This Vegan Gingerbread Tiramisu is a festive take on the classic Italian dessert with layers of coffee-soaked gingerbread sponge cake, gingerbread cookies and vegan whipped mascarpone cream.
This is the ultimate Christmassy dessert if you are looking for something traditional with a bit of festive fun. The classic Italian “pick-me-up” dessert meets sweet and fiery gingerbread cookies in this showstopper and crowd-pleasing dessert. Made with layers of easy to make ginger sponge cake, some gingerbread cookies, freshly whipped and homemade vegan mascarpone cream, coffee and more cookies, this dessert is indulgent yet light and really fun to make this holiday time.
Why will I love this dessert?
This tiramisu is so delicious, it is:
Tender, moist and fluffy
Rich, indulgent yet light
Creamy, spiced and delicious
Packed with warming gingerbread flavours
Soaked with coffee
Completely homemade and impressive
A showstopper centrepiece dessert
Perfect for family and friends
Naturally vegan and easily gluten-free and nut-free
Great to make ahead of time
If you already love the sound of this dessert, skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.
What ingredients do I need?
The recipe is split into three parts: the gingerbread sponge; the mascarpone cream and then the layers and cream topping.
Here’s what we need for the cake:
Plant-based milk: any milk will do like oat, almond, soya or coconut (from the carton).
Apple cider vinegar: this reacts with the milk to form a buttermilk and help to bind the batter. You can also use lemon juice.
Maple syrup: for sweetness and stickiness. You can use other syrups like agave or vegan honey.
Molasses: for the rich gingerbread flavour we all love.
Applesauce: for moisture, binding and sweetness. Make sure your applesauce is made from 100% apples and is unsweetened.
Coconut yoghurt: this also adds moisture and allows the sponge cake to be light but sturdy enough to hold it’s shape without the need for oils and butter in the sponge batter. I always use Cocos Organic yoghurt in either natural or vanilla but other Greek-style thick dairy-free yoghurts will be fine.
Plain or GF plain flour: to keep the sponge light and airy, plain or a gluten-free plain flour than contains xanthan gum or another thickener is best. Use your preferred 1:1 GF baking blend.
Gingerbread spices: to make this sponge cake delicious we need ginger, cinnamon and mixed spices.
Baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt: baking essentials.
As for the mascarpone cream:
Vegan butter: make sure this is softened to room temperature (leave it out the fridge for 1 hour or until you can press it and leave finger marks in the butter) for the best textured mascarpone. This is the blog-style of butter and not the spreadable kind.
Vegan cream cheese: again, leave this out so that it is not too cold and will mix better with the butter. Brands that I love in the UK are NUSH, Violife or the Plant-based Philadelphia.
Icing sugar: to sweetened the mascarpone cream.
Aquafaba: this is the water from a tin of chickpeas and whips up to be really light and airy within the mascarpone cream. Or, you can use plant-based milk.
Vanilla essence and gingerbread spices: as above for the festive flavours in every layer.
Finally for the layers and the topping:
Vegan gingerbread cookies or speculoos: either use homemade Vegan Gingerbread Cookies or shop-bought ones, making sure that they are vegan, gluten-free and nut-free as needed.
Coffee: for soaking the cookies and sponge cake layers, use your favourite coffee. This can be decaf if you are avoiding caffeine. Even if you don’t like coffee, I guarantee you will love this dessert so don’t skip the coffee.
Vegan whipping cream: for piping on top, every tiramisu needs some whipped cream. Make sure this is double or whipping cream so that it whips up to become really light and airy. In the UK, I love Natures Charm Oat or Coconut Whipping Creams or you can use Oatly, Emlea Plant-based or Coconut Collaborative.
How do I make this tiramisu?
This tiramisu is made in a few steps, so make sure you are prepared and have planned ahead of time.
Make the sponge cake: whisk together the wet and then the dry ingredients before pouring into a tin and baking till golden brown (it takes about 22 minutes).
Allow the cake to cool fully then slice into 8 pieces: first slice the cake into 4 squares then each square in half widthways so you have 8 thin squares of cake.
Whip up the mascarpone cream: by beating together all the ingredients till fluffy.
Place a layer of cake in a tin: this will use 4 pieces of cake.
Top with gingerbread cookies over the cake: to evenly cover the cake.
Soak the cookies and cake in coffee: and brush all over.
Spread over half of the mascarpone cream: and smooth over the top.
Repeat with cake, cookies, coffee and cream: to make a second layer.
Sprinkle over crushed cookies: and wrap tightly.
Allow to set in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight: this makes sure the dessert holds shape and allows the flavours to infuse.
Whip up the cream and pipe all over the top of the dessert: using a round or star-shaped nozzle.
Dust with more cookie crumbs: and some extra cookies.
Is this gluten-free and nut-free?
This dessert is easily gluten-free if using your preferred gluten-free 1:1 baking blend of flour and make sure that your cookies are also gluten-free. To keep this nut-free, ensure all your ingredients (like milk, yoghurt, cream cheese, butter and cream) are free from nuts.
How long will this last?
This will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge, covered well. you can make the sponge cake ahead of time and even freeze this for up to 1 month, wrapped well and allow to defrost before slicing and making this tiramisu.
Troubleshooting tips for the best desserts
Here are a few top tips to make this a really delicious bake:
Plan your time accordingly: the cake sponge needs to be fully cold before slicing and the dessert needs to set for 4 hours or overnight.
Have all the components ready and weighed out: make the mascarpone and prepare the coffee and cookies while the cake cools so that it’s ready and then whip the cream before taking the tiramisu out the fridge so you can pipe straight away.
Don’t worry if your mascarpone appears to split: this will be caused by temperature and moisture but once it is spread over the layers and set overnight, you won’t notice.
Think about the size of the dish before starting: the cake makes a square 8-inch cake, so use an 8-inch square dish if possible for the dessert with high sides. This ensures the layers are evenly filled.
Cut the cake as flat as possible: so that the layers are even.
Have fun with it: this really is a simple dessert and enjoy decorating and eating it.
What else can I make?
If you are looking for more festive bakes, how about my:
16 gingerbread or speculoos cookies, whole, plus extras
2-3 gingerbread or speculoos cookies, crushed, plus extra
200ml dairy-free whipping cream
Read all the instructions through before starting as you need to plan the time to allow the dessert to set. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180ºC and line a 8-inch square tin with parchment paper.
For the sponge: whisk together the milk, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, molasses, applesauce and yoghurt till smooth. Sift in the flour, gingerbread spices, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and add the salt. Whisk to a thick, smooth batter.
To bake: pour into to the lined tin and smooth over the top. Bake for 22 minutes, or until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then lift out the tin to cool fully.
To make the mascarpone: add the butter and cream cheese to a large mixing bowl of a freestanding electric mixer or use a handheld mixer and beat for 1-2 minutes till smooth. Now gradually beat in the icing sugar, aquafaba, vanilla, ginger and cinnamon until fully incorporated then continue to beat for 2 minutes, till really fluffy. Chill in the fridge till needed.
To prepare the sponge layers: slice the cooled cake into quarters and then slice each quarter in half widthways so you have 8 thin slices of square cake.
To assemble the tiramisu: place four slices of cake into the bottom of a square 8-inch dish with high sides to cover the base completely. Lay over 8 gingerbread cookies and then brush the entire layer with coffee. Add on half the mascarpone cream and spread out evenly. Repeat with a second layer of cake, gingerbread cookies, coffee and mascarpone cream. Now sprinkle over the crushed cookies and wrap tightly in clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
To serve: whip up the whipping cream till fluffy and then pipe all over the uncovered and chilled tiramisu. Sprinkle over extra crushed cookies and decorate with whole gingerbread cookies and redcurrants. Enjoy straight away.
To store: keep leftovers wrapped tightly or in a sealed container for 2-3 days in the fridge.
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I look forward to hearing what you think of this Vegan Gingerbread Tiramisu so please let me know in the comments below and leave a star review above. If you do make this dessert, I’d love to see them so please tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – please say hello!