Tiramisu Cupcakes~!

Tiramisu Cupcake

It’s been AGES. Life has gotten in the way, 2.5 jobs, 2 new puppies, ensuing craziness! But to make it up to you, I made these delicious Tiramisu Cupcakes. And that Spring-y liner is so appropriate for the season, I love it!

Also, here are my new babies. Aren’t they ADORBS?!

Jade and Lexa

Jade and Lexa

We adopted them from the Humane Society right after the New Year, they were about 8 weeks old at the time. Love my puppies!  Even though they still pee and poop in the house D: We’re working on it!

On to the tiramisu cupcakes! I can’t recall when I started loving tiramisu, although I do remember an instance in high school when a classmate brought in a giant tupperware (what’s the non-brand name for that? storage container? that sounds weird…) with like, a VAT of tiramisu inside. I thought it looked like a giant mashed up mess and was totally grossed out :\

Fast-forward a few years to university and I was scarfing down tiramisu like nobody’s business. I had no idea what was in it, but it looked super complicated and intimidating.

For my birthday this year (28! entirely too close to 30) I thought I’d take the leap and finally try to make tiramisu, but then my recipe search popped up Tiramisu Cupcakes by BrownEyedBaker. Who doesn’t love cupcakes? And I am a huge fan of single-serving desserts :)  The recipe looked all kinds of complicated, just as I had feared, but I re-worked the directions a bit to make it easier to follow. I also tweaked the recipe a TEENSY bit, because the first time I made it, the cupcakes were very dense, not fluffy like I had imagined.

To start, get out your bowls. This is always the first thing I do when I’m reading a complicated recipe, because I only have one size of each bowl and you never know if you’re gonna be dumping liquid into dry or dry into liquid. And what if the bowl you started the whole process in wasn’t big enough for all the dumps? OK…I am using the word dump entirely too much.

In this, you will be pouring (better word?) dry into liquid, then other liquid into that liquid. So the dry ingredients can be sifted into a small/medium bowl, the eggs in the largest metal bowl you have, and the milk/vanilla bean mixture in whatever bowl it fits into (tiny).

First, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and coarse salt and set that bowl aside. I never really understood the point of sifting (wouldn’t the salt get stuck?) and I don’t have a sifter, so I just dumped (gah!) it all in a bowl and stirred it with a fork.  Don’t do what I did…use a sifter. You’ll see why!

Split and scrape your vanilla bean. I used to scrape the vanilla bean with a knife, but a spoon works just as well and is easier to stir into the milk and release stuck beans. And you pick up less vanilla fibers.

Split & Scraped vanilla bean pod

In a small saucepan, heat milk, vanilla bean pod, and scraped vanilla beans until it bubbles around the edges. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until melted, then let stand for 15 minutes. Strain milk mixture into a small bowl to remove the split pod and any stray fibers. The recipe I followed didn’t say whether straining should remove the scraped vanilla beans, so I left them in the mix. Don’t throw away the vanilla bean pod!  I put it aside to dry and add to my vanilla-sugar container. Vanilla sugar is delicious, especially for making dutch babies :)

Vanilla mixture with butter

While the milk is standing, set a pan of water to heat until simmering. Break 3 whole eggs into a bowl, followed by 3 egg yolks. Then accidentally drop some extra egg white in there because you’re a klutz.  Add a cup of sugar and whisk it all together. If your eggs are taking too long to come to room temperature, immerse them in warm water (from the sink is fine) for 5-10 minutes and they’ll be good to go!

Eggs & Sugar

Put the bowl over the pan of simmering water and whisk whisk whisk until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm through, it takes about 5-6 minutes. Don’t touch the bowl too near the pan and burn yourself. It hurts.

Egg/Sugar Mix

Remove from heat, then USE AN ELECTRIC MIXER to whisk the eggs until the mixture is light yellow, fluffy, and thick enough to hold a ribbon on the surface for a few seconds. Do not just keep on whisking by hand and give yourself a cramp because you’re too lazy to take out the electric mixer. Isn’t that the opposite of lazy? Or some kind of lazy that in the act, becomes not-lazy… I don’t know! Just use the machine, it’s faster than your hand will ever be.

Fold in the dry ingredients that you should have sifted, because otherwise you’ll have lumps of cake flour throughout the batter and funny white bits in your tiramisu cupcakes. It should look slightly more combined than in this picture.

vanilla bean cupcake batter

Use your spatula to lift a small amount of batter into the milk/vanilla bean mixture to thicken, then fold that mixture back into the batter until just combined. Don’t over-mix, because you’ll end up with dense cupcakes.

Fill your lined cupcake tin with batter. A leveled large scoop would perfectly fill the cup, but I only have the small and medium OXO cookie scoops, not the large. Instead, I filled each liner with a slightly over-full medium scoop.

vanilla bean cupcakes

They are puffing up perfectly!  Below is what it would look like (first batch) if you have no idea what you’re doing. Slightly deflated, cup-runneth-over cupcakes that looked ~okay~ but, despite the edges being crispy and delicious, just didn’t satisfy my aesthetic senses.

bad cupcakes

But these puppies are perfect, a nice round dome contained within the liner!  I celebrate the small things…

Cooling cupcakes

Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the coffee/marsala/sugar mixture.

Marsala/Coffee soaked cupcakes

Since boyfriend doesn’t like coffee, I brushed the tops of these six with Bailey’s! They turned out pretty awesome, IIDSSM.

bailey's soaked cupcakes

While the coffee and Bailey’s are soaking in, whip up your mascarpone frosting.  I am unable to whisk mascarpone cheese until smooth, it’s a failure of mine. I used a fork to mix the sugar and mascarpone together until combined, then used my electric mixer (finally got that baby out!) to whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks formed. I scraped the whipped cream into the mascarpone cheese and used the electric mixer to whisk the two together until smooth.

My tiramisu cupcakes are so beautiful!  Courtesy of my new icing tip. Love!

Tiramisu Cupcake

I always forget about the cocoa powder…

tiramisu cupcake bite

NOM! Delicious anyway:)

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Adapted from BrownEyedBaker.


For the Cupcakes:

Dry Ingredients
¬      1¼ cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
¬      ¾ teaspoon baking powder
¬      ½ teaspoon salt

Milk Mixture
¬      ¼ cup milk
¬      1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and saved
¬      4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces

Egg Mixture
¬      3 whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks and half an egg white, room temperature
¬      1 cup granulated sugar

For the Coffee-Marsala Syrup:

¬      1/3 cup fresh-brewed strong coffee
¬      1 ounce marsala wine
¬      ½ cup powdered sugar

For the Mascarpone Frosting:

¬      1 cup heavy cream
¬      8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
¬      2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

¬      Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting


Preheat oven to 325°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

  • Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Heat milk and vanilla-bean pod and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbles appear around the edge.
  • Remove from heat immediately and whisk in butter until melted.
  • Let stand 15 minutes, then strain milk mixture into a bowl. Set aside vanilla bean pod for vanilla sugar.
  • While milk is standing, set a pan of water to heat until simmering.
  • Whisk together whole eggs, yolks, and sugar in a heat-safe bowl.
  • Set mixing bowl over the pan of simmering water and whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm, about 6 minutes.
  • Remove bowl from heat and whisk with an electric mixer on high speed until mixture is fluffy, light yellow, and thick enough to hold a ribbon on the surface for a few seconds.
  • Gently fold flour mixture into the egg mixture in three batches.
  • Add a small amount of batter into the strained milk mixture to thicken, then fold milk mixture into the remaining batter until just combined.
  • Fill lined cups with batter, about 3 tablespoons each. Do NOT fill to the top, leave it about 20% empty.
  • Bake about 20 minutes, until centers are completely set and edges are light golden brown.
  • Let tins cool completely before removing cupcakes.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the syrup. Stir together fresh-brewed coffee, marsala, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.

  • Brush tops of cupcakes evenly with coffee-marsala syrup; repeat until all syrup has been used. Allow cupcakes to absorb liquid 30 minutes.

To make mascarpone frosting:

  • With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form, then mix it a little bit more. Do not mix until stiff peaks form or until grainy.
  • In another bowl, combine mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar.
  • Using the electric mixer on slow speed, combine the whipped cream and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Use immediately.

Transfer the frosting into a large icing bag or ziploc bag and snip off a small corner. Using a 1M Open Star decorating tip, swirl the mascarpone frosting onto the cupcakes. Dust liberally with cocoa powder before serving.


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