Gluten Free Tiramisu Cake

Imagine three incredibly light layers of sponge cake, topped with espresso. They sandwich a fluffy mixture of sweetened whipped cream and cream cheese which is flavored with homemade chocolate liqueur and chopped chocolate. It is a true Italian delight. Your guests will be thanking you for your effort.

Developing a gluten free tiramisu recipe had been on my long list of recipes to create for quite some time, and here it is! Luckily, the new improvements I made to my gluten free sponge cake proved to be very beneficial. This cake turned out so light!

Though tiramisu usually calls for mascarpone cheese, (a sweetened cream cheese), I used cream cheese with additional powdered sugar, which is much lower in cost, though there is nothing truly like mascarpone cheese, and may be used in this recipe. I also used chocolate liqueur, but assumed that it would also be a costly expense for everyone, therefore, developed a homemade chocolate liqueur recipe for you to use (linked below in the ingredients list). In addition, because this recipe calls for espresso, I’ve provided you with an easy espresso recipe (linked below). I hope you enjoy this Italian treasure. We did!

Gluten Free Tiramisu Cake


Prep Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: Makes 12 - 16 servings

Gluten Free Tiramisu Cake

An incredibly light, gluten-free tiramisu cake made from gluten-free sponge cake layers, topped with espresso; filled with cream cheese,whipped cream, homemade chocolate liqueur, and chopped chocolate. An Italian delight. Mangia! (eat)


  • Double recipe for Gluten Free Sponge Cake (I used all superfine white rice flour)
  • 3/8 cup Espresso Recipe, divided
  • 12 ounces gluten-free cream cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups cream, not heavy
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/8 cup (6 Tbsp.) Chocolate Liqueur*
  • 3 ounces (1/2 cup) Nestle's Natural Dark Chocolate Morsels, finely chopped (or better Baker's Bittersweet Chocolate squares, grated or finely chopped)
  • 2 - 3 Tablespoons gluten free Dutch processed cocoa powder (Rodelle brand) or unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghirardelli or Hershey's)
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting sides of cake (optional)


    To Make the Cake:
  1. Oil three 8 x 8-inch round pans. Line their bottoms with parchment paper and oil again; set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F with two shelves close to the center.
  2. Make the cake batter for the Sponge Cake according to directions. Distribute batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake on 2 shelves (1 pan in front on one shelf and 2 in the back on the lower shelf, or vice versa) for 25 minutes. Exchange pans midway through baking.
  3. While the cake bakes, combine boiling water and espresso; set aside to cool.
  4. Set cakes on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes in their pans. Oil the wire rack and remove cakes from their pans. Place them directly on the wire rack.
  5. Remove parchment paper and place one layer on a cake platter. Baste the top of the first layer with about 2 tablespoons of espresso; set aside.
  6. To Make the Filling/Frosting:
  7. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together the cream cheese, cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla on high until stiff peaks form. Add chocolate liqueur a little bit at a time while mixer is running on high speed until thoroughly combined.
  8. To Assemble the Cake:
  9. Spoon about one-fifth of the cream mixture over the set aside layer of cake, and smooth out evenly.
  10. Sprinkle half of the chopped chocolate over the cream mixture.
  11. Top with the second layer of cake. Evenly baste with 2 tablespoons espresso and about one-fifth of the cream mixture; distribute evenly. Sprinkle the remaining chopped chocolate over the cream mixture.
  12. Add the third cake layer. Evenly baste with the remaining espresso. On top, distribute almost one-fifth of the cream mixture evenly. Use the remaining cream mixture to frost the sides of the cake. You may smooth out the sides. Then prior to serving, pat the sides of the frosted cake with powdered sugar. Alternatively, using the back of a spoon to create swirls in the frosting.
  13. Refrigerate 8 to 24 hours. (The cake will absorb moisture from the cream mixture.)
  14. When ready to serve, if using a stencil, add it to the top of the cake. Add cocoa powder to a fine mesh strainer and tap it while rotating it over the top of the cake. Remove and discard the stencil. If not using a stencil, pat smooth sides with confectioners’ sugar, and dust the top with cocoa.
  15. When ready to serve, if using a stencil (see link at the bottom of this page), add it to the top of the cake.
  16. Sift cocoa powder over the top, and then remove the stencil.
  17. If not using a stencil, pat the smooth sides with powdered sugar and sift the top with cocoa, as in the featured photo at the top of this recipe.


*To make the frosting non-alcoholic, use gluten-free chocolate syrup to replace the chocolate liqueur.

As an alternative to basting the cake with espresso, you may add the espresso powder to the boiling water in the sponge cake recipe.

If you'd like to use a stencil to add a design on the top of the cake, either purchase one or cut out a design and dust around with cocoa powder. Use a fine mesh strainer to hold the cocoa powder and tap its side several times while you move the strainer around the cake.

Happy gluten free cooking and good health to you!

Carla Spacher


4 Replies to “Gluten Free Tiramisu Cake”

  1. This cake was SO delicious!! The frosting is to die for. I did not make your sponge cake recipe, since I had an extra gluten free white cake mix. It tasted great with the white cake mix, though. I also had only 2 layers of cake, and I have lots of extra frosting. I would suggest to not be skimpy when putting the frosting between the layers. Pile it on, because it is YUM!

    1. Hi T,

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe. I am glad it worked out for you using a boxed cake mix.

      It is funny that you are commenting on this recipe today as I am a new gluten free tiramisu cake recipe today for Valentine’s Day. It has a coffee and mild chocolaty cake with several different types of layers, with the final layer being a thin layer of brownie. Stay tuned for it. I should be publishing it today or tomorrow.


  2. If using marscarpone cheese instead of cream cheese how much sugar should be used? I am guessing a bit less since marscarpone is already sweet. Thanks for sharing this recipe – one of my favorite desserts – can’t wait to try it.

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