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Tiramisu Layer Cake (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Would you believe me if I told you that I’ve never actually had tiramisu? I know, I know! What sort of baker has never had a piece of tiramisu, but seeing as it’s traditionally loaded with dairy, it’s never been a treat I’ve been able to enjoy. Enough is enough, I said to myself, and have created a vegan and gluten-free tiramisu layer cake that I hope does the iconic dessert justice. 


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A golden tiramisu layer cake in a silver pan. It has two layers of vanilla cake with coconut whip cream on top and rich dark chocolate shavings on the coconut whip cream. There is a large piece of cake taken out.

Easy Vegan & Gluten-Free Tiramisu Layer Cake

Two layers of thick vegan gluten-free vanilla cake soaked in rich espresso. Layered gorgeously with a creamy and smooth coconut whip cream and a healthy sprinkling of grated rich chocolate on each layer. This easy tiramisu cake comes together with very little effort and is a total show-stopper. You won’t believe that it’s vegan and gluten-free!

What Is Tiramisu?

Tiramisu is a classic Italian no-bake dessert consisting of layers of coffee-soaked cookies often referred to as ladyfingers. It is layered with coffee-infused mascarpone cream and cocoa powder. Commonly made and served in a square or rectangle pan, it was originally created to be circular.

A slice of tiramisu layer cake laying on a plate. It is topped with a dusting of shaved dark chocolate.

Simple Vanilla Cake Layers

Seeing as I’m a cake gal, I knew I had to try a non-traditional spin on this classic tiramisu treat. Two layers of vanilla cake make up the base of this dessert. Both gluten-free and vegan, everyone can enjoy a slice!

Ideally, a gluten-free flour blend containing rice, potato, and tapioca flour as the base will produce the best result. If you have any experience baking with gluten-free flours, you know has vast they can vary. My preferred blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum, the proverbial glue to gluten-free baking, so I added it to this recipe. If the blend you are using already contains it, simply omit it.

Start by creaming the vegan butter and granulated sugar together at high speed until light and fluffy. Adding in the pure vanilla extract and vegan sour cream is the next step. Again, on high speed allow it to cream together. Be forewarned that sometimes, at this point in making the cake batter, it may appear to have separated. Due to the nature of mixing sour cream and butter, it’s totally normal and totally okay. Just keep going.

The last step to this easy cake batter is adding the dry ingredients to the mixer. Turn the mixer on low and as the dry ingredients start to mix in, slowly pour in the vegan milk and mix until just combined. I love to bake with unsweetened almond milk but you could use whatever milk type you prefer. 

A golden tiramisu layer cake in a silver pan on a table. It is topped with white whipped coconut cream and dusted with rich chocolate shavings.

Vegan Coconut Whip Cream

Have you ever made vegan whip cream before? It’s amazing and ridiculously easy. A bit of prep the day before and a few cans of coconut cream will make whipping up a batch of homemade coconut whip cream super simple.

The key to ensuring vegan whip cream success is chilling the coconut cream sufficiently. The night before you plan to make this tiramisu cake, take the two cans of coconut cream and place them in the fridge. When you are ready to make it, take the cans out of the fridge, and without shaking the cans, open them both up and remove the heavy thick coconut cream while leaving any liquid in the can.

I did a lot of researching dairy-free and vegan mascarpone alternatives. And the truth is that they were all fairly complicated and required ingredients that may not be pantry staples. To include that delicious mascarpone tang, I added a teaspoon of white vinegar to the coconut whip cream. It helps cut the coconut taste and introduces a hint of tanginess. 

An ariel view of a tiramisu layer cake. It is topped with rich dark chocolate shavings and there is a large piece taken out of the cake and another slice cut into it.

Can I Make This Not Gluten-Free and Vegan?

Yes! This tiramisu cake can quite easily and deliciously be made with regular gluten and animal products. Simple swaps such as cake flour instead of gluten-free flour; remember to omit the xanthan gum, and regular butter and sour cream instead of their vegan counterparts. If desired, the coconut whip cream can even be replaced with good old-fashioned regular whip cream. 

The Most Delicious Tiramisu Layer Cake Recipe

You are going to be in tiramisu heaven with this simple and easy vegan gluten-free tiramisu cake. A truly delicious cake spin on the classic traditional tiramisu, this recipe will have everyone, vegan/gluten-free or not, enjoying a slice!

A slice of tiramisu cake sitting on a plate with a fork in front of the cake slice and the cut cake behind it.

Coffee Flavored Recipes

If you’re like me and love a coffee-flavored treat, these bakes are a must-try:

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A golden tiramisu layer cake in a silver pan. It has two layers of vanilla cake with coconut whip cream on top and rich dark chocolate shavings on the coconut whip cream. There is a large piece of cake taken out.

Tiramisu Layer Cake (Vegan & Gluten-Free)


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 14 Slices 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

An easy and delicious vegan and gluten-free tiramisu layer cake with coffee-soaked vanilla cake layers covered in coconut whip cream. The perfect slice of tiramisu yum for everyone!


Ingredients

Scale

Tiramisu Layer Cake

  • ⅔ cup (160g) vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup (250g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (120ml) vegan sour cream, room temperature *
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (320g) gluten-free flour baking blend
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum **
  • ¾ cup (180ml) vegan milk, room temperature
  • ½1 cup (120240 ml) espresso or strongly brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 1 bar (80g) vegan chocolate

Coconut Whip Cream

  • 2 cans (800ml) coconut cream, chilled overnight
  • ¼ cup (60g) icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Instructions

Tiramisu Layer Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare two 8 inch round cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer and with the flat beater attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high for 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on high for another 2 minutes. 
  4. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and xanthan gum and turn the mixer on low. 
  5. As the mixer is on low slowly pour in the milk and allow the batter to mix until just combined. Be careful to not over-mix the batter. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary. 
  6. Divide the cake batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs and the cake edges begin to pull away from the cake pans. 
  7. Allow the cake layers to cool for 10 minutes and then invert them on a cooling rack to fully cool.
  8. Place the fully cooled cake layers back into the cake pans and with a fork, skewer, or knife poke holes all over the top of both cake layers.
  9. Depending on how strong of a coffee flavor you desire, evenly pour ¼ – ½ cup of espresso or strongly brewed coffee over each cake layer and allow to soak in. Set the cake layers aside as you prepare the coconut whip cream. 

Coconut Whip Cream

  1. Ensure the canned coconut has been well chilled overnight in the fridge. This is crucial to making fluffy coconut whip cream. Do not shake the can to mix. A well-chilled bowl and beater will also help. 
  2. Carefully open the chilled canned coconut cream and scrape the thickened cream out and into the mixing bowl. Leave any liquid in the can. 
  3. Add in the icing sugar and white vinegar and, with the whisk attachment, mix on high until smooth and fluffy. This should only take approximately 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Over-whipping will cause the coconut cream to revert back to liquid.
  4. Use the coconut whip cream right away or immediately place it in the refrigerator.

Cake Assembly

  1. Top one layer of coffee-soaked cake with half of the coconut whip cream and spread evenly to the edges of the cake.
  2. Top the coconut whip cream with a healthy dose of chocolate shavings. 
  3. Place the remaining cake layer on top and repeat steps 1 and 2. Enjoy!
  4. Leftover cake slices should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Notes

*Vegan sour cream can be replaced with plain or vanilla vegan yogurt.

**Omit the xanthan gum if the gluten-free flour mix already contains it.

  • Prep Time: 60 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 355
  • Sugar: 13 Grams
  • Sodium: 61 Miligrams
  • Fat: 27 Grams
  • Saturated Fat: 18 Grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6 Grams
  • Trans Fat: 1 Gram
  • Carbohydrates: 28 Grams
  • Fiber: 2 Grams
  • Protein: 5 Grams
  • Cholesterol: 33 Miligrams

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9 Comments

  1. This recipe looks soooo good! AND dairy free, I’m in heaven!

    Question about the gluten free flour and xanthan gum though, if I make this recipe with regular flour am I able to omit the xanthan gum? 🙂

    1. Literally just read the paragraph on using regular flour and omitting the xanthan gum, lol. Should have read the whole article before just reading the recipe, whoops!

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