Tiramisu Cupcakes

I’m having a retirement dinner party at my house for one of my co-workers in a couple of weeks.  Since Italian cuisine is my specialty --the menu includes homemade pasta and ravioli.  It will be carb loading night for sure so I wanted a light, airy dessert as an end to this carbohydrate heavy meal.  I found this wonderful tiramisu cake recipe, which I think will be perfect.  The original recipe (by Dorie Greenspan) makes a two-layer round cake. Each layer is soaked in an espresso syrup and then frosted with a lovely light mascarpone whipped cream  frosting. As a trial run, I decided to use the recipe to make cupcakes instead of a round layer cake.  I dipped the top of  each cupcake in the espresso syrup, then frosted them with the mascarpone whipped cream. I sprinkled each with shaved milk chocolate and topped with a chocolate-covered esppresso bean.  The results of my trial run is a tiramisu cupcake that is decadently delicious and light.  These cupcakes will be the perfect “lift me up” ending for my Italian-themed dinner.


Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home To Yours"


Makes about 36 cupcakes



For the cupcakes:

  •     4 cups (464 grams) cake flour 
  •     4 teaspoons (20 grams) baking powder
  •     1/4 teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking soda
  •     1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
  •     2-1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons or 284 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  •     2 cup (396 grams) sugar
  •     6 large eggs (300 grams)
  •     2 large egg yolk (36 grams)
  •     1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  •     1-1/2 cups buttermilk

For the espresso extract:

  •     2 tablespoons (2 grams) instant espresso powder
  •     2 tablespoons boiling water


For the espresso syrup:

  •     1/2 cup water
  •     1/3 cup sugar
  •     1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy


For the frosting:

  •     8 ounces (227 grams) mascarpone 
  •     8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese
  •     1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  •     1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  •     2 tablespoons amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy
  •     2 cups cold heavy cream
  •     60 grams bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, shaved 
  •     Chocolate-covered espresso beans, for decoration (optional)



Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line 3 standard cupcake pans with liners.

Step 2: To make the cupccakes: Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Step 3: Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.

Step 4: Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.

Step 5: Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolks, beating for 1 minute after each addition.

Step 6: Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter.

Step 7: Fill the prepared cupcake liners three-quarters full with batter and bake until golden brown and baked through, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.

Step 8: To make the extract: Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until blended. Set aside.

Step 9: To make the syrup: Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the espresso extract and the liqueur or brandy; set aside.

Step 10: To make the frosting: Put the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and liqueur in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.

Step 11: Working with the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until it holds firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a light touch.

Step 12: Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, soak the tops of the cupcakes with the espresso syrup.

Step 13: Frost with the mascarpone frosting and decorate with chocolate-covered espresso beans. Sprinkle the cupcakes with the chopped chocolate.


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