Tiramisu is a gorgeous, decadent Italian dessert.

I won’t lie – this raw tiramisu isn’t the easiest dessert you can whip up, but it’s worth it. With almond coffee ladyfingers, rich cream layered in between, and a light dusting of cacao, this vegan tiramisu will impress everyone. The recipe is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.

tiramisu

I have always loved the aroma of freshly brewed coffee – rich, full, and luxuriant. Coffee smells like chocolate tastes. Unfortunately for me, the taste of coffee lacks the depth, subtleties, or scope that the smell has. I only taste one flavor. Bitter.

It’s not that I’ve only tried ‘cheap’ coffee. I’ve had really good coffee. I’ve had light roast, medium roast, and dark roast. Fine ground, coarse ground. I’ve had instant coffee, coffee machine coffee, k-cup coffee, percolator coffee, espresso, mocha, latte, cappuccino … you name it. Until recently, I also avoided coffee-flavored anything because I always thought that coffee-flavored desserts would taste, well, like coffee. Bitter.

That was before I had a bite of raw tiramisu at our local raw food restaurant and got hooked. The coffee flavor was rich without being overwhelming. Its bitter edge elevated the tiramisu from one-dimensional sweetness to refined sophistication. The delicate layer of sweet cream contrasted with the dark, robust presence of espresso and sharpness of cacao powder… So good!

raw tiramisu

Tips for Making Raw Tiramisu

Ingredients

An authentic tiramisu relies on only a handful of ingredients. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make tiramisu. This version of raw tiramisu is elegant and minimal but with an incredible flavor and deliciousness.

Ladyfingers

  • Almond flour: for the lightest ladyfingers possible, almond flour Other nut flours, such as hazelnut flour or walnut flour, are more fibrous and closer to almond meal rather than almond flour in texture. Almond flour is also one of the most neutral nut flours in flavor.
  • Medjool dates: classic ladyfingers can be either soft and cakey or dry and crispy, but they always have a sponge-like texture. Medjool dates are not exactly airy as ladyfingers, but they are soft and moist, and when processed correctly, they create slightly crumbly, spongy-like ladyfingers. If your dates aren’t moist and sticky, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes first, but drain them thoroughly to prevent the tiramisu from getting soggy.
  • Cocoa powder: the great thing about coffee is that it pairs well with many dessert flavors. Coffee and cocoa, for instance, is a very common pairing. In fact, the coffee-chocolate combination has its own name – mocha. Of course, you could go the traditional way and just add a dusting of cocoa powder on top of the tiramisu, but I like to add it to the ladyfinger layer as well.
  • Espresso powder: whether you soak the “ladyfingers” in espresso or just add a little bit of espresso powder directly to the ladyfingers, it’s up to you. Instant espresso powder is the fastest way to impart coffee flavor to desserts. I always keep a jar of this instant espresso powder in the fridge for making coffee-infused desserts, like this raw tiramisu. 
ingredients for tiramisu ladyfingers

“Mascarpone” Cream

  • Cashews and coconut cream: authentic tiramisu is made with soft, plain Italian cheese – mascarpone. The combination of cashews and coconut cream isn’t quite as plain as regular mascarpone, but it does make a wonderful substitute for the original. 
  • Maple syrup: you can use any liquid sweetener to sweeten the “mascarpone” you like. I like the sweetness and viscosity of maple syrup for this recipe, but if you like agave or honey, feel free to use those instead. 
  • Coconut oil: coconut oil helps the cream to set. However, if you’re using thick coconut cream, you can omit the coconut oil because, just like coconut oil, coconut cream solidifies when chilled. 

There is also no need to add vanilla extract or other flavorings here. This is a coffee-flavored dessert, and adding additional flavors prevents you from tasting the nuances of the espresso or coffee you’re using. The sweet and rich mascarpone allows the flavor of the espresso to bloom on the palate.

ingredients for tiramisu mascarpone cream

How to Make Raw Tiramisu

Raw cakes are one of those desserts for which you need a food processor and a high-speed blender. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Process the ladyfinger ingredients. Add all the ladyfingers ingredients to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and process until all the ingredients begin to stick together. The mixture should be moist and sticky enough to hold together when you press it between your fingers. If it’s too dry, pulse it a little bit more. 
  2. Shape the mixture. You’ll need at least two layers of ladyfingers to make a traditional-style tiramisu. Since the original shape of tiramisu is round, I use a springform pan as a guide to shape the ladyfingers. So, divide the ladyfingers mixture in half, and press it into a lightly greased 6-inch/15-cm springform pan. Using a knife, cut the ladyfingers into six wedges and then carefully transfer the individual ladyfingers onto a plate. Repeat with the second half of the mixture – except this time, leave the ladyfingers in the springform pan.
  3. Blend the “mascarpone” cream ingredients. Add all the cream ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth.
  4. Assemble the tiramisu. Pour the first half of the cream on top of the first layer of ladyfingers in the springform pan and tap out any air bubbles. Transfer the springform pan with the first layer of ladyfingers and cream to the freezer to let the cream firm up slightly, for about 30 minutes. It’s really important that the cream is at least semi-firm to hold the second layer of the ladyfingers. Once chilled, place the second layer of ladyfingers on the cream. Gently press the ladyfingers into the cream. Pour the second half of the cream on top of the ladyfingers and tap out any air bubbles once again. Finally, dust the cream lightly with cacao powder.
  5. Chill. Cover the springform pan with a piece of paper towel (to trap any condensation), and then double-wrap the entire springform pan with plastic wrap for the best chance of preserving the tiramisu’s taste and texture. Transfer the wrapped tiramisu to the freezer for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight. The more frozen the tiramisu, the easier and cleaner the removal from the pan.
tiramisu in a food processor
how to make tiramisu
raw lime cheesecake filling in a Vitamix blender

How to Serve Tiramisu

Once the tiramisu is properly chilled – the cream should be firm to the touch – release the clamp and remove the band. The tiramisu should have a smooth, clean-sided finish. You can keep it on the base or transfer it to a platter. If you let the tiramisu freeze fully, it will be very firm straight out of the freezer. So, let it thaw briefly, for 10-15 minutes, before slicing.

Serve the tiramisu with a light dusting of cacao powder on top.

How to Store Raw Tiramisu

  • Freezing: transfer the tiramisu to an airtight container and freeze it for up to 1 month.
raw tiramisu recipe

Did you make this recipe? I would love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a review and rating below.

tiramisu
5 from 24 votes

Tiramisu

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Freeze time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
Yield: 12 slices
Tiramisu is a gorgeous, decadent Italian dessert. With almond coffee ladyfingers, rich cream layered in between, and a light dusting of cacao, this vegan tiramisu will impress everyone. Watch the video below for more details!

Ingredients
 

Ladyfingers

"Mascarpone" Cream

Instructions
 

  • Process the ladyfinger ingredients. Add all the ladyfingers ingredients to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and process until all the ingredients begin to stick together. The mixture should be moist and sticky enough to hold together when you press it between your fingers. If it's too dry, pulse it a little bit more. 
  • Shape the mixture. You'll need at least two layers of ladyfingers to make a traditional-style tiramisu. Since the original shape of tiramisu is round, I use a springform pan as a guide to shape the ladyfingers. So, divide the ladyfingers mixture in half, and press it into a lightly greased 6-inch/15-cm springform pan. Using a knife, cut the ladyfingers into six wedges (it's easier to cut them when the entire layer has been chilled in the freezer for a few minutes) and then carefully transfer the individual ladyfingers onto a plate. Repeat with the second half of the mixture – except this time, leave the ladyfingers in the springform pan.
  • Blend the "mascarpone" cream ingredients. Add all the cream ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth.
  • Assemble the tiramisu. Pour the first half of the cream on top of the first layer of ladyfingers in the springform pan and tap out any air bubbles. Transfer the springform pan with the first layer of ladyfingers and cream to the freezer to let the cream firm up slightly, for about 30 minutes. It's really important that the cream is at least semi-firm to hold the second layer of the ladyfingers. Once chilled, place the second layer of ladyfingers on the cream. Gently press the ladyfingers into the cream. Pour the second half of the cream on top of the ladyfingers and tap out any air bubbles once again. Finally, dust the cream lightly with cacao powder.
  • Chill. Cover the springform pan with a piece of paper towel (to trap any condensation), and then double-wrap the entire springform pan with plastic wrap for the best chance of preserving the tiramisu's taste and texture. Transfer the wrapped tiramisu to the freezer for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight. The more frozen the tiramisu, the easier and cleaner the removal from the pan.
  • Serve. Once set, remove the tiramisu from the springform pan. Let it thaw at room temperature slightly, for 15-20 minutes, before serving. Lightly dust the top of the tiramisu with some cacao powder right before serving. 
  • Store. Leftover tiramisu keeps well in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Video

Notes

*Add the cashews to a medium bowl, cover them with water, and let them soak for at least 8 hours to soften up and blend easily. You can also add 1 tsp./5.7 g of salt to the soaking water to help activate the macadamia nuts and neutralize enzyme inhibitors in the nuts.
**To make this tiramisu truly raw, use raw coconut cream from fresh coconuts.
***Prep time does not include soaking the cashews, about 8 hours.
****Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 12, Calories: 367kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 27g, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 19g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: dairy-free tiramisu, raw tiramisu, tiramisu, tiramisu recipe, vegan tiramisu