Tiramisu Cupcakes

Happy New Year everyone! I took a bit of a break over the holiday season while visiting family, but now I’m back and ready to take on 2020 with gusto! We rang in the new year surrounded by great friends, a stunning dinner, and these mini tiramisu cupcakes!

I’ve made tiramisu cupcakes once before, but it was many years ago. This was a different recipe from what I tried previously and I think this batch was significantly better.

The cake itself is slightly on the dry side, so it wouldn’t be my go to cake recipe for most cupcakes or layer cakes (I prefer a moister cake). However, I found it worked really nicely for these cupcakes, because you add quite a bit of moisture by brushing on fresh coffee.

The prep time for these cupcakes is minimal, but the end result is divine! After all, that is my favourite kind of recipe: low effort, high impact!

Start by whisking together flour, baking powder and some salt in a small bowl.

Dry ingredients whisked together in a bowl

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Butter and sugar beaten together in a mixing bowl

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then stir in some vanilla extract.

Adding the vanilla to the butter/sugar/egg mixture

Lastly, add the flour mixture and a cup of whole milk in several additions, starting and ending with the flour (i.e. add 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 the milk, 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 the milk, followed by the last 1/3 of the flour). Stir until just combined after each addition.

When I made these cupcakes, I only had 2% milk on hand, so I measured a little less than 1 cup of milk, and then topped it up with a bit of whipping cream that I bought to make the frosting.

The final batter all mixed together

Now that your batter is ready, you can scoop it into a cupcake tin filled with paper liners. This recipe makes about 48 mini cupcakes, or 24 regular sized cupcakes.

Mini cupcake pan with liners filled with batter

If you’re making mini cupcakes, bake them at 350°F for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. For regular sized cupcakes, bake for about 20 minutes.

Fresh baked cupcakes still in the tin

Transfer the baked cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before preparing your frosting and the coffee soak.

Mini cupcakes cooling on a wire rack

While your cupcakes are cooling, make 3/4 of a cup of espresso, or some really strong brewed coffee. Stir in 3 tablespoons of a coffee liquor, such as kahlua. Let the coffee mixture cool to about room temperature.

Measuring jug full of strong coffee and kahlua

Once the coffee mixture has cooled, take a toothpick and poke a bunch of holes into the top of each cupcake. Poke the holes quite deep, somewhere around halfway or 3/4 deep into the cupcake. This will help the coffee mixture absorb into the cake.

Use a pastry brush to brush the coffee/liquor mixture onto the tops of the cakes. If you finish brushing the coffee on and you still have more coffee leftover, brush another layer on top. Just keep going until all the coffee is used up. I went over these cupcakes 3 or 4 times. I found going back over them in thin layers gave time for the coffee to soak down into the cupcake, instead of running over the sides and dripping off.

Tops of cupcakes brushed with the coffee/kahlua mixture

Now onto the frosting! Fit your mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip the mascarpone cheese until smooth, then stir in the almond extract and the vanilla.

Mascarpone cheese after being whisked in mixer

Add the icing sugar and whisk until well combined.

Mascarpone cheese after adding the vanilla and almond

Slowly add the whipping cream, and whip on high speed until the mixture is just firm enough that it holds its shape. Be extra careful not to over mix at this state, otherwise the frosting could curdle.

Mascarpone cheese frosting fully mixed in mixing bowl

I strongly recommend tasting the icing at this stage and seeing how much will power you have to restrain yourself from immediately eating the whole bowl with a spoon. Honestly, I think this is my new favourite frosting! I have made a similar one before using cream cheese instead of mascarpone, but it went soft after sitting in the fridge for a couple of hours and it lost its shape. This frosting pipes really nicely and doesn’t melt into a puddle after it’s piped.

Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitting with your choice of tip. Pipe a fair pile of frosting onto each cupcake. The original recipe I used for reference didn’t make enough to frost all the cupcakes, so I’ve increased the amount slightly in the recipe below.

Cupcakes with mascarpone frosting piped on top

For the final touch, dust some unsweetened cocoa powder onto the top of each cupcake. There you have it! Super easy and super delicious mini tiramisu cupcakes for your enjoyment!

Cupcakes dusted with cocoa powder

Mini Tiramisu cupcakes on a slate board ready for serving

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Mini vanilla cupcakes, infused with coffee and kahlua, topped with a whipped cream, mascarpone frosting.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Servings: 48 mini cupcakes


For the Cupcakes

  • 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • ¾ cups butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk

For the Coffee Soak

  • 3 tbsp coffee liquor (such as kahlua)
  • ¾ cup espresso or strong brewed coffee

For the Frosting

  • 10 oz mascarpone cheese
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 ¼ tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder (for dusting on top)


Prepare the Cupcakes

  • Pre-heat your oven to 350°F. Line a mini cupcake tin with paper liners.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  • Stir in the vanilla.
  • Stir in the flour mixture and the milk in several additions, beginning and ending with flour (i.e. 1/3 flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour).
  • Spoon the batter into your prepared mini cupcake tin.
  • Bake for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. (If making large cupcakes, bake for about 20 minutes).
  • Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before preparing the frosting.

Prepare the Coffee Soak

  • Stir together the coffee liquor and espresso/strong brewed coffee. Use a tooth pick to poke a bunch of holes into the tops of each cooled cupcake (this will help the coffee soak in). Use a pastry brush to brush the coffee mixture onto the top of each cupcake. If you have leftover coffee, go back over each cupcake again and brush more on until the coffee is all used up.

Prepare the Frosting

  • Fit an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk the mascarpone on medium speed until smooth.
  • Stir in the almond and vanilla extract.
  • Add the icing sugar and whisk until well combined.
  • Slowly add the whipping cream and whip until light fluffy (avoid over-mixing!). When the mixture is just stiff enough to hold its shape, it will be ready. If you mix it for too long it can curdle.
  • Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitting with your choice of tip. Pipe the frosting on to each cupcake.
  • Dust the tops of the cupcakes with cocoa powder.


Frosting recipe modified slightly from Self Proclaimed Foodie. Cupcake base modified slightly from King Arthur Flour.

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