This Dairy-Free Tiramisu has rich, creamy layers of ladyfingers, coffee, and a delicious whipped mixture of coconut cream, eggs, and sugar. The perfect afternoon pick-me-up!
Since I was a kid, tiramisu was my favorite dessert. It's a classic Italian dessert that is simply irresistible!
With layers of ladyfinger cookies soaked in an espresso marsala wine mixture, luscious creamy filling, and a healthy sprinkling of cocoa powder, traditional tiramisu is a decadent dessert that is scrumptious and amazing.
I used to make classic tiramisu all the time at home! But then I found out I had a dairy intolerance. Cue the sad violin: I thought my love affair with homemade tiramisu was over.
But of course, it wasn't. Much like my dairy-free mac and cheese and vegan fettuccine alfredo, dairy free tiramisu is surprisingly easy to make at home. And most importantly, this tiramisu version is just as delicious as the traditional version!
🌟 Why this recipe works
If you are dairy free or cooking for someone who is dairy free, and you are a fan of tiramisu, then this dessert is for you!
- Irresistible layers of flavor - You'll love the rich sponge cake layers of ladyfingers gently soaked in coffee and marsala wine, sweet creamy layers of custard filling, and sprinkling of cocoa powder.
- Make-ahead dessert - Because this dairy free dessert needs to be refrigerated for at least four hours, it's a great dessert to make ahead for parties.
- Dairy free goodness - Thanks to coconut cream, it's easy to make your favorite Italian dessert dairy-free! Instead of the traditional mascarpone cheese, we use coconut cream. And if you choose to add the whipped topping layer, it's gotten fairly easy to find dairy-free whipped topping at local grocery stores.
🛒 Ingredient notes
Here are the simple ingredients you will need to make a dairy free tiramisu:
- Ladyfingers - Lady finger cookies are also known as savoiardi or sponge fingers. They are delicate sponge Italian cookies that you can usually find in the bakery aisle of your grocery store. You can also often find ladyfingers at your local bakery. Or, you can use homemade ladyfingers if you prefer.
- Egg yolks - I recommend using pasteurized egg yolks, which do not run the risk of salmonella. However, you can use high quality, fresh eggs - just know that you do run the small risk of salmonella, which can give people an upset stomach, fever, and other ill reactions. Learn more about Salmonella and cooking with raw eggs.
- Coconut cream - There are two ways you can get coconut cream. You can either buy cans of coconut cream. Or, you can buy cans of coconut milk. if using coconut milk, refrigerate a can for about an hour, and then use the cream from the coconut milk and discard the liquid part.
- Coffee - Brew a cup of your favorite coffee, instant coffee, or espresso, and let it cool down a bit before using it in this recipe. Remember that the flavor of the coffee will greatly influence the flavor of the tiramisu. So make sure it's a coffee that you enjoy on its own, and one that is not too dark or too light. You can also substitute a coffee liqueur if you want to make a 21+ adults only dessert.
- Marsala wine - Use the marsala cooking wine that you find in your local grocery store. It's usually in the cooking oil aisle next to sherry cooking oil.
- Vanilla - a little vanilla extract adds a warm bakery aroma and flavor to this dessert. Use pure vanilla extract for the best results (as opposed to artificial vanilla extract, which has less flavor).
- Sugar - A little granulated sugar helps add sweetness and creaminess to the egg yolks.
- Cocoa powder - Use unsweetened cocoa powder that you find in the baking aisle.
Optional: dairy-free whipped topping - This is an added layer of deliciousness to finish off the tiramisu. You can leave it out if you prefer, or if you cannot find dairy-free whipped topping at your local grocery store.
Garnish with dark chocolate shavings, chocolate covered espresso beans, or dairy-free whipped cream.
✅ Step-by-step instructions
A full list of ingredients and detailed instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here are photos of the step-by-step process to help you make the best dairy free tiramisu!
- In a large bowl, whish together the egg yolks and granulated sugar. Vigorously whisk the yolks until they are bright and creamy. I prefer to do this by hand instead of in a stand mixer, which can overmix ingredients for tiramisu.
2. Whisk in the instant pudding mix and the coconut cream.
3. Whisk in the vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the brewed, chilled coffee and marsala wine. Pour it into a shallow bowl.
5. Very lightly dip one side of the lady fingers into the coffee mixture. Take care not to oversoak the ladyfingers! A quick dab of liquid on one side is enough, as the cookies are very delicate.
6. Place the soaked ladyfingers into an even single layer into a square pan, until you have 12 ladyfinger cookies.
7. Gently spread a layer of the egg yolk custard cream over the ladyfingers using the back of a spoon or a silicone spatula. Take care not to press down too hard or you risk breaking up the soaked ladyfingers.
8. Sprinkle cocoa powder over the cream.
9. Repeat the process with a second layer of ladyfingers (12 lightly soaked ladyfingers), second layer of cream, and second dusting of cocoa powder.
10. and 11. Optional: You can spread a layer of whipped topping across the top, finished with a final dusting of cocoa powder. This is completely optional, but I love the additional sweetness it adds to this dairy free dessert!
12. Cover carefully and chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve.
👩🏻🍳 Tiramisu recipe FAQs
Traditional tiramisu is made with whipped raw egg yolks, as are other desserts such as authentic chocolate mousse. People have been eating raw egg yolks for centuries, but there is a very small (0.005%, according to the CDC) chance of getting salmonella from raw eggs. If you are concerned about eating raw eggs, read the latest CDC guidelines with health information and tips for ensuring food safety. You can also use pasteurized eggs, which have been heated to a high enough temperature for a long enough time to kill Salmonella.
Because this tiramisu recipe has eggs, it is not considered to be vegan. It is vegetarian and dairy free.
Store tiramisu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Never leave tiramisu out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
Yes! As long as you store the tiramisu in a freezer safe, airtight container, you can freeze tiramisu for up to one week. I don't recommend freezing it for longer than that, since the creamy layers will lose their flavor and the consistency after thawing will be too soft.
🍽 Serving ideas
This easy dairy free tiramisu is a delicious dessert to enjoy after dinner or as an afternoon snack. Enjoy it with a cup of coffee for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
This is also the perfect dessert for your next dinner party or to celebrate any special occasion.
🍳 Kitchen tools and equipment
Ready to make this recipe? Here are the kitchen tools and equipment you'll need:
- Mixing bowl - You'll need a large mixing bowl to make the egg yolk layer.
- Shallow dish - For the coffee mixture. A shallow bowl makes it easy to dip the lady finger cookies into the mixture.
- Baking dish - Assemble the dairy-free tiramisu in a square baking dish. Either an 8x8 dish or a 9x9 dish will work. Because this is a no-bake dessert, you can also use a regular square serving dish that is not oven safe.
- Whisk - You'll need a sturdy whisk to vigorously whisk the egg yolks.
Dairy Free Tiramisu
- 1 tub (8 ounces) dairy-free whipped topping
- In a large mixing bowl, vigorously whisk the egg yolks until they are creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Beat in the sugar, and continue beating for another minute, until the mixture is light yellow and creamy.
- Add the instant pudding mix and coconut cream, and beat together for 2 minutes.
- Beat in the vanilla.
- In a separate shallow dish, whisk together the brewed coffee (or espresso) and marsala wine.
- Gently dip half of the ladyfingers (12 of the 24) into the coffee marsala mixture, just enough to partially soak half of the cookies. If you dip them too far into the mixture or for too long, the ladyfingers will be oversoaked and may fall apart.
- Arrange the 12 dipped ladyfingers into a single layer in the baking dish.
- Gently spread about half of the cream filling mixture over the dipped ladyfingers, using a silicone spatula to carefully spread it out into an even layer.
- Sprinkle the top with sifted cocoa powder.
- Repeat the processs with the remaining 12 ladyfingers, coffee marsala mixture, and cream filling.
- At this point, if you want to add an even layer of dairy-free whipped topping, do so now. Make sure it is spread evenly across the top.
- Sprinkle remaining cocoa powder over the top.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.