Upgrade this classic no bake dessert and make alcohol-free, eggless caramel tiramisu! This may look like a complicated and elegant dessert, but it's shockingly easy to make and quick to assemble. With delicate lady fingers soaked to perfection in coffee, layered with a fluffy mascarpone mixture and rich caramel sauce, this is the perfect treat for any and all occasions!
I've been getting a lot of requests for more eggless recipes lately, and I'm really excited about creating more!! I love a good eggless dessert - and I'm especially obsessed with making them taste just as good as, if not better than, their eggy versions. Coming from an egg lover.
Eggs are crazy expensive right now (and mascarpone cheese is enough of a burden on my wallet thank YOU) and a few regions are seeing issues with egg production and distribution - not to mention the lovely humans who have an egg allergy or sensitivity - so I'm more than happy to work out recipes that make desserts more accessible!
To start off the eggless train, I figured we'd make a tiramisu. And not just any tiramisu - a CARAMEL tiramisu! If you've never tried a combination of caramel, coffee, and cheese, let this be your sign to do it. This was one of the best tiramisus I've ever had, and I'll bet my ceramic collection that it'll become a new fave for you as well!! It's real serious when I bring in the ceramics.
how to layer tiramisu
When it comes to the process of soaking the lady fingers in coffee, there are 2 main methods for getting the job done.
The first, and probably most well known and popular, is to dip the lady fingers in coffee very quickly and then arrange the dipped cookies in your serving dish. You have to be quick when dipping the fingers because they will soak up the coffee in the blink of an eye! They shouldn't sit for more than about 1 second in the coffee.
This is how I've been doing it for yeeeaaaarssss, but I just learned a quicker and easier method! The alternative method involves arranging the plain, dry lady fingers in your serving dish, and then evenly pouring the coffee over top. This is much less tedious and you don't have to worry about oversoaked lady fingers!
how to make caramel tiramisu without eggs
Make the caramel sauce:
1. Cook sugar and water until it turns golden brown.
2. Add butter and cook until melted.
3. Add heavy cream and salt, and cook until creamy and smooth. As soon as the caramel sauce is cooked to perfection, transfer it to a heat safe bowl and set aside to cool completely to room temperature.
Make the mascarpone filling:
1. Combine filling ingredients and whip into stiff peaks.
2. Layer the tiramisu! Start by laying about 12 lady fingers into the bottom of an 8x8 pan. Try to cover the bottom as best you can, but a few gaps are fine. Pour half of the coffee over the lady fingers to soak.
Top the coffee soaked lady fingers with about ⅓ of the mascarpone filling, then drizzle caramel sauce over top. Repeat the process with another layer of lady fingers, coffee, ⅓ of the mascarpone filling, and caramel.
Fill the remaining mascarpone filling into a piping bag and pipe dollops on top of the layered tiramisu. If you prefer not to do this step, then simply layer ½ of the mascarpone filling after each cookie layer instead of ⅓.
3. Chill until set. Dust the top of the tiramisu with cocoa powder and pop into the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight until set. Slice and enjoy!
finding eggless ladyfingers
Edit: Thank you to the lovely person on Instagram who asked about the eggs in lady fingers. I completely forgot to include a note about them!!
As far as I know, there are sadly no widely available store-bought ladyfingers you can find that don't contain eggs. If you don't have any special diet needs and just wanted a tiramisu recipe without raw eggs or additional eggs added, then feel free to use regular old ladyfingers.
If you do need the ladyfingers to be eggless, you can try shopping in smaller local stores or bakeries. Some of them may make their own eggless lady fingers in house. But they can be difficult to come across, so you may need to make your own at home. By far the best recipe for eggless ladyfingers that I've tried is this one courtesy of Bigger Bolder Baking.
- make the caramel sauce in a saucepan with HIGH sides. Homemade caramel sauce will bubble and increase in volume - so it's important to use a pan with high sides.
- don't stir the caramel when it's just sugar and water. This can cause it to harden and crystalize. If needed, carefully swirl the pan around to ensure even cooking. It's perfectly fine to start whisking and stirring after you add the butter!
- watch out for burnt caramel. If you're making your own caramel sauce, it can go from perfect to burnt in a flash! Always keep an eye on it while it's cooking and immediately transfer the sauce to a heat safe bowl so the residual heat in the pan doesn't continue to brown the sauce.
- use cold ingredients for the mascarpone filling. They whip up faster and more sturdy!
- whipping the mascarpone mixture. An under whipped mix will lead to a runny filling and over whipped mix will also deflate and end up too soft. The mascarpone mixture should be whipped to stiff peaks - no more, no less!
- use good quality coffee. If you wouldn't drink it, don't use it! That doesn't mean it has to be expensive - just something you find tasty!
- don't oversoak the lady fingers. This is mostly a problem if you decide to dip your lady fingers in the coffee one by one - it's very important to quickly dunk them in for no more than about 1 second! They soak up liquid FAST!
Can I use store-bought caramel sauce?
Yes! Just make sure you're using caramel SAUCE and NOT caramel SYRUP!
Can I skip the caramel sauce altogether?
Yes, but I designed the mascarpone filling to be slightly less sweet to account for the added sweetness from the caramel. I would personally recommend increasing the amount of powdered sugar to 1 full cup if you leave out the caramel.
Can I add alcohol?
Yes! Feel free to add up to 3 tablespoons of coffee liqueur or brandy to the strongly brewed coffee. I just personally hate the taste, so I don't include it.
Can I chill the tiramisu in the freezer?
I wouldn't recommend using the freezer to speed up the chill time. You run the risk of a frozen exterior and a center that hasn't set. Chilling in the fridge is a much better choice for tiramisu!
Keep tiramisu stored in the fridge until right before you're ready to serve. Tiramisu will keep for about 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Any longer than that and the lady fingers will start to over soften.
check out these other recipes!
Eggless Caramel Tiramisu Recipe
For the homemade caramel sauce: *(see notes)
- ¼ cup (60mL) water
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons (75g) unsalted butter, sliced
- ½ cup (120mL) heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the tiramisu layers:
- 1 & ½ cups (360mL) cold heavy cream
- ⅔ cup (87g) powdered sugar
- 1 cup (8 ounces / 225g) cold mascarpone cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 24 Savoiardi lady fingers (approx.) **see notes on eggless substitutions
- 1 cup (240mL) strongly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
- cocoa powder for dusting on top
make the caramel sauce:
- Measure out all of your caramel ingredients and set them aside. Caramel comes together very quickly, so you won't have time to measure between steps!
- In a medium sized saucepot with high sides, combine water and sugar. Set over medium heat and cook, without stirring, until it turns a rich golden brown color. Keep an eye on it and take care not to let it cook for too long or it will burn very quickly and suddenly!¼ cup (60mL) water, 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- Working quickly - but carefully! - add butter to the caramelized sugar. The mixture will bubble and almost triple in volume. Cook, mixing constantly with a long handled wooden spoon or whisk, until the butter is melted and the bubbling has settled down (about 30 seconds).5 tablespoons (75g) unsalted butter,
- Pour in heavy cream and salt. The mixture may harden and form chunks because of the cold heavy cream, but that's normal! Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking constantly, until everything's melted, smooth and creamy (about 1 minute).½ cup (120mL) heavy cream, ½ teaspoon salt
- As soon as the caramel is ready, quickly transfer to a heat safe bowl - otherwise the residual heat in the pan can burn your caramel. Set aside (uncovered) to cool completely to room temperature before using.
make the tiramisu:
- In a large bowl, combine cream, sugar, mascarpone cheese, salt, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until it reaches stiff peaks. To test if it's ready, dip your beater in the mixture and invert it. The tip of your mascarpone cream should not curl over.1 & ½ cups (360mL) cold heavy cream, ⅔ cup (87g) powdered sugar, 1 cup (8 ounces / 225g) cold mascarpone cheese, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Layer approximately 12 lady fingers in the bottom of an 8x8 inch pan - or however many you need to completely cover the bottom with cookies. If needed, break the cookies to get them to fit snuggly. A few small gaps are fine.24 Savoiardi lady fingers
- Slowly and evenly pour ½ a cup of coffee over the lady fingers.1 cup (240mL) strongly brewed coffee,
- Spread about ⅓ of your mascarpone mixture on top, and then evenly drizzle about ⅓ cup of your cooled caramel over the mascarpone layer.
- Layer 12 more lady fingers (or again however many you need to cover the surface of the tiramisu), and evenly pour over the remaining half of coffee. Spread another ⅓ of the mascarpone mixture on top and drizzle another ⅓ cup of caramel over top.
- Transfer the remaining mascarpone cream mixture into a large piping bag fitted with your choice of tip. Pipe dots of the mascarpone mixture over the layered tiramisu. Sift cocoa powder on top to evenly cover the tiramisu.cocoa powder
- Chill the tiramisu in the fridge for at least 4 hours or until firm enough to slice and serve. Enjoy with some more caramel sauce on the side if desired!