This tiramisu cake has a moist eggless vanilla & espresso swirled sponge cake, dairy free mascarpone, ‘cream cheese’ frosting, and a sprinkle of cocoa powder! It’s surprisingly easy to make (yes even for beginners!) and tastes amazingly just like tiramisu- and you won’t even know it’s vegan!

assembled tiramisu cake

The Tiramisu Cake of All Tiramisu Cakes

If you’re like me, then you know how deep our love of tiramisu runs. It’s the best of the best Italian dessert recipes, or even dessert in general in my opinion. So a tiramisu-inspired cake was definitely in order.

And I think you’ll be shocked by how easy and simple this cake is to make and assemble, along with how much it literally tastes like tiramisu. 

Trust me, I was speechless. And I’ve had enough dessert in my lifetime (even wrote a whole cookbook on it) where dessert doesn’t leave me jaw-on-the-floor too often anymore. 

We have a rich, moist and fluffy vanilla sponge cake that has swirls of espresso cake batter layered with a sweet creamy mascarpone filling, coating of cream cheese frosting, and a delicious dusting of cocoa powder to finish.

sliced vegan tiramisu cake

And guess what? It’s all eggless and dairy free. Yep, just like my classic vegan tiramisu (which then inspired my classic vegan tiramisu cheesecake, strawberry tiramisu, and banana tiramisu!), this cake recipe is entirely egg-free and dairy free, meaning it’s vegan. And you’d never know.

And like my tiramisu recipe, I spent months perfecting this recipe so that it’s simple, uncomplicated, and so easy for you to make and assemble. Because at the end of the day, I want everyone to see how amazing and easy vegan baking is- and when you get a taste of this cake, you’ll instantly feel the same!!

If you LOVE Italian dessert recipes, then check out my vegan cannoli, vegan cannoli cheesecake, and vegan tricolore cookies!

Tiramisu Cake Components:

  • Vanilla & Espresso Swirled Sponge Cake: Instead of soaking our vanilla sponge cake in coffee after baking, I found the cake has better structure if we actually bake a swirl of espresso cake batter throughout. And guess what? You don’t need a stand mixture nor a hand mixer- just a large bowl and a whisk! This recipe is entirely eggless and dairy free, yet rises into the fluffiest and most moist cake that is reminiscent of coffee soaked ladyfingers . YUM!
  • Dairy Free Mascarpone Cheese Filling: We’re sweeten it with a touch of granulated sugar and folding in some vegan whipped cream. This will serve as our filling for our tiramisu cake recipe.
  • Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting: This is simply vegan cream cheese, vegan butter, and powdered sugar. A simple combination that becomes so silky and smooth, you’ll never believe it’s dairy free! For this, a stand mixer with whisk attachment or a hand mixer is helpful!
  • Cocoa Powder: Because no tiramisu is complete without that rich dusting of cocoa powder to finish!
sliced tiramisu cake

Ingredients & Substitutions:

For the vanilla & espresso swirled sponge cake:

  • Flour: I used all-purpose flour here, but you can also use gluten-free flour as long as it contains xanthan gum. I personally use King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour when baking. It’s amazing!
  • Granulated sugar: Your usual cake ingredients always include sugar! Not all sugar is vegan, however. So make sure you’re either buying organic or vegan certified. Both indicate that your sugar will be vegan.
  • Instant espresso powder: You can also brew espresso, but I thought this was easiest for everyone (as I don’t even have an espresso machine ha!). We’ll be dissolving it in just a tbsp of hot water then cooling the water before integrating into the batter.
  • Dairy free milk: You can use any dairy free milk, like oat milk or almond milk. Soy milk and pea milk also work here. 
  • Dairy free yogurt: This is our vegan egg substitute, as it replaces both the egg yolks and the egg white. And it’s my favorite for vegan cakes. In fact, it’s what took my vanilla cake to the next level and got it a 5-star rating from a classic pastry chef. 
  • Vegan butter: My favorite Vegan butter is Miyoko’s. However, if your’e nut free, feel free to use a neutral oil, like avocado oil or sunflower seed oil. I don’t recommend using coconut oil. It is VERY high in fat so it’ll yield a drier texture and leave a coconut aftertaste.
  • Vanilla bean paste & extract: You can use just the vanilla extract, but the paste adds a bit more depth of flavor.
  • Baking powder & soda: To help leaven our cake recipe!

For the filling:

  • Vegan mascarpone cheese: Recently I developed my vegan mascarpone cheese recipe to be soy free as well as nut free, and let me tell you. It’s incredible. You just need 3 ingredients- pea milk, vinegar or lemon juice, and vegan heavy whipping cream. You will need to make this well in advance in order for it to cool to sit between your cake layers. I recommend making it the day before!
  • Vegan cream cheese frostingThis will be the outer layer of our cake. I figured even a tiramisu cake recipe needs to taste sweet like a cake. So the frosting will add that component to it. 
  • Cocoa powder: No tiramisu is complete without a hefty dusting of cocoa powder! Use Dutch-process for an extra rich flavor.
slice of tiramisu cake on a plate

Inside Britt’s Kitchen: The Testing Process:

Now, this vegan tiramisu cake, much like my vegan tiramisu, took some time to perfect.

I started the process over 2 months ago. Of course, I didn’t expect to get it right on the first go around.

But I was shocked by the result of the layer cake and the overall look of the cake.

The vanilla espresso sponge cake just needed really a few more tweaks to perfection. But I was obsessed with the overall look of the cake. The thin layer of frosting with piped whipped cream on top gave this cake the look and feel of the classic pick-me-up dessert.

So my main area of struggle was the mascarpone frosting. Now, with regular dairy products, they’re much more stable when you want to use them as a frosting. 

Vegan mascarpone, however, while very similar in taste and texture, works very different in frostings.

I attempted a mascarpone frosting for the overall cake, as well as a mascarpone “cream cheese” frosting. Both split very badly, and were not able to be used.

first round of testing of the tiramisu cake
First round of testing of the tiramisu cake

It then occurred to me– why not use a sweet mascarpone filling in the center like a cake filling?! Then use cream cheese frosting as the outer coating of the cake?!

This was my breakthrough moment.

sliced vegan tiramisu cake

Overview: How to assemble a vegan tiramisu cake step-by-step:

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

We then decided to fill the center of the cake with a sweet mascarpone, and did a naked-style coating of cream cheese frosting on top. Finally, we pipped the remaining mascarpone on top where you’d normally pipe whipped cream.

Once the cream cheese frosting has been set, we’ll finish with a final fresh coat of frosting, piped mascarpone on top, and dust with cocoa powder. Now you’re set!

Beginner’s Adaptation:

Now while the vegan mascarpone is super easy to make, it does require an extra step and more time. So for my beginner bakers, You can absolutely use just a full batch of vegan cream cheese frosting as the filling and coating of this layer cake.

The vegan cream cheese will still provide that tang that will complement the sweet vanilla sponge and the rich espresso and cocoa powder.

bitten slice of vegan tiramisu cake

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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sliced vegan tiramisu cake

MOIST Vegan Tiramisu Cake with Dairy Free Mascarpone Filling

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan


This tiramisu cake has a moist eggless vanilla & espresso swirled sponge cake, dairy free mascarpone, ‘cream cheese’ frosting, and a sprinkle of cocoa powder! It’s surprisingly easy to make (yes even for beginners!) and tastes amazingly just like tiramisu- and you won’t even know it’s vegan!



Vanilla Espresso Sponge Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cup (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (220 g) vegan unsalted butter (melted) or neutral oil
  • 1 cup (240 g) dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract (yes, 2 tablespoons!!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cup (300 mL) dairy free milk, like oat milk or soy milk
  • 3 1/2 cup (420 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp flour

Vegan mascarpone filling:

  • 1 1/2 batches vegan mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup vegan heavy cream, COLD
  • 4 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Remaining components:


  1. Prep: I recommend making the mascarpone cheese the day before, as then it has ample time to cool in the fridge. If it’s easiest, you can make the mascarpone cheese and bake the cake layers on the same day, then assemble the next day.
  2. Preheat: Once the mascarpone cheese has been made and cooled, you can preheat the oven to 350F and line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Mix the espresso powder with 1 tbsp of hot water to dissolve, then place into the fridge to cool. You don’t want it to be super hot going into the cake batter.
  3. Make the vanilla cake batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the melted vegan butter, granulated sugar, dairy free yogurt, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean paste. Then add in the vinegar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Whisk to combine. Finally, add in the flour (except for the additional tablespoon of flour below the instant espresso powder) and dairy free milk. Whisk JUST until combined.
  4. Make the espresso cake batter: Divide about 1/3 of the cake batter into a separate small bowl, and add in the espresso and additional 1 tbsp of flour to the small bowl with the cake batter. Whisk gently to incorporate the espresso into the cake batter.
  5. Assemble the cake batter: Pour the vanilla cake batter evenly into each cake pan. Then dollop half of the espresso batter into one pan, then dollop the remaining batter into the other. Gently swirl the cake batter with a butter knife, being careful not to over swirl.
  6. Bake: Place the cake pans into the oven to bake for 33-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Once baked, remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in their cake pans before removing and cooling completely on a cooling rack.
  7. Make the sweet mascarpone cream and the cream cheese frosting: Follow the instructions for making the cream cheese frosting, and set in the fridge. Then move onto making the mascarpone in a separate large bowl. First start by  using a hand mixer or stand mixer to cream the heavy vegan cream until soft peaks form. Add in the powdered sugar, cornstarch, vanilla bean extract, vanilla bean paste, and sea salt, and cream again to incorporate. Add in the mascarpone cheese, and switch to a silicone spatula. Fold the mascarpone into the vegan whipped cream mixture, just folding until the mascarpone is evenly distributed. Be careful NOT to stir, but rather fold. Set aside in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  8. Assemble the tiramisu cake: Once the cake layers are fully cooled, it’s time to assemble the cake. Place one cake layer on a cake plate or turntable, and spoon some vegan cream cheese frosting into a piping bag, with the tip cut off. Pipe a wall of cream cheese frosting around the outer top edge of the cake. The center will be where the mascarpone goes. Spoon about 1/2-2/3 cup of mascarpone filling into the center (you will have leftover mascarpone to pipe on the top of the cake). Place the second cake layer on top and promptly coat the outside of the cake in cream cheese frosting to create a crumb coat. Place the tiramisu cake into the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
  9. Finish decorating: After the cake has set in the fridge, remove the cake and finish frosting the cake as desired, piping the remaining mascarpone filling on top. Dust the cake with cocoa powder. If serving at a later point, hold off on piping the mascarpone until 10-20 minutes before serving. The cocoa powder will soak too much into the piped mascarpone, and soften the mascarpone.
  10. Slice and serve! Store any leftovers in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 4 days.


See blog post for all tips & tricks