Super Easy Perfect Vegan Tiramisù | Tastes Like the Real Stuff!
Are you a vegan and you’ve been craving for an authentic tiramisù but you’re not happy with the vegan recipes out there? No problem dear, I’ve got you covered.
As an Italian born myself you might guess how hard it was for me to give up one of my favourites desserts ever. This is why, since I turned vegan I’ve been trying different recipes before realizing that the best “replica” to the real stuff was practically under my nose.
Perfect for all those that have been wanting an easy plant based tiramisù alternative for a long time, this recipe not only tastes like the real one, but also requires a very little effort!
In this post I’ll be showing you how to recreate the perfect vegan tiramisù that fulfills all your craving and needs, but first let me spend a few words about the key elements of this amazing Italian classic.
Rules for the Perfect Tiramisù
Tiramisù, in its simplicity has a few set rules, that should NEVER be altered (if you do, please do not call it with this name, you’re just making something else!).
1. It must have sponge-like layers that must absorb and hold the coffee.
2. In between the spongy layers there should be a fluffy, sweet and airy cream mixture that counterbalances the bitterness of the coffee.
3. On top there should be a final thin layer of bitter cocoa powder, that once rested, it forms a beautiful moist chocolaty coat that gives the final gluttonous look.
Now I can anticipate people (mostly angry traditional Italians) pointing out that even my is not an “authentic” version, but this is what happens when you veganize something.
When turning a traditional recipe into a plant based version you are applying an “artistic licence” that, whilst replacing certain ingredients and rigidly following traditional techniques, it ultimately results in the same flavour and texture of food. And that’s exactly what we want, don’t we?
As mentioned I tried different combinations and techniques to achieve both the layers and the creamy filling.
I’ve tried baking a sponge cake and cut it to size for the layers, I’ve baked aquafaba savoiardi (lady fingers) from scratch (very tedious method that requires skills, time and devotion and, if you’re not quick enough to work the mixture it deflates half of the time during the cooking process). When baked and fluffy, homemade savoiardi in tiramisù are amazing, but I just didn’t think it was the right method to share on this blog, as we all want something easy and straightforward with no room for failure, am I right?
Similar process for the cream. I’ve tried mixing vegan mascarpone (the cheese that is actually used in the original recipe) with whipped aquafaba (in place of the whipped egg whites), and yes, it is still pretty decent, but still I wanted to create something that could be put together with a bunch of basic ingredients, without having to look for vegan mascarpone (not very easy to find and also quite pricey) and drain too many cans of chickpeas.
We all want our Sunday treat to be both quick to make and delicious in taste.
The Secret of the Perfect Vegan Tiramisù
As mentioned previously we need a sponge element that can soak up the liquid and that (ideally) doesn’t break apart.
There’s one product that most Italians have for breakfast in the morning, that is enjoyed with a thin layer of butter and a more generous one of jam or marmalade. You guessed right Italian friends, I’m indeed talking about “fette biscottate”!
Fette biscottate (what is known by “rusk” in Anglophone countries) are basically twiced baked bread slices that, when soaked in liquid, are highly absorbent and actually turn into a spongy texture.
Biting into a well soaked fetta biscottata translates into having a generous liquid burst that still keeps at the same time a bit of a bite to it as well as its structure.
You can buy already made rusks in pretty much all shops around the world for as little as 1 or 2 Euros at the very least.
Alternatively, if you have an Italian grocery shop near you, you’ll be very much likely to find the authentic Italian Fette Biscottate both in white and wholemeal flour, an 100% vegan product.
I buy mine (wholemeal) from a small but well stocked Italian shop less than 2 miles away from my house for 1.79£ for a box of 36.
That’s our sponge sorted, now we can move on to the creamy layer.
Instead of complicating our life with long mixtures, an ingredient as simple as a vegan whipping cream is all we need to get the same texture (and indeed flavour) of the real thing.
Nowadays there are a number of vegan creams largely available in most shops. The only important element to make sure of is that the cream that you’re going to use is suitable for whipping into stiff peaks. We can change the amount of sweetness that we like by just adding some icing sugar. For this recipe I will be using a brand of whipping cream (double cream) that was launched in the UK a few months back. This product is not sweetened at all, hence why I’ll be adding some sugar to it before whipping. If you’re already using a sweetened whipping cream you won’t need to add sugar at all or just a few pinches, if you like. So just keep that in mind while replicating this recipe.
The coffee. Possibly the key ingredient to any tiramisù is indeed coffee.
A few good cups of sugared espressos (cups as in little italian coffee mugs) are all you need to soak the sponge into. However I understand that most people don’t own an espresso machine or may not like a very strong coffee aroma. I too don’t own a coffee machine and I normally diluite the coffee with some plant based milk as I personally prefer the most subtle coffee taste (that is still there, don’t get me wrong!).
Finally we are only going to need a couple of tablespoons of a good quality unsweetened cocoa powder to top our dessert with.
This is it my friend, a super delicious vegan tiramisù ready in no time and that tastes exactly like the traditional one, just without the cruelty!
Also, this vegan tiramisù gets even better day after day! Me and my husband, for example, prefer it after 3-4 days. In fact the more it is left to set, the better the sponge absorbs all the flavours becoming super moist and rich!
So keep that in mind when making it for special days. I highly suggest to consume it ideally after 24-32 hours (I know it is a long time to wait before enjoying this beauty, but believe me, every hour is totally worth the wait!).
The best thing you can do is to assemble it then hide it somewhere you cannot see in the fridge for a day or so, (try to) forget about it, and magically enjoy when it’s all soaked and marvellously set.
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Do you have a sweet tooth? Try this Deliciously Moist Rhubarb Sponge, these Heart shaped Mini Cakes or this Carrot Cake with a Twist and if you like chocolate desserts don’t miss Fudgy Chocolate & Sweet Potato Cake Loaf or this Indulgent Chocolate & Raspberry Mousse.
The Perfect Vegan Tiramisù | Tastes Like the Real Stuff!
12 Fette Biscottate Slices (Rusk – see above)
250 ml Vegan Whipping Cream (1 cup)
150 ml Plant Based Milk (Oat – 1/2 cup)
150 ml Water (1/2 cup)
5 tbsp g Icing Sugar* (40 g)
2 tbsp Sugar (Brown – 25 g)
2 tbsp Cocoa Powder (15 g)
1 tbsp Instant Coffee (15 g)
1 drop Vanilla Extract
*if you’re using unsweetened cream
1. Prepare the coffee by pouring hot water (1/2 cup) in a bowl containing both the instant coffee and the (brown) sugar. Mix well then add the plant based milk.
2. Whip the cream with icing sugar (if using unsweetened double cream) and vanilla extract to stiff peaks.
3. Soak 6 slices for at least 10 seconds into the coffee mixture, and arrange on the bottom of a serving dish in one layer.
4. Spread 1/2 of the whipped cream on top of the fette biscottate layer.
5. Repeat step 3 with the remaining 6 slices.
6. Top with the remaining whipped cream and level nicely with a spatula.
7. Sprinkle a thin layer of cocoa powder with a sieve.
8. Refrigerate for at least 24 for hours for best results.
This amount is enough for a 20×20 cm tray (8×8 inches).
The longer you leave this vegan tiramisù in the fridge, the better it will taste. Try not to consume it within the first 24 hours as the layers of rusk won’t be all soaked and soft enough.
This vegan tiramisù can be stored in the fridge up to 6-7 days (although I’m sure it won’t survive that long).
I find this tiramisù to have the best taste after 3 or 4 days of making it.