My first taste of tiramisu was the frozen kind from Costco, and yes it was literally frozen. We didn’t think to thaw it, and for years I thought tiramisu was like a glorified ice cream cake. I actually remember the first time I had tiramisu at a restaurant, I thought something along the lines of, ‘How can they serve us this melted mess?!’
Then it took another long period of time for me to find out what tiramisu is actually made of – the Italian dessert is typically layers of savoiardi (lady fingers) soaked in coffee and liquor such as Marsala wine or rum, alternating with layers of a sweet mascarpone cheese mixture. The whole thing is dusted with cocoa powder.
Now let me tell you something about ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese – they’re not easy to find. (My spell-checker is actually telling me that mascarpone isn’t even a word, so…) I’ve adapted this recipe to use easily accessible ingredients, and it’s much simpler to make! The cupcake is not just tiramisu in cupcake liners, but it lends all the flavors and textures of real tiramisu. Just like my Costco tiramisu, these cupcakes also freeze well… however, unlike Costco tiramisu, I would not recommend serving them frozen 🙂
Tiramisu cupcakes: a layer of white cake followed by a layer of coffee cake. Filled with a cream cheese mixture that tastes like mascarpone. Topped with cream-cheese infused whipped cream and generous dusting of cocoa powder!
Recipe: Tiramisu Cupcakes
For the Cake:
- 1 box White Cake Mix
- 2 egg whites
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup oil
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 TB lemon juice or vinegar
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup strong coffee
For the Filling:
- 8 oz softened cream cheese
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 TB softened butter
- 1 tablespoon strong coffee
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
For the Whipped Topping:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pan with cupcake liners.
Make the cake:
- Add lemon juice to the milk and let the mixture sit. (This makes buttermilk) While you wait, sift cake mix into a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently whisk egg whites, egg, oil, buttermilk, Greek yogurt, and vanilla.
- Stir cake mix into wet ingredients.
- Using half of the batter, fill cupcake liners about 1/3 full.
- With the remaining cake batter, add the strong coffee and mix. (You may need to add 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour to thicken the batter.)
- Scoop the coffee cake batter over the regular batter so that each cupcake liner is filled about 3/4. (So you have one layer of vanilla cake and a top layer of coffee cake.)
- Bake for 16-20 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
Make the Filling:
- In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, cream and butter until smooth. Add the coffee and blend fully.
Make the Topping:
- Using a whisk attachment on your stand mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add vanilla. Add in the heavy cream in 4-5 additions and beat until stiff peaks form.
- When cupcakes are cooled, cut a cone shaped piece of cake out the top of each cupcake with a serrated knife. Generously spoon in your filling. Pipe your whipped topping over the hole with the filling and top with chocolate shavings and cocoa powder. Serve immediately or cover and freeze for later use. Thaw for several hours before serving if frozen.
Number of servings (yield): 24 cupcakes
Adapted from Your Cup of Cake