Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu {Raw & Paleo}

Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu {Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, with Raw Option}

{Gluten-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, and with Raw}

Last week I got invited by Charlotte from Tuscany Now to participate in the Tuscany Now Cook-Off Competition and I have to admit I couldn’t resist the challenge. I used to have a friend who was an Italian baker and cake decorator and she would often treat me to some of her traditional favorites, and I swear, Italians have some amazing desserts to their name! These days though, with my food restrictions and all, I hardly ever get to enjoy real Italian desserts and confections, so hearing of the opportunity to craft an Italian dessert of my own sounded intriguing.

I decided to try out a classic — a gluten-free vegan tiramisu, which of all the Italian desserts I tried I’ve missed the most. Happy to report it came out Incredible! Like eating it at 2AM incredible… And best yet, it is paleo and can easily be made as a raw cake. This super-easy to make, healthy, wholesome, and allergen-friendly tiramisu has my name all over it ;) . I can’t wait to make this again for my father-in-law’s upcoming birthday. He’s in for a treat :) .

Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu {Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, with Raw Option}

This cake does require a few preparations in advance which I’ll outline first:

- You’ll be using lots of medjool dates for this recipe and unless they are very soft and fresh you’ll need to pre-soak and strain them first. You can do this quickly by pouring boiling water over them and letting them soak for 15 minutes, or if you want this cake to be raw then pour cold water over the dates and let them soak for at least an hour.

- You’ll be using canned coconut (unless you’re keeping this cake raw, in which case see ingredients list for raw substitution). You’ll need to chill the 2 cans of full fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight so that the water and the cream separate in the can. When the recipe calls for cream, just scoop out the top white creamy layer from the can and reserve the water for later use.

- You’ll be using cashews and some walnuts which will need to be soaked (separately) as well for at least an hour or overnight. In a pinch and if not concerned about the recipe being raw, pour boiling water over the cashews and let them soak for about 15 minutes. NOTE: the walnuts in the ladyfinger part do not need to be soaked.

- Lastly, this cake will need to be chilled for at least 4-5 hours, so best to make it a day ahead. It stores really well in the fridge and can be kept in the freezer for longer storage.

Hope this list didn’t intimidate you — I promise, this cake is worth every extra step. You won’t regret it! And now to the recipe:

Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu {Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, with Raw Option}

Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu Recipe:

* Makes a 9″ cake.

“Ladyfingers” Layer Ingredients:

  • 3 cup walnuts (not soaked)
  • 2 cups medjool dates, pre-soaked (see notes above)
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee
  • 1/8 tsp raw ground vanilla bean
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate Mousse Layer Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups medjool dates, pre-soaked (see notes above)
  • Cream from 2 cans of full fat coconut milk (see notes above. Note: for a raw version, use 1 1/2 cups raw coconut cream)
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, pre-soaked
  • 1/2 cup very strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp raw ground vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut water (or regular water. I used reserved coconut water from one of the cans in the previous step)
  • 2 tbsp agar agar flakes

Vanilla Cream Layer Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cashews, pre-soaked (see notes above)
    1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut water or water (I used reserved coconut water from one of the cans in the previous step).
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp raw ground vanilla bean

Topping:

A bit of extra cocoa powder for dusting + optional cacao nibs for garnish

Directions:

1. Place walnuts in a food processor and process until mixture is fine and crumbly. Add in all remaining “ladyfingers” layer ingredients and process until the mixture is more or less smooth. Transfer contents into a 9″ springform pan and press base layer down evenly. Place the pan in the freezer while working on the next step.

2. Place all chocolate mousse layer ingredients, except for coconut water and agar-agar (last two ingredients) in your blender and blend until mixture is smooth (a good blender like a Vitamix works best). Set aside.

3. Place coconut water and agar agar in a small saucepan and warm on medium-low heat until the agar-agar flakes are dissolved, stirring occasionally. Do not overcook, and do not allow the mixture to come to a boil. Just heat until the flakes just dissolve. Add this agar-agar mixture to the blender with the chocolate mousse ingredients and blend through to incorporate the two mixtures together. Pour into the springform pan over the base layer and place back in the freezer for about an hour to chill and harden.

4. Prepare the vanilla cream layer by placing all the ingredients into a clean blender and blend until the mixture is smooth. Set aside at room temperature. Once the chocolate mousse layer has been chilled for about an hour, pour the vanilla cream layer into the pan over the chocolate mousse. Return cake to the freezer for at least 2-3 more hours.

5. Once the cake has chilled in the freezer for a total of 4 hours, remove the side of the pan and transfer cake onto a serving plate. Dust the cake with some cocoa powder. I used some cacao nibs as well for garnish. Now that the cake is ready, transfer it into the fridge and keep it refrigerated. You can serve right away as a chilled cake, but it’s much more amazing after thawing out a little in the fridge as it actually becomes mousse-like. Alternatively, you can keep it frozen for longer storage.

Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu {Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, with Raw Option}

Enjoy!

xo Audrey

P.S. A big thanks to Charlotte for encouraging me to get creative and come up with this incredible tiramisu for the #TuscanyNowCookOff!

P.P.S. Note: I’ve updated the recipe to fit the paleo and grain-free diet (and it made it taste a whole lot better too!

~~

This Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu has been shared with #glutenfreefridays, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Sweet & Savoury Sunday, Let’s Get Real Friday Party, and Gluten-Free & DIY Tuesdays.

Baking in Pyjamas

** A big thanks to Adrienne @ Whole New Mom and to Lauren @ Baking In Pyjamas for featuring this recipe!



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33 Responses to Gluten-Free Vegan Tiramisu {Raw & Paleo}

  1. BJMarley June 19, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    Is there something else that I can use instead of cashews? This looks so delicious, but I don’t want to be using an auto-inject anti-allergy pen.

    • Audrey June 19, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

      Gosh, the cake is good, but definitely not worth an anti-allergy jab :) . Too bad about the cashew allergy, but having tons of food restrictions myself I can relate. Macadamia nuts are the closest substitute and will work really well. Can you have those? Or no nuts in general?

  2. Lani June 23, 2014 at 10:38 am #

    Wow this sounds so good, I’m going to try it tomorrow, just wondering where the oats are in the ladyfinger ingredients? Or is this recipe good to use and the oats were omitted? I don’t want to get anything wrong! Thanks :-)

    • Audrey June 23, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

      Hi Lani. Sorry about that. I put a note at the end of the recipe explaining that I updated it to fit the paleo diet, but I forgot to update the instructions. I’ll fix that now. The cake tastes much better using just walnuts in place of some oats. Hope you like it! :)

  3. Trish June 25, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

    What would be the best substitution for the walnuts? I like them, but they don’t like me!

    • Audrey June 26, 2014 at 1:50 am #

      Hi Trish,

      Not sure if you can do any of these nuts, but I would use pecans as a first choice, or some almonds or brazil nuts. I think pecans in the “ladyfingers” layer would work best because of their texture, and then for the chocolate mousse layer you can use any of the nuts above (or a combination), or just more pecans. I bet that would be yummy! Let me know if you give any of these alternatives a go — I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • Trish June 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

        Thanks! I can’t have almonds either, but I think pecans are okay. Will try it sometime and let you know. I only bake on special occasions, so it might not be soon!

        • Audrey June 26, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

          Sure, no worries, Trish :) I hope it works out whenever you try it. I think pecans would be awesome in this.

  4. Melissa June 26, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    This looks amazing! I needed something like this to take to a party this Saturday. Perfect timing! Thank you!

    • Audrey June 26, 2014 at 9:39 am #

      Glad I could help, Melissa! Enjoy it :)

  5. Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts June 26, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    Audrey–This cake looks BEYOND INCREDIBLE! Thanks so much for sharing it on Gluten-Free Wednesdays! :-) FYI–Oats are still shown in the directions. I suspect those were one of the ingredients you changed when you made this recipe paleo. Just wanted to give you a heads up as I’ve shared this link on FB and don’t want anyone to fuss at either of us. ;-)

    xo,
    Shirley

    • Audrey June 26, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

      Thanks so much, Shirley. I must have missed the oats again then — sheesh :). Going to fix that now. Thanks for the heads up.

    • Audrey June 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

      Thanks so much, Shirley! I must have missed the oats again then — sheesh :). Going to fix that now. Thanks for the heads up and for sharing the recipe.

  6. CL June 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    This looks amazing! Just wondering how heavy it is (nuts and dates and coconut milk isn’t something that would take me lightly KWIM?) and it seems like it would be very pricey?

    • Audrey June 26, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

      Thanks CL! Raw (or nearly raw) cakes do tend to be more nutrient dense, but I couldn’t taste that denseness in this cake. It felt more light and fluffy when I had it out of the fridge, like a mousse cake. I made it this large for a special occasion, but I normally tend to make raw cakes in a 6″ round springform pan and I think that’s what I’d definitely do next time. That means using only 1/3 of the ingredients, so it would save on cost and would also make it so you can enjoy smaller slices of a healthier dessert without the guilt ;)

  7. Veronica June 29, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

    Fantastic recipe! I made all three layers in the vitamix. The lady finger layer was too pasty in the vitamix but it had perfect flavor. I will try using a food processor next time to avoid over processing the walnuts for the base layer. My husband actually said he liked this better than real tiramisu. We also shared this with my best friend from college and her family, and they loved it. The kids thought they were eating ice cream cake! That was quite a treat for my son who can’t have dairy to get to enjoy something that has been off limits. Thanks again for sharing your recipes!

    • Audrey June 30, 2014 at 8:33 am #

      Hi Veronica — I’m SOOO happy to hear you and your family liked it! :) And thanks for sharing the feedback about the base layer int he Vitamix. I can see how it can get too pasty if over-processed, but I’m glad it still worked out so well. That’s my favorite part about raw (or nearly raw) cakes — you put the best ingredients into them, and it’s hard to get a bad end result — even if it’s a mess, it’ll still almost always taste incredible ;)

  8. Karen June 30, 2014 at 1:32 am #

    That looks decadent and delicious. I can’t have coffee. I know I could sub cocoa or chocolate ‘milk’ but I’m wondering about using orange juice instead. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work and the flavor should be amazing…. What do you think?

    • Audrey June 30, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      Hi Karen,

      I haven’t tried it personally, but I think that could be a very interesting flavor combination and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! I love chocolate and orange together. Let me know how it goes if you give it a go — I’m so curious how it’ll come out!

  9. Adrienne @ Whole New Mom July 1, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    I am speechless. I’ve never even had tiramisu!!! Got any ideas of how I can recreate the lady fingers without the dates? That’s where I am stumped :). Thanks Audrey!

    • Audrey July 1, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

      Hey Adrienne,

      Not sure if you can do figs or prunes, but those will work well. Otherwise, for a very low sugar version, here’s what I’m thinking — the dates provide a stickiness, moisture, and sweeteness. So for stickiness and moisture, maybe try a bit of sweet potato puree mixed with xylitol or stevia? Another idea is to use some coconut butter + stevia/xylitol. I haven’t tried this, but it seems like it would work well to me. If you do get to try it out, let me know how it works out — I’d love to know! The thing with this type of recipe is that you can pretty much taste if something works or not right away, so whatever you try, just give it a taste and see how you like it and adjust as necessary.

  10. Laura@Baking in Pyjamas July 6, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    What a beautiful cheesecake, it looks and sounds super yummy. This has been featured as one of my favourites over at Sweet and Savoury Sunday. Stop by, grab a button and link up again with us this week. Have a great day!

    • Audrey July 6, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

      Hi Laura — thanks SOOO much! :) See you over at Sweet & Savoury Sunday!

  11. deb July 19, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    YUMMMMMMMY! i’m not even a vegan and i can’t wait until i make this. wish i had time to open a small bakery (too much red tape, and a town that is not business friendly,even though they say they are); we have lots of 7th day adventist/vegans in my town who would love to have this type of food available.

    • Audrey July 19, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

      Thanks deb! That’s what I love about raw cakes too — most people will love them, regardless of whether they are vegan or not; the wholesome ingredients make up the entire flavor. Enjoy it!

  12. Lisa | Mummy Made.It July 20, 2014 at 6:11 am #

    What a beautiful cake. It does not look like a healthier option at all!

    • Audrey July 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

      Thanks so much Lisa! I’m so always happy when healthier desserts don’t compromise the taste or look of the treat. I think the best part is that the “impressive” look of this type of cake is so easy to achieve — you just pour batter in layers and freeze, but the result looks like you’ve worked really hard for it ;)

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