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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats


Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Our relationship with tiramisu is a funny one. Kyra LOVES tiramisu but doesn't like it when it tastes boozy - it is one of the desserts that she has most missed since becoming vegan. Mike on the other hand doesn't like tiramisu at all, finding the coffee taste overwhelming - or so he thought, until he sampled the tiramisu at Mascherpa in the heart of Milan.

Heading to create this blog was a strange experience: we were in Italy so obviously we had to ea

t tiramisu, especially since we had found a little café offering a vegan option. Mike, ever the good sport, was going to try tiramisu with the knowledge that he didn't really like the creamy dessert. Kyra on the other hand was extraordinarily excited!

A cafe, painted blue with pink lettering, and lots of foliage around the shop front.
Isn't this just the most beautiful little cafe?

Mascherpa, situated close to Parco Giovanni Paolo II, is a cute little blue shop clad in greenery and flowers. This tiramisu and coffee shop may be cosy, but the welcome inside is warm and the range of tiramisus, sweets and coffees are much larger than you might expect! On the day we visited there were around ten flavours of tiramisu in the counter (two of these were vegan, with classic and pistachio flavours the choices of the day). We decided to sample to classic version of the tiramisu - although if we were to go back we would be very pleased to sample some of the other flavours too - which, we are pleased to say were so delicious that Mike is the newest tiramisu fan!

But wait, how could tiramisu be vegan?

Obviously the traditional tiramisu recipe is pretty far from being plant based; it's well known for being rich in eggs, milk and mascarpone cheese. Using a vegan recipe, Mascherpa imitate the textures and flavours of the traditional dessert that they are famous for. Though the presentation of their tiramisus, in cute glass jars with pastel stickers on top, is really modern, the vegan tiramisu itself was still deliciously true to the past.

Rows of small jars of tiramisu behind labels reading 'vegan pistacchio' and 'vegan classico'
The two flavours of tiramisu that were available on the day we visited

The glass jars really help to show the tiramisu's famous layers, with the alternating sponge and cream creating beautifully contrasting textures. This was no different with the vegan tiramisus: in fact, they looked virtually indistinguishable from the traditional recipe. Luckily, they are well labelled in the shop!

Mike was so surprised when he tasted the tiramisu, having been put off by bad British imitations of tiramisu in the past. He was so impressed by the creamy silkiness of the 'mascarpone', and the way that the cake complemented it both in texture and in flavour. Though he doesn't like coffee, the taste was sufficiently subtle that it didn't overpower the rest of the dessert.

Though the biscuit was a little drier than the really moist sponge of the traditional tiramisu, it was by no means crunchy or crumbly. This was a really tasty vegan sponge with a gentle coffee flavour. And then there was the cream. I cannot emphasise enough how mind-blowingly delicious this plant-based mascarpone cream was. It was a little thicker than the traditional version, but it was so creamy: it replicates traditional tiramisu cream so well that you really wouldn't be able to tell the difference without Mascherpa's cute little labels.

Did it live up to our long-awaited plant-based tiramisu dreams?

So how did the modern, plant-based tiramisu compare with the centuries-old traditional recipe we remember? It's good news for all you plant-based dessert lovers, as we LOVED the vegan classico tiramisu. It really was the answer to Kyra's Italian dessert dreams. This is a testament to Mascherpa, who have focused not only on the taste of their vegan tiramisu, but the oh-so-important appearance of it too. There's no hiding when glass jars are involved!

Honestly, this dessert was so good - every time a friend goes to Milan we send them to Mascherpa to sample this little piece of vegan heaven.

The most obvious difference was the texture of the sponge - the vegan sponge was that bit firmer than traditional tiramisu. However, this was a pretty minimal difference, with the cream replicating the original really impressively, and the flavour being almost indistinguishable. A rare thing was how closely the vegan tiramisus resembled the originals in the counter: often plant-based versions of traditional dishes look a little different but that is certainly not the case here. Mascherpa have done an incredible job of veganising the beloved Italian tiramisu recipe.

How much did we spend?

It was clear that the prices of artisan tiramisu would be a little higher than in some cheaper restaurants, especially in an expensive city like Milan. However, given how good the tiramisu was, we weren't too disappointed with the prices:

Each small tiramisu cost €4.00 (approx. £3.53 or $4.30)

Have you had any great (or not so great!) vegan tiramisu in Italy? Or elsewhere in the world! Where did you go and what would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.


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Milan has some of the most stunning architecture we've ever seen

Where should I stay?

There are so many places to stay in Milan, from international chain hotels to independent B&Bs and hostels. If you're looking for a basic but friendly hotel at a reasonable price, check out Hotel Giacosta - where the staff speak Italian, English, Arabic and Filipino.

If a top-rated and well-located hostel is more your scene, try Ostello Bello, who have won loads of awards for the standard and service they provide.

Tours & Experiences

We fell in love with Milan's Duomo and couldn't take enough photos of it - in the day, at night, it was always so beautiful! Our favourite thing when we visit a city is to see it from up high: this Milan Super Saver: Skip-the-Line Duomo and Rooftop Guided Tour allows you to see the best of this stunning Gothic cathedral from all angles, with the help of an expert guide. Or if that's not quite for you, why not try one of the top-rated Viator tours below?

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1 Comment

Ozgur Sener
Ozgur Sener
Jan 16

this tiramisu isnt vegan. A manslaughter probe has been launched after a 20-year-old with a dairy allergy died after being served a tiramisu dessert that was made with milk. 

Anna Bellisario and her boyfriend had reportedly been dining at a fast food restaurant in Milan on January 26 last year.

She went into an anaphylactic shock and died on February 5 at San Raffaele hospital

The two women who ran the pastry shop that supplied the restaurant are under investigation for manslaughter, Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera reported.Tiramisu Mascherpa, was withdrawn from the market by the ministry of health on February 6 last year, due to it possibly containing milk proteins not indicated on the label. 

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