These easy Tiramisu cupcakes are a must-try for coffee and tiramisu lovers! Coffee soaked melt in your mouth cupcakes with creamy mascarpone frosting on top dusted with cocoa powder! If you love tiramisu as much as I do, you must try this easy cupcake version, they are like individual-sized tiramisu mini cakes!
📖 Tiramisu origin
I assume most of you know what tiramisu is, however, maybe you never tried it before and wonder what is this fuss about!
Tiramisu appears to have been invented in the 1960s or 1970s, but where and when exactly is unclear. What a time to be alive! In short, tiramisu is a coffee-flavored creamy 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, and flavored with cocoa powder.
Tiramisu is originated from the Veneto region, Italy - in all the restaurants people were proudly mentioning this when I was visiting the region - but nowadays widely popular across the entire world.
Make sure you try my authentic Italian tiramisu recipe. This tiramisu cupcake version though is equally delicious and even easier!
🌟 Why this is the best recipe
- It is extremely easy – You won´t need any fancy ingredients to make these tiramisu cupcakes. The recipe comes together really easily, a totally doable from scratch even if you are a beginner in the kitchen
- It is super quick – I do not overcomplicate anything in this recipe! The cupcake recipe is not just easy, but quick as well, and my signature whipped mascarpone frosting will come together in no time together using 3 ingredients
- It is super delicious – I never compromise on taste! This cupcake is super moist with the perfect tiramisu flavor. Coffee-soaked cupcakes with mascarpone frosting and a hint of cocoa powder, you will love it!
- No special equipment is needed – All you need is a cupcake tin that you probably already have at home and use your favorite piping nozzle to make the frosting decoration
- It is an honest, detailed tutorial – While this recipe might look long, all the information I have written here, every tip and trick will help you achieve the perfect results without any issues on the way. Remember, baking is science, and every little detail written here is to help YOU!
📝 Ingredient notes
For the cupcakes
- Butter: Use always unsalted butter as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using European-style 82% fat content butter in all my cupcake recipes. The 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 temperature of the butter is are very important factors when it comes to the cupcake texture, so please make sure you leave the butter out 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 for making cupcakes, nothing fancy. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my sugar guide
- 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 a 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 flour guide
- Baking powder: Has two functions: increase the volume and lighten the texture
- Salt: An essential ingredient in most dessert recipes. Balances flavor and enhances other ingredients
- Coffee: Tiramisu is a coffee flavored dessert and the cupcakes must be lightly drizzled with coffee. I prefer to use an espresso type of coffee here for rich, deep coffee flavor. 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. Besides 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
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
For the whipped mascarpone frosting
- No Egg yolks: Traditional tiramisu recipe calls for raw egg yolks which I decided to skip for the tiramisu cupcake because of two reasons; 1. I know some people are concerned about raw eggs 2. The cream needs to be firmer than traditional tiramisu cream since this 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 a firm enough texture yet fully delivers on the creamy tiramisu texture and flavor
- Mascarpone: Very rich Italian cream cheese, exceptionally smooth and easy to spread, or whip. The flavor is milky and slightly sweet, use the full-fat version. If mascarpone is not available for you, check my mascarpone substitute article which also has a homemade mascarpone recipe.
- Icing sugar / Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar is the first choice when it comes to whipping up the frosting. The 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 you are using mascarpone! Instead, let the mascarpone and cream cheese flavor shine. See my tips below for whipping up the perfect cupcake frosting without butter and without tons of sugar
- Heavy whipping cream: Also known as whipped 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"
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Generally always use unsweetened, 100% dark cocoa powder in baking. I use dutch-process cocoa powder, it has a lovely dark color and it is lower in acidity
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
👩🍳 How to make this recipe
1. How to make coffee cupcakes
This is a super simple base vanilla cupcake recipe that makes 6 wonderful tall bakery-style cupcakes.
- Cream butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer for a few minutes, then whip in the egg until fully combined
- Sift together dry ingredients (flour+baking powder+salt) and mix together the remaining wet ingredients (milk+coffee)
- Mix in the wet and dry ingredients in 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry. Make sure you finish with dry ingredients
- Mix vinegar and baking soda together in a small bowl, it will be super bubbly. Immediately fold the mixture into the cupcake batter in a few seconds
- Fill your cupcake tin till ¾ and bake the cupcakes at 175 C / 347F (no fan) for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean, then let them cool completely on a Cooling rack before frosting
💡 Top Tip: Room temperature ingredients encourage proper emulsification on the cupcake batter therefore make sure that butter, egg, and milk are all at room temperature.
2. How to make whipped mascarpone frosting
Just like the well-known beloved tiramisu flavors, I am using my favorite whipped mascarpone frosting for these tiramisu cupcakes; 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 buttercream and most importantly not overly sweet!
Using the right ingredients at the right temperature is extremely important while making whipped mascarpone:
- mascarpone has to be cold, use the full-fat version (41%)
- heavy cream 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%
- icing sugar has to be sifted to avoid lumps
Move all 3 ingredients into a bowl and whip the mixture with an electric hand mixer for a minute or two until it reaches a creamy, fluffy consistency, then stop.
Once you are happy with the consistency, move frosting into a piping bag fitted with your favorite nozzle tip, the one I am using is Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip.
💡 Top Tip: I don´t use my stand mixer to whip this frosting since it is really easy to overwhip it. The mixture should be whipped only for a few minutes until fluffy. It won´t get stiffer after this point, in fact, if you overbeat it, it will get only runner, then it will break.
3. How to assemble
I recommend making the cupcakes first then prick their top and drizzle them with coffee straight after they are baked. Pour the coffee over when both the cupcakes and the coffee are warm. This allows the cupcakes to soak up all that delicious coffee flavor and stay fresh and moist for days.
Once cupcakes are at room temp, prepare the whipped mascarpone frosting as per instructions and pipe it on top of each cupcake. I am using Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip for the decoration.
Finally, before serving these tiramisu cupcakes, dust them with unsweetened dark cocoa powder. Please note that the frosting might soak in some of the cocoa powder so similarly to making tiramisu, only dust them before serving. Finally, decorate with a coffee bean!
That´s it! Full tiramisu experience in a cupcake format!
💡 Top Tip: When drizzling with coffee, use a generous amount (the exact amount is stated on the recipe card) to achieve that lovely tiramisu flavor, however, monitor how the cupcakes soak the coffee in and do not make them overly wet.
🎓 Expert tips
- Always use room temperature ingredients that can properly emulsify. If your butter or milk or egg is cold, the cupcake batter might even break
- Do not overmix the cupcake batter, once butter, sugar, and egg are whipped, the rest of the wet and dry ingredients should be gently mixed in without overmixing the batter
- Do not overfill your cupcake tin, for this cupcake recipe, I recommend filling 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. My muffin case is 35mm / 1.3 inch in height and 65mm / 2.5inch in diameter. If you overfill your cupcake tin it will result in “mushroom-style” cupcakes!
- Whipped mascarpone frosting is very easy to overwhip. When whipping the frosting stop as soon as the mixture reached a fluffy consistency (will take 1-2 minutes). It won´t get stiffer after this point, in fact, if you overbeat it, it will get only runnier then it will break
- Never frost warm cupcakes, wait until they come to room temperature
- When drizzling the muffins with coffee, use a generous amount however do not make them overly wet
- Use dark, unsweetened cocoa powder for the best tiramisu taste and lovely deep brown color
☝️ 7 Secrets for making moist cupcakes
1. Do not change the Recipe Ingredients
I suggest not to change the recipe ingredients unless you are an expert and aware of how to fully reformulate it. If you decide to leave out eggs or choose to go for dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, etc., I can almost guarantee that it will result in an imbalance in the ingredients making the pink cupcakes either too dry, too crumbly, 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. Use the Secret ingredient
I call it the secret ingredient, it is not really secret though since I share this tip in all my muffin recipes. Once the 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 you should quickly fold it into the cupcake butter – I promise this will make cupcakes airy and much lighter than average cupcakes
3. Learn the Technique
You very much have to be careful 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 are already creamed. Beating the cupcake batter too hard can result in too much gluten development that will negatively impact the texture of the cupcakes
4. Be precise while measuring your ingredients
For a 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 few wet ingredients (eg. milk) can easily ruin your cupcakes` texture and make them dry.
5. Pay attention to the temperature
Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperate while making these Pink cupcakes. 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 an 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 result in a dry texture. Make sure you invest in an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to be able to measure your oven temp correctly.
6. Might apply soaking syrup
Soaking syrup is a common trick people use to make their cakes moist, you can use the same method for cupcakes. In this tiramisu cupcake recipe the coffee syrup will not only bring the flavor but will make your cupcakes extra moist.
7. Storage the cupcakes correctly
Once cupcakes are well baked and beautifully frosted, the appropriate storage is important to avoid dry cupcakes. Instead of leaving them on a plate, store the cupcakes in a container with a tight-fitting lid on – in the fridge.
The recipe makes 6 tall bakery-style tiramisu cupcakes. My cupcake liners are 35mm / 1.3 inch in height and 65mm / 2.5inch in diameter. You can easily double or half it, however, you will need to adjust the ingredient quantities accordingly.
Most probably yes, you can, however, you can´t just leave out / change an ingredient without reformulating the entire recipe. When one ingredient changes, some other ingredients need to be changed too in order to keep the balance in the texture and flavor. Sadly, I am not able to provide substitutes for all sorts of allergies and diets.
This is a super moist cupcake and I have a whole section above about my 7 secrets to making moist cupcakes
The most common reasons for dry cupcakes: 1. ingredients not measured correctly eg. too much flour added to the mixture 2. inappropriate mixing technique eg. over mixed cake batter 3. over baked, meaning it dried out too much.
Probably the cupcake would have needed more baking time. Either, it was taken out of the oven too soon, or perhaps your oven is under heat. Another issue that can cause raw texture is measuring the ingredients inappropriately eg. adding less flour to the recipe
You will want to follow my tips above about the ingredients and how to properly whip this kind of frosting. Heavy cream and mascarpone must be high-fat versions. Make sure that you stop whipping the cream as soon as the mixture is fluffy and pipeable, as a minute later it will break and become runny.
Any leftover cupcake can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. I suggest you cover the dessert so it does not absorb any smell from the fridge, or from the kitchen.
You can freeze the muffins after baking however I obviously do not recommend freezing the entire cupcake after frosting. Please note that this mascarpone-based frosting cannot freeze
🤌 More Tiramisu recipes
🍮 More Cupcake recipes
The BEST Tiramisu cupcakes
- 100 g Unsalted butter room temperature
- 120 g Granulated sugar
- 1 Egg room temperature
- 165 g All purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- 50 g Coffee strong espresso type of coffee at room temperature
- 100 g Whole milk room temperature
- ½ teaspoon White vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- 50 g Coffee strong espresso with a tablespoon of sugar for pouring on top of the cupcakes - use it hot
- 150 g Mascarpone full fat, use it cold
- 35 g Icing sugar sifted
- 120 g Heavy Cream 36% fat, use it 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 (no fan)
- Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together, this will be your “dry ingredients”
- Start adding the dry and wet ingredients into the cupcake batter in the following 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry. Fold with a Rubber spatula each time. Finish with dry ingredients
- Bake for 25 min or until a skewer inserted comes out clean
- As soon as the cupcakes are baked, prick them with a toothpick then pour the other portion of 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
- 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
- Store in fridge
- Measure your ingredients with a Digital scale for accuracy
- All ingredients for the cupcake must be at room temperature to properly emulsify: eggs, milk, etc.
- Use high-quality concentrated gel food coloring (or powder, if you can access it). Liquid food coloring tends to fade during baking
- Do not skip the white vinegar+baking soda "secret ingredient":)
- For frosting make sure you use high-fat content cream cheese and mascarpone. Low fat dairy products won´t whip up properly
- Make sure you read my Expert tips section above to maximize your success. A short recipe alone is not able to cover all the necessary details, and science behind baking.
- While whipping the cream cheese frosting, pay very close attention to the consistency and stop whipping immediately after it gets fluffy. Overbeating would result in breaking the cream and instead of becoming stiffer, in fact, it will get runnier
- Never frost warm cupcakes, make sure they are chilled to room temperature
- If you have never used a piping bag and piping nozzle before, it is practicing on a plate before piping on top of the cupcakes