Tiramisu with Homemade Ladyfingers and Cashew Mascarpone

Vegan Tiramisu Recipe with Homemade Ladyfingers and Mascarpone

The magic of aquafaba is at it again! This vegan tiramisu recipe is made with homemade ladyfingers made with aquafaba instead of egg whites, cultured cashew mascarpone, and coconut cream. Save for the non-dairy yogurt used to culture the mascarpone, every ingredient in this dessert is made from scratch (you’ll need 2 days for prep, so plan accordingly!) Plus, there are ways around using store bought yogurt, like culturing the cheese with a different probiotic like rejuvelac or sauerkraut juice.

Vegan Tiramisu Recipe with Homemade Ladyfingers | Seitan Beats Your Meat

If you’ve never had tiramisu before, here’s the scoop: crisp spongy Italian cookies called ladyfingers dipped in espresso and coffee liqueur, then layered with a sweet mascarpone-based custard, and topped with chocolate shavings and/or cocoa powder. While many non-vegan tiramisu recipes use store bought ladyfingers, they are off limits for vegans because they are made with egg whites. So, you need to make your own!

Vegan Tiramisu Recipe with Homemade Ladyfingers | Seitan Beats Your Meat

Vegan Ladyfingers

Since aquafaba mimics egg whites in baking, I was able to make a ladyfinger recipe closer to the traditional egg-laden recipe. My recipe includes vegan butter and coconut cream, and fat and moisture are known to make whipped aquafaba deflate. This is why it’s important to gently fold the ingredients together, rather than throwing everything in the bowl. The aquafaba will still significantly deflate once you have a dough, and you may not make a perfect batch the first time, but keep trying!

I experimented with making a fat-free ladyfinger cookie to keep some of that volume, but it was sticky, crunchy, and disgusting, so don’t try that!

Homemade Vegan Ladyfingers | Seitan Beats Your Meat

Assembling the Tiramisu

The ladyfingers come together pretty quickly, so I’d focus on making a good mascarpone first. Cultured cashew mascarpone is made using the same exact method as cultured cashew cream cheese. To make this mascarpone, I started with Miyoko Schinner’s recipe for cultured cashew cream cheese, which I wrote about here previously. Following Miyoko’s recommendation, I made the mascarpone by culturing the mixture for 12-24 hours, rather than the full 24-48 hrs recommended for cream cheese. We don’t want the tangy flavor in cream cheese for the mascarpone.

Once you have the mascarpone and ladyfingers prepared, and the coconut cream scooped from the can, you are ready to assemble the tiramisu. First, you’ll quickly dip the ladyfingers in the espresso and liqueur mixture. Like half a second quick. I left the cookies in the espresso too long for the sake of the following photo, but you don’t want to leave your ladyfingers in the espresso long enough to take a photo.

Vegan Tiramisu Recipe with Homemade Ladyfingers | Seitan Beats Your Meat

Then you’ll continue dipping your ladyfingers in the espresso, and start to line them up in the bottom of the pan. We’ll need two layers of cookies, so each layer of ladyfingers should use about half of the cookies.

Vegan Tiramisu Recipe with Homemade Ladyfingers | Seitan Beats Your Meat

If you’re thinking the ladyfinger layer looks a little sparse, I agree! I ended up having fewer ladyfingers than expected, and too much of the mascarpone mixture, so I updated the ratios for the recipe. If you follow the recipe, you will not have this problem if using an 8×8-inch pan. Since the tiramisu is chilled rather than baked, you can use any type of pan for your tiramisu, or make parfaits instead!

Vegan Tiramisu Recipe with Homemade Ladyfingers | Seitan Beats Your Meat

Get the recipe:

Vegan Tiramisu and Homemade Ladyfingers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Vegan tiramisu recipe with homemade ladyfingers and cultured cashew mascarpone
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
Cultured Cashew Mascarpone:
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened non-dairy yogurt
Vegan Ladyfingers:
  • 3 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 3 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon non-dairy yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca starch or other starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of turmeric for color, if desired
  • 2/3 cup aquafaba
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar (superfine, if you have it)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, thoroughly sifted
Filling:
  • 1 1/4 cups Cultured Cashew Mascarpone
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup aquafaba
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup espresso or strong coffee
  • 1-2 tablespoons coffee liqueur or amaretto
  • 24-36 Ladyfingers
  • Cocoa powder or chocolate shavings for garnish
Instructions
For the Cultured Cashew Mascarpone:
  1. Soak the cashews overnight, then drain.
  2. Combine the cashews, water, and salt in a high speed blender, and blend until smooth.
  3. Add the non-dairy yogurt, and pulse until combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a clean glass container, and loosely cover with a clean towel or lid.
  5. Place the mixture in a dark place around 100°F, and let culture for 12-24 hours.
  6. The mascarpone should be similar in texture to cream cheese. If it’s too watery, wrap in cheesecloth, place in a strainer, refrigerate, and let the excess moisture drip out.
  7. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Vegan Ladyfingers:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F, and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. Combine the vegan margarine, coconut cream, non-dairy yogurt, tapioca starch, vanilla extract, and turmeric in a stand mixer or large bowl.
  3. Whip with the paddle attachment until smooth and fluffy. Set aside.
  4. Pour the aquafaba into the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the balloon whisk, and add the cream of tartar.
  5. Whip until stiff peaks form, 4-5 minutes.
  6. Gradually add sugar, whipping after each addition.
  7. Gently fold the whipped aquafaba into the mascarpone mixture.
  8. Gently fold the flour into the mixture, folding until just combined.
  9. Transfer the dough into a pastry bag equipped with a large round pastry tip, or a large ziptop bag with the corner cut off so that the cut edge is about 3/4-inch wide.
  10. Pipe 4-inch long logs of dough onto your prepared baking sheet, leaving about an inch of space between cookies.
  11. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until golden and firm.
  12. Crack open the oven door and let the cookies start to cool while in the oven before gently moving the tray to a cooling rack to firm up completely.
For the filling:
  1. Combine Cultured Cashew Mascarpone, coconut cream, and vanilla extract in a stand mixer or large bowl.
  2. Whip with the paddle attachment until smooth and fluffy. Set aside.
  3. Pour the aquafaba into the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the balloon whisk, and add the cream of tartar.
  4. Whip until stiff peaks form, 4-5 minutes.
  5. Gradually add sugar, whipping after each addition.
  6. Gently fold the whipped aquafaba into the mascarpone mixture. Set aside.
To assemble:
  1. Combine the espresso and liqueur in a shallow bowl.
  2. Dip a Lady Finger in the espresso mixture, then start lining them up in the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking pan. Repeat with half of the Lady Fingers.
  3. Spread or pipe half of the mascarpone mixture atop the Lady Fingers.
  4. Repeat the process by dipping the remaining half of the Lady Fingers in the espresso mixture, placing them atop the mascarpone mixture, then topping off with the remaining mascarpone mixture.
  5. Chill for at least 6 hours before serving.
  6. Sprinkle cocoa powder or chocolate shavings on the tiramisu before cutting and serving.
  7. Keep tiramisu refrigerated.
Notes
• The mascarpone recipe is based on Miyoko Schinner’s recipe for cultured cashew cream cheese. The process is exactly the same, but mascarpone only needs 12-24 hours of culturing. To make cream cheese, you’ll culture the mixture for 24-48 hours instead for a tangier flavor.
• To get coconut cream for the Vegan Ladyfingers and the filling, place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for 24 hours, or at least overnight. The cream will separate from the water in the can and solidify so you can scoop the cream off the top for use in this recipe.
• If you’re not confident in your cashew culturing or are short on time, you can replace the mascarpone with store bought vegan cream cheese.

Serving!

After your tiramisu has chilled for 6 hours, you’ll sift some cocoa powder to cover the top. You could also use dark chocolate curls, or both.

How to make vegan tiramisu with aquafaba | Seitan Beats Your Meat

And your tiramisu is ready to serve!

Vegan Tiramisu Recipe with Homemade Ladyfingers | Seitan Beats Your Meat

It’s kind of a messy (but delicious) dessert. And as mentioned before, my cookie to mascarpone ratio was a little bit off, so you should have a more structurally sound dessert since I tweaked the recipe.

Vegan Tiramisu Recipe with Homemade Ladyfingers and Cultured Cashew Mascarpone | Seitan Beats Your Meat

Have you tasted non-vegan tiramisu in the past, or enjoyed another vegan tiramisu recipe more recently? What is your favorite dairy or egg-laden dessert that you haven’t attempted to veganize yet?

Kelly Peloza is the blogger and photographer at Seitan Beats Your Meat, and the author of two vegan cookbooks: The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, and Cheers to Vegan Sweets.

She lives in Chicago and runs a photography business called Kelly Peloza Photo.

Leave a Reply