Pick-Me-Up, a Tiramisu Protein Parfait

Breakfast is the only reason I get up in the morning.

Not really.  I get up because I have to go to work.

Breakfast is the only reason I get up without too much grumbling.  Unless you count the grumbling in my stomach, which has been intense ever since I started training.

That’s a whole other topic.  I eat my last meal around midnight.  In theory that would hold me over.  Notsomuch.  I wake up so hungry you’d think I hadn’t eaten in days.

What’s really fun is waking up starving and remembering you have something really delicious prepped for breakfast.  Remember Meal 1 from yesterday’s WIAW post?  This is it – a Tiramisu Parfait.

The oats are cooked and soaked in coffee and cocoa overnight to produce a light, spongy pudding.  In the morning, I mixed up some Greek yogurt with vanilla protein powder to create the decadent, creamy layers in this Tiramisu Parfait.

Did you know that Tiramisu means “pick me up” in Italian?  Rightly so.  This breakfast rendition was so good it had this night owl up early and eating breakfast with a smile.

The Italian dessert certainly couldn’t be passed off a breakfast (not that it hasn’t happened in a moment of weakness…).  This is a much healthier version is perfectly acceptable in the morning, and you won’t be missing a thing with these flavors.  Espresso-soaked ladyfingers are easily replaced with coffee-cocoa overnight oats.  The sweet, tangy Greek yogurt mixture is the perfect sub for the marscarpone and heavy cream that layers a traditional Tiramisu.

If you’re feeling frisky, you could shake it up and top the breakfast treat with melted cherries.

A traditional Tiramisu can run upwards of 500 calories, 30g of fat, and 30g of sugar.  Never fear.  Depending on your protein powder, this Tiramisu Parfait is around 200 calories, 2g fat, 4g sugar… and 20g of protein!

I never wanted it to end.



Tiramisu Protein Parfait

Inspired by this recipe.

For the Oats:

  • 1/3 C rolled oats (use gluten-free to make GF)
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp rum extract (almond would also work here)
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed, cooled coffee
  • 8 drops liquid stevia (adjust to desired sweetness)
For the Cream:
  • 3 oz plain Greek yogurt (use soy or almond yogurt to make dairy-free/vegan)
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2-3 drops orange stevia (optional, you could also use orange zest or extract of you want the hint of citrus)

Combine the oats, cocoa powder, cinnamon, extracts, and water in a bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until the liquid is (mostly) absorbed.  Add coffee and stevia.  Stir to combine, then cover and place in the fridge overnight (or at least 2 hours).

In a small bowl, combine yogurt, orange stevia (or zest,/extract), protein powder, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir until well combined.  This can be done the night before, or at time of serving.  

To assemble, place a spoonful of the oats in a cup, followed by a spoonful of the yogurt mixture.  Repeat until you’re out of each.  

Optional: Top with fruit of your choosing.  I chose melted cherries (cherries microwaved with a few drops of lemon Stevia for ~20 secs). Whipped cream would always be amazing.

Makes 1 serving.


This first time I made this, I couldn’t wait til morning and ate it as Meal 7 (dessert).

Would you eat this parfait for breakfast or dessert?

Are you a morning person or a night owl?


  1. says

    Ok, you posted this as I was reading the previous entry. LOL. This looks excellent and I love the idea for it. I’d definitely eat it as a breakfast. It would be a great, filling treat to start my day off.

    I get up to run because if I don’t go in the morning I fall asleep in front of my students. (I clearly love my job)

  2. says

    This I’m making tonight – but this morning, I had my first cookie smoothie – amended a little bit for the ingredient I had already, but it was SO worth it! Keep posting your recipes – I’m sold!

    • Laura says

      Hooray! Welcome to the dark side! Thanks for the feedback. What subs did you make? Sharing is caring. 😉

  3. says

    That looks amazing! Totally worth getting up for! I agree with you breakfast is the only reason I am able to get up every morning!!! Best meal of the day!

  4. says

    Yum. I think I’m more of an afternoon person. Haha. If I had to choose though, I’d say morning. I don’t like staying up late.

  5. says

    I just made a parfait for my breakfast, but maybe I need a different cup :( They never look full like other peoples’ parfaits :( hahahaha

    this looks amazing babe! I love you

  6. says

    Tiramisu is one of my all time favorite desserts, so this right up my alley. YUM! Definitely going to try this soon!

    And I am a total morning person. So much so that I’ve been told my perkiness in the morning is annoying. Ha!

    • Laura says

      I can’t even imagine how pretty yours will be. Send me pics if you do! You could top it with fondant. 😉

  7. says

    OH MY WORD. I just printed this so I can make it for tomorrow’s breakfast. Sounds way too good to be true. You’re recipes are incredible. I’m so glad I put my leftover coffee from this AM in my fridge so I can use it when I make this tonight for tomorrow’s breakfast. Yum!

  8. says

    I have to second everyone who said they’d eat it for breakfast and dessert! Looks incredible. I use to be the biggest night owl ever- sometimes even staying up until the sun came up in the morning. Now… I like to be in bed and asleep by 10pm. I don’t know what changed me… I guess mostly having a set routine.

    • Laura says

      I’ve gotten better too… but I’m still a midnight bedtime person. Sadly, I wake up around 720a regardless of when I hit the hay.

  9. says

    Um…wow!!! This looks AWESOME – I’m going to have to add this one to our shopping list for sure. And actually make it (unlike the quiche that I bought all the ingredients for and STILL haven’t actually made :)). Miss you!!

  10. says

    Oh dear you are on a roll with these record: coffee, oats, and Greek yogurt…3 of my faves in one! This looks unreal and the protein content is the just the icing on the cake errr tiramisu ;)! Thanks for sharing and definitely trying this soon! Also brainwave: what about subbing choc protein powder for the cocoa for even more protein ;)?

    • Laura says

      You could add chocolate protein powder, but I think cocoa adds a better depth of flavor. Plus, you can’t process more than ~30g of protein at a time… so there is a limit to what’s beneficial to add.

  11. says

    Definitely a morning person here… and if only I liked coffee, I would be all over this…. actually, without the coffee, the chocolate and vanilla combo sound delicious.. especially with the cherries. Yum!

    • Laura says

      You could definitely do it without the coffee. If you like mint, that would be another fun flavor to add. Cocoa Mint Parfait!

  12. says

    Awesome recipe! What vanilla protein powder do you use? I’ve been wanting to try out protein powders in recipes but I’m not sure which brands cook best.

    • Laura says

      I use Sun Warrior. I like that the flavor isn’t too strong. It’s low calorie, low sodium and has no sugar!

  13. says

    Ok, this is happening here tonight! I will be eating a treat in the morning! Yeah, I have good intensions to go to sleep early…then Tony has another glass of wine and the chatting continues and then it’s late! I prefer to rise early in the morning, but as of late, that has not been happening due to late night movies with the boys (summertime). This school year is going to be rough on all of us!

    Your breakfast looks amazing!!!

  14. says

    I love this parfait recipe! It sounds so tasty!! This is such a good idea.
    I have got to try this out!!
    I’m both a morning person and a night owl. I go to bed at about 12 or 1 and wake up at 5…yah its really not good. I have got to be better about my sleep, I’m starting to get a little run down hah

    • Laura says

      Let me know if you do! I love hearing about other people’s renditions. :)

      I have a similar affliction thanks to work. Bah.

  15. says

    Gahhh your desserts are just always so tasty looking Laura! Love that they are healthier of course too, and have great ingredients them!
    I am a morning person 100%. Even if I go to bed late, I wake up by at least 7:30… I just don’t know how to really sleep in

    • Laura says

      LOL! I was craving dessert. :)

      I don’t see why it wouldn’t work… let me know what you think if you try it. I may try it with quinoa….

  16. says

    That sounds so super good. I’m the same way—I eat my last light meal around 11 pm, but I wake up ravenous at 7 am. Protein packed parfaits are the way to go. I make my own with (plain Greek yogurt, some oats, stevia, vanilla almond milk) + (peanut flour peanut butter for protein) + raspberries. It tops in around 350 calories, almost 40 grams of protein. It keeps me pretty satiated for the duration of the morning. But I must try your caffeine packed recipe…it sounds divine! =)

    • Laura says

      Good to know I’m not alone – I thought I was crazy. :)

      I often do mixes like that too – I love peanut flour mixed with Greek yogurt!

  17. says

    Ah, so glad you posted the recipe. I need.have to make this.. but first things first, I need to get some coffee! I think this would be wonderful for any anytime meal.. breakfast/lunch/snack/dessert! Cannot wait to try it! I’m most definitely a morning person. I think that may be one thing that drives my husband nuts. I just don’t understand how people don’t enjoy waking up early. haha

  18. says

    Only you can have me drooling by the first sentence introducing a new recipe: “…light, spongy pudding”? OMG!!

    I love all the ingredients in a tiramisu but I don’t really like tiramisu…I think I’ve never had it the right way, but THIS? This looks to me the BEST way to have it! And you know what they say…”Life’s too short. Eat dessert first.” well, if life is that short, don’t you think you should eat dessert for breakfast? I think so! 😉

    I used to be a die hard night owl…then I became a morning person…now I’m just a zombie! Lol Oh god, how I wish I were kidding!

    • Laura says

      So you have to let me know if this form of tiramisu is acceptable to a non-tiramisu lover. No nooch required. 😉

      It would seem to be a good meal for a zombie.

  19. Mandikat says

    Okay, you’re my hero.

    I’m following this blog forever and ever now.

    AWESOME!!! I can’t wait to make this!

    I kinda get the feeling that this’ll turn me into a morning person. ^_^

      • Mandikat says

        I tried it this morning! It was an aesthetic failure (as I blended the greek yogurt mixture and it got all liquid), but it tasted WONDERFUL and was a splendid morning nom. Even my husband liked it, and he’s not a fan of anything healthy as a general rule, haha!

        I’m psyched for future updates (and reading archives) – my hubban’ and I are vegetarians, and I’m looking forward to trying new recipes and doing some experiments of my own.

        • Laura says

          Awesome!!! I didn’t blend my yogurt – I like the thickness of it just hand mixed with the powder. that’s great your hubby even liked it!

          Thanks for reading and commenting. I love the feedback! :)

  20. Erica says

    So does it really need to be assembled just before eating? I’d love to wake up and have that in a jar in my fridge, grab and go…


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