This vegan gingerbread tiramisu is the perfect cozy dessert. A total crowd pleaser, it features warmly spiced dairy-free cream filling, layered with coffee-dipped gingerbread cookies, and finished with a dusting of cocoa powder. If you can run a blender, you can make this easy vegan dessert!
Thank you to Williams-Sonoma Canada for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
Gingerbread tiramisu is the tiramisu flavor variation you didn’t know you needed. A spin on the classic Italian dessert, this vegan ice box cake is easy enough for novice cooks to make. It has fewer steps than traditional tiramisu, and it tastes just as decadent!
The vegan mascarpone cream filling is rich and silky, with pleasing mascarpone flavor, and a touch of rum (which you can leave out if you prefer.) Hints of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg round out the gingerbread cream filling!
Instead of using savoiardi (ladyfinger cookies), this vegan winter dessert features classic gingerbread for the cookie layer. Each cookie is dunked into a sweetened coffee mixture to add that signature “pick me up” tiramisu coffee flavor. Don’t have gingerbread? Read on for the many other cookie options for this unique tiramisu.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy – Simply blend up the vegan mascarpone filling (no raw eggs!), and dip the gingerbread cookies in a sweet coffee mixture. From there, layer everything in a dish then chill it. So easy! You can top it off with some vegan whipped cream, but a dusting of cocoa powder is all that is needed to finish this beauty off at serving time.
- Quick – Takes less than 15 minutes to assemble! Once you’ve made it, pop in the refrigerator to set up. Let those delicious flavors marry for about 4 hours.
- No Bake & No Cook – No oven or stove-top required! Plus, this no-bake vegan dessert is the perfect way to use up leftover gingerbread or spice cookies.
- Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Cashew-Free, and Vegan – Perfect for everyone at your table to enjoy! Use gluten-free cookies if needed.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
This is an overview of the ingredients needed for this vegan tiramisu recipe, as well as suggested substitutions. Find the complete list of ingredients in the recipe card below.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this vegan gingerbread tiramisu:
- Vegan Butter: Use block-style or stick-style vegan butter, not spreadable vegan butter from a tub. Block or stick-style vegan butter is firmer once chilled which will allow the filling to set up. Vegan butter in tubs contains much more water which doesn’t create as rich a texture or flavor.
- Silken Tofu: This type of tofu is different than the tofu more commonly used for cubing or slicing in savory dishes. Its name says it all – it’s silky smooth! It blends beautifully with no pasty texture like you’d get with regular tofu. With somewhat of a custard-like texture, it’s perfect for replacing the egg whites normally found in traditional tiramisu. While all silken tofu is really soft, I use the firm or extra-firm varieties which have less water content for better consistency.
- Plain Vegan Yogurt: Choose a yogurt you love the flavor of and, ideally, a Greek-style or thick variety if available. The yogurt provides that mild cheesy acidity to help replace the taste of the mascarpone.
- Granulated Sugar
- Rum: Pairs so nicely with the coffee and gingerbread flavors for a fancy restaurant flavor. You can use another liquor of choice, or a smaller amount of vanilla extract.
- Adding rum to tiramisu isn’t traditional but then again this eggless tiramisu isn’t all that traditional either! If you don’t like rum, you could use a coffee liquor, brandy, or marsala wine.
- For alcohol-free tiramisu, simply leave the rum out and use extra coffee for the cookie soaking mixture.
- Espresso: If you don’t have an espresso machine, grab some espresso from a local coffee shop ahead of time. Alternatively, use a strong brewed coffee. Use decaffeinated if desired.
- Gingerbread Cookies:
- Most types of spice cookies will work here! I used gingerbread that was baked in the shape of ladyfingers. The cookies were quite thick so I cut them half width-wise.
- You could use Biscoff cookies, gingernuts, gingersnaps, or any other dry crisp cookie. Use any shape of cookie, even gingerbread people! You may need trim some cookies to make them fit together without gaps.
- For thin cookies, try stacking 2-3 cookies per layer instead of just one, so the tiramisu is not as rich or too short.
- While you can use a soft cookie like a molasses cookie, it will soften much more. The cookies will be soggy if you dip them in the coffee for more than a couple of seconds. To firm up other softer options like spice sponge cake or gingerbread bars, cut into finger-sized pieces. Allow them to stale a bit, uncovered on the counter overnight (or place them in the oven on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes at 300°F/150°C/gas mark 2.)
- Vegan Whipping Cream: Completely optional to top the tiramisu with just before serving.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: For dusting on top before serving. I like the rich flavor and color of Dutch-processed cocoa powder but regular cocoa powder works, too!
How To Make Gingerbread Tiramisu
This is an overview of how easy it is to make Vegan Gingerbread Tiramisu. Find the complete printable recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.
Before you start, make sure the vegan yogurt and butter are at room temperature. If they are cold, the custard will be difficult to blend smoothly and may “split”.
1. Make the coffee soak. Whisk together the espresso (or really strong coffee), sugar and rum (if using.) Set aside.
2. Make the vegan mascarpone filling. I have not found a dairy-free mascarpone in stores, and so the mild tang and creaminess can be created in other ways to get those delicious mascarpone qualities. In fact, before I went vegan, I used to blend cream cheese with butter and cream to make a faux mascarpone as it was so much cheaper to do so!
3. Layer it up! Tiramisu is made of 4 layers in total: 2 layers of the mascarpone cream, and 2 layers of espresso soaked cookies. The layers alternate: a layer of espresso dipped cookies, then a layer of cream, and then repeat! Dip the cookies in the sweet coffee soak as you go. Once assembled, cover it and pop it into the refrigerator to set up and for the flavors to develop. At serving time, top with vegan whipped cream if desired, and a dusting of cocoa powder.
This plant-based tiramisu is flexible like most tiramisu recipes in that you have a variety of pan size options. I used a deep oval ceramic roaster from Williams-Sonoma Canada, which measures 12 ¼ x 8 ¾ x 2-inches (31 x 22 x 5 cm).
Be sure that, whatever dish you chose, it has the capacity to hold 10 cups (2.5 L.) This tiramisu recipe has two layers of cookies. If you use a dish that’s longer but narrower than specified (i.e. a loaf pan), you will need to make a tiramisu with more than 2 layers of cookies and 2 layers of mascarpone cream. Naturally, it will be a taller, narrower tiramisu than what is pictured in this recipe post. If you choose to use a larger pan, you may not have enough filling or cookies to make 2 layers.
Unsure what volume your pan holds? Use a liquid measuring cup to fill it with cups of water; keep count as you fill it to the top. Here is an excellent pan conversion table which can help you figure out if the pan you have will work or not.
Williams-Sonoma Canada has a huge variety of beautiful bakeware and kitchenware (like many of the kitchen tools and plates pictured within this post), so check them out to chose what serves you best!
How Can Mascarpone Cream Be Made Vegan?
The base of the tiramisu’s mascarpone cream – the zabaglione – is one of the defining flavors in classic tiramisu. It’s made of raw egg yolks whisked with sugar and, commonly, marsala wine. From there whipped raw egg whites are folded into the mixture, and this zabaglione is mixed with mascarpone cheese. This creamy mixture is then layered with espresso soaked ladyfinger biscuits, creating the tiramisu. Clearly, traditional tiramisu is not vegan but completely possible to veganize!
Before going vegan years ago, I was turned off by the idea of eating raw eggs so came up with an eggless tiramisu. Another tweak I’d made was with the mascarpone. Mascarpone is a very mild tasting soft cheese traditionally used in tiramisu. It can be expensive, and harder to find in some stores. As such, I used to make a mascarpone substitute by whipping cream cheese and butter together, then thin it out with a bit of cream. It was dreamy and perfect in tiramisu! The only thing left to veganize this Italian classic was to make the tiramisu dairy-free, too!
I went with a similar approach when creating a vegan mascarpone, except I chose to use dairy-free yogurt instead of dairy-free cream cheese. There is a huge range is consistency, flavor, and texture among store-bought vegan cream cheese brands. These variations create inconsistencies and quality issues for the final recipe. Vegan yogurt (instead of vegan cream cheese) adds that mild soft cheese flavor, just like in my No-Bake Vegan Cheesecake Jars!
Silken tofu serves in replacing the whipped egg whites. Hidden silken tofu recipes (like Chocolate Orange Truffle Tart and Chocolate Biscoff Tart) are some of the easiest desserts to make. Bonus: they often don’t need any cooking or baking, and need only a blender to make the filling. Silken tofu is set differently than regular calcium set tofu. Its texture is silky, delicate, and has almost no flavor making it the perfect base for the flavors you’d like to highlight.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Adding rum to tiramisu isn’t traditional but then again this eggless and dairy-free tiramisu isn’t all that traditional either! But, if you don’t like rum, you could use a coffee liquor, brandy, or marsala wine.
For alcohol-free tiramisu, simply leave the rum out entirely and add a couple extra tablespoons of coffee to the cookie dipping mixture.
Yes! You can break the cookies up to make them fit into the cups, glasses, or jars you’d like to use. The number of servings will naturally vary depending on the size of the vessel you use.
If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can pick up espresso at your local coffee shop. Otherwise, you can use regular brewed coffee and make the batch extra strong. Another option would be to use instant espresso or coffee granules dissolved in hot water. That said, the coffee is one of the signature flavors of tiramisu so whichever coffee you choose to use, make sure it’s one you like the taste of.
If you’d like to omit the caffeine that normally comes with espresso, you can use a decaffeinated blend. And if you don’t like coffee flavor at all, you could use hot cocoa, or ginger tea in this case where we’re using ginger anyway!
Make Ahead & Storage Suggestions
Make-Ahead: Assemble the gingerbread tiramisu up to 4 days in advance, but don’t top with the whipped cream and cocoa powder. Depending on the brand or type of dairy-free whipped cream you use, it may not be stable enough to maintain its shape and may become very soft. Top with whipped cream, if desired, and cocoa powder just before serving.
Storage: For food safety, tiramisu must be kept refrigerated. Cover with cling wrap or a fitted lid in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To Freeze Whole: Assemble the gingerbread tiramisu but don’t top with the whipped cream or cocoa powder. Cover the dish of tiramisu tightly with cling wrap and a fitted lid (or a layer of tin foil over the plastic if you don’t have a lid) and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the tiramisu overnight in the refrigerator. Pipe on the whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder before serving.
To Freeze Individual Servings: Store in airtight covered containers, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerate. Depending on the brand and type of vegan whipped cream you top the tiramisu with, it may soften considerably once defrosted but should be just as tasty.
If you make this Vegan Gingerbread Tiramisu, please give it a rating in the recipe card and leave a comment below! Follow along on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes! You can also follow me on Pinterest for vegan recipe inspiration and on Facebook. Thank you for reading!
Gingerbread Tiramisu (Eggless and Vegan)
Vegan Spiced Mascarpone Cream Layer
- 1 ½ cup vegan butter, room temperature (use block-style vegan butter, not spreadable vegan butter from a tub)
- 24 oz silken tofu (firm or extra firm), drained, room temperature (2 ⅔ cups, packed) (not regular tofu!)
- 1 cup unsweetened plain vegan yogurt (use Greek-style if available), room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp rum (or more vanilla extract, or rum extract to taste, if preferred)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups espresso or strong brewed coffee, room temperature (decaffeinated if desired)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp rum
- 24-48 gingerbread cookies, (gluten-free if needed) (depends on the size and shape of the cookies – see notes on determining how many you’ll need and what other varieties can be used)
- 2-3 cups prepared vegan whipping cream, optional
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Dutch-process)
- gingerbread cookies to garnish, optional
- Make sure your vegan butter, silken tofu, and yogurt are all at room temperature. If they are cold, they will not blend properly and you'll have a curdled looking cream which won't emulsify properly.
- Set aside an 8x8x2-inch (20x20x5 cm) or 9×9-inch (23x23x5 cm) baking dish, or something similar with at an 8-10 cup (2L-2.5 L) capacity. See Notes below for more information on dish sizes.
For the Vegan Spiced Mascarpone Cream:
- To a high-powdered blender or food processor, place all of the ingredients for the spiced mascarpone cream (i.e. vegan butter, silken tofu, yogurt, sugar, rum, and spices.) If your blender isn't very powerful, add all of the ingredients except the butter. Add the butter a few spoonfuls at a time.) Blend on high until smooth and creamy with no lumps, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender occasionally. Set aside on the counter.
For the Coffee Mixture:
- In a medium-sized, shallow bowl, whisk together the espresso, sugar, and rum. The temperature of this coffee mixture can be warm or room temperature – it shouldn't be hot as you'll burn your fingers dipping the cookies and will melt the filling during assembly.
To Assemble the Tiramisu:
- Dip half of the cookies, one at a time, turning to coat the whole cookie, in the coffee mixture. Dunk the cookies quickly so they don't absorb too much coffee and become soggy. Place each dipped cookie into the baking dish to create a single layer of cookies. You may have to cut some of the cookies to make them fit next to each other so there are no gaps.
- Spread half of the cream layer evenly over the first layer of cookies.
- Dip the remaining cookies in the coffee mixture, arranging them one at a time over the cream layer.
- Spread the rest of the cream evenly over the second layer of cookies. Cover the tiramisu tightly with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate the covered tiramisu for 4-8 hours, or overnight. The tiramisu will set during this time, the cookies soften nicely, and the flavors will marry.
- If you'd like to top the tiramisu with whipped vegan cream, spread it over the top or pipe it in dollops (as pictured) using a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Dust the top of the tiramisu (with or without whipped cream layer) with cocoa powder, and serve! Enjoy.
- For food safety, tiramisu must be kept refrigerated. Cover with cling wrap or a fitted lid in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. See blog post for freezing suggestions.
Nutrition information is based on the recipe prepared without a whipped cream topping. The nutrition information is provided as a courtesy only and should be considered an estimate rather than a guarantee. Crumbs & Caramel makes no guarantees as to the accuracy of this information.
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