking sheet. Cut the cake into long and narrow pieces, about 1 inch x 4 inches. You will dip these in the coffee mixture to create the cake layer in your keto tiramisu.