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.
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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper baking cups.
- 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.
- Take the remaining cake batter, and divide it among the baking cups (each should be filled about a third of the way).
- Stir the coffee into the reserved cake batter just until evenly combined. Spoon it on top of the white cake in the baking cups.
- 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.
- To make the filling, beat together the mascarpone cheese, ½ cup powdered sugar, coffee and Marsala wine or rum until thoroughly combined.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place the icing in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe onto each cupcake.
- Store cupcakes in the refrigerator. Just before serving, sift cocoa powder over top of the icing.
** – 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.