Cupcakes/ Dessert/ Holiday

Tiramisu Cupcakes

April 1, 2022

Just like classic tiramisu but in cupcake form! These tiramisu cupcakes are soaked in coffee syrup and topped with soft and dreamy mascarpone cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. They taste absolutely incredible and are so easy to make!

Tiramisu is one of those desserts I never get tired of. On my last trip to Italy, I tried tiramisu from a different restaurant almost every night – that’s how much I can’t get enough of the stuff! I love my classic tiramisu and my tiramisu cake, so I decided it was time to venture into the world of tiramisu cupcakes.

These simple vanilla cupcakes are soaked in coffee syrup to resemble the coffee-soaked ladyfingers you find in classic tiramisu. Then, they’re frosted with mascarpone cream very similar to the filling in my no-bake tiramisu (that is also egg and alcohol free). It’s obviously my favorite part of the cupcake with its cloud-like and creamy texture and amazing coffee mascarpone flavor.

How to make tiramisu cupcakes

Make the cupcakes

  1. Combine the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, coffee/espresso powder, and salt.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, for about 3 minutes. Be sure to keep a rubber spatula on hand to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Incorporate the eggs. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Then, add the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and milk. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, beating just until combined. Then, add the milk and beat until combined. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and beat slowly only until combined.
  5. Bake. Divide the batter evenly in a standard cupcake pan and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Cool. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove allow to continue to cool. Brush with warm coffee syrup.

Make the coffee syrup

You can either make the coffee syrup before the cupcakes, or make it while the cupcakes are baking.

To make the syrup, mix the the coffee or espresso powder and sugar in hot water and mix until dissolved, then add liqueur. Set aside to cool.

Make the frosting

  1. Combine the mascarpone, sugar, espresso powder, and liqueur. Use a whisk or spatula to combine together in a large bowl.
  2. Whip the cream. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  3. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture in 2 additions. Then, use immediately to frost cupcakes.
AMAZING Tiramisu Cupcakes

Assemble the cupcakes

  1. Brush the cupcakes with coffee syrup. While the cupcakes are still warm, poke the tops with a fork or toothpick a few times. Brush with lukewarm coffee syrup, allowing it to soak in. Use all the syrup evenly over the cupcakes.
  2. Cool. Before your frost the cupcakes, it’s important that they cool completely so the frosting doesn’t melt. You can either allow them to sit at room temperature until cooled, or place them in the fridge for a few minutes to speed up the process.
  3. Frost the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, use a piping bag, knife, or spoon to frost the cupcakes.
  4. Serve. Keep the cupcakes refrigerated until ready to serve. Sprinkle with cocoa powder to garnish before serving.

Optional yet delicious tip: If you want to add even more deliciousness to these cupcakes, fill each cupcake with a bit of chocolate ganache. To do this, use a pairing knife to cut a hole 1/2-inch in diameter in each cupcake before brushing with coffee syrup.

Then, use a pastry brush to brush the tops and inside of the cupcake with coffee syrup. Use a piping bag to fill each cupcake with chocolate ganache before frosting.

Tips for making perfect tiramisu cupcakes

-Don’t overmix the cupcake batter. After you’ve creamed the butter, try not to mix the batter too much, especially after the dry ingredients. This will help keep the cupcakes light and fluffy and not become too dense. Mix the ingredients just enough so they incorporate together.

-Allow the cupcakes to cool slightly before brushing with coffee syrup. You don’t want the cupcakes or coffee syrup to be too hot when you brush them with syrup. However, the cupcakes and/or syrup should be slightly warm because it allows the syrup to soak more easily into the cupcakes.

-Whip the cream when it’s very cold. Cold cream whips much more easily than when it’s room temperature. Keep the cream for the frosting in the fridge until you are ready to whip.

-Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. If they are still warm, the mascarpone frosting will melt when you top them.

More of my favorite cupcake recipes

5 from 17 votes
Tiramisu Cupcakes
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
YIELD: 12 standard-size cupcakes

Tiramisu cupcakes soaked in coffee syrup, topped with soft and dreamy mascarpone cream and a touch of cocoa powder.

  • 1⅓ cups (185g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 2 large eggs , at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk
Coffee Soaking Syrup:
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee powder*
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) hot water
  • 1 tablespoon marsala or coffee liqueur such as Kahlua , optional but so good
  • 3/4 cup (170g) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar , sifted
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee powder*
  • tablespoons coffee liqueur
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy cream
  • Cocoa powder , for dusting
  1. Start with making the soaking syrup: Mix the coffee/espresso powder and sugar in hot water and mix until dissolved, then add liqueur. Set aside to cool.

  2. To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, coffee/espresso powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Reduce mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, beating just until combined. Add milk and beat until combined. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and beat slowly only until combined. Do not over mix—the less you mix, the lighter the cupcakes will be.
  5. Divide batter evenly between cups, filling about ¾ full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan and place them on a wire rack.

  6. While cupcakes are still warm, poke the tops with a fork or toothpick a few times. Brush with coffee syrup, allowing it to soak in. Use all the syrup evenly over cupcakes.
  7. To make the frosting:

    In a large bowl whisk together mascarpone, sugar, espresso powder, and liqueur. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture in 2 additions. Allow cupcakes to cool completely then frost them.

  8. Chill cupcakes until ready to serve. Just before serving, dust frosting with cocoa powder.
  9. Cupcakes can be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Recipe Notes

* Instant coffee has a subtler flavor than espresso powder, so if you use it, you may want to add more for a stronger coffee flavor.

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  • Reply
    August 18, 2016 at 4:54 am

    Yo Shiran, this sounds awesome, you always have great combinations 🙂 Just wondering – for the frosting, is liqueur optional or a must, and if so, is there a non-alcohol based substitute?

    • Reply
      August 18, 2016 at 4:59 am

      Hi Laila! Thank you 🙂 Definitely not a must although it’s really good 🙂

  • Reply
    August 18, 2016 at 11:27 am

    These look incredible — a perfect Italian and American hybrid dessert! I love the idea of soaking the cupcake in the coffee liqueur to imitate the coffee soaked ladyfingers. Another great recipe, thanks so much for sharing!!!

    • Reply
      February 7, 2021 at 9:16 am

      Made this today and they are now officially my new favourite cupcake recipe. Absolutely delicious. Thankyou🥰🥰

  • Reply
    August 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Such a clever idea!

    • Reply
      September 26, 2022 at 8:54 pm

      I love this recipe!! Can I make it into a cake? Do I have to change anything?

      • Reply
        Talia @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet.
        September 28, 2022 at 2:45 am

        Hi Evie, you can definitely make this recipe into a cake. The recipe should be enough for an 8×8-inch square pan. Depending on how much frosting you like on your cake, you may want to make a bit extra 🙂

  • Reply
    August 24, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    You re a life saver! I finally found a recipe that doesn t call for alcohol! My guy friend wants me to make him Tiramisu Cupcakes for his birthday and we are both underage for drinking and he loves this type of cupcake! Thank you soooo much. ^.^

    • Reply
      August 25, 2016 at 4:45 am

      Thank you so much! Happy birthday 🙂

  • Reply
    September 19, 2016 at 1:46 am

    Hi Shiran. Can I know what kind of Marsala I should use since I can’t use the Coffee liqueur – Khuala? Thanks.

    • Reply
      September 19, 2016 at 9:47 am

      I use sweet Marsala, but dry Marsala is fine as well.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2016 at 2:55 am

    Hi Shiran, I’m very eager to try these cupcakes, and am wondering if I could use coffee pod coffee for the espresso coffee powder as I have never seen coffee powder before. Thanks

    • Reply
      October 5, 2016 at 5:51 am

      Hi Rosemary, this is what you can do; Omit the coffee powder from the cupcake recipe. Use 1/4 cup strong coffee/espresso instead of water+coffee powder. Use coffee syrup for the frosting – about 1-2 tablespoons. Don’t add too much liquid so it won’t ruin the texture.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Made these tonight for a friend, and they were so freaking tasty! I’m always a little skeptical of trying out new recipes without reviews and/or ratings, but took a chance with these. I’m so glad that I did, just the right balance of coffee and Kahlua flavor. I will definitely be making these again! 🙂

    • Reply
      October 19, 2016 at 5:52 am

      I’m so glad you like it Jen, thank you so much! 🙂

      • Reply
        Rayna T
        February 24, 2020 at 8:00 pm

        These Tiramisu cupcakes are so delicious! The best recipe ever. I’ve made them a few times now, they never last in our household. Thank you.
        I also tried the lemon cupcakes and made them a few times too – they turned so yummy and gorgeous.
        This is my favorite website for recipes.

        • Reply
          March 16, 2020 at 12:07 pm

          Thank you so much, Rayna 🙂 It makes me so happy!

          • Angela Phillips
            October 8, 2021 at 3:27 am

            Hello there. Would doubling this recipe make a two layer cake? If so how long would I need to bake in the oven? I’ve made the cupcakes many times now and they are incredible but would love it in two layer cake form. Xx

  • Reply
    October 30, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    I NEVER comment on recipes online. But this was THAT good. If you love coffee/tiramisu, this will blow you away! I received lots of compliments.

    NB: don’t be scared to generously soak the cupcakes – I did brush them with the coffee syrup but with caution. Next time, i’ll brush the cupcakes generously, as the soak really does transform the cupcake!

    THANKS!!!! X

    • Reply
      October 31, 2016 at 6:44 am

      Sara, thank you so much for your comment! I’m so glad to hear that you like them so much. They are one of my favorite cupcakes!

  • Reply
    Svenja M.
    March 20, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Hi Shiran,
    wow! I’ve made these yesterday and boy, do they taste awesome! They’re just like Tiramisu, but as a cupcake (stating the obvious, duh). I was surprised as to how easy it was to make them and how well the flavor profile worked. We don’t keep any liqueur in the house, but I did find a bit of rum, so I used that and I really liked how it turned out. These will definitely become a staple.
    Thank you for the recipe!

    • Reply
      March 20, 2017 at 5:30 am

      Yes! It’s hard to explain just how good they are. Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Hi, Shiran! My mom loved this recipe when I made it. My only problem is that I over whipped the marscapone not knowing that it could be over whipped. This saddened me all though my family thought the cupcakes were delicious. I wish there would have been a warning to not overwhip the marscapone. But otherwise, the cake was delicious!

    • Reply
      August 23, 2017 at 5:44 am

      Hi Ella, mascarpone doesn’t break down as fast as whipped cream, so as long as you mix it just until it’s smooth and blended, it should be fine. I’m glad it was delicious though!

  • Reply
    September 23, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    All your recipes are so delicious! This one is my favorite cupcake recipe to date!
    I’m finally beginning to love baking; thank you!

    • Reply
      September 24, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Thank you so much Miri!

  • Reply
    June 16, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    can u use cream cheese instead of mascarpone?

  • Reply
    June 16, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    I really want to make these cupcakes! But I don’t have any mascarpone cheese in my fridge. Is there any substitute for mascarpone cheese you could think of?

    • Reply
      June 17, 2018 at 3:45 am

      For the best flavor I recommend using mascarpone cheese, but it’s possible to use cream cheese instead. Use the same amount of full-fat block cream cheese (not spread), at room temperature.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    The tastiest cupcakes ?
    I just loved this recipe….?

  • Reply
    August 12, 2018 at 1:23 am

    If you had the chocolate ganache as a filling at what point would you soak the cake with the syrup?

    • Reply
      August 12, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Hi Rachel. Soak the cakes before you add the filling. If you hollow out the center of the cupcakes, then do that first, then soak the cake with syrup, and then fill with the filling.

  • Reply
    Jess Stevens
    November 12, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Is it possible to freeze the cupcakes after making them and soaking them and then taking them out and frosting them a few days later??

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Can we freeze the cupcakes after making them and soaking them? And then ice them a few days later?

    • Reply
      November 13, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      Yes you can. Thaw them before frosting them.

      • Reply
        Jessica Lyth
        May 12, 2019 at 3:15 am

        Hi, I’m planning on making these and taking to work for a birthday. Would I be able to make the frosting the night before, put in a piping bag in the fridge and pipe at work the next day? Just it says to use immediately and didn’t know if there was a specific reason for this? Thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    November 21, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    These cupcakes look pretty awesome, and the reviews are glowing, so I’d love to make them (and I’m sure my family would love to eat them), but I personally don’t like coffee. I love tiramisu, but I always make strawberry. I’m wondering if the recipe would translate to strawberry. I could make strawberry cupcakes or fill vanilla cupcakes with strawberry filling. I could try to make a soaking syrup out of strawberry puree. What do you think would be best?

  • Reply
    June 24, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Such a great recipe!! I was pressed for time so I used boxed French vanilla cake mix, added espresso, and kahlua before baking. Then followed the recipe – was amazed at how tasty it was! I also refrigerated the frosting for 10 minutes before piping on to cupcakes to make them presentable.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    LOVED these cupcakes. Made it with friends and they turned out so well. The flavor was spot on and that syrup made it extra moist. The only thing we had trouble with was piping the frosting- it was too thick. But it was first time making this so we’re chalking it up to inexperience. Flavor was super good and I’m making it again!

  • Reply
    April 22, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe I made them and gave some to my colleagues and they loved it 🙂

  • Reply
    April 26, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    instruction #4 – cool cupcakes completely
    instruction #6 – while cupcakes are still warm soak with syrup
    which is best to follow?

    • Reply
      April 27, 2020 at 4:18 am

      I changed the recipe a bit. I hope it’s more clear now!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    I made these for my fiancé’s birthday and were sooooo good. I was just wondering if I wanted to make this recipe but in cake form (not cupcakes) what temp would they need to cook for and how long?

  • Reply
    May 19, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Hi there,

    How long will the frosting last on the fridge or freezer if I made it in advance?

    • Reply
      June 3, 2020 at 6:36 am

      Because it’s a whipped cream frosting and not buttercream, it should be used immediately to frost the cupcakes.

  • Reply
    June 12, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Hi Shiran! Working on your recipe now, but I do have a question. For ease of travel, I plan to make the cupcakes now and then frost them later. The recipe states that the frosting should be applied immediately; however, is it possible to make the frosting ahead of time and apply once the cakes have reached their destination, or will it compromise the integrity of the frosting? If possible, how long can the frosting be stored so I can plan accordingly?

    Please and thank you!!

    • Reply
      June 14, 2020 at 1:42 am

      Hi Jazmyn. Because it’s a whipped cream frosting and not buttercream, it should be used immediately to frost the cupcakes. It can get grainy and chunky if you store it and mix it later.

  • Reply
    June 27, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Hey would love to make this ? Any substitute for eggs ?

    • Reply
      June 29, 2020 at 2:19 am

      You can use my other recipe that doesn’t use eggs (and use eggless biscotti).

  • Reply
    August 2, 2020 at 11:56 am

    These are amazing!!! We go extra heavy on the soaking syrup to give the true tiramisu flavor and consistency. Other then that they turned out perfectly per the recipe! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply
    Madeleine Cogbill
    September 12, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Hi! I am excited to make these cupcakes, and I was wondering if I could increase the espresso powder to 2 teaspoons instead of 1 in the batter. Do you think it would be OK?

    • Reply
      September 16, 2020 at 10:02 am

      Yes, if you’d like a stronger flavor, you can 🙂

  • Reply
    October 18, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    hey shirannnn. was wondering if its mandatory to do the frosting. will the cupcakes taste good without any frosting? because the marsala thingy wont be available here, where i live, which is a bummer 🙁

    • Reply
      October 20, 2020 at 6:05 am

      Hi Prathika. You don’t have to add the frosting but the mascarpone frosting gives it the tiramisu flavor 🙂 You don’t have to use the marsala if you don’t have it.

  • Reply
    December 14, 2020 at 10:14 am

    Hi Shiran
    These are Absolutely Delicious – A MASSIVE hit with family and friends – Thank You! So much for sharing 🙂
    Is it possible to make a cake version instead of cupcakes?
    Many Thanks in advance for your response.

    • Reply
      December 20, 2020 at 5:13 am

      Thank you Sandra, I’m glad you like it! You can make (or compare it to) my tiramisu cake recipe.

      • Reply
        January 20, 2021 at 2:33 pm

        Hi Shiran I finally made it as a cake 😋👌🏼 It was gone quicker than I could make it!
        I’m actually thinking off making both so we can compare with your other tiramisu cake and for lockdown fun I’ll get them to blind test… Votes to be confirmed 😁

  • Reply
    February 18, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    For the frosting: would you be able to sub Coffee Extract for the liqeur? I’m trying to avoid alcohol at the moment. Excited to make these more my birthday treat.

    • Reply
      February 22, 2021 at 2:08 am

      You can use coffee extract, but you should use less, about 1 teaspoon, depending on how strong you want the flavor to be. You can also leave out the alcohol without changing anything else in the recipe.

  • Reply
    June 28, 2022 at 7:41 am

    Made these for a birthday, and loved every component. The cake is gorgeously soft. The coffee syrup smells heavenly, and then that beautiful, silky frosting? You knocked it out of the park with this recipe. Thank you!

  • Reply
    November 9, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    Hey Shiran, I was wondering what the nutrition info is for these cupcakes?

    • Reply
      Talia @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet.
      November 10, 2022 at 2:33 am

      Hi Annelise, I don’t calculate nutrition information for my recipes but there are plenty of nutrition calculators on Google that can help figure this out 🙂

  • Reply
    DAN @ Sauce Grandmaster
    February 3, 2023 at 3:59 am

    Hi Shiran,

    I am so excited to try this recipe! I cannot resist cheesecake, and I love making different versions when I come across new recipes. I’m so glad you shared this! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 27, 2023 at 3:27 pm

    These are absolutely incredible. I’m not usually a cupcake person mostly because the cakes are sometimes dry and I don’t love buttercream. These are so moist and the frosting is amazing.

    • Reply
      Stephanie @ Pretty.Simple.Sweet.
      June 28, 2023 at 4:15 pm

      Thank you, Nancy!

  • Reply
    July 28, 2023 at 12:21 pm

    Wanted to knownif I. could use mascarpond cheese instead of butter..or use half butte4 and mascarpone cheese.
    I just felt the batter needs mascarpone cheese for Tiramisu…what do you think?
    Will be grateful for thr revert.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2023 at 5:08 pm

    Hi there! I’m hoping to make a very large (500 cupcakes) batch of these delicious cupcakes – do you think the frosting would tolerate it being previously frozen and thawed before using? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Stephanie @ Pretty.Simple.Sweet.
      July 31, 2023 at 8:32 am

      Hi Kortnie, I would recommend only refrigerating the frosting. Mascarpone can become very grainy when frozen, but it can be frozen if that is what you want to do. When thawing, let it thaw out in the fridge overnight. Once thawed, you’ll need to beat before using to make the texture better since the liquids and solids may separate. I’m not sure that freezing the frosting will save you much time compared to doing it all at once when you need it and refrigerating the frosting for a few hours while you make your cupcake bases.

  • Reply
    October 31, 2023 at 9:35 pm

    This looks so good! What a great way to combine 2 desserts into one!

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