Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tiramisu Cupcakes

I made these for a work potluck and they were a huge success. Everyone wolfed them down and went for seconds. I found the recipe online and these cupcakes are even made from *gasp* a boxed mix. They do take a lot of elbow grease and determination but they technically aren't hard to make, just labor intensive. It took me five hours of pretty constant work to make 22 of them but they really were worth it. They had a completely different flavor and were much tastier than any cupcake I'd ever eaten.

I have a few tips for you all if you decide to make this recipe (learn from my mistakes pretty please!!)

1. If you are planning to pipe the frosting on top; double the butter/cream cheese frosting. If you are just going to spread it with a knife, a single batch should be sufficient. I ran out of frosting midway through and had to run out and buy more cream cheese. Then I had to mix the frosting up by hand once again. I think whipping the second batch of frosting gave me mild carpal tunnel. I swear one of these days I will buy a mixer and be cool and wrist pain free like the rest of America.

2. Do poke more than three holes in the tops of the cupcakes with a fork. About five or six should do. Three wasn’t adequate enough to allow the coffee mixture to soak in.

3. Don’t try and just pipe the filling into the cupcakes without some form of a hole. Without a hole all I could get to fit into the cupcake was about one microgram of the tasty filling and then it splooshed out the top; it would have been a complete tease.

"Oh wow these cupcakes have filling, this is so great! Wait where'd the filling go?!? I swear I just tasted some! Wahhh!!!"

Little teaser bits of filling are a disappointment and you don't want your cupcakes to disappoint. I solved the problem of too little filling by using an apple corer and removing a good chunk of the center of the cupcake and then filling it.

4. Tiramisu is supposed to be a coffee soaked dessert, now I don’t like squishy but my first tester cupcake was dry with the tiniest tease of the coffee, it wasn’t even damp. Tiramisu has to be damp. So I solved this by putting a good amount of the coffee mixture on the bottom and sides of the apple corer hole, then filling it with the Mascarpone/whipped cream mixture. I didn’t even bother re-plugging the hole with the core because if you’ve ever had traditional Tiramisu you would know that it’s normally about 50:50 lady fingers and mascarpone mixture. Therefore leaving the hole filled with the filling and not re-plugging brings the cake/filling and frosting ratio to a much more pleasing 60:40.

5. Use aluminum cupcake holders, paper ones will get soggy.

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Recipe from here (Makes 24 cupcakes):


* 1 (18 1/4 ounce) package white cake mix prepared as directed on box. I used Duncan Hines extra moist french vanilla cake mix.

Liquid Coffee Layer

* 2/3 cup water, boiling
* 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee

Mascarpone Filling

* 1 cup mascarpone cheese (from tub)
* 3 tablespoons Kahlua (or coffee extract)
* 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
* 1 (8 ounce) container french vanilla cool whip or regular cool whip with some vanilla extract added in.

Frosting (double this if you are going to be piping the frosting on top)

* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* chocolate shavings or cocoa powder (to garnish)


1. Make Mascarpone filling mix first & allow to chill 4-6 hours or overnight.

2. Mascarpone filling: Beat mascarpone, Kahlua and condensed milk until well blended. Fold in cool whip. Chill 4-6 hours.

3. Prepare cupcakes as directed on box of white cake mix & bake accordingly. While these are baking prepare the liquid coffee as below.

4. Liquid Coffee: Boil 2/3 cup water in microwave (or boil on stove) and stir in instant coffee then powdered sugar & allow to cool to tepid.. Once cooled, use a fork to poke holes into cupcakes so that they will absorb the liquid coffee & then brush liquid coffee onto each cupcake using silicone baking brush.

5. Fill pastry/icing bag with Mascarpone filling & inject about 1 spoonful via bag directly into top-center of each cupcake.

6. Prepare Cream Cheese/Buttercream Frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy with hand mixer on low. Slowly add powdered sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add vanilla and increase mixer to medium. Blend until frosting is fluffy.

7. Frost each cupcake with frosting & garnish with chocolate shavings (use dark chocolate bar & cheese grater).



  1. Becky,
    These cupcakes look absolutely delicious. I've never put so much love and care into cooking as you do. You inspire me to be better!
    By the way, the photos you take are superb! Keep up the good work!

  2. These look delicious! I love tiramisu, I am definitely going to try and make

  3. I love that this recipe makes individual versions of a beloved dessert, even if it does require several steps. I'm wondering if you have a pastry bag (to pipe the filling), but since you hand mix your frosting, I'm guessing you don't. Would that be a viable alternative to cutting out a hole, if I do have a pastry bag? Either way, I can't wait to try these...they look delicious.

    Anyway, I found you through TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


  4. Yum, yum, yum!I've made many cakes over the years, and the extra time spent is so worth it! This is definitely going in my "to try" file :)

  5. I love tiramisu and I love cupcakes, these are perfect!

  6. ohmy!!! your cupcakes are sooo amazing! gonna make my white cake from scratch though if i make these!:)

  7. Hi Becky, I just wanted to let you know that I'm drooling over these cupcakes like everyone else seems to be :-) I will definitely save these to make for an occasion..or 2... They look and sound like they're going to become a favorite. I will keep checking back in to see what other good stuff you come up with.

  8. YUM! I think Martha has a recipe for Tiramisu Cupcakes in her new cupcake book! Yours look so delicious!

  9. a la parisienne- Thank you so much!

    Ashleigh- Good luck! Tell me how you like them!

    Tastestopping- It's really funny but I have about every kitchen gadget you can imagine but not a mixer. I even have a creme brulee torch. lol

    I have expensive tastes and I really want a super nice kitchenaid mixer. So I am saving up for the time being.

    I tried squirting the filling in with a pastry bag and it somewhat worked but not really. Maybe I did something wrong but only a little bit of filling would go in before it came out the top. I am thinking that maybe I should buy a "bismark" pastry tip and see if that helps.

    I usually go to foodgawker and tastespotting with each of my entries so I'll add your website on to my rounds. :D

    Tiffany- I definitely agree the extra time is worth it. It really is so nice to give people something that's obviously taken some time and effort to make.

    Heidi- They really do taste similar to tiramisu too. They aren't quite identical but they have their own unique tastiness while still reminding of tiramisu.

    Chocolate cup- I usually make my cakes from scratch but I was in a hurry. I read on another site that someone made their cake from scratch and they had absorption issues with the syrup. I only had one chance to make these because I was bringing them in that night so I just stuck with the box mix. If you try it with cake from scratch please let me know how it turns out!

    Natalie- Thank you I hope you try and like them!

    Liesl- Thank you! You're right Martha does have a tiramisu cupcake recipe. I looked up reviews for her tiramisu cupcake recipe and two reviews were pretty negative so I stuck with the recipe I chose. If I make them again I might try her recipe to see how it compares!

  10. Hi Becky, Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I think it's so neat that you're from Michigan and you are familiar with the Eastern Market!

    Your blog is truly beautiful. I absolutely love, love, love the design! (And how fantastic that the Tastepotting editor actually invited you to submit photos! I didn't know they did that kind of thing, but your photos certainly do belong there. They're wonderful.)

    Those tiramisu cupcakes must be sensational. That's a recipe I'd really like to try.

    I am adding your blog to my list of favorites in my blog because yours is one I definitely want to visit regularly and wouldn't hesitate to recommend to others. Very nice work indeed!


  11. Fabulous! What a great idea....will definitely try them for my next party or Bunco with the neighbor ladies. Thanks ROCK!

  12. I already have a very delicious tiramisu recipe but this one looks unique. Since I am a sculptor, my artblog features many "how to" posts on sculputure and art. Since I also love to cook, I do add recipes I've acquired from around the world. I would love for you to try my "Gruyere Herb Bread." It is one my mother in law gave me over 30 years ago and chock full of herbs. The cheese melts in your mouth. I look forward to visiting your site on a daily basis. Thankyou for creating it!
    Cheryl Dolby-HealingWomanArt

  13. Oooh wow, these look & sound exquisite!

  14. Yum! Those look so good! You should follow my blog too..

  15. I love baking cupcakes and this recipe sounds so yummy! My boyfie's mom loves tiramisu so I could make these for her :-) You have a really nice blog, keep it up!