Tiramisu` Protein Pancakes

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I usually make a tiramisù at Easter.  It is a wonderful tiramisù and deservedly popular.  I won’t even bother with false modesty on this one.  It’s sensational.

Those of you who follow the Facebook page would know that I attended a course on French Entremets earlier in the week and that meant I had plenty of Easter dessert action happening right there.  No need for tiramisù.   The entremets were great, by the way.  Unbelievable.  You can see them here.

But I got to the morning after Easter and well, I woke up thinking about tiramisù and oddly enough, pancakes.  Thinking about tiramisù is probably a bit of a cultural thing for me (it was invented by a family in my mum’s town in Italy) and pancakes … paaaaaaannnncaaaaaaakes 🙂

The two go together of course.  I mean, you have layers of coffee flavoured something and you have layers in between of creamy cheesy vanilla scented creaminess.  Plus, don’t forget a liberal dusting of cacao powder on top.  Can’t go wrong.  So I made tiramisù pancakes.  Then I posted a delish looking picture of said pancakes … and so now I’m making good on my promise to post the recipe!

Note to self: consider well the consequences before posting pics of yummy food on social media.

In this case the consequences were extremely favourable.  I got to make and eat them again for breakfast this morning.

Because I was eating them for breakfast, please forgive the imperfect lighting of the photos.  Although, I trust that their goodness is readily visible 🙂

How good are they?  They are like a pancake version of tiramisù.

Not a faux version that goes something like “oh sure there is coffee and some creamy stuff.  It’s legit”.   No, it isn’t. 

I’m talking bona fide tiramisù goodness.

I’m a great believer in making these fit your macros so you have a choice for the cream layer.  If you are following a high fat (e.g. keto) diet, then go ahead and bust out the mascarpone to make these the real deal.  Conversely, if you need to limit the fat per serve, use ricotta.  If using ricotta, please choose a real, fresh ricotta and not the low-fat, runny abomination that is sold as ricotta in the supermarket.  That stuff bears no resemblance to ricotta at all.  It will taste like the rubbish it is.  Your best bet is a true fresh ricotta you can get at a good deli.

The pancakes are light and crepe like when cooked, mostly due to the lack of flour for structure.  If you want to make the pancakes ahead of time, you can do that too.  They only take minutes to prepare but I tried saving one as leftovers yesterday.  I kept it in the refrigerator for 8 hours, covered with cling film.  Reheated briefly in the microwave and spread some almond butter on top and whoooooaaaaa.  Rolled up like a crepe, it was fantastic.  So don’t be limited by making tiramisù pancakes with the pancakes.  They are a protein crepe bombe so spread or cover them with whatever topping you love that goes well with coffee.

The cream is also fantastic to use on cakes, over fruit, or simply eat it with a spoon.

These are gluten and nut free, and suitable for anyone on a low fructose (and fructan) diet.  They do contain dairy, obviously.  If you wish to make the pancakes only but want to make them dairy free, I would recommend using pea or rice protein in place of the casein.   The texture might be a little different, particularly if you use rice protein.  My preference is pea protein, only because its flavour is more neutral and won’t compete with the coffee.

Some of you will undoubtedly ask … can I make this with almond or coconut cream instead?  Yes you can.  But please don’t call them tiramisù pancakes, OK?  Did I mention that I’m an official defender of the tiramisù faith?  Indeed, yes, I am.

Some of you might be thinking … oh, but I never use protein powder … that’s cool.  Just substitute flour for the protein powder.  You might need to adjust the amount marginally but start with the amount stated in the recipe.  There will still be a decent serve of protein in the recipe but obviously it will be less if you use flour (and the carbohydrate count will increase).

These are a great pre workout meal but would be fine post workout if you use decaffeinated coffee.  It also makes for a fantastic protein packed dessert.  Make smaller pancakes to serve as a dessert for two.

Try to use brewed espresso for the best flavour.  Do not even think about using instant coffee.  No.  Don’t.

Oh wait, what?  What about the brandy and liqueur?  Well, hey, it’s an optional extra.  I don’t add it for my pancakes, but what the hell … special occasion tiramisù protein pancake dessert!  Awesomeness.  Choose a decent brandy or go for Frangelico or Grand Marnier.  Don’t be daft and add a coffee liqueur.  You’ve already got the coffee in there, remember?


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Tiramisu` Protein Pancakes

Serves: 1 – 2

Macros are provided at the bottom of the recipe.

Coffee Pancakes


110 grams egg whites (or 2 large/jumbo whole eggs)
30 grams micellar casein* (or substitute pea protein powder for a dairy free version.  I use this casein)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
60 millilitres espresso (freshly brewed and strong), cooled

Optional: feel free to add a little liqueur or brandy to the pancake batter for extra flavour.  You will need about 15 millilitres so reduce the amount of coffee by the same amount or add less alcohol in addition to the coffee.  The alcohol will cook off as the pancakes cook but you will have to account for its contribution to net carbohydrates.

To Serve: 1 – 2 grams raw cacao powder


Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend or whisk until smooth.  Casein powders can vary in the degree to which they absorb moisture, so add a little extra coffee or water to thin out the batter if too thick.

Spoon one-third of the batter onto a non-stick crepe pan.  If you need to, use a little non-stick spray or brush with butter or coconut oil.  Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, then flip it over and cook until done.  Repeat for another two pancakes.

Your batter will have a lovely caffè latte hue, see?

OK I just wanted to show you my crazy person whisk, given to me by a dear friend, who clearly thinks knows I’m insane :p

It’s cool, though, isn’t it?

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Ricotta Cream


75 grams fresh ricotta*
75 grams non-fat thick Greek yoghurt (I used Chobani Plain 0%)*
15 grams Natvia (or substitute your preferred sweetener)
10 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla bean paste

*if you prefer, simply use 150 grams of fresh ricotta and omit the yoghurt.  I like it with the yoghurt as it gives a lush creamy texture to the cream.


Mascarpone Cream


150 grams fresh mascarpone (or 75 grams each mascarpone and double cream)
15 grams Natvia (or substitute your preferred sweetener)
10 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla bean paste


In a bowl, whisk together all the cream ingredients until smooth.  You don’t need a mixer.  A hand-held whisk is all that you need.

You can make the cream ahead and store it, covered, in the refrigerator.


Place one pancake on a serving plate.  Cover evenly with one-third of the ricotta or mascarpone cream.  Add the next layer of pancake followed by cream until you have completed three layers.

Sift the cacao evenly over the top and serve.

If making the pancakes and cream ahead of time, assemble just prior to serving.

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Macronutrient Profile

I have included macros based on the ingredients as stated in the recipe.  If you make any substitutions or additions, you will need to factor these in.

For the ricotta version, I have included macros for the ricotta and yoghurt version.  For the mascarpone version, I have included macros for the mascarpone only version.

Macros for the cream filling are as follows:

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Macros for the full recipe, including the cacao topping:

Tiramisu` Pancakes Full Recipe_macros