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Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake

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I am a huge fan of anything Tiramisu and I'm always up for a challenge to try a new recipe. This poke cake was a hit in my house, especially if you are hosting a party or family gathering. It's not your everyday recipe, it does take a lot of effort but it's totally worth it!

Why Use Crockpot?

If you've never made a cake in a slow cooker, now it's time to give it a go. It may seem odd at first but once you try it, you will want to make more and more. Cakes made in a slow cooker (also known as crockpot) are fluffy and moist and it's unlikely to burn them.

The only tricky part is to get the liquids right so the cake doesn't end up too wet. When I was working on my Keto Slow Cooker & One-Pot Meals Book, I spent a lot of time fine-tuning the recipes in the "Desserts" chapter, sometimes making the same cake 3 times before finding the optimal mix of ingredients, temperature and cooking time.

I realized that using parchment paper to make cakes and other treats in a slow cooker makes a tremendous difference.

First, it will be easier to remove the cake from the slow cooker. Secondly, it reduces the risk of burning and sticking to the bowl.

Parchment paper also helps reduce moisture from excess condensation, because most of the condensation is dripping down the sides in between the parchment paper and the bowl, not in the cake. In my experience, heavy-duty parchment paper with an aluminium side works best.

Once you try it, let me know what you think!

Using Raw Eggs?

If a recipe calls for raw eggs and you are concerned about the potential risk of Salmonella, you can make it safe by using pasteurized eggs. To pasteurize eggs at home, simply pour enough water in a saucepan to cover the eggs. Heat to about 60 °C/ 140 °F. Using a spoon, slowly place the eggs into the saucepan. Keep the eggs in the water for about 3 minutes. This should be enough to pasteurize the eggs and kill any potential bacteria. Let the eggs cool down before using in any recipe, or store in the fridge for 6-8 weeks.

Oven Baking Instructions

If you don't have a slow cooker or you simply want to use the oven, you'll be following the baking instructions from my Keto Key Lime Poke Cake.

To do that, preheat the oven to 160 °C/ 320 °F (fan assisted), or 180 °C/ 355 °F (conventional). Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper or use a silicon pan. Bake the sponge cake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is light golden and the cake base is set.

Once you have the sponge cake ready, you can then follow the same instructions for the filling and topping as instructed below.

Hands-on Overall

Allergy information for Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake

✔  Gluten free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free

Nutritional values (per serving)

Net carbs3.1 grams
Protein11.1 grams
Fat24.4 grams
Calories291 kcal
Calories from carbs 5%, protein 16%, fat 79%
Total carbs5.4 gramsFiber2.3 gramsSugars1.9 gramsSaturated fat9.8 gramsSodium162 mg(7% RDA)Magnesium53 mg(13% RDA)Potassium251 mg(13% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 13 servings)

Cake base:
Coffee-rum custard filling:
Mascarpone topping:


  1. Make the cake base. Line your slow cooker with parchment paper and turn the heat to low. In a bowl, using a hand whisk, mix the wet ingredients for the cake base: eggs, melted butter and lukewarm almond milk (also apple cider vinegar if you are using it instead of cream of tartar).
    Note: For oven baking instructions, see recipe tips above.
  2. Place all the dry ingredients for the cake in a mixer: almond flour, coconut flour, whey protein powder, granulated Erythritol, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Mix until well combined. Pour the egg mixture into the mixer and process until smooth.
    Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake
  3. Pour the batter into the lined slow cooker and cover with a lid. Cook on low for 2 to 3 hours (until the top is set). When done, remove the lid and let the cake cool down until it reaches room temperature. Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the coffee-rum custard filling. Place the egg yolks in a bowl. Add the Erythritol and whisk until frothy.
    Don't waste the egg whites and use them in other recipes. You can find tips on how to use leftover egg whites in this post: Keto Lemon Curd. Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake
  5. Pour the almond milk, cream and coffee into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Use a ladle to gradually temper the hot coffee mixture into the egg yolk and Erythritol mixture. When you have added about half of the coffee mixture, return everything into the saucepan with the remaining almond and cream mixture and cook until it reaches 70 °C/ 160 °F (this will take 6-8 minutes).
  6. Sprinkle gelatine powder in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of water and combine until dissolved. Then, add it to the saucepan and mix well.
    Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake
  7. Take off the heat. Add the rum and optionally, a few drops of stevia to taste. Pour the custard in a glass bowl and cover with a cling film. Chill for 2 hours before pouring on top of the cake. Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake
  8. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke several holes all over the cake base. Pour the custard all over the cake base until covered and the holes are filled. Set aside. I left in a cool place for 2 hours to help the custard cool down and set. Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake
  9. Meanwhile, prepare the mascarpone topping. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Place the egg yolks into a heat-resistant bowl. Beat with a tablespoon of water, and add vanilla extract and powdered Erythritol. Beat until pale and creamy. Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake
  10. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan with simmering water. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and continue stirring to cool. Fold in the mascarpone cheese. Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake
  11. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until it forms stiff peaks. Using a large spoon, slowly fold in the whisked egg whites, adding them in two parts to keep them as fluffy as possible. Spoon and spread on top of the cake. Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake
  12. Finish with an even sprinkle of cacao powder. Grab the parchment paper with both hands and transfer the cake into the fridge to chill until set. It is important to use firm parchment paper that doesn't tear (e.g. parchment paper lined with aluminium foil on one side). Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake
  13. Once chilled and set, slice into 13 pieces as pictured below. Enjoy! Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake
  14. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you don't have a slow cooker, follow the instructions in this recipe for oven balking: Keto Key Lime Poke Cake. Low-Carb Tiramisu Poke Cake

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving)

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

Let us know what you think, rate this recipe!

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Comments (22)

Can you provide directions for oven baking?

Hi Adam, recipe is now updated and I added oven-baking tips 😊

Hello! Just wanted to say that I made this yesterday and tried it was lovely!
I made it in the oven as per your key lime poke cake recipe, but I used a circular cake pan (with removable sides), instead. I was worried that it would stick to the pan, but being careful with the baking paper and adding some additional cooking spray helped quite a lot. It didn’t stick at all!
For me, I would have liked perhaps twice as much of the mascarpone topping, but that might just be my own preference. A question: for those uncomfortable with using raw egg whites in the merengue (that’s folded in with said topping in the last stage), what would you recommend?

Thank you Karli! I'm with you, I think there can never be too much topping so feel free to add/double that 😊
If you don't want to use raw eggs, you can use more whipping cream instead - that is what I do when I'm too busy to make the proper egg-based topping. Also, I added tips for making raw eggs safe in case that helps!

Another great recipe, and so interesting to put together! I usually am quite intimidated by complex recipes but once you break this down into parts it's really not that hard 😊 So I made this for my husband's birthday as he loves tiramisu, but I went for a baked version rather than slow cooker as I wanted it to look more "regular"-shaped! As instructed, I used the directions from the Key Lime Poke Cake recipe, but used the cake batter ingredients from this one, and it worked great! The only changes I made was to add 1/4 tsp each of monk fruit sweetener and powdered stevia to the cake batter, and baked it in an 8" x 8" square tin, lined with baking paper, at 160 C for a total of 40 minutes, checking at 30 minutes and then 35 minutes. No issues there!
The only thing that didn't go perfectly was the custard, which hadn't quite set in 2 hours, but I poured it over anyway and let it sit in the fridge. Every 30 minutes after that I scooped up the custard that had run over, and poured it back into the holes until eventually it all got thicker and set beautifully! Panic over 😊
The last mini disaster was the topping... Everything worked okay until I started folding the whipped egg whites into the mascarpone-egg yolk mixture. It seemed like it was going okay but then it started to look a little grainy, so I think it split... Not sure why, but maybe something to do with temperature? Everything had cooled by this point but maybe it should have been cold? No matter... Nothing that the sprinkling of cacao at the end couldn't mask, and at the end of it all, the whole thing tasted delicious! Thank you soooo much, Martina, it's been a great start to my husband's birthday 😊

Anu, thank you so much for your lovely feedback and happy birthday to your husband! The custard is indeed a little too runny before completely chilled but the slow cooker (or a cake pan) will hold it together until set. What I'm thinking is that if you bake it in a cake pan, line it with a strong parchment and it should be fine. If you keep it in the cake pan until set, it will keep the filling in place.
Oh I'm sorry it split! I think I used ingredients that have all reached room temperature (the warm eggs + room temperature mascarpone + room temperature egg whites). I'll add this to the description just in case! I hope the next batch comes out great 😊

I just need to know is the cake able to be cooked in the oven ..... if so how long would I cook it for ?
I’m dying to try it anyway
Thanks Robyn

Hi Robyn, you can follow the instructions for oven baking in this recipe: Keto Key Lime Poke Cake I hope this helps! 😊

Hi Martina! I love your recipes, they always turn out so yummy! I was wondering what you'd recommend as a substitute for the almond milk? Would regular cream work?

Thank you so much Phil! I think the best alternative would be heavy whipping cream combined with water (I'd say half of each). Maybe apart from the custard filling where I'd fully substitute it with cream (no water needed). Or use coconut milk (again combined with water in the cake base), or any other nut or seed milk (fully substituted). I hope this helps!

My custard filling won’t set! It’s like soup! I’ve reeead the recipe over and over and can not figure out what I did wrong!!!

Mine set perfectly. Did you maybe use smaller egg yolks or hydrolysed gelatin (collagen) instead of regular gelatin?

I'm not sure what went wrong and I made this recipe three times, each time with custard but once with coconut milk instead of cream. The 4 egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of gelatin should be enough to do the job but if it doesn't set - for whatever reason - I think it's best if you add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon more gelatin and let it bloom in a little water before adding. It should not be too firm but like creme brulee/custard BUT only once it sets on the cake. When you pour it in it will be runny (this way it can actually soak in the holes). I hope this helps!

What can I use to replace the whey protein powder or egg protein?
I don’t use protein powder very often and the one sitting on my pantry right now is chocolate flavour.
I’m making this recipe for Easter dinner.

Hi Nini, you could try collagen powder (not gelatine) or just skip it. It's used for texture/consistency. I use it to replace the gluten missing in low-carb baking. Other ingredients that help with texture is psyllium husk powder (just 2 to 3 teaspoons), or xanthan gum - not paleo but commonly used if you can tolerate it (1/2 to 1 tsp), or glucomannan powder (1/2-1 tsp as well).

Hi Martina I've just ordered your slow cooker cook book as i really wanted to make more use of my slow cooker. This looks scrummy. I use to make cakes in my slow cooker before keto woe. I use to pour the batter in the slow cooker pot and then lay a tea towel over the top and then put the lid on top of the towel this soaked up any steam and stopped it dripping back into the cake mix.  

Thank you Donna, that is a great tip as well! It works well unless you have really moist dough/recipe and the towel cannot absorb it all (not in this case though) 😊

Yum! I'm not the biggest fan of desserts, but I love poke cake and I love tiramisu. Is there a way I can make this without a slow cooker?

Absolutely! I made a similar recipe without a slow cooker here (oven-baked): Keto Key Lime Poke Cake

Sorry if this is a dumb question- Do I just change the base to the one from the key lime recipe to make it in the oven?

Not at all! I think it would be best to use the dough in the Key Lime Cake recipe has been optimised for oven (amount of liquids). Just skip the lime zest in the base.

Oh my! Tiramisu in a slow cooker. I can’t wait to try this!