Vegan Rhubarb and Pistachio Tiramisu in a Jar

You're sitting at an Italian restaurant and looking at the dessert menu. In our scenario, of course, we'll skip the fact that you're looking at the menu with a teary eye because none of the options are actually vegan. No, today, in our little fantasy, you can eat everything there. What are you ordering? Panna cotta, affogato, zabaglione, semifreddo, tartufo or the classic among classics: tiramisu? Yes, I would probably go for the latter and I am always very happy when I actually see a plant-based version of it on a menu somewhere.

Today, however, I'm making the dream come true by simply making the tiramisu myself. And no, not the classic, but a spring version that I've never really found on any menu before: a rhubarb and pistachio tiramisu, divided into portion-friendly glasses. Let's go through the layers one by one:

The sponge cake: You'll traditionally find ladyfingers in a tiramisu, but if you've ever tried to make a vegan tiramisu, you'll know very well that they don't come in vegan yet. And we're not going to make it unnecessarily complicated and try to make it ourselves. We'll just stick to the soft version, namely a vegan sponge cake, which you cut to the size of your jars after baking. If you need to save time, you can also use rusks or vegan cookies as an alternative.
The espresso mixture: No matter which base you choose, it will be traditionally brushed with a cold espresso mixture. Okay, it won't be quite so traditional after all because instead of flavoring it with alcohol such as Amaretto or Marsala, we're simply using a bitter almond aroma to create an alcohol-free version. Just don't underestimate the power of bitter almond aroma drops, as happened to me a few times during test cooking – the drops are small in quantity but intense in taste.

The cream layer: mascarpone, egg yolk and sugar – the traditional tiramisu cream is anything but vegan, which is why it offers plenty of room for your own ideas. However, as the cream should be able to withstand some weight, it is advisable to use more than just whipped vegan cream. I prefer the combination of fluffy heavy cream and vegan curd, which makes the best of both worlds: creaminess but also fluffiness. Pistachio butter is then added to the cream for an extra culinary touch – feel free to add more if you want a stronger pistachio note. However, if you are allergic to pistachios, you can leave it out completely or replace it with another nut butter.

The rhubarb compote: The classic tiramisu doesn't have a fruity layer, but we're in the middle of rhubarb season and I just couldn't resist. The compote is made very simply from fresh rhubarb, which - how practical - only takes a few minutes to simmer together with a rhubarb syrup. The rhubarb syrup from Voelkel is made from pure fruit juice from certified organic ingredients. And the rhubarb doesn't grow somewhere far away, but comes from Wendland, which means it only has to travel a short distance. As a bottled syrup, you can use it in a variety of ways (all year round): as in this recipe for a quick compote, but also as a topping on yogurt, ice cream, cake and, of course, mixed with a little water as a drink. Depending on your own sweetness preferences, simply use more or less syrup until it tastes perfect for you.

The topping: To match the cream, we use chopped pistachios instead of cocoa powder to give the tiramisu that final crunch.

So grab your jars, and let's start layering!


Vegan Rhubarb and Pistachio Tiramisu in a Jar

4–6 jars
60 minutes (+15 minutes baking time + at least 2 hours cooling time)


For the sponge cake:

  • 225 g (1.75 cups) flour
  • 150 g (0.75 cup sugar
  • 8 g (1.5 tsp) vanilla sugar
  • 5 g (1 tsp) baking powder
  • 50 ml (0.25 cup) neutral vegetable oil
  • 250 ml (1 cup) sparkling water

For the rhubarb compote:

  • 500 g (1 lb) rhubarb
  • 100 ml (0.5 cup) rhubarb syrup (e.g. from Voelkel)
  • 50 ml (0.25 cup) water
  • 1 pinch salt

For brushing:

  • 100 ml (0.5 cup) strong-brewed coffee
  • 2–3 drops bitter almond aroma

For the cream:

  • 200 g (7 oz) vegane Sahne zum Aufschlagen
  • 8 g (1.5 tsp) vanilla sugar
  • 8 g (2 tsp) cream stiffener
  • 150 g (5.5 oz)vegan quark / curd
  • 5 tbsp pistachio butter
  • 1 lemon (zest)

For topping:

  • 50 g (1.75 oz) chopped pistachios


  1. First, prepare the espresso mixture. To do this, prepare strong espresso and leave it to cool. Then mix with the bitter almond aroma and set aside.

  2. For the sponge cake, preheat the oven to 180 °C / 355 °F (convection heat). Mix flour, sugar, vanilla sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Then add the vegetable oil and sparkling water and stir briefly until there's no more dry flour visible. Line a baking tray (25 x 30 centimeters / 10 x 12 inches) with baking paper and smooth out the batter on top of it.

  3. Bake the sponge cake at 180 °C / 355 °F (convection heat) for approximately 15 minutes – it should not brown too much and should remain soft so that the espresso mixture is absorbed particularly well later. However, use a wooden skewer to test whether the sponge base is baked through. To do this, stick the wooden skewer into the cake at an angle and pull it out – if no batter sticks to it, it is baked through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

  4. While the cake is in the oven, clean the rhubarb, remove any woody ends and cut the stalks into small pieces. Add the rhubarb to a small pan along with the rhubarb syrup, water and a pinch of salt. Let simmer for about 15 minutes until you can easily mash the rhubarb. Season the compote with more syrup (or sugar) to taste, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  5. For the cream layer, whip the vegan heavy cream with vanilla sugar and cream stiffener. Add the vegan curd to a bowl and stir in the pistachio butter until you get a smooth cream. Carefully fold in the whipped cream and season the cream with lemon zest. Let it chill afterward.

  6. Then it's finally time for layering: First, cut the sponge cake to size so that you have small round slices that are the same size as the glasses you are using.

  7. First, place a sponge base in the glass and brush it with plenty of the espresso mixture. Then spread a layer of rhubarb compote on top and cover with a layer of cream. Place a second sponge base on top and brush with the espresso mixture again. Add another layer of rhubarb and cover with a final layer of cream. Finally, sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

  8. Refrigerate the jars of tiramisu for at least two hours (or overnight) before serving.


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