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Today is February 13th, and my 12th anniversary with my husband. I like to make something special for the two of us every year. This time it’s keto tiramisu dessert for our special day – and for everyone else about to celebrate Valentine’s Day tomorrow! This low carb tiramisu recipe is perfect for making ahead, so you can make it today to enjoy tomorrow.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this year round! I’m going to make this keto tiramisu for all kinds of special occasions.
What Is Tiramisu?
Tiramisu is an Italian dessert with coffee flavor. The original has alternating layers of ladyfinger cookies dipper in coffee and a whipped egg mascarpone filling… plus a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top.
This easy keto tiramisu recipe follows the same concepts I found in this regular tiramisu, but is made healthier. It’s also a balance between staying authentic and keeping it simple. It still has all the main elements of making tiramisu, but I’m sharing all my tips to make it easier!
Is Tiramisu Keto?
No, regular tiramisu is not. But, we can make tiramisu keto! We simply replace the ladyfingers with a homemade low carb pound cake, and sugar with natural sweetener.
What Is Sabayon?
Real tiramisu recipes make sabayon in the filling, so that’s what we do here! Sabayon is a custard-like sauce, usually made with egg yolks and sugar.
But please, please don’t be intimidated by the fancy name. All you have to do to make it is heat egg yolks and sweetener in a double boiler.
How To Make Low Carb Mascarpone Filling For Tiramisu
Let’s talk about the keto mascarpone filling first, because this is the part of this low carb tiramisu recipe that many people might find intimidating. (You’ll actually make the pound cake first, but the filling is the hardest part, so let’s cover that first.) It doesn’t have to be hard, though. Just follow my step-by-step tutorial!
First, heat the egg yolks and powdered sweetener in a small bowl over a double boiler. After about 10 minutes, it should get light, fluffy and frothy. This is the sabayon.
Tips For Making The Sabayon:
- Use room-temperature egg yolks. This is to avoid a temperature shock.
- Make sure the top of the double boiler is a bowl (round shape), not flat. This is so that you don’t get any egg stuck in any corners, which would cook it too much.
- It’s important to use a SMALL bowl, not a large one! This will ensure that the egg yolks aren’t spread so thin that they actually cook through.
- Keep the heat LOW! Again, overheating can overcook the egg yolks.
Here is what the sabayon looks like when it’s done:
Next, use a hand mixer to whip the sabayon until it’s thick and lemon colored. Notice how much thicker it looks afterward:
Rinse off your mixer and whip the heavy cream in a separate bowl, until you have whipped cream:
Returning to the sabayon bowl, beat the mascarpone into the egg yolks at low speed.
Tips For Beating The Mascarpone:
- Make sure the mascarpone is at room temperature. This is to ensure it mixes well with the egg, and to avoid a temperature shock.
- Use low speed and don’t over-beat. If you beat the mascarpone too much, it can curdle.
Finally, fold the sabayon mixture into the whipped cream. Do not stir to avoid breaking down the cream! Just use a folding motion with a spatula, until it looks uniform:
Now that you have the filling, here’s how to make keto tiramisu with it…
How To Make Low Carb Tiramisu
With the hard part out of the way, let’s backtrack a bit on how to make the pound cake. It’s actually similar to my low carb vanilla birthday cake recipe, but uses only almond flour and different ratios.
To start, beat together the butter and sweetener until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, heavy cream, and vanilla. Finally, beat in the dry ingredients – almond flour, baking powder, and salt.
I love that it’s all in just one bowl! I think that’s well deserved when the filling takes multiple steps.
Transfer the dough to a line baking pan and bake until it’s golden.
Let the cake cool while you finish making the filling. That usually takes longer than it does for the cake to bake.
When the cake cools a bit, whisk together some room-temperature espresso and brandy, and pour over the cake. Classic tiramisu has both, but feel free to omit the brandy if you don’t want the alcohol. It doesn’t add up to much either way.
After that, all that’s left is the assembly! We’ll cut our big square pound cake in half, and stack it alternating with the mascarpone filling to make a rectangular tiramisu.
Sift cocoa powder on top of the last layer.
Then, just refrigerate until it’s set! Wait for it to set at least 4 hours for best results, preferably overnight.
Troubleshooting Tips for Keto Tiramisu
I hope the step-by-step instructions and pictures made your healthy low carb tiramisu recipe just perfect! But if you had any issues, here are some common things to troubleshoot:
Why is my tiramisu grainy?
Usually this issue happens in recipes that fold the egg whites into the heated yolks, and the whites can seize if the yolks are too hot. This keto tiramisu recipe doesn’t use egg whites, so it shouldn’t be an issue.
However, the same can happen if you overcook the yolks when making the sabayon. Check the section on Tips For Making The Sabayon above.
Why is my tiramisu soggy?
Just to set expectations, a low carb tiramisu dessert recipe will not be exactly the same as one made with real ladyfingers. It will be softer. However, it shouldn’t be soggy.
To prevent this, make sure to bake the pound cake until it’s pretty dark golden brown (this creates a slightly crispy exterior) and use only the stated amount of espresso/brandy.
Finally, note that low carb tiramisu will gradually get more soggy as it sits for longer in the fridge. It’s best after about 4 to 8 hours, but is generally fine for 1 to 2 days. If you need to make it multiple days ahead, it’s better to freeze it.
Why is my tiramisu cream too runny or watery?
Runny or watery tiramisu is usually the result of substituting ingredients. Another possible reason is if you broke down the whipped cream when folding the mascarpone mixture into it. Make sure it’s thick and creamy, as shown above.
How Long Will Tiramisu Keep in the Fridge?
Keto tiramisu cake will keep in the fridge for a few days. It’s best in the first 1 to 2 days, though. After that, the cake layer can start to get a bit mushy or soggy.
Can You Freeze Low Carb Tiramisu?
Yes, you can freeze this low carb tiramisu recipe!
Simply freeze it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper until solid. Once it’s hard, wrap in a double layer of plastic and foil right away.
Thaw tiramisu in the refrigerator overnight.
More Low Carb Dessert Recipes
If you need more ideas for low carb desserts for special occasions, try these:
- Keto Cheesecake With Raspberry Sauce
- Keto Low Carb Creme Brulee
- Sugar-Free Sex In A Pan Dessert
- Keto Chocolate Mousse
Check out all the keto dessert recipes here!
Tools To Make
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- 9×9 baking pan – Any kind will do, but baking time is based on this one.
- Hand mixer – My favorite!
- Small saucepan + glass bowl – Normally I recommend this double boiler, but for this recipe it’s too large and the flat bottom won’t work. You need a tiny saucepan and tiny bowl for this to work!
Low Carb Keto Tiramisu Recipe
Low Carb Keto Tiramisu Recipe
The ultimate low carb tiramisu recipe - the perfect balance between authentic and easy! This keto tiramisu dessert is a decadent make-ahead treat.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line a 9 in (23 cm) square pan with parchment paper, so that it hangs over the sides.
In a large bowl, beat together the sweetener and butter, until fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, then the heavy cream and vanilla extract.
Beat in the almond flour, baking powder, and salt, until smooth.
Transfer the dough to the lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until firm, golden, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine the egg yolks and powdered sweetener in the top of a small double boiler, over boiling water. (Make sure the double boiler bowl is small.) Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 7 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is lighter in color, increased in volume, and a little frothy.
Remove from heat. Use a hand mixer at medium-low speed to whip the yolks until they are thick and lemon in color. Set aside to cool while doing the next step.
In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream at high speed until stiff peaks form.
Add the mascarpone to the whipped yolks. Beat at low speed until combined smoothly.
Gently fold the mascarpone yolk mixture into the whipped cream.
Run a knife along the edges of the cake to make sure it didn't stick to the sides. Transfer to a cutting board.
In a small bowl, stir together the espresso and brandy. Pour evenly over the cake.
Cut the cake in half, forming 2 rectangles. Carefully slide one half onto a platter.
Top the cake on the platter with half of the cream mixture. Carefully place the second half of the cake on top, then top with the remaining cream mixture.
Sift cocoa powder through a fine-mesh sieve over the tiramisu (optional).
Refrigerate for 4 hours, or preferably overnight, to set.
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Serving size: 1/10 of entire cake, either a slice almost an inch thick or a square approximately 1.8 x 2.25 inches. (I like to cut it in half lengthwise and into 5 sections crosswise, for 10 square-ish pieces.)
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