Here is a delicious keto tiramisu dessert that’s sugar-free, gluten-free, and tastes just like the real thing! With almond flour ladyfingers and a rich custard layer, this dessert is an absolute dream for anyone on a low-carb diet.
Everyone has a favorite dessert… and mine happens to be tiramisu!
I’ve made a lot of low-carb desserts over the years, and I have a few favorites. But, tiramisu has been my ultimate dessert since the first time I tried it. And now that I have a low-carb version, it is truly my top favorite keto recipe!
I first heard about tiramisu from my sister when she came back from a trip to England. She was raving about a dessert she had there that was made with ladyfingers and custard. We knew we had to recreate it ourselves.
We found a way, and it was love at first bite! Tiramisu became my favorite dessert.
So, when I switched to a low-sugar diet, I knew I needed a new recipe. And what I created is a near-perfect copycat!
🍰 Low-carb conversion
The custard layer was pretty easy to convert. As long as you replace the sugar with a low-carb sweetener, the rest of the ingredients are already low carb. The true test was finding a substitute for the ladyfingers.
After some testing, I am very happy with the result, and I know you will be too! This recipe for keto tiramisu is my favorite treat to indulge in. I make it for any big celebration, like holidays or birthdays.
The custard is thick, creamy, and tastes nearly identical to a traditional recipe. Add in the espresso-dipped ladyfingers and hint of rum flavor, and this dessert is truly irresistible!
Your friends and family won’t even be able to tell that this tiramisu is low carb. Since starting keto, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth anymore, but I still love this dessert. It hits the spot every time!
As I mentioned earlier, the custard was pretty easy to convert to low carb. I based it on a custard from a traditional tiramisu recipe that I’ve had for years.
Here’s what you need:
Low Carb Substitute For Lady Fingers
Finding the right substitute for the ladyfingers was the challenge. They needed to have just the right texture and be able to soak up the espresso flavor. I did a lot of research and testing.
Finally, I decided to use a low-carb sponge cake based on a recipe by Karen Barnaby. And it was just what I was looking for! It is a very light and spongy cake, which makes it perfect for ladyfingers.
Once I had figured out the ladyfingers, I couldn’t wait to share this keto tiramisu recipe with you!
The keto has lots of healthy fats in it, from the mascarpone cheese and heavy whipping cream. It works as the base for the custard.
You’ll need to sweeten it with some Stevia extract powder and powdered erythritol. This will help it have a thick and fluffy texture!
For the flavors, use two extracts – vanilla and coffee. They are optional, but they really give the custard a big flavor.
Since tiramisu is a coffee-flavored dessert, I added a small amount of either strong coffee or espresso. This is a must!
This is important… Don’t forget the rum! If you don’t have any, you can use brandy. If you want it to be alcohol-free, you can use a rum extract.
Please note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
- Mascarpone can curdle easily if it encounters a temperature change. To prevent this, I recommend chilling the egg yolk mixture, mascarpone, and whipped cream before folding them together. As long as these ingredients are close to temperature, they should be fine.
- If the mascarpone curdles, you can also rewarm the mixture.
- This recipe is not very complicated to make. But, if you want to prep some of it ahead of time, the sponge cake layer can be made in advance. Then you can just cut it into ladyfingers once it’s time to assemble.
- For the espresso, I use an Aerobie AeroPress. I recommend it as an inexpensive manual coffee maker that brews espresso as well. You can also use very strong coffee!
There are three parts to this decadent recipe – the cake, the custard, and putting it all together. All the exact steps are written out in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
First, here is a quick overview showing you how to make it.
Make The Cake
First, follow the directions to make the spongy almond flour cake. This is the substitute for the ladyfingers.
Be very careful when you fold in the almond flour. You don’t want to overmix the batter as it should be light and airy.
Let it cool completely before you assemble the tiramisu.
Prepare Low-Carb Custard
Now you are ready to make the custard!
Start by beating the egg yolks, erythritol, and stevia until it is thick. It should also be lemon-colored.
Place this mixture in a double boiler over boiling water and cook it for about 10 minutes, stirring it constantly. (This will create the perfect texture and temperature for you to add it the mascarpone.)
Beat it really well as you add the cheese.
Set that aside and beat the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
Then, gently fold in the egg yolk and mascarpone mixture. Be careful not to overmix it – it should also have a light texture.
Tip: At this point, you can add the extracts if you want.
Assemble The Keto Tiramisu
Now all you have to do is put it all together!
First, cut the cake into 16 finger-sized pieces. Set them aside. Then, mix together the rum and espresso.
Sprinkle your pan with cocoa and begin to add the ladyfingers.
Lightly brush them with the rum and espresso mix. (It works best if you use a brush for this step.)
Then, spread half of the mascarpone custard on top and dust it with more cocoa.
Repeat this process until you fill up the loaf pan.
Cover it and refrigerate it overnight – it will be perfect in the morning!
What To Serve With Keto Tiramisu
Before we get to the printable recipe card, here are some questions people often ask about making low-carb tiramisu.
Is tiramisu gluten free?
Traditional tiramisu is not gluten-free, as you probably know. And definitely not sugar-free. Or low carb.
I am happy to report that this recipe solves all 3 of those issues. The ladyfingers are made with almond flour, which is naturally gluten-free. That means that this dessert is a totally sugar-free, low-carb, and gluten-free tiramisu.
So you can indulge even on the keto diet!
What can I use instead of erythritol and stevia?
You can replace the erythritol and stevia in the cake and custard with 3-5 tablespoons of your favorite sugar-equivalent sweetener.
Tip: Check out this guide on all sorts of low carb sweeteners!
What can I use instead of mascarpone cheese?
If you can’t find mascarpone cheese, you can use cream cheese as a 1:1 replacement. It alters the taste and texture a bit, but it is the closest thing to mascarpone.
If you are a lover of tiramisu like I am, I know that you are going to love this recipe. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand already. And, if you don’t have any mascarpone, run out to the store and grab some!
📚 Related recipes
Looking for other low-carb and sugar-free indulgences? Check out a few of these low-carb desserts. They are some of my favorites!
- Gluten Free Tiramisu Whoopie Pies are another delicious way to enjoy tiramisu along with keto cookies!
- Easy No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie is heavenly, low carb, and doesn’t require any heating up the oven.
- Coconut Milk Custard is a dairy-free treat with only 2 net carbs, so it’s perfect when you’re craving something sweet.
- Mascarpone Cream Mousse is an easy dessert that only uses three ingredients and can be dressed up with all kinds of toppings!
- Healthy Paleo Pumpkin Custard is a delicious, dairy-free treat made in individual ramekins for easy single servings.
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 Tablespoon powdered erythritol
- ⅛ teaspoon stevia extract powder or stevia glycerite (add more to taste)
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 ¾ cups heavy or whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- ½ teaspoon coffee extract optional
- ¼ cup strong coffee or espresso
- 1-2 Tablespoons rum or brandy
- Grease a 11×7 inch pan with butter. Line with parchment paper and grease with butter again. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Combine the almond flour, baking powder and salt.
- Separate the eggs. With an electric mixer, beat the yolks and sweeteners until thick and lemon colored. Beat in the vanilla, almond extract and cream of tartar. Fold in the almond flour.
- With a clean bowl and beaters, beat the egg whites to firm peaks. Stir ¼ into the almond mixture. Fold in ½ of the remaining whites until barely combined and then the remaining ½ until thoroughly combined. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top springs back when pressed lightly. Let cool.
- In small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks, erythritol and stevia until thick and lemon colored.
- Place mixture in top of a double boiler over boiling water. Reduce heat to low. Cook 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add mascarpone cheese, beating well.
- In a small mixing bowl, beat heavy or whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into egg yolk mixture. Add vanilla and or coffee extract if desired. Set aside.
- Cut the almond cake into 16 fingers.
- Combine the rum and espresso in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the bottom of a 9×5 bread pan lightly with cocoa then line with half the almond cake fingers.
- Using a brush, lightly coat the cake fingers with the espresso mix being careful not to get them too wet. Spread on ½ of the mascarpone mixture and dust the top with cocoa. Repeat the layers. End with a sprinkling of cocoa.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Array ( [serving_size] => 1 [calories] => 428 [carbohydrates] => 6 [protein] => 14 [fat] => 42 [saturated_fat] => 22 [polyunsaturated_fat] => 2 [monounsaturated_fat] => 8 [cholesterol] => 324 [sodium] => 103 [potassium] => 87 [fiber] => 1 [sugar] => 4 [vitamin_a] => 1500 [vitamin_c] => 0.8 [calcium] => 120 [iron] => 0.9 [serving_unit] => slice )
Note on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
Unauthorized use of this material without written permission from Lisa MarcAurele is strictly prohibited unless for personal offline purposes.
Single photos may be used, provided that full credit is given to LowCarbYum.com along with a link back to the original content.
First published on December 26, 2010. Post updated on November 23, 2021, with additional recipe information and higher-quality images.