Tiramisu cupcakes for two: instead of a big pan of tiramisu, make these vanilla cupcakes with an espresso Kahlua soak and mascarpone frosting!
It’s Friday! You deserve a cupcake. I know it’s the Friday before Thanksgiving week, and you’re probably starting your salad diet (or, ordering stretchy pants (or both)), and a cupcake might be the last thing you need.
But, I shared a teaser photo of these tiramisu cupcakes on my instagram, and you guys demanded them. And I’m totally cool with that.
I love the flavor profile of tiramisu. I love the soft ladyfingers dunked in an espresso syrup made with Kahlua, and I especially love the creamy mascarpone filling.
If you’ve never had mascarpone, it’s like cream cheese, but better. It’s sweeter and lacks the tang of cream cheese. I actually prefer it to cream cheese in most applications (except for bagels, of course! Oh, and cheesecake in a loaf pan). If you can’t find it, however, just use regular cream cheese with an extra bump of powdered sugar.
While the creamy layer in a regular tiramisu is made up of sabayon plus mascarpone, we’re going to skip that part. These cupcakes deliver all of the flavor of tiramisu without all of the work.
This recipe makes just 4 cupcakes, as most of my small batch cupcake recipes do. I hope that’s enough for you to meet your tiramisu craving without going over-board.
You can pull a shot of espresso for this, or dissolve the instant espresso powder (I use Medaglia D’Oro brand) into hot water. I’ve done both and hardly notice a difference. You can also substitute Frangelico for Kahlua.
You might notice a lack of chocolate in this recipe. That’s because a chocolate-covered espresso bean on top is all the chocolate I need in my tiramisu. If you feel otherwise (and I’m sure you do), you can finely shave chocolate into the frosting and dust cocoa powder on top.
For the cupcakes:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg white, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sour cream, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of fine salt
For the espresso-Kahlua soak:
- 1 shot hot espresso
- 1/4 cup Kahlua liqueur
For the frosting:
- 4 ounces mascarpone, softened
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kahlua
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 chocolate-covered espresso beans (optional, for topping)
- Preheat the oven to 400, and line four cups in a muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, beat with an electric mixer the butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy, at least 30 seconds.
- Add the egg white and beat until combined.
- Next, beat in the sour cream.
- Finally, sprinkle the flour, baking soda and salt evenly over the batter, and then beat until just combined.
- Divide the batter between the cupcake liners, and bake on the middle rack for 16-19 minutes. When done, the tops will spring back, and a toothpick inserted will come out clean. (They will brown nicely on top because they're made with butter, not oil).
- Let the cupcakes cool.
- Meanwhile, stir together the espresso and Kahlua.
- Just before serving, poke holes in the cupcakes using a toothpick, and slowly drizzle the espresso mixture into each cupcake.
- Then, beat together all of the frosting ingredients until light and fluffy.
- Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a 1MM Wilton tip and pipe the frosting on the cupcakes (or, just use a butter knife to frost the cupcakes, too!)
- Top each cupcake with a chocolate-covered espresso bean and serve.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 809Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 350mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 3gSugar: 64gProtein: 8g