Pound Cake Tiramisu


Tender almond flour pound cake brushed with coffee and layered with creamy mascarpone, this low carb tiramisu recipe will have you coming back for more!

Low Carb Tiramisu with Pound CakeSome ideas are really, really good ideas and you just have to steal them. Well, let’s not say steal, let’s say “borrow”, shall we? It sounds much more civilized and refined, even if the result is the same. I took the idea and I really have no intention of giving it back. It’s mine now and I am holding on as tight as I can. Finders keepers, as they say. However, when it comes to good ideas, I am always one to give credit where credit is due. I mean, I might be an idea stealer but I will readily and happily admit that the idea is stolen. And so I will readily admit that the idea of making tiramisu with layers of pound cake is not at all my idea originally. I came across it first when my friend Amy made Pound Cake Tiramisu on Very Culinary. Even though hers was made with Sara Lee pound cake, I took one look and knew I needed to make a low carb version. I needed to steal that idea as fast as I could. And I knew exactly the low carb cake recipe I wanted to use for it: my Almond Crusted Butter Cake.

I confess that I have never made an authentic version of tiramisu and quite frankly, I am not about to start now. Because authentic tiramisu takes lady fingers and store bought lady fingers have plenty of gluten and carbs that just aren’t going to make their way into any of my desserts anymore. And while I am quite confident that I could actually make a reasonable low carb facsimile of lady fingers, I honestly think to myself, why bother? What do lady fingers provide in a dessert like tiramisu? They provide a little structure for the creamy mascarpone filling and they act as a sponge for the coffee and alcohol that is brushed over them. Other than that, they don’t really do much. Maybe I just haven’t had a good lady finger in my day, but they really are quite boring on their own and are much more useful as part of another dessert than as a stand alone treat. I think a good sponge or pound cake can do admirably in the place of the lady fingers.

Low Carb Grain-Free Tiramisu Recipe

And since I wasn’t going full-on authentic, I also decided to skip the raw egg yolks in the creamy mascarpone filling to make it easier. I really considered using them, but found it was simply more work than I to put in. Instead, I just combined the mascarpone with sweetener, coffee and cream. Now, I haven’t had a lot of experience with mascarpone, but I’ve done enough with it to know that it can be slightly temperamental. It can have a tendency to curdle when it’s beaten with other liquids and the trick is to make sure it is at room temperature and that you add everything else quite slowly. Even then, you can end up with separate curds of cheese and liquid. To bring it back together, you need something to emulsify it. This may be where egg yolk comes in for tiramisu, as it is used as an emulsifier in many recipes, including salad dressing. But things like xanthan or guar gum work very well too. Trust me, I’ve rescued several batches of separated mascarpone that way. You really don’t need much.

Low Carb Pound Cake Tiramisu

The end result of the idea stealing was delightful. The butter cake provided the perfect structure for the creamy tiramisu filling. As a good tiramisu should, it all became one, with the layers and flavours melding together as they sat, so that each bite was a mouthful of creamy light filling and coffee-flavoured sponge. Many many thanks to Amy for the inspiration, because I don’t think  I would ever make low carb tiramisu any other way.

Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Tiramisu Recipe

Pound Cake Tiramisu

Yield: 16 servings

Pound Cake Tiramisu

Tender almond flour pound cake brushed with coffee and layered with creamy mascarpone, this low carb tiramisu recipe will have you coming back for more!


  • 1 recipe Almond-Crusted Butter Cake, made with vanilla instead of almond extract and leaving out the sliced almonds.
  • 3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, divided
  • 2 tbsp dark rum (optional)
  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp liquid stevia extract or another 3 tbsp Swerve Sweetener
  • 1 cup whipping cream, room temperature
  • Cocoa powder for dusting
  • 1/2 ounce dark chocolate, shaved, for garnish


  1. Make butter cake according to directions, simply leaving out sliced almonds and subbing vanilla extract for the almond extract. Let cool completely.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of the strong coffee and the rum.
  3. In a large bowl, combine mascarpone, powdered sweetener, remaining coffee and stevia extract. Beat gently on low until just combined. Slowly beat in whipping cream.
  4. To assemble. slice cooled pound cake into 16 even slices. Lay 8 slices in an 11x7 inch pan in a single layer, cutting to fit, if necessary.
  5. Brush with half of the coffee/rum mixture, then spread with half of the mascarpone cream. Repeat with remaining cake, coffee and mascarpone cream.
  6. Dust with cocoa powder (about 1 tablespoon) and sprinkle with shaved chocolate.
  7. Refrigerate several hours before serving.


Cook’s Note: Mascarpone can have a tendency to curdle with beaten - it will get grainy, instead of smooth, and the liquid will separate from the fat. If this happens, it can be brought back together with a little xanthan gum or guar gum to help emulsify it. Try 1/4 tsp.

Serves 16. Each serving has 6.13 g of carbs and 2.65 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3.48 g.

Food energy: 354kcal Saturated fatty acids: 14.00g Total fat: 33.27g Calories from fat: 299 Cholesterol: 96mg Carbohydrate: 6.13g Total dietary fiber: 2.65g Protein: 9.86g Sodium: 248mg



Almond Crusted Butter Cake

 Low Carb Almond Crusted Butter Cake

Tiramisu Cookie Cups @dreamaboutfood #lowcarb #glutenfree

Low Carb Tiramisu Cookie Cups

Homemade Mascarpone Cheese

Homemade Mascarpone Cheese 

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  1. Lorraine says

    Wow! I’m still basking in the afterglow of the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake and now you post this! Definitely next on the list!

    • Stefanie says

      Me, too! My boyfriend and I are still working on that strawberry cheesecake… gotta finish that before we can try another fun dessert! This is on the list, though!

  2. heatherstanley says

    i am deffanely gonna make this this looks sooooooooooooooooooo good and i am deffanely gonna use the rum

  3. lcPanama says

    This is my first comment on a blog ever. I had to comment on this recipe. Low Carb baking is often disappointing (at least for me), but this recipe is absolutely perfect!! Seriously PERFECT! Creamy, rich, moist, just the perfect coffee flavor, not too sweet but it definitely satisfied my sweet tooth. Probably the only cake I’ll eat from now on. Thank you so much Carolyn.
    I used truvia baking blend instead of swerve (that’s what I had) and it worked just fine. I used a blendtec to powdered it for the mascarpone mixture.
    I made this cake last night and refrigerated over night. I let it warmed up a bit before serving it to allow the cream to soften again :D. Soooo Good!
    Thank You!!!

  4. Cali says

    I do not use sweeteners. What would be the equivalent amount of sugar to add. Also, I do not do well with whey powder. Can I omit this or do I need to use a substitute?

    • Carolyn says

      You can use sugar in the same amounts I used Swerve. You do need some sort of powdered, dry protein to help the cake rise properly and hold its shape. You could use hemp protein or even powdered egg whites.

  5. Veena Ramachandran says

    Hi there!

    Thank you for being so creative with all your recipe ideas. I have such a sweet tooth but being a victim of hypothyroidism, I have the strongest inclination towards weight gain! That’s when all day I dream about food came to my rescue! Haha.. : D

    Anyhow, I’m getting started with this recipe. However, it’s my first time working with mascarpone cheese. Could you tell me for how long approximately I’d need to leave the cheese outside the refrigerator to get it to room temperature?

    Thank you! : )

  6. Veena Ramachandran says

    This turned out to be one of the best desserts I have ever made!!! ABSOLUTELY loved it, Carolyn! Thank you for creating such wonderful beauties that we can all hog on completely guilt-free! You’re extremely talented. : )

  7. Cici says

    I’m visiting my mother & brought with me my “GF” baking bag so that I can make delicious LC GF desserts exactly like this one! I somehow have managed to leave my liquid stevia at home. How much more swerve should I substitute for the 20 drops in the butter cake?

  8. janet says

    Finally got around to making this last week, it helped that the marscapone was on bogo at the market. Made the cake the day before and put it together for dinner on Tuesday. My hubby just about had a spiritual experience when I served it. He said it was fabulous and to put on the regular lists, maybe once a week. I don’t know if I’ll be able to manage it that often, but this is the second of your dessert recipes that have become a favorite with us. (Blueberry Eton Mess is the other)
    Thanks for the hard work and keep on baking, cause we love it!

  9. CATRIONA says

    Tiramisú has always been my favourite desssert. Thank you so much for helping me bring it back into my life! It was an utter joy being able to taste it again :)

  10. Kami says

    Okay, wow. This was incredible! Thank you so much for sharing! I added a little extra coffee (because that is my favorite part), but I was so excited to have a GF baked recipe finally turn out to be scrumptious! I think when I make it in the future, I will bake the pound cake in two layers (like a layer cake for a birthday). I might have done it wrong, but when I sliced up my pound cake to line the pan, it got really crumbly. Just another idea! Thanks again! 😀

  11. Lorraine says

    Finally got a chance to make this yesterday and it was amazing! Even though I messed up! My husband’s brother and his wife were in town and arrived 2 hours early so I was quite distracted and forgot to add the cream, even though it was sitting right there on the counter. I noticed right when I turned from putting the completed dessert in the fridge! I’m sure the look on my face was classic, if anyone had been watching. The good news is that it was fantastic anyway so no one noticed. Even my daughter, who is not a fan of my low carb baking, thought it was great.

    I used a smaller pan and 12 slices of cake and it worked just fine. I look forward to trying it again, this time with the cream LOL!

    Oh, and it was even better today.

  12. Melanie says

    It looks like you used a 9×13 glass dish in the pictures. Is that really an 11×17 inch pan like you called for?

    • Carolyn says

      Yup! Trust me, I wouldn’t give a pan size that wasn’t what I used. I remember cutting up the pound cake in this recipe and trying to get it to be enough for my 9×13 and it just wasn’t right. You *might* be able to to do 9×13 if you can cut the pound cake more thinly,though.

      • Julie says

        This dessert was a huge hit for Thanksgiving, and the high carb pumpkin pie was ignored by the kids who typically don’t like low carb things. But there is no way I could have used an 11×17 pan, (are those actually a thing?), and used an 11×7 instead. That left me with two left over slices and some cream to put together a sample serving to reward the cook without cutting into the pretty tiramisu. Absolutely orgasmic!

  13. Leigh says

    I am in love… this looks so amazing and I WILL be eating this by tomorrow… big thanks for sharing and all the goodies on your blog!

  14. Julie says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I did not bring down the cream or marscapone to room temperature and did not have any trouble with separation. Just added everything very slowly. So very easy to make, this will be our new go to special occasion recipe. It is the morning after Thanksgiving and this is the leftover I am craving. Thanks again for all your efforts with low carb baking. It is great to be able to bake again!

  15. Dee says

    I made this Saturday night and I must say, this is the best low carb dessert I have made to date! I have never posted before because I have always been disappointed! Someone recommend your site and I am in low carb heaven!!! Thank you so much!!!

  16. janet says

    I had to tell you that I made this for the 2nd time last nite. It was a disaster! I ended up with cake in tiramisu flavored sauce. Not that the recipe is bad but I think the brand of marscapone I bought was way to thin, it was cheap and I had never seen that brand before. We laughingly christened it “Tiramisu Soup”.
    It made me think though. If I use the cake and soak it in sherry and add strawberries and an artificially sweetened boiled custard. Voila! Sherry trifle… Haven’t had a good one in years!

  17. Mathew says

    Made this last night, very worth it.

    I buggered it up though – I separated the coffee and added the rum, then mixed them up and blended the rum coffee with the mascarpone. Whoops. Nevermind. Still awesome!

  18. Tina N. says

    This is delicious! I let mine sit overnight (so hard), and wow it was worth it! I used rum extract (didn’t have any run), and it definitely gives that extra kick it needs. Thank you for sharing!

  19. Linny says


    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. It was the hit of my Father’s day picnic! Tiramisu is a favorite that I never thought I’d be able to make low carb, but you made it possible.

    Just a tip for others: I was unable to repair my separated mascarpone enough with the xanthan. (Whoops!) I started over but tried a different method. The second time I whipped the cold cream and liquid Splenda (sub for Swerve so it wouldn’t crystalize) to soft peaks. Then I used a little whipped cream to lighten up the cold mascarpone. Finally I slowly folded the mascarpone into the whipped cream a little at a time. This worked like a charm! The texture was very similar to my old high carb recipe which had quite a few more steps.

    • Carolyn says

      Sorry about separated mascarpone. I’ve actually found that if I don’t use the Trader Joe’s brand, I have MUCH better luck. The TJs brand seems to separate worse than other brands.

    • Julie says

      I’ve made this recipe 4 times now and the only time I’ve had problems with the Mascarpone mix was when I used room temp Mascarpone and whipping cream instead of chilled. And yes, I used Trader Joes Mascarpone all 4 times.

      Still tasted great, even broken.

  20. Jill Bywaters says

    Made this last week, and it was amazing! One of the best low-carb desserts I’ve ever had, and I’m pretty picky! : )

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