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
- Combine the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, coffee/espresso powder, and salt.
- 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.
- Incorporate the eggs. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Then, add the vanilla extract.
- 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.
- Bake. Divide the batter evenly in a standard cupcake pan and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- 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
- Combine the mascarpone, sugar, espresso powder, and liqueur. Use a whisk or spatula to combine together in a large bowl.
- Whip the cream. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
- 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.
Assemble the cupcakes
- 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.
- 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.
- Frost the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, use a piping bag, knife, or spoon to frost the cupcakes.
- 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
- Snickers Cupcakes: Just like the candy bar in cupcake form.
- Pumpkin Cupcakes: Full of warm autumn flavors and topped with luscious cream cheese frosting.
- Funfetti Cupcakes: Vanilla cupcakes full of colorful rainbow sprinkles.
- Lemon Cupcakes: Moist lemon cupcakes topped with creamy lemon-vanilla frosting.
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Simply irresistible.
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
- 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*
- 1½ tablespoons coffee liqueur
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy cream
- Cocoa powder , for dusting
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.
To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, coffee/espresso powder, and salt. Set aside.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chill cupcakes until ready to serve. Just before serving, dust frosting with cocoa powder.
Cupcakes can be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
* 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.