Gluten-Free Tiramisu Cups – the all-time Italian favourite chilled dessert

Tiramisu is found on most Italian restaurant menus as one of the staple desserts, traditionally served from a large round glass bowl so the layers are visible from the side. It consists of layers of coffee-infused sponge biscuits and Tiramisu cream finished off with a generous dusting of cocoa powder.

The Tiramisu cream is not fresh cream, but a softly whipped Italian cream cheese called Mascarpone, further enhanced with separated eggs and a small amount of sugar.

Somehow the combination of the coffee-infused biscuits and Tiramisu cream work together like magic and creates the most amazing dessert.

What does Tiramisu mean?

I love the meaning behind the name, Tiramisu which can either means “to pick me up” or “to cheer me up” in Italian dialect, referring to the coffee and liqueur’s presence in the dessert.

Key Ingredients for Tiramisu
Savoiardi biscuits

These are light sponge biscuits that are also known as Lady Fingers or Sponge Fingers. Made with eggs and flour (and no butter!), they absorb the coffee liqueur well to create soft pillows of biscuit layers between each dollop of Tiramisu cream.

Finding store-bought gluten-free Savoiardi biscuits can be tricky but making them gluten-free is surprisingly easy. You don’t need any special binders like xanthan gum for these biscuits as the eggs do the job. In this recipe, rather than piping finger length logs on a baking tray, the batter is spread out to bake like a thin cake. Once baked and cooled, round biscuit shapes are cut out according to the diameter of the coffee cup or glass being used to serve each portion by either using a small knife to cut around the glass base and top or using an assortment of different sized round biscuit cutters.

Mascarpone

Mascarpone is an Italian-style cream cheese that has a consistency of sour cream or whipped cream cheese. Far from tasting sour, mascarpone tastes like rich cream, even for the reduced-fat varieties, which is a bonus if you are trying to reduce the calories in this dessert.

Coffee

The recipe asks for strong coffee. Each Tiramisu cup serving is the equivalent of nearly one espresso. Maybe don’t drink a coffee on the side with your Tiramisu or you’ll be up all night digesting the excess caffeine!  If you don’t have a coffee machine, then mix a strong amount of instant coffee powder and taste its strength according to your liking. Using decaf is fine if you prefer no caffeine in this dessert.

Coffee liqueur

Kahlúa is my first choice as a coffee liqueur, next is Tia Maria, but you could also substitute them for Frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur or Amaretto, an almond liqueur, or Marsala. Any nutty or coffee liqueur works,  even Baileys Irish Cream, despite it being made with whisky, the barley grain is distilled making it gluten-free and safe for celiacs according to the company.  If you prefer to leave out the alcohol, substitute it with either two teaspoons of coffee, vanilla or almond essence for that extra kick in flavour.

Fresh eggs

Use the freshest and if possible, the best organic eggs you can find, as they are used raw in this recipe. Nowadays, raw eggs in cooking have become more acceptable because of the quality and safety in egg production. However, I would advise not serving raw eggs to expectant mothers, those in frail health or very young children.

Adobe photo of gluten-free tiramisu pots
close up of gluten-free tiramisu pots

Gluten-Free Tiramisu Cups

by Sandra - Fun Without Gluten
Make some elegant tiramisu cups for your next dinner party. These coffee cups consist of layers of coffee-infused gluten-free sponge biscuits and tiramisu cream finished off with a generous dusting of cocoa powder. Make-ahead friendly, delicious and impressive looking, this dessert will not disappoint!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Chilling Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 52 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 7 coffee cups

Equipment

  • Handheld or stand mixer with a whisk and paddle attachment
  • Round cookie cutters that fit your chosen cups
  • glass coffee cups (150-200ml) or normal drinking glasses

Ingredients
  

GLUTEN-FREE SAVOIRADI BISCUITS

TIRAMISU CREAM

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 500 g mascarpone, full-fat or reduced-fat
  • 300 ml strong coffee, chilled
  • 2 tbsp Kahlua or another brand of coffee liqueur, or substitute
  • 2 tsp coffee, vanilla or almond extract (optional)

To decorate

  • 2 tbsp sifted cocoa powder (for dusting)
  • 7 chocolate cut-outs (your choice of design)

Instructions
 

GLUTEN-FREE SAVOIRADI BISCUITS

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Line a 25 x 25 cm baking tray with baking paper. (If doubling or tripling the recipe, allow for 2 or 3 baking trays).
  • Whisk the egg whites in a clean glass or ceramic bowl until soft peaks form. Set aside.
    a bowl of softly whisked egg whites
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Add the flours to the egg yolk mixture. Mix well.
  • Fold the egg whites gently into the flour mixture.
  • Spread the mixture into the lined baking tin.
    unbaked Savoiradi biscuit batter in the lined tin
  • Bake for 12 minutes.
    baked Savoiradi biscuit sponge in a tin
  • Allow to cool completely before cutting out round shapes to fit at the base and middle of your chosen glass or cup. Prepare 3 cutouts per cup, cover and set aside.
    cuting out the circle biscuits to fit the tiramisu cups

TIRAMISU CREAM

  • Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold this into the egg yolk mixture.
    Folding in the whisked egg whites into the egg yolk mixture for tiramisu
  • Gently add the mascarpone and mix thoroughly until the mixture has a thick smooth consistency. Set aside.

Assembling the Tiramisu Cups

  • In a shallow bowl, pour the coffee mixture in it and one by one, briefly dip the biscuits in the mixture, flipping them over to soak thoroughly and absorb the coffee. Don’t leave the biscuits too long in the coffee mixture or they will become too soft and fall apart while transferring them to the cups.
    dipping in the cut out Savoiradi biscuits in the coffee mixture
  • Start stacking the soaked biscuit in the cups, followed by approximately one large serving spoon of tiramisu cream.
    stacking the biscuits and tiramisu cream in the coffee cups
  • Repeat with two layers of biscuit and tiramisu cream, finishing off the final layer with just the tiramisu cream.
    final layer of tiramisu cup assembly
  • Dust generously with the sifted cocoa powder.
  • Chill for at least one hour before serving. Decorate each tiramisu cup with a chocolate shape.

Notes

  • Keeps for 2 days chilled
  • Unsuitable to freeze, although any leftover Savoiradi biscuits can be frozen for future Tiramisu cups
cut out Savoiradi biscuits that can be frozen for later use
Keyword gluten-free dessert, gluten-free italian, gluten-free savoiradi biscuits, gluten-free tiramisu
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Please mention @fun_without_gluten or tag #funwithoutgluten!
Any cut-offs can be stored in the freeze for other desserts that require sponge cake pieces like for English trifle pudding.

 

you may also like

 

a stack of gluten-free lemon and ricotta pancakes with fruit and raspberry sauce next to it

Gluten-Free Lemon & Ricotta Pancakes

assembled gluten-free gnocchi on a tray ready to be cooked

Gluten-Free Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter

a small plate with five gluten-free arancinis on it

Gluten-Free Arancini Di Riso (with video instructions)

GDPR Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner