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Gluten Free Tiramisu Cups

|| byKat|7 Comments

These luxuriously delicious gluten free tiramisu cups are a really fun and cute idea to serve at parties, and they’re also a great alternative if you want to make a smaller batch of tiramisu. With homemade mini gluten free ladyfinger biscuits and a velvety-smooth mascarpone cream, they’re very easy to assemble and they look amazing. This recipe is really more of a serving suggestion, so it’s super flexible and you can easily tweak it and adapt it however you fancy – just have fun with it!

Gluten free tiramisu cups on a large wooden serving board, with mini round ladyfinger biscuits around them.

True story: this recipe happened because I once piped my homemade gluten free ladyfinger biscuits in small dollops instead of the typical long “finger” shape and very quickly realised that small round ladyfingers are the absolute cutest thing ever.

And they’re also the perfect size and shape to use in these fabulous gluten free tiramisu cups. This way, you don’t have to worry about breaking them in half to fit the smaller size of a serving cup or dessert glass, you can just dip them in the coffee and pop them right in.

Mini round gluten free ladyfinger biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Assembling a layer of coffee-soaked ladyfingers in a tiramisu cup.

Of course, if you don’t have the time or just don’t fancy making your own homemade gluten free ladyfingers, you can absolutely use shop-bought ones and break them to fit the size of your serving containers. That option is definitely there – though I do really recommend making them yourself.

Because gluten free ladyfingers are incredibly easy to make from scratch – whereas they can be rather tricky to find in shops. Plus, they’re really delicious and any leftovers are brilliant for dipping into coffee, hot chocolate or cocoa.

Gluten free tiramisu cups in the process of being assembled on a large wooden serving board, with mini round ladyfinger biscuits around them.

Now, I adore tiramisu in any and all forms. (By the way, if you haven’t tried my gluten-free tiramisu Swiss roll yet, you’re seriously missing out because it’s INCREDIBLE.)

And these mini tiramisu cups are just the cutest and really fun – to both make and eat. They’re very easy to assemble, they’re perfect for parties or other occasions (or even just because you fancy some tiramisu, which is a perfectly valid reason for making them) and I just really love that you can see all the individual layers through the wall of the glass cups.

They also allow you to easily scale down the recipe if you don’t want to make a full, large batch of tiramisu. You could easily make just one or two cups at a time.

And, honestly, this recipe is more of a serving suggestion. It’s super flexible, so you can use whatever size of cups or glasses or other containers you have on hand, you can play around with the mascarpone cream (for example, if you have your own favourite mascarpone cream recipe, just use that), you can add a liquor such as Kahlua, rum or Baileys, and so on.

Basically, just have fun with it – because there’s really not much that can go wrong here and the result is bound to be ridiculously delicious.

Spooning out a portion of a tiramisu cup.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these amazing tiramisu cups – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

Mini gluten free ladyfinger biscuits

This recipe is based on the gluten free ladyfinger biscuits recipe from my gluten free cookbook, Baked to Perfection (get it here!). They’re really incredibly easy to make – you just need to separately whip up the egg yolks and the egg whites with some sugar, fold them together, sift in the dry ingredients and fold them in until you get a smooth, ultra-fluffy batter.

Ladyfinger biscuits (also knows by their Italian name as savoiardi) rely on two things for their airy, light texture: the whipped egg whites and yolks, and baking powder. So, it’s very important that you’re careful and gentle when you fold together the whipped egg yolks and the whipped egg whites, and especially when you’re folding in the dry ingredients. You want to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

Close-up view of a mini round ladyfinger biscuit that's been cut in half.

Another thing that might not be as obvious but that also greatly contributes to them puffing up nicely in the oven is dusting them with a mixture of powdered/icing and granulated sugar. While the granulated sugar provides some crunch, the powdered sugar ensures that they get their characteristic tall shape with cracks running along the sides. Without the powdered sugar, the ladyfingers will spread out (instead of puffing upwards) and rise only minimally.

Finally, baking the gluten free ladyfingers at 340ºF (170ºC) for about 22-24 minutes ensures that they have enough time to dry out in the oven. You want them to be very crisp and dry in texture.

As mentioned above, for this tiramisu cups recipe, you need to pipe the batter in little round dollops (about 1½ inches/4cm in diameter and ¾ inch/2cm in height) to get small round ladyfingers that fit nicely into smaller containers, such as serving cups or dessert glasses.

The recipe makes about 48-50 mini round ladyfinger biscuits. Depending on how many tiramisu cups you make, how many layers of ladyfingers you add to each cup and how many ladyfingers you use per layer, you might have some biscuits left over. They store really well for a week or two in an air-tight container, and they’re amazing for dipping into coffee or hot chocolate.

Mini round gluten free ladyfinger biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

The silky-smooth mascarpone cream

Traditionally, tiramisu is made with a mascarpone cream that contains whipped eggs which give it a lighter and airier texture. These eggs can be incorporated either raw or heat-treated in the form of zabaglione. And if you have a go-to mascarpone cream recipe that includes eggs, you can absolutely use that in this recipe.

However, I went with the simpler and quicker method of making mascarpone cream with whipped heavy/double cream. It’s slightly richer in flavour and texture, but just as delicious. In addition to the mascarpone cheese and the heavy/double cream, the filling also includes some powdered/icing sugar for sweetness and a good dose of vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract).

Make sure not to over-whip your mascarpone cream as you’re making it, as that can result in a split, curdled filling – you want to keep it smooth and silky.

Spooning a layer of mascarpone cream into a tiramisu cup.

Assembling the gluten free tiramisu cups

To assemble the gluten free tiramisu cups, you need to layer the mascarpone cream with coffee-dipped ladyfinger biscuits in your dessert glasses (starting and ending with the cream). There are no firm rules here, you can make as many layers as you wish and use as many ladyfingers per each layer as you want – taking into account the dimensions of the cups or glasses you’re using.

In my case, I used about 420ml/1¾-cup serving glasses (height: 3¼ inches/8cm, width: 3½ inches/9cm) that comfortably fit three layers of mascarpone cream and two layers of ladyfinger biscuits, with 3-4 biscuits per each layer.

When you’re dipping your ladyfinger biscuits in coffee:

  • Make sure that your coffee is cooled *completely* to room temperature – hot or warm coffee will get absorbed too quickly and it will make your biscuits too soggy.
  • Dip them for no longer than 1-2 seconds. This is especially important for homemade ladyfinger biscuits, as they tend to absorb coffee a bit quicker. A quick dip of 1-2 seconds should be enough for them to be fully soaked though with coffee without becoming too soggy.

The 6-step process of assembling gluten free tiramisu cups.

Then, chill the assembled tiramisu cups in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving them. Just before serving, dust them with some cocoa powder – and that’s it!

You can prepare these tiramisu cups a day or two in advance, which is a great idea if you have a party or another special occasion, and you want to avoid the stress of having to prepare a dessert on the day.

Gluten free tiramisu cups on a large wooden serving board, with mini round ladyfinger biscuits around them.

And there you have it – everything you need to know in order to make the most luxuriously delicious gluten free tiramisu cups. And honestly, there’s no way anyone could possibly guess that they’re gluten free. They’re just SO GOOD and guaranteed to be a hit with everyone.

I really hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

Happy baking!

Signature of the author, Kat.

Gluten free tiramisu cup, dusted with cocoa powder, on a light surface.

More amazing gluten free desserts

If you’re looking for more incredibly delicious gluten free desserts, you’re definitely in the right place!

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Gluten Free Tiramisu Cups

These luxuriously delicious gluten free tiramisu cups are a really fun and cute idea to serve at parties, and they’re also a great alternative if you want to make a smaller batch of tiramisu. With homemade mini gluten free ladyfinger biscuits and a velvety-smooth mascarpone cream, they’re very easy to assemble and they look amazing. This recipe is really more of a serving suggestion, so it’s super flexible and you can easily tweak it and adapt it however you fancy – just have fun with it!
Note that this recipe makes five tiramisu cups when using about 420ml/1¾-cup serving glasses (height: 3¼ inches/8cm, width: 3½ inches/9cm). If you use smaller serving glasses or cups, the recipe will serve more people.
Print Rate
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook/Bake Time 45 mins
Chill Time 2 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs
Servings 5

Ingredients

Mini gluten free ladyfinger biscuits:

  • 3 US large/UK medium eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 125 g (½ cup + 2 tbsp) caster/superfine or granulated sugar, divided
  • 140 g (1 cup + 2½ tbsp) plain gluten free flour blend (I used Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour that doesn't have any xanthan gum added. You can also mix your own gluten free flour blend using this recipe. Note that for this homemade blend, 1 cup = 150g, so ideally use a digital food scale for best results.)
  • 10 g (1½ tbsp) cornstarch (US)/cornflour (UK)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum (Omit if your gluten free flour blend already contains xanthan gum.)
  • 50 g (¼ cup) granulated sugar, for dusting the ladyfingers before baking
  • 30 g (¼ cup) powdered/icing sugar, for dusting the ladyfingers before baking

Coffee soak:

  • 15 g (4 tbsp) instant coffee granules
  • 12 g (1 tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 400 g (1⅔ cups) hot water

Mascarpone cream:

  • 500 g (2 cups + 3 tbsp) mascarpone cheese, cold from the fridge
  • 400 g (1¾ cups) double/heavy cream, cold from the fridge
  • 160-180 g (1⅓-1½ cups) powdered/icing sugar, sifted (Depending on how sweet you want the cream to be.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)

For decorating the tiramisu cups:

  • 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder

Instructions

Mini gluten free ladyfinger biscuits:

  • Note that the recipe makes about 48-50 mini round ladyfinger biscuits. Depending on how many tiramisu cups you make, how many layers of ladyfingers you add to each cup and how many ladyfingers you use per layer, you might have some biscuits left over. They store really well for a week or two in an air-tight container, and they’re amazing for dipping into coffee or hot chocolate.
  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 340ºF (170ºC) and line two large baking sheets with parchment/baking paper.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters, whisk the 3 egg whites with half the caster/superfine or granulated sugar on high speed until you get soft peaks, this should take about 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining caster/superfine or granulated sugar on high speed until the mixture is pale, fluffy and thick enough to briefly mound up on itself as it falls off the whisk (the ribbon stage), this should take about 3 minutes.
  • Gently fold the whipped egg yolks into the whipped egg whites until only just combined.
  • Sift in the gluten free flour blend, cornstarch (US)/cornflour (UK), baking powder and xanthan gum. Gently and carefully fold in the dry ingredients until you get a smooth, fluffy batter with no flour clumps. Be careful not to deflate the mixture – you want to keep as much air in it as possible.
  • Transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a large round piping tip.
  • Pipe the batter in little round dollops, about 1½ inches/4cm in diameter and ¾ inch/2cm in height. Leave at least ½-¾ inches/1.5-2cm space between them, as they will expand during baking. You should be able to fit about 24 ladyfingers per baking sheet, to make about 48 in total.
  • Mix the granulated sugar and powdered/icing sugar together, and generously dust the ladyfingers on one of the baking sheets with the mixture. (Dust the other baking sheet of ladyfingers just before baking them.)
    Tip: While the granulated sugar provides some crunch, the powdered sugar ensures that the ladyfingers get their characteristic tall shape with cracks running along the sides. Without the powdered sugar, the ladyfingers will spread out (instead of puffing upwards) and rise only minimally.
  • One baking sheet at a time, bake at 340ºF (170ºC) for about 22-24 minutes or until risen, cracked along the edges and golden brown (see blog post for photos). They should feel crisp to the touch. Cool them completely on the baking sheets, then set aside until needed.
    Tip: You can make the gluten free ladyfingers ahead of time, and then keep them in a closed air-tight container at room temperature for about 1 week.

Coffee soak:

  • In a bowl, mix together the coffee granules, sugar and hot water, until the coffee and sugar are fully dissolved.
  • Allow to cool completely to room temperature while you prepare the mascarpone cream.

Mascarpone cream:

  • You can prepare the mascarpone cream using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, with a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters or by hand using a large balloon whisk.
  • Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer, if using) and whip them to very soft peaks.
    Tip 1: Be careful not to over-whip the filling, as it does firm up with time, even if it’s just standing on the counter waiting to be used in the tiramisu cups.
    Tip 2: Regardless of whether you use a stand or a hand mixer, I recommend whisking the filling on a low speed setting. This gives you better control over the texture/consistency of the filling and it lowers the chances of over-whipping it.

Assembling the tiramisu cups:

  • Dip the mini ladyfinger biscuits into coffee for about 1-2 seconds. This should be enough for them to be fully soaked though with coffee without becoming too soggy.
    Tip: When you’re dipping your ladyfinger biscuits in coffee, make sure that your coffee is cooled *completely* to room temperature – hot or warm coffee will get absorbed too quickly and it will make your biscuits too soggy.
  • Layer the mascarpone cream with coffee-dipped ladyfinger biscuits in your dessert glasses (starting and ending with the cream). There are no firm rules here, you can make as many layers as you wish and use as many ladyfingers per each layer as you want – taking into account the dimensions of the cups or glasses you’re using.
    Tip: I used about 420ml/1¾-cup serving glasses (height: 3¼ inches/8cm, width: 3½ inches/9cm) that comfortably fit three layers of mascarpone cream and two layers of ladyfinger biscuits, with 3-4 biscuits per each layer.
  • Chill the assembled tiramisu cups in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving them.
  • Just before serving, dust the top with cocoa powder to finish.

Storage:

  • The gluten free tiramisu cups keep well for 2-3 days in the fridge. If you intend to make them ahead of time, don't dust them with cocoa powder – instead, dust them with cocoa powder just before serving.
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