Low Carb Caramel Machiatto Tiramisu (Gluten Free)

I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth. Don’t get me wrong, I like dessert as much as the next person, but if I have to choose between sweet and savory, savory wins every time, hands down. So for me, being on a low carb diet isn’t a problem as far as missing cakes, pies, candy, ice cream, etc.

It’s been two weeks and I haven’t really missed sugar much at all.  The other day a random craving hit though and I resorted to a little bit of sugar free ice cream.  I decided to devote some energy to coming up with some low carb sweets for the blog (and myself), so that next time I want something decadent and sweet I’ll have some recipes to fall back on.

Back in August I posted a recipe for a classic tiramisu that was simple and delicious.  I wanted to try something like it using the cream cheese pancakes to stand in for the ladyfingers.

I intended to use mascarpone mousse as in the classic version but being in the South I couldn’t find it in any of the grocery stores I scoured.  I was annoyed but it actually worked out for the best!  I don’t love the fact that the classic version uses raw eggs anyway, so I went in a totally different direction.

I bought some sugar free caramel flavored syrup (you can use Davinci or Torani or whatever you can find) and blended it with some cream cheese.

Then I whipped heavy cream and folded the two together.  It was amazing.  You can just keep eating it with a spoon!  Thick and creamy, sweet and caramelly it was sooooo good!  I ate it this morning on my leftover cream cheese pancakes with sugar free chocolate sauce drizzled over it!  Best Sunday morning breakfast ever!!!

Anyway, back to the Tiramisu!  So I soaked the unsweetened pancakes in unsweetened cold espresso for a few minutes.  Then I layered the pancakes, caramel cream, and unsweetened cocoa powder.  That’s it.  Holy Toledo!  It was so good that I wish you could taste it right now!  Actually I wish I was tasting it right now!  If you can stand to wait, it’s even better if you put it together and then chill it for half an hour before eating.

Totally satisfying, this is going to be my new no carb dessert of choice for a long time!!  I might make the cream with sugar free hazelnut or sugar free white chocolate syrup next time.  The sky is the limit on flavor!

Oh and if you are REALLY craving something decadent, make sure you load it up with sugar free chocolate sauce….lots and lots of it!

Low Carb Caramel Machiatto Tiramisu (Gluten Free)
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Tiramisu
Serves: 4
  • 12 4x4 squares of cream cheese pancakes (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup espresso or coffee, cooled
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
  • For the filling:
  • 4 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free caramel flavored syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Mix the cream cheese with the caramel syrup until smooth and creamy.
  2. Whip the heavy cream until stiff.
  3. Fold about ⅓ of the whipped cream into the caramel mixture. Add the caramel mixture back to the remainder of the whipped cream and fold gently until fully combined. Chill for a few minutes. The cream, not you.
  4. Meanwhile, soak the pancakes in the coffee for about 2 minutes. Since they aren't very porous it takes a little time for them to absorb the coffee - you can soak them longer if you want a stronger coffee flavor.
  5. Add the cream to a pastry bag with a large star tube attached.
  6. Have four small plates ready. Place a coffee square on the plate. Pipe a layer of cream on it. Dust with cocoa powder. Repeat until you have three layers. Repeat with the rest of the plates.
  7. Serve with optional sugar free chocolate sauce.
You don't have to make this pretty, you could layer the coffee soaked pancakes with spoonfuls of cream into an 8x8 pan and then chill it and cut it into squares (or just stand at the fridge and eat it with a giant spoon at 2am when nobody is watching.) Not that I did that. No I really didn't... but I would have if there had been any left! :) Yeah, I'll be making this again! And again! And again...

As always I love to hear from you guys so let me know what you think!

**Update:  I changed the title from “Zero Net Carb” to “Low Carb” because it was brought to my attention by some hard core low carbers that some of the ingredients do have traces of carbs even though the labels say 0.  Apparently when you add all that together there may be a carb or two (literally) per serving.  I don’t want to be accused of false advertising so for the sake of accuracy I changed the name.  Next time I’ll be sure to do my homework in advance and avoid any discrepancies!  0 carb, 1 carb, 2 carbs (gasp!) – it’s still delicious!!!


  1. says

    I am with you in preferring savory over sweet, just about any day.

    But a good tiramisu is a pleasure. I’ve never made one myself, but thanks for creating one that looks sumptious!

    • says

      Thanks G&G! It’s funny how people can be firmly in one category or the other (savory vs sweet), my husband is definitely on the sweet side of the fence in that debate! It works out for me sometimes when he’s willing to share and I just want a bite! :)

  2. says

    I cannot thank you enough for your fantastic low-carb recipes,Please keep them coming.
    I have been living this lifestyle for over 4 months now and I am in need of some new
    recipes. I have lost over 44 lbs and I am feeling great. I do have to say that I almost cried when I saw the pizza and pancake recipes here. I have been pinning your recipes, so if you get an increased traffic volume to your blog, people are loving your recipes. I subscribed to your blog and can’t wait to see what else you create. You have a fan here. Thanks so much!!

    • says

      Sheila thank you so much! I was touched and inspired by your comment! 44 pounds is a major accomplishment! Congratulations! I’m thrilled that some of my recipes may help you to keep reaching your goals! Thanks so much for pinning and sharing! I hope I can continue to create recipes that keep you interested! And full. And skinny! :)

  3. says

    Wow, that looks incredible! Great pictures!! It’s funny, I’ve always had a sweet tooth(which came out even more when I did low carb with my parents, I slowly learned that I can’t completely restrict something that I enjoy so much) but now that I’m pregnant this time I totally want savory over sweet. I’m sure it’ll go back to usual, but it’s strange for me not really craving sweets!

    • says

      Thanks Heidi, Congrats on being preggers! When I was pregnant I ate strawberries, granola and yogurt every day and almost no meat. My son loves strawberries and yogurt too now, it’s one of his favorite snacks. I did crave sweets when I was pregnant which was opposite for me and my guilty pleasure was Mcdonald’s ice cream cones. I once went to Mcdonald’s for an ice cream twice in a row but I went to 2 different ones across town from each other so they wouldn’t know I got two! :) Probably ate one 3 or 4 times a week at least – even when it was 5 degrees out in the winter. They probably thought I was crazy! Funny how pregnancy affects your eating habits…

  4. says

    Im a sweet AND savory girl… is this possible? I’ll take chips and guac over a cupcake, but I’ll take ice cream over pizza (for example). My favorite dessert is tiramisu, and a low carb version, well, hello there, nice to meet you!

    • says

      I would take chips and guac over the others, followed by pizza, then ice cream and I’d skip the cupcake because that would just be gluttony. ha ha! Hope you like the tiramisu – I actually wish I had some of that right now…

  5. says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I just yesterday threw away my low fat oatmeal/pumpkin cookies, trying to cut carbs. But sometimes a girl needs a treat! I remade the “Heavenly Dessert” recipe low carb by using almonds and butter for crust and nonsugar cool whip with nonsugar chocolate pudding and that turned out really well. This is another good idea. I cannot wait to try it!

  6. says

    Just found your blog…beautiful! I made raspberry tiramisu with Gluten free pancakes last year and they were delicious, but not carb-free…I must try your recipe. Looks absolutely yummy!

  7. says

    I have been pinning you like crazy today – having a low time on low carb, which is a must because of diabetes. So excited to find some great-looking recipes to try. This one looks so incredibly good! Thank you for sharing all these recipes and so beautifully too!

  8. Anonymous says

    I feel so far behind as I have just discovered this blog. That being said, this is one recipe I hope to make this next week. However, I make my own ‘sugar-free’ Kahlua that I think might amp this recipe up a notch. Hope you don’t mind me taking liberties, but I will let you know how it turns out! ~Sand~

    • says

      Please DO take liberties! But don’t be cruel and keep it to yourself! Be sure to share your sugar free Kahlua with the rest of us by link or recipe in the comments! Hope you like the “tiramisu” – looking forward to hearing how your version turns out!

  9. says

    Oh my, oh my!! This looks absolutely wonderful and I am very picky!!!! I will so have to give this a try when I can get back into the kitchen again!! I’m swooning, or is that drooling :)

    • says

      Kristine, sorry I never replied to this – I don’t know how I missed it somehow. I used smuckers sf chocolate sauce at the time but it still has quite a few carbs so I’ve got to get around to making my own soon! Glad you liked the truffles!

  10. says

    I can’t seem to find any 0 Carb Caramel Sauce. I bought sugar free but it still had 24 carbs/ 2 tablespoons. Can you suggest a brand that is carb free? Thanks!

    • says

      Its caramel flavored syrup Angie, which isn’t the same as a sauce. If you mean like something you’d put over ice cream it’s definitely the wrong product because it has starches and fillers in it probably. The flavored syrups are usually in the coffee aisle and have zero carbs or calories – Davinci or Torrani work great. Hope that helps!

    • says

      i found caramel! i made this tonight…i didnt have the exact tools…gridle, sifter, piping bag so it didn’t look as pretty as this but it tastes AMAZING just like tiramisu. i’m amazed. thanks for another great recipe!!

    • says

      Glad you were able to find the caramel syrup Sarah! And so happy that you liked it! It’s been awhile since I made this one, your comment reminded me how good it was and that I really need to make it again soon! :)

    • says

      If you use an 8 x 8 pan you can just quarter it and get the 4 squares. Or you can bake them in a sheet pan and use a biscuit cutter or a knife to cut them into squares or even circles – the shape can be anything you want really! :)

  11. says

    I have what is probably a dumb question,however when you say to use unsweetened pancakes in a recipe, do you mean that you should use/make the cream cheese pancake recipe without adding the stevia to get your unsweetened pancakes, or is there a different recipe that I am missing for those?

    • says

      Sorry that I didn’t make that clear enough Rita – yes you would just use the cream cheese pancake recipe but omit the sweetener. Really that’s a matter of preference for me though, you could use the sweetened ones I just think it might be over the top sweet. Hope you like them!

    • says

      Hey Bridget, hope you like it! You know I never did come up with a chocolate sauce – I usually just use a warm ganache made with Lindt 90% melted with some heavy cream and mixed together. It gets hard when it cools though so I just heat it up again when I want it on ice cream or something…

  12. Anonymous says

    Good Golly, Miss Molly! I am pretty sure this will be served in Heaven! This is sooo good! Just what I was needing after several days of fighting sugar cravings! Not too sweet, so it doesn’t make me crave sugar, but just enough creamy goodness to make my shrinking tummy very happy! Thank you for this!!!

  13. My Geisha C says

    This looks yummy and i cant wait to try it :) I was wondering how many batches of cream cheese pancakes did it take to make the 12 4×4 squares? And how thick would you say your squares were? Should i make them thick or kind of thin?

  14. says

    Thank you, Melissa. In the past two months, I have discovered Pinterest and through that, your blog. I was thoroughly bummed at the idea of a low carb diet, but your recipes have made me discover the joy of cooking and playing with recipes again. And as the weight slides off, people around me are saying that it is shameful to look so happy when one is losing weight. I should be suffering like everyone else. Well, ha! I keep introducing people to this blog and telling them that cream cheese pancakes have given me new life, and that is only the slightest of hyperbole! I tried this recipe tonight and it was VERY good. But I added freeze dried coffee and brandy essence to the batter rather than soaking in coffee. I thought it was just as good and much easier, at least for my decrepit self. Keep up the good work!

    • says

      I love your idea of adding the brandy essence and dried coffee to the batter – totally trying that! So glad you are enjoying the recipes and that they are helping you reach your weight loss goals! Thanks too for sharing the blog with your friends, I appreciate that! :)

  15. Mandi says

    I wanted to thank you for inspiring me to get off the sofa and actually make food again. Eating low carb and gluten free is a challenge, but your recipes have given me ideas – and hope – that I can sustain a healthier life-style without sacrificing great taste. To that end, I’ve made your tiramisu cream adding three tablespoons of cocoa powder and two tsp of raspberry extract (and lots of extra sweetener) to come up with a chocolate raspberry cream best eaten standing at the fridge debating what to cook for dinner…I would never have thought to do anything like this had I not found your blog and I probably would have abandoned this whole low carb thing weeks ago. For what it is worth, your tiramisu has changed my life and helped button my jeans.

    • says

      Thanks so much for sharing that Mandi, you totally made my day! Congrats on getting your jeans buttoned and I hope you find more recipes on the blog that you love! Your raspberry version of the cream sounds delicious! Might have to try that myself next time I’m standing in front of the fridge trying to figure out dinner! :)

    • says

      Sorry, I talk about the sugar free flavored syrup in the blah de blah above the recipe but the actual recipe just said caramel flavored syrup. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, I adjusted the recipe. Look for Davinci or Torrani brand sugar free flavored syrup – you can find them in the baking or coffee aisles. Enjoy!

  16. says

    Choc syrup is simple, put some unsweetened cocoa in a jar, add 1-2 tsps of canola oil and stir and sweeten with fav sweetener. Pour over this dessert. Nothing to it.

  17. Nickie says

    Thank you SO MUCH for your website!! My son is on a modified Atkins diet with carbs restricted to 30g of carbs/day for seizure control. As a consequence, it has forced our whole family to eat low carb as well and has changed our way of thinking about the foods we put in our bodies! Your recipes have helped me offer a wider variety of foods to him and our entire family! You are such a blessing!! Thank you!

  18. joanna says

    hey mellissa!! i’d love to make this but wanted to know if there is a substitute for coffee?? is it still good without it? i can’t drink coffee because it gives me immediate belly issues. i drink dandy blend coffee substitute daily without problems. do you think i could soak the pancakes in this? i have a huge batch of your pancakes and lots of creme fraiche in the fridge and wanna make this asap!


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