When I was in seventh grade, I had an Italian classmate whose mom made the best tiramisu ever. THE BEST. I remember initially being skeptical — as a younger kid, I hadn’t developed a taste or liking for coffee yet, and wrinkled my nose at the stuff. So when he brought in tiramisu for the class, I was hesitant to try it. Coffee flavored cake? No thanks.
But then I took a bite.
Needless to say, I feel like I’ve been chasing that flavor ever since. Every tiramisu I try at restaurants, bakery, hell, in Italy itself — can’t ever live up to Mrs. Stradiotti’s tiramisu.
Until now:



Folks, these cupcakes are the Hummingbird Bakery’s recipe for tiramisu cupcakes. Now, I know that tiramisu is traditionally made from ladyfingers dipped in coffee and layered with mascarpone cheese. But this recipe swaps out the ladyfingers for a vanilla cupcake base:



And infuses the cake with a coffee syrup and mascarpone frosting.
Often times, my big qualm against tiramisu at restaurants and bakeries is that it is too sweet — but trust the Hummingbird Bakery to get it just right. Even with a cupcake base, the recipe results in alight-as-a-feather cake complemented by creamy mascarpone and strong coffee flavors. It was like eating an espresso… in cake form!
This is definitely a recipe I’ll be making again and again.

Get the Recipe: The Hummingbird Bakery’s Tiramisu Cupcakes Recipe

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For the Tiramisu Cupcakes

  • 6 tablespoons (3 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • a "scant" 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the Coffee Soaking Syrup

  • 1 cup coffee, strong
  • 5 tablespoons Kahlua coffee liqueur
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Mascarpone Frosting

  • 14 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons Kahlua coffee liqueur
  • 1 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • espresso powder, for dusting
  • cocoa powder, for dusting


  • 1 cupcake plunger OR cupcake corer


For the Tiramisu Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 375 (F), and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
  • Using a handheld electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat 6 tablespoons butter, 1 1/3 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon baking powder on low speed until the ingredients are well incorporated and have the texture of fine breadcrumbs.
  • Break 2 eggs into a Pyrex measuring cup, then add 1 cup whole milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and whisk together by hand.
  • With the mixer running on a low speed, slowly pour three-quarters of the wet ingredients into the flour and butter mixture. Once everything has been mixed together, scrape down the sides of the bowl to pick up an ingredients that were missed, then add the rest of the milk mixture and continue mixing the batter until it is smooth and even.
  • Divide the batter between the paper cases, filling each case with 2 tablespoons of batter (or, filling each up to two-thirds full).
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes in the preheated oven until well risen and the tops bounce back when touched. Leave to cool slightly before removing them from the tin, then place on a wire rack to cool completely while you make the coffee soaking syrup.

For the Coffee Soaking Syrup

  • Pour 1 cup coffee and 5 tablespoons Kahlua into a saucepan and whisk in 3 tablespoons granulated sugar.
  • Place the pan on your stovetop and bring to a boil, allowing the liquid to reduce by about half the pot, then remove from heat and set aside to cool.

For the Mascarpone Cream Frosting

  • Using a handheld electric whisk, beat together 14 oz. mascarpone cheese and 3 1/2 tablespoons Kahlua until smooth
  • Pour 1 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream in a separate bowl, adding 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar and using a handheld electric whisk to whip together until the mixture forms soft peaks.
  • Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture, making sure the mascarpone and the cream is fully incorporated.

Putting It All Together

  • When the cupcakes have cooled, use your cupcake plunger or cupcake corer to cut out a piece of cake — about 1 inch wide and 1.5 inches deep — from each cupcake. Set aside. (You can see pictures of the process in an old tutorial of mine — if you don't have a cupcake plunger/corer, you can make it with other utensils too. Check out my tutorial!).
  • Pour approximately 1 teaspoonful of the Coffee Soaking Syrup over each cut-out piece of the sponge, as well as another teaspoon into the hollow of each cupcake.
  • Fill each hollow to about halfway with the Mascarpone Cream Frosting, then place the cut-out pieces of the cupcake back on top of the hole, covering the filling and, if necessary, trimming the cupcakes pieces to fit.
  • Lastly, top the cupcakes with the remaining mascarpone cream frosting (I used about a tablespoon for each cupcake), and dust lightly with espresso and cocoa powder.


Adapted from Cake Days
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