tiramisu dessert served on plate with special decoration.
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Does Tiramisu Have Nuts?

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Tiramisu is a classic Italian creamy dessert made with ladyfingers dipped in coffee and layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese.

If you are someone who doesn’t like nuts or are allergic to them, you may wonder if this delicious dessert has any in it.

So, does tiramisu have nuts? Classic Italian tiramisu doesn’t have any nuts, although certain varieties may use them. However, the ladyfingers and chocolate shavings used to make tiramisu may contain nut allergens — if you have a nut allergy, it is always a good idea to check the ingredients or ask your restaurant server.

Read on to find out if tiramisu recipes typically contain nuts, if you can leave the nuts out, what a good substitute would be, and much more.

Are There Any Nuts In Tiramisu?

Typical recipes for classic Italian tiramisu do not contain nuts and are safe for people who are allergic to them.

However, certain variations of the recipe, such as chocolate and nut tiramisu, contain nuts and must not be eaten by someone who is allergic to nuts.

Classic tiramisu contains the following ingredients:

It is also very important to note that the ladyfingers used to make tiramisu may contain traces of nuts, which may not be safe for nut allergies.

The chocolate shavings used for topping the tiramisu are optional, but if the recipe you follow uses them, make sure the chocolate doesn’t contain any nuts or nut allergens.

If making tiramisu at home, you can either make the ladyfingers yourself and be mindful of the ingredients used or buy store-bought ladyfingers that do not contain any nut allergens.

Nuts and nut allergens are present in most chocolates, and even a small amount of nuts in nut-free chocolate can cause an allergic reaction.

If you are having tiramisu at a restaurant, make sure to tell your server about any allergies you may have beforehand and ask about the ingredients of the tiramisu.

If they are unsure, it’s better for you to not have it, especially if you are deathly allergic to nuts.

If you are buying readymade tiramisu cake at the bakery, make sure to check the label and confirm with the baker before purchasing and consuming it.

Does Classic Italian Tiramisu Have Nuts?

Tiramisu recipes typically do not contain nuts.

The classic Italian version of tiramisu is nut-free, provided you’ve used nut-free ladyfingers and chocolate.

To make a classic tiramisu, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Whip together the egg yolks and sugar using an electric mixer until it becomes very pale yellow and triple in volume. Set aside.
  2. Whip cream and sugar in a separate bowl until it reaches soft peaks. Add mascarpone and continue to whisk until a soft, spreadable mixture is formed.
  3. Gently fold the mascarpone mixture into the sweetened egg mixture. Set aside.
  4. Combine the coffee (espresso) and rum/Marsala in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  5. Use a sifter to dust the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish with cocoa powder.
  6. Dip each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture and place them at the bottom of the baking dish. Repeat until the base is filled and you have an even layer.
  7. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture onto the ladyfingers to form an even layer.
  8. Repeat with the remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.
  9. Dust the top layer with cocoa powder.
  10. Top with shaved or finely grated chocolate (optional).

Which Tiramisu Recipes Contain Nuts?

gourmet tiramisu in glass jars and cup of coffee

While classic tiramisu doesn’t contain nuts, there are several variations that do. Nuts not only lend a nice flavor to the tiramisu, but also give it a nice textural contrast.

To make tiramisu with nuts, simply add a layer of your choice of nuts on top of the ladyfinger layer. For an extra nutty flavor, you may top the dish with some roasted nuts as well!

If you don’t like nuts or are allergic to them, you can simply leave the nuts out (more on this below). You may lose a bit of crunch, texture, and flavor, but otherwise, you should be good to go!

Here are some of the most commonly used nuts in tiramisu recipes.


Hazelnuts, also called filberts or filbert nuts, are nuts grown in clusters on hazelnut trees. They are a sweet and mild nut most popularly used in desserts.

They can be used to make hazelnut praline tiramisu, which is an Italian masterpiece sure to wow your tastebuds!

Pine Nuts

Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pine and make a delicious and nutritious addition to tiramisu. They have a soft texture with a sweet, buttery flavor, and can be lightly roasted to bring out a little crunch.


A popular ingredient in many desserts, almonds have a light, buttery flavor and distinct crunch that adds texture to whatever it is added to.

Raw almonds may be toasted before adding to your tiramisu or coated with sugar and turned into candied almonds.


Peanuts are probably the most popular nuts out there with so many desserts and chocolates using them. Many of our favorite chocolates have peanuts and we simply love the flavor!

They taste best when roasted and can even be turned into peanut butter when added to tiramisu.

Cashew Nuts

Like almonds and peanuts, cashews have a rich nutty flavor that tastes great when added to tiramisu. You can use them for their flavor and texture and also when you wish to make a vegan version of tiramisu.

Cashew cream is a great heavy cream substitute perfect for vegans wanting to try the dessert.


Walnuts are a type of tree nut with inner meat resembling a tiny brain. With a rich and sweet taste, they make a great addition to tiramisu and can either be used on their own or mixed with other nuts of your choice.


Another tree nut with a crunchy texture and sweet flavor, pecans can be used fresh or toasted.

Pumpkin pecan tiramisu is a popular seasonal variation of this delicious dessert that combines the unique flavors of pumpkin, coffee, cake, and pecans.

You can even make a maple pecan topping for your tiramisu by combining pecans, maple syrup, cinnamon powder, and salt.

Nut Substitutes For Tiramisu

If you’re allergic to nuts, or just don’t care for their taste or texture, you can easily substitute the nuts with other ingredients to add a nice textural element to the classic tiramisu recipe or create a seasonal variation of this beloved dessert.

Here are some of the best nut substitutes for tiramisu.

Oatmeal Or Rolled Oats

For a similar texture, you can replace the roasted nuts with some oats browned in a bit of butter. They will not only add taste and texture to the recipe but also nutritional value to the tiramisu.

Crispy Rice Cereal

Crispy rice cereal is a delicious substitute that will give much of the same crunch and texture that you’d get from the nuts. 

Pumpkin Or Sunflower Seeds

Seeds are a great substitute for nuts in tiramisu. For added flavor, you may roast the pumpkin or sunflower seeds. You can even try using squash seeds if they are available.

If you are using small seeds, reduce the number of seeds used and make sure they are not salted since they won’t be suitable to be used in tiramisu.

Raisins And Cranberries

Raisins are dried grapes that taste sweet and have a slight tartness to them. When added to tiramisu, they add extra texture, taste, visual appeal, as well as nutrition.

Similar to raisins, you can also use dried cranberries for a nice flavor and texture to substitute for the nuts.

Chocolate Chips

Whenever you’re in doubt, chocolate chips are the way to go! You can choose between regular chocolate chips and white chocolate chips depending on which ones you like better.

White chocolate chips don’t melt as easily as milk chocolate chips and add a nice texture to the tiramisu. Be mindful of the sweetness level though — be sure to adjust the amount of sugar to balance it out.

Related Questions

Now that you know all about tiramisu and whether it contains nuts or not, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have.

Is raw egg in tiramisu safe?

Using raw eggs in recipes does carry the risk of salmonella, and wherever possible, you must cook the eggs before eating.

If a recipe calls for raw eggs, such as in tiramisu, make sure you opt for pasteurized eggs and handle them carefully to minimize the risk.

What can you use in place of ladyfingers?

If you don’t have ladyfingers and feel like making some tiramisu at home, you can substitute them with biscotti, sponge cake, pound cake, panettone, margherite cookies, and pavesini cookies.

Is mascarpone cheese an allergen?

Mascarpone cheese is typically made from cow’s milk, which is a common food allergen.

If you are mildly lactose intolerant, you can use a little mascarpone cheese without facing any severe side effects.

If your intolerance level is severe, you must avoid eating it as you may start experiencing symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

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