Tiramisu Cupcakes – A mini, easy-to-eat version of the classic Italian dessert. Made with vanilla cupcakes brushed with espresso and topped with a marscapone whipped cream.
Tiramisu has been one of my favorite desserts for as long as I can remember. Olive Garden used to be a place we went to to celebrate and every time we went, I got to have a taste of their incredible tiramisu. Even after having tiramisu at the fanciest of Italian restaurants, theirs is still my favorite. I think only Italy itself can produce a better version. I guess I’ll just have to visit to know for sure!
Rather than just make a traditional tiramisu, I wanted to try to master them in cupcake form. I’ve only had one tiramisu cupcake that actually tasted like tiramisu and that was because of the espresso-soaked cake.
Other versions have tried to use an espresso chocolate cupcake or even espresso buttercream stuffed in a chocolate cupcake. But anyone who knows anything about tiramisu is that the only chocolate in the dessert is cocoa dusted on top. How dare they use a chocolate cake base and call it tiramisu!
Don’t you worry – I got your back with my more authentic version and I’m sharing it with you today! Check them out!
To make these cupcakes, we’re starting with a slightly dense vanilla cupcake. It’s the perfect density to hold up to the espresso soak. If we just use a normal, fluffy cake recipe, it would get too soggy when soaked in espresso.
After we bake them, the cupcakes get punched in the center with a fork to help the espresso make its way through the cake.
Next, we add the espresso. At first, I starting brushing the tops with the mixture of instant espresso, sugar, and hot water. However, I found that spooning it on was more effective at getting the espresso through the entire cake. However, if you want more mild espresso flavor, feel free to brush them instead.
Finally, we finish off the cupcakes with a marscapone whipped cream. It’s super simple to make – just like homemade whipped cream but finished off with marscapone cheese whipped in.
Marscapone may not be something you use very often so some like to substitute cream cheese. Don’t do it! Marscapone is such an important flavor in tiramisu and really helps bring the whole dessert together. I think cream cheese can be too sweet and makes the whole dessert too sweet. You’ve been warned.
If you’re still a little hesitant to tackle these cupcakes yourself, here are a few extra tips to give you some more confidence:
- My favorite trick about filling the cupcake tin with batter is using an ice cream scoop. It makes sure that each cupcake is the same size and that filling them is super easy and virtually mess-free.
- The marscapone has to be room temperature before you try to whisk it into the whipped cream. Otherwise, it will be way too firm and you’ll end up whisking for a while, which could deflate the whipped cream.
- It’s always important to let the cupcakes cool completely before soaking with espresso and topping with whipped cream. If the cupcakes are too warm, the cake won’t absorb the espresso and it will soak through and the whipped cream will melt all over the place. If you’re in a hurry, you can place the cupcakes in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
That’s all there is to it, people! How excited are you to try these cupcakes?! Have to made or tried any other desserts in cupcake-form? Let me know in the comments below so I can get inspired for future recipes!
Here are all the kitchen tools and serveware that I used in today’s recipe. For each item sold below, I make a small commission. I only recommend items that I own and love so you can trust that each recommendation is tried and true. Thank you for supporting CPA!
For the cupcakes:
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup butter unsalted, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
For the espresso soak:
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup hot water
For the marscapone whipped cream:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup amaretto liquor
- 8 ounces marscapone cheese softened
- coca powder for dusting
- chocolate-covered espresso beans for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep cupcake pan by lining with 24 cupcake liners. If you only have a 12-cup pan, you'll have to bake in two batches. Set aside.
- In a bowl fitted for a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a tim, making sure each one is completely mixed in before continuing. Add vanilla and mix together.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Mix just until combined. Add 1/2 of the milk and mix just until combined. Repeat until all the flour and milk is gone - but make sure you end with the last 1/3 of flour mixture!. Scrape down the sides to make sure it's completely mixed.
- Scoop batter into prepared pan so that the cups are 2/3 full. Don't fill to the top - otherwise, the cupcakes will overflow. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle cupcake.
- Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Gently remove from pan and let them finish cooling on a cooling rack.
- Make espresso soak by mixing all the ingredients together in a measuring cup. Once the cupcakes are cool, it's time to add the espresso soak. Poke holes into center of cupcake using a fork - give it about 3 or 4 stabs. Using a teaspoon, slowly spoon espresso soak over top of the cupcake. Repeat with all cupcakes. You'll have some liquid left over - that's okay.
- To make the marscapone whipped cream, start by whipping heavy cream until medium peaks form. Mix in sugar, corn starch, and salt until combined. On low, whip in the Amaretto liquor. Using a whisk, slowly mix in softened marscapone cheese by hand until combined.
- Add marscapone whipped cream to a pastry bag (no tip needed). Pipe large swirls on each cupcake top. Dust with a little cocoa powder, top with a chocolate-covered espresso bean, and serve! Store excess cupcakes in a storage container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
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