GLUTEN FREE TIRAMISU CAKE {gluten, nut & soy free}

This gluten free tiramisu cake is a celebration of the best chocolate + coffee dessert out there: the one and only tiramisu. With fluffy gluten free genoise sponge generously soaked with coffee and a super pretty ombre mascarpone buttercream frosting, this gluten free layer cake is every coffee lover’s dream.

The gluten free tiramisu cake is placed on a white plate, which sits on top of two more decorative plates - a pink and a grey one. A slice has been cut and is the process of being removed with a pretty antique cake server. A pretty lace napkin is on the right side next to it, and a antique coffee cup and sauces are in the foreground.

So… I kinda love chocolate. Really really love chocolate.

Though I suppose that hardly comes as a surprise to you. I mean… just look at the list:
Caramel stuffed white chocolate cake truffles.
The best paleo chocolate cake.
Healthy flourless chocolate cake.
Salted caramel brownie truffles.
Marshmallow brownies.
Raspberry white chocolate brownies.
Caramel chocolate chip cookie brownies.
Paleo brownies with avocado ganache.
5-minute chocolate gluten free mug cake.
And that’s not even all of the chocolate recipes on here!

The only thing I love more than chocolate is chocolate with: a) caramel and b) coffee. And today is a  chocolate-coffee combo day. You see, I can’t actually drink coffee – unless I fancy shaking hands and a racing heart. Even the sad amount of caffeine in a cappuccino can be too much sometimes. A cappuccino! Honestly.

Still, I’m okay with coffee in desserts (thankfully thankfully thankfully), and if there’s one coffee dessert everyone should make, it’s tiramisu. Now, I’ve gone on and on (and on) about my love for tiramisu last week – that recipe was a healthier variation on the best chocolate-coffee dessert out there

Making a gluten free tiramisu cake seemed like the next logical step. (If you ignore that fact that there’s no actual tiramisu recipe on The Loopy Whisk yet. Why make it simple and sensible, when you can make it complicated and allovertheplace?)

The gluten free tiramisu cake is placed on a white plate, which sits on top of two more decorative plates - a pink and a grey one. A pretty lace napkin is on the right side next to it, and a antique coffee cup and sauces are in the foreground.

The sponge part of the tiramisu cake is a gluten free genoise sponge – light and fluffy as a cloud. It’s slightly dry, which makes it perfect for soaking up lots and lots of coffee. And while we’re at it: don’t be afraid to really drench the sponge with coffee. I was a scaredy-cat and just gently soaked it… guys, we’re going for serious tiramisu vibes here. So get generous with the coffee, and if you think it’s too much – trust me, it isn’t.

(Otherwise, you’ll be stuck soaking each slice before eating it – and you’ll be forced to listen to people call it a “DIY cake”. You know who you are.)

A slice of the gluten free tiramisu cake is on a decorative plate in the foreground. The layers of fluffy genoise, soaked in coffee, as well as chocolate, coffee and plain mascarpone buttercream are nicely distinguishable. The rest of the gluten free tiramisu ombre cake is in the background.

The frosting is a twist on good ol’ buttercream: mascarpone buttercream, made from softened unsalted butter, room temperature mascarpone and icing sugar. Mascarpone on its own can get a bit runny, which isn’t ideal for frosting a cake – adding butter gives it more body and stability.

Now, you want your base frosting to be as white as possible – which means you need to really beat the butter and mascarpone with the powdered sugar for quite a while. When you think it’s enough… go for another 5 to 10 minutes. You want the mascarpone buttercream to be pale, fluffy and as white as possible.

Now, I had a bit of a scare in the kitchen while I was making the mascarpone buttercream. It’s winter. Which means that “room temperature” butter is colder and harder than summer “room temperature” butter. 

‘Well, DUH,’ I hear you say. 

And I get it, I really do. But when you’re in the kitchen and have just chucked a pound of butter and mascarpone into the mixer, and it looks like a curdled mess and there’s no more mascarpone left… you’ll feel like crying. And throwing a tantrum. And you’ll panic, and start googling “how to save GODAWFUL buttercream” with sticky fingers on your phone. 

Just… relax. ‘Kay? We got this. Because I lived through it (and look, still alive) and the solution is easy peasy. And a teeny tiny bit weird. It’s… a hairdryer.

No, seriously. Basically, the butter and/or mascarpone is too cold, so no matter how long you beat the buttercream, and no matter how much powdered sugar you add in the hope that it will magically “fix” everything (it won’t)… you’ll still be left with curdled buttercream. (Also called split buttercream.)

So what we need to do it warm up the buttercream, with the help of a good ol’ hairdryer. Just gently warm the sides of the bowl with the hairdryer while the mixer does its beating/whipping thing. In no time at all, you’ll be left with lovely, creamy, fluffy mascarpone buttercream.

See? We’re okay.

A slice of the gluten free tiramisu cake is on a decorative plate in the foreground. It is turned with its back to the front, emphasising the ombre frosting, achieved with the chocolate, coffee and plain mascarpone buttercream. The rest of the gluten free tiramisu ombre cake is in the background.

All that’s left to do is drench the three sponges with a bit more coffee (we need LOTS of coffee, remember?) and divide the mascarpone buttercream into three parts: a half and two quarters. Leave the largest amount of buttercream as-is: this will be used both for frosting and as a crumb coat. Then we’ll flavour one quarter with melted chocolate (yu-um!) and the other quarter with a highly concentrated coffee solution. 

Because, friends, this isn’t just any old tiramisu cake. It’s a gluten free ombre tiramisu cake. ‘Cause it’s pretty and we’re awesome and there’s always room for pretty ombre cakes in our lives.

When everything is mise en place, we’ll stack the sponge cakes together and layer them with the mascarpone buttercream, in the order of: sponge – chocolate mascarpone buttercream – sponge – coffee mascarpone buttercream – sponge.Then, we’ll crumb coat it with the plain mascarpone buttercream and into the fridge it goes for about half an hour.

Finally, we’ll frost the chilled tiramisu cake, creating that beautiful ombre effect. It’s easy, but the results are magnificent. 

The gluten free tiramisu cake is placed on a white plate, which sits on top of two more decorative plates - a pink and a grey one. A slice has been cut and is the process of being removed with a pretty antique cake server. A pretty lace napkin is on the right side next to it, and a antique coffee cup and sauces are in the foreground.

A final dusting of cocoa powder on top – and we’re done. We’ve just made a wonderful gluten free ombre tiramisu cake and probably “taste tested” waaaaaaay too much mascarpone buttercream.

So. We’ve learnt that one shouldn’t skimp on the coffee soak in a tiramisu cake (otherwise, the cake will be mocked and called a “DIY cake” and that’s just not okay), that a hairdryer is super useful in the kitchen (who knew!) and that chocolate + coffee = life. Important life lessons, right there.

A slice of the gluten free tiramisu cake is on a decorative plate in the foreground. The layers of fluffy genoise, soaked in coffee, as well as chocolate, coffee and plain mascarpone buttercream are nicely distinguishable. The rest of the gluten free tiramisu ombre cake is in the background.

Gluten Free Tiramisu Cake

This gluten free tiramisu cake is a celebration of the best chocolate + coffee dessert out there: the one and only tiramisu. With fluffy gluten free genoise sponge generously soaked with coffee and a super pretty ombre mascarpone buttercream frosting, this gluten free layer cake couldn't be prettier.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten Free
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 10
Author Kat | The Loopy Whisk

Ingredients

For gluten free genoise sponge (x3):

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp (210 g) caster sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups (165 g) gluten free flour
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter, melted

For coffee soak:

  • 1 cup (235 mL) water, boiling hot
  • 2 1/2 tbsp (30 g) caster sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp instant coffee

For plain mascarpone buttercream:

  • 2 cups (400 g) mascarpone cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups (450 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (360 g) powdered sugar, sifted

For chocolate mascarpone buttercream:

  • 1/4 plain mascarpone buttercream
  • 1 3/4 oz (50 g) dark chocolate, melted
  • 4 tbsp (30 g) cocoa powder

For coffee mascarpone buttercream:

  • 1/4 plain mascarpone buttercream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling hot water

You will also need:

  • cocoa powder for dusting

Instructions

For gluten free genoise sponge (x3):

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and grease three 7 inch (~18 cm) round cake pans (you can also line their bottoms with baking/greaseproof paper). The genoise sponges are quite tall, so I recommend using cake pans at least 1 1/2 inch (~4 cm) deep.

  2. In a heat-proof bowl above a pot of simmering water, heat the eggs and sugar to 110 - 120 ºF (43 - 49 ºC) while whisking constantly.

  3. After the egg mixture reaches 110 - 120 ºF (43 - 49 ºC), transfer it to a stand mixer with a whisk attachment (alternatively, you can use a hand mixer with the double beater attachments). Whisk on high speed for about 10 minutes, or until greatly increased in volume, fluffy and pale in colour.

  4. Sift together the gluten free flour, xanthan gum and cornflour, and add them to the fluffy egg mixture. Gently fold the dry ingredients in, until no more flour clumps remain.

  5. Spoon a small amount of the batter into a separate small bowl and add to it the melted butter. Mix well until you get a homogeneous mixture, then add it to the rest of the batter and fold it in until everything is evenly distributed.

  6. Divide the batter evenly between the three greased round 7 inch cake pans, smooth out the top and bake in the pre-heated oven at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 18 minutes, or until golden on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

  7. Allow to cool slightly, then remove from the cake pans and allow to cool completely. (If the cake tops are uneven, you can level the cakes by cutting away any excess once they're cooled.)

For coffee soak:

  1. Mix the sugar and instant coffee with the boiling hot water until completely dissolved. Allow to cool.

  2. Soak the three genoise sponges with the coffee soak. 

    I recommend using a pastry brush to transfer the coffee soak onto the sponge – when you completely cover the sponge with the coffee soak, allow to "rest" for about 10 minutes. Repeat on the same side, then turn the cake to the other side, and soak it twice. This will ensure that the cake is soaked through as evenly as possible.

For plain mascarpone buttercream:

  1. In a stand mixer with the beater attachment (or using a hand mixer with the double beater attachments), beat the room temperature mascarpone and softened unsalted butter at high speed for about 5 - 10 minutes, or until pale and fluffy.

  2. Add 1/2 of the sifted powdered sugar and beat the buttercream, first at low speed for about 1 minute and then at high speed for about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the other 1/2 of the sifted powdered sugar and beat the buttercream, first at low speed for about 1 minute and then at high speed for about 10 minutes.

For chocolate mascarpone buttercream:

  1. Mix the melted dark chocolate and the cocoa powder with 1/4 of the plain mascarpone buttercream and mix well.

For coffee mascarpone buttercream:

  1. Mix the dissolved (highly concentrated) instant coffee with 1/4 of the plain mascarpone buttercream and mix well.

Assembly:

  1. Stack the soaked genoise sponge cakes together and layer them with the mascarpone buttercream, in the order of: sponge - chocolate mascarpone buttercream - sponge - coffee mascarpone buttercream - sponge.

  2. Crumb coat the tiramisu cake, using the plain mascarpone buttercream.

  3. Place the crumb coated in the fridge for at least half an hour.

  4. Frost the chilled crumb coated cake. Pipe three "stripes" of mascarpone buttercream of approximately equal width (each 1/3 of cake height), in the order from bottom to top: chocolate-coffee-plain. Cover the top of the cake with an even layer of the plain mascarpone buttercream.

    Then, using a cake scraper, even out the frosting on the sides of the cake – this will also "smudge" the frosting, creating the ombre effect. (This tutorial, starting from about 3:20, shows very comprehensively how to make an ombre frosted cake.)

  5. Smooth out the top of the cake using an offset spatula.

  6. Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder – and that's it! Well done, you've just made a super pretty gluten free ombre tiramisu cake. Whoop whoop!

  7. Serve and enjoy!

Storage:

  1. The gluten free tiramisu cake keep well in a closed container (or wrapped in cling film) in a cool dry place (or even a fridge) for about 3 - 4 days.

Looking for more CHOCOLATE gluten free deliciousness? You’ve come to the right place!

Salted Caramel Brownie Truffles

Salted caramel brownie truffles heaped on a pretty antique white and blue stand. A bite has been taken out of the top brownie truffle and the salted caramel is oozing out of the centre, looking absolutely mouth-watering.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bird's-eye view of gluten free chocolate chip cookies arranged in a pretty heap on a light bluish grey background, with squares of parchment paper underneath the bottom cookies. Decorative cookie tongs hold the top-most cookie. The cookies are still warm, so the chocolate chips are slightly melted, with a pretty shine on them.

The Best Paleo Chocolate Cake

The healthy paleo chocolate cake sits on a decorative black and white plate, in a bright setting.

Gluten Free Tiramisu Cake - This gluten free tiramisu cake is a celebration of the best chocolate + coffee dessert out there: the one and only tiramisu. With fluffy gluten free genoise sponge generously soaked with coffee and a super pretty ombre mascarpone buttercream frosting, this gluten free layer cake couldn't be prettier. Gluten free ombre cake. Tiramisu Ombre cake. #cake #glutenfree #chocolate #coffee #dessert #tiramisu

RELATED

8 Comments

  1. The tiramisu alone looks like it would be on a cover of a magazine! wow that is a beauty. I am the same way, I can´t drink coffee, shaky hands, etc…but like you, I can consume it in desserts :), this tiramisu is on my to-make list!

    1. Definitely not 18 hours, no – unless you’re making a lump of coal. 😀 It was a typo – should have said 18 minutes. All fixed now, thank you for pointing that out! 🙂

    1. Hi Grace, in the UK “cornstarch” and “cornflour” are used interchangeably, sorry for the confusion. It’s cornstarch in the cake. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.