Can You Make a Great Tiramisu Without Using Eggs?


Traditional tiramisu -- a decadent Italian mélange of ladyfinger cookies, mascarpone cheese, Marsala wine, espresso and chocolate -- contains an egg-based custard. If you don’t eat eggs or want to avoid the food-safety risks that partially cooked eggs pose, don’t fret -- an egg-free tiramisu will be just as tasty. Tiramisu is a flexible recipe that offers the cook options: Rum, Marsala or amaretto? Soft ladyfingers or crunchy ones? Creamy or eggy filling? You can make this delicious dessert without eggs, without alcohol or even without dairy products to meet your specific dietary needs.

Out With the Eggs

  • Tiramisu filling often consists of egg yolks -- either raw or lightly cooked -- mixed with mascarpone cheese, liqueur, sweetener and egg whites and heavy cream both whipped to stiff peaks. Whipped cream gives great loft, and the mascarpone cheese provides tiramisu’s distinctive nuttiness. Use a bit more cream and mascarpone and omit the eggs entirely. This tiramisu will be rich with flavor.

A Lighter Option

  • If you don’t like the idea of replacing eggs with high-fat whipping cream, try a lighter egg-free tiramisu. Nix the whipping cream, reduce the amount of mascarpone cheese slightly and add in a lower-fat creamy cheese, such as Neufchatel, reduced-fat cream cheese or ricotta. You can even use Greek yogurt for a tiramisu with extra protein and far less saturated fat. Beat your filling mixture well to incorporate as much air as possible and create a silky-smooth texture. This tiramisu will be denser and less creamy -- perfect if you want a dessert that’s light yet satisfying.

The Vegan Version

  • To make a vegan-friendly tiramisu, you can substitute creamy nut- or soy-based filling for the dairy. Vegan tiramisu is a fair amount work, as it calls for soaking and processing raw cashews until smooth, then augmenting the mixture with rich coconut milk or silken tofu. The delectable results are worth the effort. Vegan tiramisu has the same coffee, chocolate and alcohol accents that make your taste buds sing, with no cholesterol and fewer calories.

Egg Safety

  • If you prefer an egg-based tiramisu but are concerned about food safety, there’s an easy solution: use pasteurized eggs in the shell, available at most grocery stores. The pasteurization process kills salmonella bacteria and is unlikely to affect egg quality. Certain groups, such as pregnant women, infants and those with compromised immune systems, should avoid raw, unpasteurized eggs.

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