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Tiramisu Cupcakes

Tiramisu, an Italian dessert whose name translates to "pick me up," combines a few of my favorite things: coffee, chocolate, and rich, creamy custard. If tiramisu is listed on a restaurant dessert menu, you can bet I'll order it. I learned how to make it at home, and I love to make it when I have company over. 

The thing about classic tiramisu, though, is that the custard contains raw eggs, so the FDA warns that pregnant women, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems should not eat it. So, I started to look for other dishes with the flavor of tiramisu: coffee, sweetened mascarpone, and sprinkle of chocolate. 

In a Google search, I found the blog Your Cup of Cake, who made tiramisu cupcakes by reader-request back in March. They sounded delicious, with a layer of white cake and one of coffee-flavored cake baked together, a filling of sweetened mascarpone cheese, and a whipped cream cheese icing. In browsing through her blog, I found a lot of other fabulous cupcakes that I've bookmarked to make later!

I was not disappointed with these cupcakes! The cake part was moist and slightly tangy, thanks to the Greek yogurt and buttermilk. The sweetened mascarpone tasted just like the custard of traditional tiramisu. And the icing, oh, the icing! I could've eaten it straight out of the bowl with a giant spoon. It's so light, slightly sweet, with a hint of cream cheese flavor. These cupcakes have all the delicious flavor of tiramisu without the FDA warning. 

Tiramisu Cupcakes
Very slightly adapted from Your Cup of Cake
Yield: 24 cupcakes

For the cake:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup Greek yogurt sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 box White Cake Mix
  • ¼ cup strong coffee*

For the filling:

  • 8 oz mascarpone
  • 2 teaspoon strong coffee
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Marsala wine or dark rum**
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

For the icing:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream, chilled


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper baking cups. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the egg, egg whites, oil, buttermilk, Greek yogurt or sour cream, and vanilla. Sift the cake mix over the wet ingredients, and stir on low for 30 seconds, then beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour half of the cake batter into another bowl and set aside. 
  3. Take the remaining cake batter, and divide it among the baking cups (each should be filled about a third of the way). 
  4. Stir the coffee into the reserved cake batter just until evenly combined. Spoon it on top of the white cake in the baking cups. 
  5. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. When done, let the cupcakes cool in the tins for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on cooling racks. 
  6. To make the filling, beat together the mascarpone cheese, ½ cup powdered sugar, coffee and Marsala wine or rum until thoroughly combined. 
  7. Remove the center of each cupcake (see this blog for 3 different methods). Place the mascarpone cheese filling in a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip and pipe some of the filling into each cupcake. 
  8. To make the icing, place the cream cheese and the powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until smooth, then whisk in the vanilla. Turn the mixer speed to low and gradually add the heavy cream. Once the cream is fully incorporated, turn the speed to medium-high (around speed 6 on a KitchenAid) and whip until stiff peaks form. 
  9. Place the icing in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe onto each cupcake. 
  10. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator. Just before serving, sift cocoa powder over top of the icing. 
* – I dissolved 2 teaspoon of instant coffee in ½ cup boiling water, and measured out the coffee for both the cake and the filling from that.
** – If you don't want to use wine or liquor, simply use an even tablespoon of strong coffee, or replace the teaspoon of wine or liquor with 2 teaspoon of rum extract.

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Wednesday 15th of May 2013

Hi! I tried this recipe and found it really tasty. I post the recipe on my blog (, slightly edited as well, because I didn't have some of the ingredients at home. I hope you don't mind. :) Have a nice day! :)


Wednesday 15th of May 2013

Thanks for letting me know! I'm glad you liked the cupcakes!

12 Most Popular Recipes of 2012

Monday 31st of December 2012

[...] At #2: Tiramisu Cupcakes [...]


Friday 26th of October 2012

Sounds like a totally awesome recipe to try out making tonight :D

Just one question: what is the size of cupcake tins? I would like to make less cupcakes, but i usually use slightly bigger than standard forms. i have wilton silicone cupcake pan.


Friday 26th of October 2012

I used a standard size cupcake tin to make these. Using a slightly larger pan should still work fine, the cupcakes may just need to bake a few minutes longer.

Hillary Miller

Wednesday 8th of August 2012

Gosh!We really love the way you shot Tiramisu CupcakesYou are really not just a food blogger, we think that you are a profesional food photographer.

As a food photography site, we're always looking for best food pictures to feature on our site

Why don't you submit yours and make other people hungry.You know it’s fun to make others hungry. Especially when they are so hungry they finally want to create your recipe. :)It is worth the try. :)Thanks!

CJ - Food Stories

Sunday 5th of August 2012

Never knew this was also referred to as a pick me up ... Now I know why I love these so much ... Happy Sunday :-)

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