This rich and luxe amaretto tiramisu is the perfect no-bake dessert for your next special occasion. Made in individual cups, this recipe is so easy to make ahead. While not your traditional recipe, this tiramisu is gluten free, dairy-free and vegan and tastes so good, you’re going to love it!
Tiramisu is one of my absolute, all time favorite desserts. It was the dessert I used to request for every special occasion, and I distinctly remember asking Mum to make me tiramisu for my 17th birthday instead of a cake. And she did, candles and all!
But since I stopped eating dairy at age 21, so did my consumption of tiramisu and let me tell you I’ve missed it. And that is why I am so so very excited to share this version with you today – it’s been a long time coming!
Making a vegan version of any dessert usually means making some key changes, but with tiramisu it was the classic cream component made from mascarpone that I just wasn’t sure how to replicate. But thankfully some experimenting has led us here to the combination of vegan cream cheese and coconut cream and the result when I dug my spoon in was a bite that transported me back and reminded me just how good this dessert is.
Also, this was the very first tiramisu that my husband had ever tried and getting to watch him experience the joy of eating this for the first time was absolutely the best gift.
And then there is the addition of amaretto. Amaretto is an italian almond liqueur and part of one of my favourite cocktails, the amaretto sour, which has been making a resurgence in my house recently as my go to special occasion drink. Seeing the bottle in my kitchen, I knew that the only way to make tiramisu better was to add amaretto!
This amaretto tiramisu is made with gluten free and dairy free ladyfinger biscuits making this not only a vegan dessert but a gluten free one as well.
No matter the dietary restrictions of your guests this holiday season, this is the recipe you are going to want to make for them. Also being no bake it’s perfect for our summer Christmas season here in Australia.
Ingredients for vegan tiramisu
A traditional tiramisu will have a cream made from mascarpone and eggs which makes it a dessert that those following a dairy-free or vegan diet or those with allergies cannot enjoy. Which is why I decided to make this version. It’s not using traditional ingredients, but it’s definitely a recipe that will allow everyone to enjoy this wonderful dessert.
- Vegan cream cheese – not all are created equal so make sure to use a quality brand that you trust – for me that’s Sheese which I can get at my local grocery store. This is going to give us the tangy base for the cream that we’d normally get from the mascarpone.
- Coconut cream – this will add extra creaminess to our dessert but won’t carry a strong coconut flavour. For the results we want here, you need to use the solidified cream that sits on top of a can of good quality coconut milk that’s been in the fridge for 24 hours. Do not use standard canned coconut cream as it won’t be as thick.
- Icing sugar – To sweeten the cream slightly without impacting the texture. The cream should be lightly sweet but still have that bit of tang to it.
- Ladyfingers or savoiardi – the ladyfinger biscuits at my local supermarket contained dairy, so I purchased the savoiardi sponge biscuits via Amazon which were excellent. These biscuits are both dairy-free and gluten free and I highly recommend them for the best results.
- Amaretto – often tiramisu uses a coffee liqueur or traditionally marsala but I just love the flavour of amaretto and it works so perfectly in this dessert.
- Coffee – make it strong and let it cool. This is not the dessert for you if you don’t like coffee as it really is the key flavour.
- Cocoa powder – really an optional addition but it adds that little bit of chocolate flavour and really gives that finishing flourish.
How to make amaretto tiramisu
This recipe is really so simple to make and is entirely no bake making it the perfect make ahead dessert for the holidays.
You’ll need a shallow bowl, a stand mixer or electric hand held mixer and 4 individual serving bowls/glasses. I got my glass dessert bowls from Kmart for $12 and I love them!
You’ll also need a little bit of foresight with this recipe as you’ll need to place a can of coconut milk in the fridge to chill for at least 24 hours in order to get the coconut cream needed for the recipe.
Start by adding the vegan cream cheese to the bowl of the stand mixer with the whisk attachment fitted. You can do this by hand with an electric handheld mixer as well, but the stand mixer makes the process so much easier.
Whip the cream cheese until nice and creamy. Then grab your cold can of coconut milk from the fridge and scoop out the coconut cream that is sitting on the top. This is the good stuff and is going to help make the cream…creamy! Add this to the bowl and keep on whipping.
You want the cream to start to look really light and silky smooth. Once done, add in the amaretto for flavour and the icing sugar for sweetness. I like to do this slowly while the mixer is running to ensure it combines fully.
Now it comes time to assemble!
Mix the coffee and amaretto together in a shallow bowl and dunk in your ladyfinger biscuits, turning to coat before placing in a single layer in the bottom of each glass. Don’t let the biscuit soak as they’ll disintegrate, just a light dunk is all they need.
You then layer up on top of the biscuits the cream we made before and a light dusting of cocoa powder. Then repeat.
Chill the individual tiramisu in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but up to 24 hours before serving.
These are big serves so definitely leave room for dessert!
Can I make any substitutions to this recipe?
This recipe has been carefully developed to make a dairy free and vegan version of this classic coffee based dessert. Any changes to the ingredients listed in the recipe cannot guarantee a similar result, and while I usually love to provide recommendations for substitutions I cannot for this recipe.
You can! Use a larger dish, measure the size needed based on six ladyfinger biscuits to fit across the bottom so you can get 2 layers. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
If you don’t need this recipe to be dairy free or vegan, and instead are looking for a traditional tiramisu, then I highly recommend this version from Marcellina in Cucina who takes you through step-by-step and dives into the history of this classic Italian dessert a little bit.
More vegan dessert recipes:
- 250 grams vegan cream cheese
- ¼ cup coconut cream see notes
- 2 teaspoons amaretto
- 4 tablespoons icing sugar
- 200 grams or 12 ladyfinger biscuits or savoiardi
- 1 cup 250ml strong coffee, cooled
- ½ cup amaretto extra
- cocoa powder for dusting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment fitted, add the vegan cream cheese and start beating for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Add in the coconut cream and continue to beat for another few minutes until very smooth and creamy.
- Slowly add in the amaretto and icing sugar, a little at a time while the mixer is running until it has all been combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
- In a shallow bowl, add the coffee and the amaretto. Get your serving glasses ready.
- Gently dunk your ladyfinger biscuits into the coffee and amaretto mixture – you want to do this quickly so the biscuits don’t get too soft but you want them to be covered in the liquid. Add the biscuits in a single layer in the bottom of each glass. You may need to break the biscuits to fit depending on the size and shape of your glass.
- Place a dollop of the cream mixture on top of the biscuit layer followed by a sprinkle of cocoa powder.
- Repeat the steps to create another layer of soaked biscuits and cream, finally topped by more cocoa powder.
- Set the glasses in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours before serving.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.