This tiramisu cupcake recipe is dream come true for coffee and tiramisu lovers! Coffee soaked melt in your mouth cupcakes with creamy mascarpone frosting on top dusted with cocoa powder! Cupcakes can´t really get any better than this!
If you love tiramisu as much as I do, you must try this easy cupcake version, they are like individual sized tiramisu mini cakes! They are quick and fun to make and always a crowd pleaser!
What is tiramisu exactly?
Tiramisu appears to have been invented in the 1960s or 1970s, but where and when exactly is unclear. What a time to be alive, I can´t imagine my life without tiramisu! In short, tiramisu is a coffee-flavoured ceamy Italian dessert that is served cold. It is made of ladyfingers (savoiardi) dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa. It is originated from among Italian regions of Veneto but nowadays widely popular across the entire world.
If you want to make my authentic Italian tiramisu recipe, check it out in here. This cupcake version though is equally delicious and comes together in no time so let´s get started!
My Top 5 Baking Tips for home bakers
- Read the recipe carefully including my tips and recommendations on how to avoid and fix typical issues during baking. Not much issue is expected during making this tiramisu cupcake recipe however still worth to read my tips if you want the best results
- Avoid using substitutes and changing the recipe unless you are aware of how to fully reformulate the recipe in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavour. Reducing sugar, replacing egg, using poor quality mascarpone will have an impact on this tiramisu cupcake recipe
- For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is provided as an indicative figure only and might be used for less complex and large batch recipes however it is not an appropriate method if you want consistent results
- Did you know that most home ovens can significantly under or oven run? Also, oven temperature hugely drops when opening the oven door therefore it is recommended to always pre-heat the oven above the required baking temperature.
- Temperature is so important when it comes to baking and accurate oven temperature is key, can make or break any recipe. Make sure you invest into an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to avoid under baked, burnt, sad looking cupcakes
Some important notes regarding the INGREDIENTS of this Tiramisu cupcake recipe
For the cupcake
- Butter: Use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. In this recipe butter needs to be at room temperature which technically means soft enough to be able to cream but not too soft or runny so avoid last minute microwaving. The right consistency and temp of the butter is a very important factor when it comes to cupcake texture so please make sure you leave the butter on the kitchen counter to soften for a few hours before using it
- Granulated Sugar: Standard, all purpose granulated or white sugar is perfectly fine in this recipe, nothing fancy. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here
- Egg: Room temperature as always
- Flour: All purpose flour or pastry flour makes the best cupcakes. They are so called "soft flour" which are low on protein resulting in delicate, tender texture. It is always a good idea to sift your flour as it tends to form lumps. If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my article in here
- Salt: An essential ingredient in most of the dessert recipes. Balances flavour and enhances other ingredients
- Baking powder: Has two functions: increase the volume and lighten the texture
- Coffee: Tiramisu is a coffee flavoured dessert and the ladyfingers must be lightly soaked into coffee. We use a similar approach in case of this tiramisu cupcake recipe so once the cupcakes are baked we drizzle them with freshly brewed coffee. I prefer to use an espresso type of coffee here for rich, deep coffee flavour. Freshly brew, only very slightly sweet. If there is any concern regarding coffee, I guess it can be skipped but then it won´t really taste like tiramisu. Beside soaking the cupcakes with coffee we also use some coffee in the cupcake batter.
- Milk: Room temperature whole milk is the best
- White vinegar+baking soda: The SECRET ingredients to make cupcakes super moist and tender even after days, the exact opposite of those sad looking dry ones from the supermarkets
For the whipped mascarpone frosting
- No Eggs: Traditional tiramisu recipe calls for raw egg which I decided to skip this time for two reasons; 1. I know some people are concerned about raw egg 2. The cream needs to be firmer than traditional tiramisu cream since it will need to be piped onto the cupcakes. The frosting we are using here is more like whipped mascarpone that is a perfectly light, pipeable frosting with firm enough texture yet fully delivers on the creamy tiramisu texture and flavour
- Mascarpone: Very rich Italian cream cheese, exceptionally smooth and easily to spread or whip, a must to make tiramisu and also this tiramisu cupcake recipe. The flavor is milky and slightly sweet. There is no substitution for mascarpone, really no other dairy product substitute the taste and texture. No mascarpone, no tiramisu
- Heavy cream: Also known as whipping cream or double cream has a fat content between 36% and 40% , I use 36% in all my recipes. Use it very cold and do not substitute with vegetable based "whipping cream"
- Icing sugar: Icing sugar is the first choice when it comes to whipping up frosting. Question I often get is whether the quantity is a typo. NO, it´s not! You do not actually need a lot of sugar when making cupcake frosting! It stays beautifully fluffy without tons on sugar, the secret is the technique of whipping, not the amount of sugar, please see my tips below
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Generally always use unsweetened, 100% dark cocoa powder in baking. I use dutch-process cocoa powder, it has a lovely dark colour and it is lower in acidity
4 tips regarding the TECHNIQUE of making this Tiramisu cupcake recipe
1. How to make coffee cupcakes for this tiramisu cupcake recipe
This is a super simple cupcake recipe that makes 6 wonderful tall bakery style tiramisu cupcakes. The recipe can be doubled or halved easily.
There are 2 important consideration to bear in mind while mixing making the cupcakes:
1. Do not overmix the cupcake batter: This is such an easy cupcake recipe, it literally comes together in a few minutes. However you have to pay attention to the ingredients. Room temperature ingredients encourages proper emulsification of the cupcake batter therefore make sure that butter, egg, milk and coffee etc. are all on room temperature. Key thing is not to overmix the cupcake butter. Once you cream butter and sugar with an Electric hand mixer , I suggest to switch to Hand whisk. Add in the egg then mix for a few seconds then add in dry (flour+baking powder+salt) and wet (milk+coffee) ingredients in 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry, that keeps the mixture well blended. Make sure you finish with dry ingredients. Do not overmix!
2. Do not overfill your cupcake tin: For this tiramisu cupcake recipe I recommend to fill your cupcake tin until ¾. The recipe is designed to make 6 tall cupcakes. Cupcake cases are coming in different sizes in terms of their height, try to buy the taller ones. If you overfill your cupcake tin it will result in “mushroom style” cupcakes! On the other hand, if you don´t fill it enough, they will rise but will stay tiny. If want to bake 12 cupcakes please double the recipe
2. How to make cupcakes moist? I have 7 baking tips for moist cupcakes:
I suggest not to change the recipe ingredients unless you are an expert and know how to fully reformulate it. If you decide to leave out egg or choose to go for dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free etc. , I can almost guarantee that it will result in imbalance in the ingredients making the cupcakes either too dry or too crumbly or too wet or too oily etc. in their texture. It is absolutely possible to make moist "free-from" cupcakes but that requires a totally new recipe instead of skipping certain ingredients
2. Secret ingredient
I call it the secret ingredient, it is not really secret though since I share this tip in all my cupcake recipes. Once cupcake batter comes together - before baking - mix a small amount of (½ teaspoon) white vinegar with a small amount of (½ teaspoon) baking soda. The mixture will foam a bit then quickly fold it into the cupcake butter - I promise this will make cupcakes airy and much lighter than cupcakes you are used to and they stay super moist and tender even after days if they ever last that long.
You very much have to be careful with not over beating your cupcake butter. It might be tempting to pour everything into a stand mixer but please make sure to use a Hand whisk from the point when butter and sugar is already creamed. Beating the cupcake batter too hard can result in too much gluten development and we don´t want that.
For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is inaccurate and not an appropriate way to measure ingredients. Just a little bit too much dry ingredients (eg.flour) or too little wet ingredients (eg. milk) can easily ruin your cupcakes and make them dry.
Make sure all your ingredients are on room temperate. If your butter is too hard, your milk or egg is too cold, they won´t emulsify properly with the rest of the ingredients resulting in unappealing texture on your cupcakes. When it comes to temperature, oven temp is also super important as baking these cupcakes on too high temp or for too long can results in dry texture. Make sure you invest into an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to be able to measure your oven temp correctly. If cupcakes were browning, bake them on a lower position or decrease over temp by 5C next time .
6. Soaking syrup
Soaking syrup is a common trick people use to make their cakes moist. It is not mandatory but also a good idea to drizzle or soak your cupcakes with a syrup that is in line with the flavour of the cupcake. eg. this tiramisu cupcake is drizzled with coffee that has two functions: flavour and also keeps the cupcakes more moist.
Once cupcakes are well baked and beautifully frosted, the appropriate storage is definitely something you have to bear in mind to avoid dry cupcakes. Instead of leaving them on a plate, store cupcakes in a container with a tight-fitting lid - in the fridge.
3. How to make whipped mascarpone frosting for this tiramisu cupcake
In line with the well known beloved tiramisu flavours I am using my favourite whipped mascarpone frosting for this tiramisu cupcake recipe; it is heavy cream, mascarpone and a small amount of icing sugar whipped until fluffy, pipeable consistency. My mascarpone cupcake frosting is way more creamy and delicious than butter cream and most importantly not overly sweet!
Using the right ingredients on the right temperature is extremely important while making cupcake frosting.
1. mascarpone has to be cold, use the full fat version (41%+) 2. heave creamy needs to be very cold (pop it into the freezer for a few minutes before using it) and again, full fat version so anywhere between 36-40% 3. icing sugar has to be sifted to avoid lumps 4. do not over whip the mixture
Basically you will have to whip the mixture with an electric hand mixer for a minute or two until it reaches a creamy, fluffy consistency then stop. It won´t get more stiff after this point, in fact if you over beat it, it will get only runnier then it will break. I don´t use my standmixer to whip this mascarpone frosting since it is really easy to over whip it.
Once you are happy with the consistency, move frosting into a piping bag fitted with yoru favourite nozzle tip, the one I am using is Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip .
4. How to assemble these tiramisu cupcakes
I recommend to make the cupcakes first then prick their top and drizzle them with coffee straight after they are baked. The trick to is to pour the coffee over when both the cupcakes and the coffee is warm. This allows the cupcakes to soak up all that delicious coffee flavour and stay fresh and moist for days. When drizzling with coffee, use a generous amount (exact amount is stated on the recipe card) to achieve that lovely tiramisu flavour however monitor how the cupcake soaks the coffee in and do not make it overly wet.
Once cupcakes are on room temp, prepare the whipped mascarpone frosting as per instructions and pipe on top of each cupcake. I am using Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip for the decoration. Very important that you never frost cupcake that are warm as that would melt the frosting.
Finally, before serving these tiramisu cupcakes, dust with unsweetened dark cocoa powder. Please note that the frosting might soak in some of the cocoa powder so similarly to tiramisu, only dust them before serving. Finally, decorate with a coffee bean!
That´s it! Full tiramisu experience in a cupcake format!
Other Tiramisu recipes for you to try
Authentic Italian tiramisu recipe - This home made tiramisu features airy ladyfingers from scratch that are layered in between light mascarpone cream. Rich espresso flavor and a touch of cocoa finish. Dolce vita! You absolutely have to make this recipe, no excuse! Recipe in here
Matcha tiramisu recipe - Are you a tiramisu lover and matcha fan at the same time? Appreciating Italian and Japanese cuisine at the same time I created this matchamisu recipe using my home made tiramisu recipe with matcha, Japanese green tea instead of coffee and cocoa. If you like tiramisu, you have to try matchamisu, the green tea version of it! Recipe in here
Tiramisu cake roll - This is hands down the Best Tiramisu cake roll that you will ever make! My Tiramisu cake roll recipes consists of a super fluffy Japanese style sponge cake, that is easy to roll without breaking it. The sponge is drizzled with rich espresso, then rolled up with an airy, light whipped mascarpone cream filling. Recipe in here
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RECIPE CARD - Tiramisu cupcake
- 100 g Unsalted butter room temp
- 120 g Granulated sugar
- 1 Egg room temp
- 165 g AP flour
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- 50 ml Coffee strong espresso at room temp
- 100 ml Whole milk room temperature
- ½ teaspoon White vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- 50 ml Coffee strong espresso with a tablespoon of sugar for pouring on top of the cupcakes - use it hot
- 150 g Mascarpone cold
- 35 g Icing sugar
- 120 g Heavy Cream very cold
- Cocoa powder unsweetened Dutch processed dark cocoa powder to dust the cupcakes
- Coffee beans to decorate
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
For the cupcakes
- Heat oven to 175 C / 347°F
- Sift flour, salt and baking powder together, this is the “dry ingredients”.
- Brew 100 ml coffee. Mix half of the coffee (50 ml) with the milk together which will be the“wet ingredients”. Make sure "wet ingredients" is on room temp
- Start adding the dry and wet ingredients into the batter in the following 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry. Fold each time with a Hand whisk
- Mix white vinegar and baking soda together in a small bowl, it will be super bubbly. Immediately fold the mixture into the cupcake batter. This is the secret ingredient to keep the cupcakes soft for days without the taste of vinegar of course!
- Spoon the mixture into Cupcake pan till approx. ¾. The cake batter makes 6 large cupcakes
- As soon as the cupcakes are baked prick them with a toothpick then pour the other half of the coffee over the top (it needs to be hot and mildly sweetened) The coffee will sink in
- Move cupcakes onto a Cooling rack and let them cool completely before frosting
- For the frosting beat mascarpone, heavy cream and powder sugar until smooth and fluffy, about 1-2 minute with Electric hand mixer. Once it has reached the right consistency, do not overbeat as it can become runny.
- Pipe the frosting onto the room temperature cupcakes, I am using Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip
- Befores serving dust with cocoa powder and decorate with a coffee bean