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A homemade coffee-flavored Italian Keto Tiramisu dessert made without lady fingers and uses a low carb sponge cake instead. This easy keto recipe can be made into individual cups or a whole cake to fit your needs!
Even though this recipe is low carb and gluten free, the taste is just like an authentic Tiramisu. Don't be taken aback by the sponge cake layers as they taste just like lady fingers that have been soaked in coffee! For other chocolate desserts, you'll love to try my chocolate zucchini cake or keto chocolate cheesecake.
I love buying the Costco Tiramisu here in Japan, but it is unfortunately super high in carbs, so here is my keto version of a traditional Tiramisu.
This recipe is actually the same that I use in my bakery here in Japan and now you'll know how to make tiramisu at home bakery-style, but ketofied!
Table of Contents
If you'd like to watch my Youtube tutorial on how to make this delicious and simple tiramisu, watch below and make sure to subscribe for more cooking videos!
How to Make Keto Lady Fingers
A classic Tiramisu will use savaoiardi, lady fingers, but because they are high in carbs and made with wheat, this recipe uses a gluten free soft pillowy sponge cake that absorbs coffee really well, stays soft and moist.
The ingredients for this sponge cake is eggs, almond flour, keto sweetener, coffee and psyllium husk powder. Adding psyllium husk powder to the sponge helps it not dry out and stay soft and pillowy even after assembling the tiramisu.
First, you'll want to separate the egg whites and egg yolks into two different bowls. You'll whip up the egg whites with a bit of cream of tartar to help stabilize the egg whites and increase its volume. If you don't have any cream of tartar, simply use ½ teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice instead. You'll then whip the eggs until stiff peaks form.
The Sponge Cake ☕
Next you'll want to add the erythritol, stevia, psyllium husk powder, coffee and almond flour (in that order) and mix with a hand mixer between each ingredients. The batter will start to thicken up the longer it sits out.
Finally, you'll add ⅓ of the meringue into the batter and mix with a hand mixer at first just to loosen the batter out. Then add half of the remaining meringue and carefully fold it in. Repeat with the remaining meringue.
Pro Tip💭 : Add ⅓ of the meringue and use a hand mixer to loosen the batter first before folding the rest of the meringue. This will ensure you do not have any dough clumps in the sponge cake.
Carefully spread the sponge cake dough all over a baking tray lined with parchment paper (NOT wax paper) and spread it around evenly with a silicone spatula. I personally used two trays that measured 30x40cm/11x15".
Bake it in the oven for about 17 minutes until golden brown.
The delicious mascarpone filling is called zabaglione, or Sabayon in English. It's a rich custard-like cream made egg yolks, keto sweeteners, mascarpone cream and heavy whipping cream.
The Egg Yolk Custard🍮
The first step to making a sabayon is to cook the egg yolks and sweeteners over a double boiler. You'll want to add the egg yolks, erythritol and stevia powder to a heat-proof bowl over a double boiler and whisk the yolks for about 5-7 minutes over medium heat until thickened.
You can use granulated or powdered sweeteners for this step, I've used both and they work equally fine. The custard should not look grainy at all and the erythritol should have completely melted.
Add the custard over the mascarpone and whisk on low until fully incorporated. Turn off the mixer.
In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks. Add the whipping cream into the mascarpone and carefully fold it in. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the cream and you're ready to assemble the tiramisu.
Pro Tips💭 :
- Make sure to use room temperature mascarpone as cold one can curdle the sabayon.
- Mix the egg custard on low speed, NEVER high speed as it will curdle.
- Whisk the meringue during the last step as they tend to melt back down to egg whites the longer they sit out.
- Always fold in the custard, cream and meringue in one another. Do not beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer as your sabayon won't be as fluffy or thick.
How to Make Tiramisu 🍳
Now that you've finished baking your low carb sponge cake, your coffee is brewed and your sabayon is all ready and whipped, your low carb tiramisu is ready to assemble.
From here on out it's super easy to make this tiramisu. You'll need to cut your sponge up to the size of the dish you'll be using.
Make sure to use a pretty deep dish as this tiramisu is quite tall. You can choose however many layers you want to make, but I personally made 3 layers. I was inspired by the Olive Garden tiramisu as its final layer is super thick and that's just the amount of cream that I like in my desserts!
You'll basically drizzle the rum coffee all over the sponge, spread the sabayon equally and sprinkle a generous amount of cocoa powder on top. Repeat two more times with the remaining ingredients and you have yourself an impressive three layer tiramisu.
Pro Tip💭 : Oil your hands before touching the dough. This will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
Now if you want to make individual servings into cups or tiramisu in a glass, you can totally do that too! You'll just need to cut the sponge into small circles that fit the cups you choose. These are the cups that I sell at my keto bakery.
The Sabayon is too runny
If the mascarpone cream is too runny there's usually two explanations. Either the whipping cream wasn't whisked until stiff peaks so when you added it to the mascarpone, it turns back to liquid.
Or, you waited too long after adding the egg whites so the fluffiness of the filling starts to shrink down. Make sure to make the tiramisu immediately after making the filling.
The erythritol isn't melting in the Sabayon
If the erythritol isn't melting in the Sabayon, it just means you need to cook it longer over the double boiler. It will eventually melt, about 2-3 minutes in and the yolks will be very runny. The longer you cook it though, the thicker the yolks will become and they will also become a light yellow color.
The sponge isn't thick
The number one reason the sponge isn't thick enough is usually because the egg whites weren't whisk until stiff peaks or if you over whisked the meringue. Make sure to add that cream of tartar so that it helps stabilize the meringue.
The sponge is too wet
If the sponge is too wet it's because you added too much coffee in it! Just drizzle a little bit, not too much, and you'll have the perfect sponge.
- Stand Mixer: I used a stand mixer when making the sponge and whipping the meringue, whipping the mascarpone and heavy whipping cream.
- Hand Mixer: I used a hand mixer to whip the egg yolks for the sponge and to whip egg whites for the zabaglione.
- Cookie Sheet Baking Pan: Use a cookie sheet to bake the sponge cake!
Frequently Asked Questions
A traditional Tiramisu will use a sweet wine like Marsala, but you can also use a liquor like rum or brandy. If you're feeling adventurous, you could use some Kahlua or even Bailey's!
For a non-alcoholic tiramisu, you can simply omit the alcohol altogether.
Now that's totally up to you! You can use espresso, drip coffee or instant coffee. If you like a strong flavored tiramisu, you'll definitely want to use some espresso. I'm personally allergic to caffeine so I used decaf instant coffee as that's all I had on hand.
Tiramisu is a coffee-flavored dessert so it does contain caffeine. You can use decaf coffee or decaf espresso if you'd like to make a decaf tiramisu.
A tiramisu without mascarpone wouldn't be considered a tiramisu, but if you can't find mascarpone in your supermarket, you could use cream cheese. Just make sure its softened as cream cheese tends to be much harder than mascarpone.
Tiramisu is best served the same day or the next, but it can stay fresh in the fridge for about 5 days.
You absolutely can! In fact that's how I sell it at my keto bakery! Just leave it in the fridge for 4-5 hours to thaw when ready to eat! You can keep frozen up to 4 months.
The egg yolks are fully cooked in the Sabayon, but the egg whites are raw. Make sure to use pasteurized eggs if you don't feel comfortable using raw eggs.
For the sponge cake instead of 60g erythritol and ½ tsp stevia, you can use a ¼ cup (50g) of Lakanto Golden or Sukrin Gold.
For the sabayon instead of 50g erythritol and 1 tsp stevia, you can use ½ cup (100g) of Lakanto Golden, Sukrin Gold, or ½ cup (100g) of xylitol or allulose with ½ tsp of either monk fruit extract powder or stevia powder.
Traditional Tiramisu is not keto friendly as it's made with sugar and wheat, but this ketofied version is totally low carb!
Tiramisu does use raw eggs, but the egg yolks are cooked through a double boiler. The only raw part is the egg whites whipped for the meringue. Make sure to buy pasteurized eggs for safety! Pasteurized eggs are generally safe to eat raw. If you're in Japan, any eggs at the grocery store is safe to eat raw.
Unfortunately, this is just one of those desserts that just doesn't taste the same dairy-free. You could skip the sabayon entirely and just used whipped coconut cream, but it just wouldn't taste the same.
This keto tiramisu recipe has 480 calories and 4.56g net carbs per serving.
Other Low Carb Dessert Recipes
- Keto Black Forest Cake: An impressive 3 layer chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and raspberry filling.
- Keto Cheesecake: A delicious crust-free cheesecake that's extremely rich and creamy.
- Keto Cinnamon Rolls: Soft and pillowy cinnamon rolls topped with an easy cream cheese frosting.
Made this recipe? I'd love it if you gave it star rating below!⭐
Easy Classic Keto Tiramisu Cake (without Lady Fingers)
- cocoa powder (as needed)
- 6 egg whites
- ½ tsp cream of tartar (or 1 tsp lemon juice/white vinegar)
- 6 egg yolks
- ¼ cup + 1 tbsp (60 g) erythritol (See Note 1 for substitutions)
- ½ tsp stevia powder (See Note 1 for substitutions)
- 2 tbsp (20 g) psyllium husk powder
- 1 tbsp instant coffee (or ¼ cup brewed coffee or espresso)
- ½ cup (120 ml) boiling water
- ½ cup (60 g) almond flour
- 2 egg yolks
- ¼ cup (50 g) erythritol (See Note 1 for substitutions)
- 1 tsp stevia (See Note 1 for substitutions)
- 1 cup (250 g) mascarpone (room temp)
- 2.5 cups (600 ml) heavy whipping cream (COLD)
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup (240 ml) espresso (or instant coffee, brewed coffee)
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) rum (or marsala, Kahlua, Bailey's - or none at all)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line some parchment paper on two baking trays. Do NOT use wax paper. It's not the same as parchment paper.
- Separate the egg whites and egg yolks into two different bowls. I put the egg whites in my stand mixer bowl, but if you don't have one just use a large regular bowl with a hand mixer.
- Add the erythritol and stevia to the egg yolk bowl and whisk with a hand mixer until light creamy and yellow. Add the psyllium husk powder and mix again. Add the coffee and almond flour and mix once more. Set aside while we make the meringue.
- Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and whisk until stiff peaks.
- Add the ⅓ of the meringue into the egg yolks bowl and mix with the hand mixer. This will help loosen the batter. Now add half of the remaining meringue and carefully fold in the egg yolks. Repeat with the remaining meringue and you should have a thick and fluffy batter.
- Spread the batter evenly with a silicone spatula onto your cookie sheet. I used two baking sheets that measured about 10x14"/25x35cm.
- Place in the oven and bake 18-20 minutes. The top and bottom should be perfectly baked and not sticky when touched.
- Take out of the oven, remove the sponge from the tray, flip over onto a new piece of parchment paper and peel the parchment paper off the sponge. Let it cool and set aside to use later.
- Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into two different bowls. The egg yolk bowl should be a heat proof one. Place the mascarpone into the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the erythritol and stevia to the yolks and mix well. Place on top of a double boiler set to medium heat and whisk continuously for 5-7 minutes until the yolks thicken up. Do not stop whisking of the yolks can cook and scramble. At first the mixture will be grainy because of the erythritol, then the erythritol will melt and the mixture will be pretty liquid. Finally it'll start to thicken up and should coat the back of a spoon no problem.
- Transfer the cooked yolks into the mascarpone and stir on low speed about 30 seconds.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks, thick and creamy. Make sure it's THICK and not runny or else your filling will be very runny.
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks using a hand mixer.
- Add the whipped cream into the mascarpone and fold in 3-4 steps. Add the meringue at once and mix in.
Assembling the Cake
- Add the rum to the coffee and mix well.
- Cut the sponge with a pizza cutter or a knife so that it fits your deep baking dish. I managed to cut it into three layers.
- Place the first sponge at the bottom of the dish and cover with as much coffee as you want ( the more you add, the more it'll be wet). Add ⅓ of the cream and spread even. Sprinkle a generous amount of cocoa powder on top of the cream. Repeat the same steps with the two more layers. You should now have a 3 layer tiramisu cake.
- Transfer to the fridge and chill 4+ hours before slicing and serving.
WATCH THE RECIPE VIDEO (must disable adblocker)
Nutritional information is provided through calculations made on fatsecret.com. They are approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on mypcoskitchen.com. Sugar alcohols are included in the fiber count. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber (which include sugar alcohols).
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