Vegan Tiramisu – Finally!

After a bunch of tests, I finally am pretty sure I have mastered the holy grail of vegan dessertstiramisu.  The lady finger recipe is in part inspired by the one on Insomniac Chef, along with a combination of “traditional” recipes I also checked out.  The filling was a lot of taste testing (such a chore, I know).

I prefer to make tiramisu in little glass cups versus the traditional cake version.  Not only do I think it looks prettier, but it’s a way to make the whole thing look more professional.  That, and well, it’s easier not to screw up.

A word of warning, this is not a quick dessert.  If you make it all at once, it’s at least an hour job (plus baking time).  There’s a lot of prep.  On the other hand, it’s an easy desert to make in stages, even over the span of a few days.  The lady fingers actually work better the more they harden up, and the longer you leave the completed dessert in the fridge, the creamer the cake layers get.  If you want something truly “melt in your mouth,” it’s best to refrigerate it over night.

Also, this tiramisu isn’t cheap.  The worst thing you can do is use cheap expresso.  Just bite the bullet and go to a coffee shop and buy 2 cups.  It cost me $8 but the difference between instant expresso and the real thing is night and day.  With all my trial runs, I think I’ve spent about $100 on ingredients.

But trust me, all the work is worth it.  This dessert is insane.

The following recipe makes enough for 6 mini-dessert cups or one 9″ dish cake.


Lady Fingers:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup water
  • spray oil (I like Trader Joe’s flour/baking spray)
  • 2 round 9″ pans or 1 square 9″


  • 1  1/2 cups Tofutti sour cream (1 container)
  • 2 cups Tofutti cream cheese (2 containers)
  • 1/2 – 1 cups heavy unsweetened soy cream (I use Mimic Creme, you can get it on Amazon HERE – although Silk creamer would probably work as well. This is just to cut the sour cream/cream cheese taste down)
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Up to 1  1/2 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted


  • 1 cup expresso coffee (cooled)
  • 1 tablespoons Marsala wine (for a straight edge version, I think it’s fine to leave this out, it just adds a little bitter flavor to the coffee)
  • cocoa powder (I like Green & Black)
  • dark chocolate bar for shavings (Green & Black makes one flavored with coffee that I like)
  • 6 glass tumblers (I use some cute ones I got at Ikea)
  • OR one 9×9″ glass pan
  • OR misc tall glass for doing many layers

Directions for Cream Filling
(If you are trying to get this done in one day, make the cream first and stick it in the fridge to set while you’re making the cookies.  Otherwise make in any order you want and refrigerate the topping over night)

  1. Beat the sour cream, cream cheese, and soy cream to combine using a handheld or standing mixer.
  2. Add in the flour, corn starch, and vanilla.  Beat to combine.
  3. Sift the powdered sugar into the mixture.  Beware of making this too sweet.  If it’s too sugary, it’s going to overpower the expresso and the whole thing will be too sweet to eat.  I add a full cup of sugar and then add up to another 1/4 cup a little bit at a time.
  4. Beat until thickened (about a minute).  It’s going to come out like a heavy cream, but not as thick as whipped cream.  If it looks too thin, don’t worry because an hour or so in the fridge will thicken it up, as will leaving the whole dessert in the fridge overnight.

Directions for Lady Fingers

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sift together the dry ingredients, and stir just to combine.
2.  Add the oil, vanilla, and water.  Stir until most of the lumps are gone.
3.  Now, based on what kind of tiramisu you want to make, choose your pans.  If you are making a traditional tiramisu with traditional lady finger cookies, use the 1 square pan.  If you are going to follow my lead and make the dessert cups, pour the mixture into the 2 lightly oiled pans. Kind of tilt them around so the mixture is evenly distributed.  Try to fill them evenly but it’s not the end of the world if it’s a little bit off.

4.  Bake the pans for approximately 20 minutes.  If you are using one square pan, bake for about 35 minutes.  Do the toothpick test, if it comes out clean it’s are done.  Set aside to cool.

5.  Now, here’s the tricky part.  If you are using the one square pan, all you have to do is cut the cake into lady finger strips.  If you are making the little cups, turn one of them upside down and use it as a cookie cutter to cut 6 round pieces from each cake.  You should be able to get 5 pieces from around the edges, and 1 from the remainder in the middle (this will look a bit like a star but it will still work).

6.  Once you have a total of 12 little cakes, line them up on a cookie sheet.  Re-bake them at 350 for 15 minutes or until they are just brown.  Do the same with the lady finger strips if you instead are making a cake.

7.  Set the cookies aside to cool.  If you are putting the cups together later, just stick them in a tupperware until you need them.

Directions for Assembly

1.  Pour the cooled expresso into a shallow bowl or pan, and stir in the marsala wine if you are using it.
2.  Line up the cookies, expresso, creme and glass tumblers (or 9×9 glass pan).
3.  Dip each lady finger (round or thin) into the expresso mix for a few seconds on both sides until saturated.
4.  If you are making cups, push the round expresso-soaked cookie down into the bottom of the glass (you can use your knuckle to get it flush to the bottom).  If you are making a cake, line the cookies along the bottom of a glass dish, pressed together.


5.  Put a heaping 2 tablespoons of cream on top.  Or, for the cake, cover the layer completely.

6.  Top with cocoa powder.


7.  Repeat process with another expresso-soaked cookie, cream, and cocoa powder.  If you want to be fancy, add some chocolate shavings on top.  This is best done with the chocolate bar on the hard side, so if it’s melty for whatever reason, pop it in the fridge for a few minutes.  The shavings curl up best when the bar is at room temperature.

8.  Repeat the process for the 5 remaining cups.  Stick them in the fridge for at least a few hours, although I recommend letting them sit overnight.  The cookies will soften up and the cream will thicken, making the whole thing just epic.

Note:  If you are making a square cake, start by by lining the lady finger strips along the bottom of the cake, and repeat the above process.


UPDATE!  Check out the new version I tried over the weekend!  I basically just cut the regular cookies in half and then made thinner layers.  Super time consuming but look how pretty!!

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80 Responses to “Vegan Tiramisu – Finally!”
  1. quarrygirl says:

    thanks SO MUCH for posting this! it looks amazing. man, i really wanna make this. i love how detailed your instructions are, and with great pix. yummers.

  2. Veggywood says:

    thanks!! we need to have that pizza party and i’ll make it! (although at the moment i never want to look at another tiramisu again haha) xo

  3. vegantickles says:

    I just fainted…..I love TIRAMISU!!!! I’m so gonna give this a try. By the way, went to Shojin on Sat. had to go bathroom. Saw your message on the notebook.

  4. gina says:

    oh wow…this looks amazing. was just scouring vegweb last night for some tiramisu recipes, but couldnt find one i liked. def going to make this soon!

  5. Veggywood says:

    yep, this is the one to try! my office has been eating it for two days and its been a huge hit (and i’m the only vegan).

  6. This recipe looks divine! I also recently discovered Mimic Creme on the shelves of Whole Foods in West Hollywood!

  7. Noelle says:

    WOw, this does look good! I am making this for a party of 8. DO you think the 9×9 will be fine?

  8. Veggywood says:

    hi, yes i think so if you make the cake version. it is really, really, really rich. i took my 9×9 cake version into the office and like 15+ people got pieces. If you make the cups, it makes 6 of them (unless you figure out how to make more by doubling or something).

  9. Veggywood says:

    cool, thanks! yea it’s really good. I had a lot of non-vegans try it. and i’m a tough critic as i LOVE dessert. make sure you use a quality expresso, it makes a big difference.

    i didn’t know mimic creame was at whole foods! thanks for the tip!

  10. Patty says:

    It’d be nice to be able to afford these vegan ingredients.

  11. Gisela says:

    This was soooooo delicious!!! You are so right in calling this dessert “epic”. I have been been missing tiramisu for quite some time now and this definitely has filled that void. I followed the recipe exactly except I used Silk creamer and cooked the flour & cornstarch in the creamer over low heat (for fear that this step might have been left out of the recipe and the dessert would have a weird raw flour taste). I also used Kahlua instead of Marsala. I made them in the individual cups and gave 1 to my mom (a tiramisu-lover), dad (hates anything vegan), & my brother (vegan)–they all loved it!! My mom even told me that it tastes almost identical to regular tiramisu, although I think she just didn’t want to admit that it tastes EXACTLY like it. I will definitely be making this again and again! Thank you!!!

  12. Veggywood says:

    thank you so much! i’m so glad you liked it! i think its so yummy. :)

  13. Olivia says:

    This looks so good! I’m totally making this next holiday!

  14. Paze says:

    To make the cake version, do you bake the cake in a 9×9 square pan as well?

  15. Paze says:

    Sorry, didn’t post the entire question – to provide enough strips for layering, would the cake need to be sliced in half horizontally?

  16. subgirl says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I’ve really been missing this treat! also I’m sorry I’m a total crazy person about coffee & it is “espresso” not expresso. :)

    looks sooooo good can’t wait to try it! I also dig your cups & the presentation. it always looks so messy in a cake pan and I don’t have a trifle

  17. Irene says:

    Sadly my filling did not set. It’s way too liquidy. Is 1 and 1/4 cup cream right or could it be just 1/4 cup?

  18. Veggywood says:

    Hmmm sorry it didn’t work out for you. I have to look again but I think it was 1 and 1/4. Did you leave it in the fridge for a little bit and whip it really well? It definitely comes out a little watery but once you put in the fridge it stiffens up… You have to play with the ingredients too a little and add some more cream cheese/sour cream if its TOO watery.

  19. Irene says:

    Thanks for your reply. I used Silk soy creamer. Maybe that was the problem? Or was I supposed to dissolve the flour & corn starch in the creamer over heat? I ended up adding more corn starch and heating the mixture over the stove. Cooled it off, hand-blended again, refrigerated again, and the texture turned out better though still kind of thin. (Maybe I’ll try more corn starch or agar?) The taste was fantastic, though! It made for a soggy tiramisu but not a deterrent to me. :)

  20. Melliott says:

    Amazing! This was such a beautiful, and tasty dessert. Even the non-vegan critics were yumming. The cream part is soooo perfect!

  21. Veggywood says:

    thank you! so glad it turned out well!

  22. D'Anna Bradley says:

    Ok. So I made this today for a bunch of NON V’s and they LOVED IT! Used the tofutti cream cheese but made my own sour cream. Also used agave to sweeten (decreased the liquid). Worked like a charm. YUM YUM YUM!

  23. Veggywood says:

    Yea! I’m so glad! :)

  24. Shikha says:

    I am a vegan by birth , from a very long time i was searching for recipes like this. And I am so glad I found you.. the Recipe looks awesome, I am waiting to try it soon. In the recipe you mentioned Tofutti sour cream and Tofutti cream cheese, please can you guide where I can find them.. Thank you so much ..
    Love your site…A big fan :)

  25. Veggywood says:

    Aw thank you!! Vegan from birth – very cool. Well I get Tofutti at Whole Foods if there is one near you. Sometimes I can find it at a regular market too? I’m sure there is a replacement recipe somewhere if you can’t find it…

  26. _mark says:

    thanks for sharing this.

    do you know how to make good vegan cheesecake? or where to get it in LA?

  27. Veggywood says:

    Hi Mark! Check out my friend Kim’s site, she’s a wonderful baker and has some great recipes. She also does custom orders (not sure if she has cheesecake tho).

    I’ve also made a cheesecake I really liked out of the cookbook Sinfully Vegan, you can find it on Amazon.

    The best vegan cheesecake I’ve had recently though was from Cafe Gratitude, a new vegan/raw restaurant on Larchmont. The mango raw cheesecake was insane!

  28. _mark says:

    hey that’s a huge help, thanks!

    its one thing i crave and would love to be 100% vegan.. which i’m close to being.

    then i’ll have that ‘vegan edge’ 😉

  29. Veggywood says:

    Take your time! But…. you’ll wonder why it took you so long 😉

  30. Sneakerdog says:

    Made this recipe as a surprise for my wife’s birthday, a few days ago. She loved it. In fact, she’s still praising it at random moments and, apparently, day-dreaming about the left-overs. :-)

    I doubled the lady finger part of the recipe, using large cake pans, to ensure enough layers at the end. Ended up making a couple of dessert cups and filling a loaf pan.

    The filling is amazing. We’ll probably use it in other recipes.

  31. Veggywood says:

    That’s great! Thank you :)

  32. Nick says:

    I’m going to have to try this recipe the next time I feel up to making some tiramisu. I’ve tried a few times, including that one from Insomniac Chef but none have worked out really. The recipes might be a lot for one person to eat but it seems to keep ok in the fridge.

  33. Veggywood says:

    yea i just made this again and it got rave reviews for the 2nd time……

  34. Marisa says:

    This had my entire meat-eating family “oohing and ahhing”! Finally, a delicious vegan dessert that is sure to be a hit. Thanks so much. :)

  35. Veggywood says:

    That’s awesome! Thanks for posting!

  36. ~Kat says:

    Mmmm…this is one of my favorite desserts. I can’t wait to try it…I’m thinking for Thanksgiving! :) Thanks for posting!

  37. Veggywood says:

    Let me know how it goes!

  38. Sharon says:

    Hi there,

    It looks awesome and I really love it. I was wondering if the expresso coffee can be replaced by chocolate milk or something else? I dont like coffee. Also can the soy cream be replaced by heavy whipping cream?

  39. Veggywood says:

    Hi, well, the point of tiramisu is kind of the express flavor. (soy)milk might be too heavy i think but you could try it. I don’t bake with cream so I am not sure about the whipping cream…. if you’re not making a vegan version of it you might just want to use a traditional recipe using mascarpone which is easy to find.

  40. Veggywood says:

    great, tell me how it goes :)

  41. I love your blog! I’m a vegetarian trying to go vegan, but here in Italy there’s just not enough choices. I used to live in Los Angeles and miss it lots!

  42. ccg says:

    Ummm… This sounds great and all, but, sugar isn’t vegan. It’s refined using animal bones.

  43. Megha says:

    What kind of regular cookies have you used on the last cup??

  44. Veggywood says:

    I use the vegan sugar from Whole Foods. You can also get unrefined sugar that’s made by a company called Zulka.

  45. Veggywood says:

    I made them, the recipe is in the post.

  46. Veggywood says:

    Thanks! Yea I know sometimes it is hard abroad, you have to be pretty creative in cooking & baking for yourself. There are a lot of vegan websites now though that delivery abroad too, although I imagine the shipping gets expensive…

  47. Catherine says:

    Thanks for the recipe, I enjoyed it, although I found the cream cheese/sour cream taste was stronger than I thought. I think it is because we don’t have Mimic Cream or Silk Creamer in Australia (in Melbourne anyway). I used Soyatoo Spray Whipped Cream instead but perhaps it wasn’t strong enough. Do you have any other suggestions to hide the “cheese/sour cream” flavour? I did read Australia was getting mimic cream, but haven’t found any yet.

  48. Queenscook says:

    I was wondering what the purpose of the cornstarch is in the recipe. I always thought cornstarch was used only in recipes that called for cooking.

  49. Veggywood says:

    Corn starch is a thickener.

  50. Christina says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!!!! I had so much fun making it and it was FABULOUS!!!!!! I just made it last night and it set up perfectly in the fridge to try today. I didn’t have marsala wine on hand so I used Kahlua and put it in the espresso and the cream, yum!!!!! Thanks again!!!

  51. A.F. says:

    This looks great, I can’t wait to try it out! Just one thing though– major peeve of mine– it’s espresso, not expresso. Pronounced the way it’s spelled, too (no “x” sound to be found).

  52. Josh says:

    Thanks so much! THIS IS AMAZING!

  53. kathleen says:

    ESpresso. There is no X involved in this word.

  54. great! thank you for sharing this recipe! I’m switching from vegetarian into vegan and I guess I’ll get some scores among my family&friends with this recipe;)

  55. Veggywood says:

    Good for you! Let me know how it turns out!

  56. Pip says:

    Hi! I’m not vegan, but my little boy is allergic to eggs, so I often cook in a sort of semi-vegan way! I love the look of this dish, as egg free lady’s fingers are impossible to find in shops. However, I’m in England, so some of our ingredients have different names. Could you possibly clarify what all purpose flour, cornstarch and canola oil are please? I’m guessing that all purpose flour would be what we Brits would call plain flour (ie with no raising agents added), and cornstarch would be cornflour? However I’m completely stumped by canola oil. Could I replace this with sunflour or olive oil? Thanks, Pip

  57. janet w. says:

    I made this recipe over the weekend and it came out great! I made it in glasses. You definitely need to prep it a day in advance to give the cake the chance to chill, thicken the “mascarpone” and fully absorb all of the flavors. An added piece of advice: use thinner glassware to make the smaller desserts. It will be easier to stamp out the pieces of cake. I had selected pretty glassware but it was a little on the thick side and it made it a bit more of a challenge to stamp the cake into little circles.

  58. Alaina says:

    Because I would like to make a square 9 x 9″ cake out of this recipe, I was considering pouring the ladyfinger batter into two 9×9″ square pans (and not cutting them into fingers, rather just poking holes in them to soak them). But either way, I will need two layers of ladyfingers and the recipe says to pour batter into ONE square pan. Do I need to double it so that I have two squares for two layers? Thanks.

  59. ashley says:

    I had to come here and comment on this recipe! I had leftover old fashioned icing leftover that I extended with a simple “gravy”, I did maybe 3T of earth balance & 1/4cup of flour rue, and slowly added almond milk until I had a pudding, cooled it completely and whipped together with leftover icing. I followed this recipe exactly other than that and was amazed at the results! The CAKE IS PERFECT!!! I CANNOT believe how easy and delicious it was! Thank you so much for sharing!

  60. ashley says:

    edit:I also added my homemade vanilla & vanilla bean, and a little go veggie cream cheese & tofutti sour cream! had to come here and comment on this recipe! I had leftover old fashioned icing leftover that I extended with a simple “gravy”, I did maybe 3T of earth balance & 1/4cup of flour rue, and slowly added almond milk until I had a pudding, cooled it completely and whipped together with leftover icing. I followed this recipe exactly other than that and was amazed at the results! The CAKE IS PERFECT!!! I CANNOT believe how easy and delicious it was! Thank you so much for sharing!

  61. Lb says:

    It’s espresso, not “expresso”.

  62. vabalo says:

    milk eaters couldn’t believe that it was made without diary
    it’s just perfect, thanks for a recipe :)

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  64. Jamie says:

    is there an (easy) substitute for sour cream? can’t seem to find it where i am!

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