Cupcakes/ Dessert/ Holiday

Tiramisu Cupcakes

August 18, 2016

Tiramisu cupcakes soaked in coffee syrup and topped with soft and dreamy mascarpone cream.

AMAZING Tiramisu Cupcakes

Over the past two years, I have changed from someone who could barely look at tiramisu to someone who makes (and then eats) it like crazy. And I don’t only mean traditional tiramisu, but also tiramisu cakes, cupcakes, truffles, and doughnuts. Anything and everything tiramisu is my new thing, and that especially goes for these cupcakes! These is one of the best desserts I’ve tried lately, and believe me, I’m always trying new things!

AMAZING Tiramisu Cupcakes

These simple vanilla cupcakes are soaked in a coffee syrup to resemble coffee-soaked ladyfingers. Make the syrup beforehand so it can cool to room temperature, then brush it on the warm cupcakes. If you forget to do it before the cupcakes have cooled, you can reheat the syrup and then brush it on. The idea is simple—either add a cool syrup to warm cupcakes, or warm syrup to cool cupcakes. That way, the cakes effortlessly absorb the perfect amount of syrup.

The frosting is very similar to a no-bake tiramisu filling like this one. It’s obviously my favorite part of the cupcake with its cloud-like and creamy texture and amazing mascarpone flavor.

AMAZING Tiramisu Cupcakes

I like to keep the cupcakes chilled because of the delicate frosting and serve them within 24 hours, but any leftovers will keep for 2 more days.

AMAZING Tiramisu Cupcakes

For even better cupcakes, you’re more than welcome to fill them with chocolate ganache.

If you like tiramisu, you must try my perfect recipe for tiramisu, or the quicker no-bake version.

5 from 9 votes
Tiramisu Cupcakes
YIELD: 12 standard-size cupcakes
Tiramisu cupcakes soaked in coffee syrup and topped with soft and dreamy mascarpone cream.

  • 1⅓ cups (185 g/6.5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/115 g) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100 g/3.5 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g/3.5 oz) 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 hot water
  • 1 tablespoon marsala or coffee liqueur such as Kahlua , optional but so good
  • 3/4 cup (170 g/6 oz) 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. Use immediately to frost cupcakes.
  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
    August 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Such a clever idea!

  • 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!

  • 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.

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