By/ Last Modified On August 21, 2023
Gluten-free tiramisu features homemade gluten-free ladyfingers layered with rich, sweet mascarpone cream, espresso, and cocoa. Learn how to make a classic gluten-free tiramisu from scratch and get ready to watch your family go nuts for it.
It's truly a magnificent Italian dessert that has been a staple at Italian restaurants and in homes for many years, and making this traditional dessert gluten-free is super simple.
If you love dessert as much as I do, try this gluten-free sponge cake which is a family favorite for Summer and Spring (or any time of the year, if we're being honest!). If you need more of a gluten-free cake fix, this tender gluten-free coffee cake is one to add to your list! More of a chocolate fan, then you need these gluten-free no bake cookies.
GLUTEN-FREE TIRAMISU DESSERT RECIPE
We're covering what ingredients are in gluten-free tiramisu, how to make gluten-free tiramisu, tips for making gluten-free tiramisu, how to keep gluten-free tiramisu from getting soggy, replacing the alcohol in gluten-free tiramisu, and using gluten-free ladyfingers to make gluten-free tiramisu.
I use homemade gluten-free ladyfingers to build this tiramisu. They are delicious and better than any store-bought ladyfinger I've tried. I do things a little bit differently. Typically, the cream for the tiramisu is made with raw egg yolks and whites.
Raw eggs make me a little uneasy, so instead, I temper the egg yolks to create a luscious custard and then use whipped cream instead of egg whites to add creaminess and airiness to the mascarpone cream. My family has always made tiramisu this way, and everyone loves it!
I don't use a gluten-free sponge cake in this recipe. I prefer making it as per the recipe card.
Please make sure to read through the post if you have any questions. If you don't see what you need, leave a comment below and we will get back to you.
WHY YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE THIS GLUTEN-FREE TIRAMISU
You don't need to miss a favorite dessert because you're gluten-free - My recipe for gluten-free tiramisu was made out of necessity. Tiramisu was one of my favorite desserts in my days prior to eating gluten-free, and one that I just had to figure out how to make and enjoy.
It's a creamy crowd-pleasing dessert - No one can resist this creamy and dreamy dessert.
Gluten-free ladyfinger biscuits - Yes, you can make them from scratch, but if you're short on time, I've included a few store-bought options so you can make this dessert in a shorter time. I don't use gluten-free sponge cake in this recipe.
INGREDIENTS IN GLUTEN-FREE TIRAMISU
Egg Yolks - These will be tempered and used to create the custardy base of our tiramisu cream. I don't like using uncooked eggs.
Granulated Sugar - We get sweetness from sugar, and it's used functionally to temper the egg yolks.
Marsala - this wine is well known for cooking and adds a very specific flavor to this dessert. Leave it out if you prefer, or substitute with another alcohol. I'll give some substitutions below. Tip: I recommend ordering from Total Wine, which has over 8,000 different types of wine that can be delivered right to your door.
Mascarpone - This creamy Italian cheese is similar to American cream cheese but with a milder, sweeter flavor.
Heavy Whipping Cream - This adds so much creaminess to the mascarpone cream.
Vanilla Extract - This flavor extract brings together all of the other flavors of the tiramisu.
Gluten-free ladyfingers - You'll need about 40 of them. Make this recipe for gluten-free ladyfingers with your choice of gluten-free flours or purchase them pre-made.
Espresso - You can use espresso or a strongly brewed regular coffee in this recipe. We'll be soaking it up with the ladyfingers.
Cocoa Powder - Tiramisu needs a lovely, light layer of cocoa powder sprinkled over the top of it before serving. You can use unsweetened cocoa powder.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR THIS GLUTEN-FREE TIRAMISU
Mixing bowls - These Pyrex mixing bowls come in handy.
Handheld mixer - I like this hand mixer. Choose one that's got enough power and speed so you can use it for a variety of recipes.
If you have any questions about making gluten-free tiramisu, please leave a comment, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
HOW TO MAKE GLUTEN-FREE TIRAMISU
- Add egg yolks and sugar to a large bowl over a double boiler.
- Whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar. Continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is silky and smooth. Be sure to heat over low as the mixture can get too thick and grainy if heated too much. Add the marsala and whisk to combine, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the mascarpone until softened with a hand-mixer.
- Add the heavy whipping cream and beat on high until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla extract and mix gently.
- Fold the mascarpone whipped cream into the egg yolk mixture ⅓ at a time. Be sure not to overmix. Set it aside.
- Mix the cold espresso and marsala together to form the coffee mixture. Working with a few ladyfingers at a time, dunk them into the espresso mixture and place on the bottom of a greased baking dish. Repeat until you have a single layer of ladyfingers, breaking them up if needed to cover the entire dish.
- Once you have a single layer, add half of the mascarpone cream. Spread until smooth. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone cream. Refrigerate for at least four hours and up to overnight, to set.
- Dust the tiramisu with cocoa powder before slicing and serving.
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions in this gluten-free tiramisu recipe, please see the recipe below.
DOES TIRAMISU CONTAIN GLUTEN?
Traditionally, tiramisu is made with ladyfingers, which are wheat-based sponge cake cookies. Some recipes include a sponge cake, but this recipe does not use sponge cake. This recipe is gluten-free. For our gluten-free tiramisu, we are using homemade gluten-free ladyfingers instead.
DOES GLUTEN-FREE TIRAMISU HAVE DAIRY?
Yes, tiramisu is a dairy-based dessert, packed with fresh whipped cream and sweet mascarpone cheese.
CAN GLUTEN-FREE TIRAMISU BE MADE WITHOUT ALCOHOL?
Traditionally, Marsala wine is used to flavor tiramisu. This dessert is just as delicious without it, though. Simply leave it out. If you need additional moisture for your mascarpone cream, add a bit of milk or cream to make up for the lost alcohol.
WHAT CAN BE USED INSTEAD OF MARSALA IN GLUTEN-FREE TIRAMISU?
A dark rum, coffee liqueur, or brandy will also work well in your tiramisu.
HOW DO YOU KEEP GLUTEN-FREE TIRAMISU FROM GETTING SOGGY?
Avoid over-soaking the ladyfingers in the espresso mixture. You want to ensure that they have soaked up the liquid, but do not give them any extra time to soak up too much liquid. Just a quick dunk on each side is sufficient.
HOW DO I STORE MY GLUTEN-FREE TIRAMISU?
Store the gf tiramisu in an airtight container or plastic wrap for up to 4 days.
CAN I FREEZE GLUTEN-FREE TIRAMISU?
I would only freeze this if you really, really need to. I prefer serving it fresh, and it can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to 2 days.
CAN YOU MAKE THIS GF TIRAMISU AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes, this is the perfect make-ahead dessert. Store it in the fridge, but I suggest serving it within 1-2 days.
WHAT IS TIRAMISU FILLING MADE OF?
The filling is made of egg yolks, sugar, marsala, mascarpone, heavy whipping cream, and pure vanilla extract.
WHAT'S THE ALTERNATIVE TO USING RAW EGGS?
I don't use raw eggs in my recipe. The egg yolks will be tempered and used to create the custard base of our tiramisu cream. I have not tried it, but others suggest using whipping cream in place of the egg yolks.
WHAT IS MASCARPONE CHEESE?
Mascarpone cheese is a cream cheese that is smooth and spreads easily.
CAN YOU MAKE TIRAMISU WITHOUT MASCARPONE?
Yes, you can. You can combine cream cheese with heavy whipping cream and sour cream until combined. I have not, however, tried this.
CAN YOU MAKE TIRAMISU WITHOUT COFFEE?
It is a personal preference, but it will not taste like a classic tiramisu.
WHAT CAN I SUBSTITUTE OR REPLACE IN THE GF TIRAMISU?
Eggs - You can try an egg replacer. I have not yet.
Coffee - You can omit it completely, but it adds the best taste.
Marsala Wine - You can omit it or use dark rum, brandy, or coffee-flavored liqueur.
Mascarpone cheese mixture - You can make a mascarpone cheese combination with cream cheese, whipping cream, and sour cream. As mentioned, I have not tried this, let us know if you do.
Cocoa powder - You can also add dark chocolate on the top. Be sure to grate the dark chocolate finely.
WHAT CAN I MAKE WITH THE LEFTOVER EGG WHITES?
TIPS FOR MAKING GLUTEN-FREE TIRAMISU
Read the directions - Read the directions carefully before you get started.
Check ingredients - Double check that all the ingredients are gluten-free.
Check expiry dates - Make sure none of your ingredients are expired.
Alcohol-free - If you would like to make this alcohol-free, simply leave out the Marsala wine.
Whip cream correctly - Make sure you whip the whipped cream just until stiff peaks form. If you whip it too long, it will start to solidify and look chunky.
Coffee - Both regular or decaf espresso coffee or coffee can be used in the classic Italian dessert.
Room temperature - Make sure the egg yolk mixture comes to room temperature before mixing with the mascarpone and whipped cream mixture. If it's too warm it will melt them.
Dunk quickly - Dunk the ladyfingers completely, but quickly into the espresso mixture. You don't want them to fall apart.
Cocoa powder - To dust the cocoa powder on top, use a fine mesh sieve or strainer.
We used our gluten-free ladyfingers to make this gluten-free tiramisu, but you can use store-bought lady fingers if you like.
WHERE CAN I BUY GLUTEN-FREE LADY FINGERS?
- Schar Gluten-Free Lady Fingers - These are a great option if you want a store-bought version.
- Santa Maria Sin Gluten-Vanilla Lady Fingers - A great option and can be found online.
- Oberlander's Traditional Gluten-Free Lady Fingers - We haven't tried these ourselves.
MORE GLUTEN-FREE DESSERTS:
Here's a selection of gluten-free desserts for you to try.
- Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies - If you've got a sweet tooth, like me, you'll want to hop right over and make a batch of these cookies. They are amazing plain but we recommend the frosting.
- Gluten-Free Cheesecake - We love cheesecake, and these gluten-free graham crackers are perfect in this cheesecake recipe.
- Gluten-Free Banana Cake - You can make top this cake with gluten-free graham cracker pieces for an extra special treat.
- Gluten-Free Banana Pudding - We love a good gluten-free banana pudding recipe and this one does not disappoint.
- Gluten-Free Bundt Cake - This chocolate Bundt cake is a simple, yet stunning cake recipe that is gluten-free and also uses a touch of coffee for flavor and to work with the cocoa.
- Gluten-Free Carrot Cake - A tender gluten-free carrot cake that is simple to make and uses minimal ingredients. Top this homemade gluten free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting or buttercream frosting. Sheet cake and cupcake instructions included.
- Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes - You are going to love these simple, from scratch, gluten-free lemon cupcakes. This bakery-style cupcake is tender and has the perfect amount of lemon.
- Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes that are also dairy-free, simple to make, and lend a bakery style texture and a vanilla bean finish. You can bake up a batch of these perfect cupcakes in no time.
For the mascarpone cream:
- 4 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup marsala
- 2 cups mascarpone
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the tiramisu:
- 40-45 gluten-free lady fingers
- 1 cup espresso or strong brewed coffee, cold
- 2 tbsp marsala
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- Add egg yolks and sugar to a large bowl over a double boiler. Alternatively, if you do not have a double boiler, set a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water about 1-inch in height. Make sure that the bowl is larger than the pot and hovers over the water, not actually touching the water.
- Whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar. Continue whisking for about 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture is silky and smooth. It should be a pale-yellow color at this point and if you rub the mixture between your fingers, it should feel smooth and not gritty. Be sure to heat over low as the mixture can get too thick and grainy if heated too much.
- Add the marsala to the egg mixture and whisk until combined.
- Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone for 1-2 minutes, until softened. Then, add the heavy whipping cream and beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix in gently.
- Fold the mascarpone whipped cream into the egg yolk mixture about ⅓ at a time. Be sure not to over-mix. Set it aside.
- Mix together the cold espresso and marsala.
- Working a few ladyfingers at a time, dunk them into the espresso mixture and place on the bottom of a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Repeat until you have a single layer of lady fingers. You may have to break some of the ladyfingers in half to create a single layer for the mascarpone cream to sit on top of.
- Once you have a single layer, add half of the mascarpone cream. Spread until smooth.
- Repeat with remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone cream.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, to let it set.
- Dust the tiramisu with cocoa powder before slicing and serving.
- If you would like to make this alcohol free, simply leave out the Marsala wine.
- Either regular or decaf espresso or coffee can be used.
- Make sure the egg yolk mixture comes to room temperature before mixing with the mascarpone and whipped cream mixture. If it's too warm it will melt them.
- Dunk the ladyfingers completely, but quickly into the espresso mixture. You don't want them to fall apart.
- To dust the cocoa powder on top, use a fine mesh sieve or strainer.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 256mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 4g
This nutrition info is based on the exact ingredients and brands that I used a the time. It may not be 100% accurate. Please check your ingredients nutrition labels.