23 Jul

Fake (and Light) Tiramisu

A few years back (before kids and when we were living in our old house) I had a stroke of genius. We were having some people over for dinner, and it was a last minute invitation. We were just going to have some pasta for dinner, so that was set, no big deal, but I already had a reputation for being able to swing elaborate dessert creations at the stroke of a wand, and had no will to do so.
And I had no intention to make anything fattening, sugary or buttery either.  Of course, it goes without saying that I wouldn’t insult people who come over to my house with an overly sweet or dulce de leche filled store bought cake so I had to come up with something quickly.  So I made a fake, and lighter (read Guilt Free!) version of Tiramisu. In stead of using or making a mascarpone I used natural yogurt with a splash of vanilla extract. I do this because here, the flavored yogurts are full of sugar, and there is at least one sugar free yogurt that I can find in Buenos Aires. That’s Yogs. The whole process including brewing the coffee takes about 15 minutes.

Here is how to make it:

(makes 4 individual servings)

4 martini glasses (or whiskey glasses work nicely too)
lady fingers **
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups of plain, natural yogurt
2 cups of lightly whipped whipped cream (could be light)
optional topping: powdered cinnamon, cocoa or dark chocolate shavings
coffee (optional: with a splash of coffee liquor)

How to:

Add the vanilla extract to the yogurt and mix it around a little.  Take some lady fingers and break them into roughly 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces and put a layer on the bottom of the martini glass. Next, pour just enough coffee on them to just get them slightly wet. Next spoon enough yogurt to cover the lady fingers and start with the second layer of lady fingers, covering with just a little bit of coffee and another layer of yogurt. Finally top each glass with a dollop of whipped cream. Smear it around to create a flat top and sprinkle with cinnamon, cacao or chocolate shavings (or all three!) E voila!

Yesterday I made this dessert for us but didn’t feel like making individual servings so I just did a slightly larger version – in a pie plate! It was deeeelicious!

** to make this a totally sugar free version or if you can’t find lady fingers where you are, you can use a cake mix of your choice and just break the cake into small pieces.


  • Sounds fab! Definitely trying this after I clear the cupboards of all the sweets I made this past week! Is it any match for Tuscany’s tiramisu- the one on Tayler Street, not the actual region?!

    • Marua, it’s probably been 7-8 years since I went to Tuscany, so I don’t remember their tiramisu, honestly. However, what I do find is that a lot of places put too much sugar in their tiramisus, either in the cream part or in the mascarpone (cheese, or yogurt part) and that creates an imbalance in the dish. The nice thing about this is that the balance is just right, like the perfect lemonade on a hot day. It’s more refreshing than anything, and doesn’t make you feel heavy after eating it. Give it a try this weekend and tell me what you think! Don’t forget the vanilla extract in the plain yogurt, it really makes a difference.

So, what do you think?