Barb Hodgens
Barb Hodgens

Barb Hodgens loves to cook with alternative, healthy whole food ingredients, with a focus on gut health. Barb has overcome her own gut health issues through healthy eating. Share your ideas, comments and photos at the end of this post :)

tiramisu cake

The ultimate Italian dessert with probiotic cream at last!

This gluten and grain-free take on the famous Italian dessert is every coffee lover’s dream cake. It’s a decadent dessert packed with healthy fat and whole food ingredients that is both delicious and fun to make. Don’t be intimidated by the layers, with a little forward planning it’s actually very simple to make.  

The classic Tiramisu is typically constructed with coffee-soaked ladyfinger biscuits layered between rich mascarpone cream. We discovered that the traditional recipe can be easily adapted. Instead of ‘ladyfingers’, we use a simple, one bowl, grain-free butter cake, made from a combination of almond flour and coconut flour.


Mascarpone, (a soft cheese made from cream), is one of the main ingredients in a traditional tiramisu. It’s rich and buttery finish and tangy taste is very similar to homemade cultured cream. Only better! Cultured cream is pure cream that has gone through a special fermentation process (similar to making homemade yogurt) and contains strains of probiotic bacteria that help to keep you healthy and your digestion in good balance. 

Cultured cream will naturally develop a sour taste if fermented for a long time. For sweet desserts such as this, we recommend fermenting for 8-12 hours.  

A classic tiramisu cream also includes raw eggs. We use plenty of eggs in our cake batter and don’t feel the need to add more. With just a little vanilla and sweetener, cultured cream easily replicates and satisfies the Italian cheese dessert flavour. 


Although, this refined sugar free Tiramisu is not a sweet as the classic, our version has the perfect balance of sweetness with just the right bitterness from the coffee and cacao powder. You can certainly control the sweetness of the cultured cream by adding extra sweetener to taste.  

Just like the traditional biscuit version, the layers of paleo cake absorb the coffee sauce, cream, and cocoa powder. After some time in the fridge, the layers meld and soften into a very heavenly creamy dessert that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Tiramisu cake



Paleo layer cake
1 ½ cups almond flour

½ cup coconut flour
½ cup coconut sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
½ cup of milk of choice (we used almond milk)
120 grams of butter or coconut oil

2 teaspoons vanilla
Pinch of salt

Coffee Soak
½ cup strong brewed coffee / espresso

¼ cup of coconut sugar
¼ cup Amaretto, dark Rum, Marsala, Brandy, or Frangelico (optional)

Cultured Tiramisu Cream
Approx. 1 Litre of chilled homemade cultured cream (fermented for up to 12 hours)

2 teaspoons of vanilla
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
¼ cup coconut sugar

Chocolate Dust
¼ cup of cacao powder
Grated dark chocolate


Layer Cake
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F

2.   Line 2 x 9 inch / 23 cm cake tins with baking paper and thoroughly grease the edges with butter or coconut oil.
3.   Combine all the cake ingredients in a large bowl and mix to form a smooth batter. For a finer textured batter, add all the ingredients into the Vibe Blender jug and blend on ‘smoothie’ mode for 30 seconds.
4.   Divide the batter between the 2 cake tins and smooth to the edges.
5.   Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

tiramisu layer cake steps

 When the cakes are done, remove from the oven. Let cool in the tins for 5 mins before turning out.

7.   When the cakes are completely cool, stack on a plate and place in the fridge or freezer for up to 30 minutes to snap cold. This makes cutting the cakes easier.
8.   Slice each cake in half so you have 4 thin slices.

tiramisu layer cake steps

Making the coffee sauce
 Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan

10.  Gently heat until the coconut sugar has dissolved.
11.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
12.  Pour the coffee sauce into a small jug.
13.  The coffee must be cold before dripping onto the cake.

Making the cultured Tiramisu cream
  Pour the chilled cultured cream into a large mixing bowl.

15.  Add the vanilla and sweeteners.
16.  Beat with a hand whisk or an electric stick blender until thick peaks form. If you are using an electric stick blender be careful not to over whip and turn the cream to butter.  

tiramisu layer cake steps

Constructing the cake
  Place one slice of cake on a serving plate with the cut side facing up.

18.  Drizzle a portion of coffee sauce evenly onto the cake. Using a small spoon might be easier.
19.  Then spread the cream.
20.  Use a fine sieve to dust the cream with a light coat of cacao powder.
21.  Place another slice of cake on top of the cream and then repeat the process with each layer of cake.
22.  When all the layers are stacked, coat the top and sides with the remaining cream.
23.  To finish, dust the top with cacao powder and a generous coat of shaved dark chocolate.  
24.  Place the Tiramisu in the fridge for at least 6 hours, overnight is even better.
25.  For a boozier kick pour a little extra coffee sauce on a slice before serving.

26.  Once cut, the cake will last for up to 1 week in the fridge. Like a Trifle, Tiramisu tastes better the longer it sits in the fridge. 


Tiramisu cake

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