Tiramisu Cupcakes

I just have to put it out there that if I’m going to spend the calories on a dessert, it should satisfy not only my sweet (and salty) tooth, but also take care of my boozy tooth too. Specifically, desserts that include some sort of dunking, spritzing or drizzling of alcohol that can make my toes tingle is a good thing. Especially Tiramisu.

So while the recipe for these cupcakes calls for a quick brushing of coffee liqueur before the topping goes on, feel free to do as I did and brushed liberally….and then help yourself to another shot for your afternoon coffee. I promise, I won’t tell.

While traditional Tiramisu is multiple layers of ladyfingers, coffee liqueur, mascarpone and cream, this cupcake is simpler to make, only 2 eggs (some recipes call for 7 egg yolks!) and no overnight wait.

There are still layers in this cupcake! Rich, fudgy chocolate cake, then a brushing of coffee liqueur, then creamy mascarpone cheese, then whipped cream and lastly chocolate shavings.

The surprise in this recipe is that cake mix is used, but instead of following the directions on the box, the mix is combined with sour cream, 2 eggs, coffee granules and just a couple tablespoons of water. This creates a batter is thick, almost fudge-like and makes the cupcakes rich and intensely coffee-chocolaty.

I didn’t have instant coffee granules, so I ground my coffee on the finest setting instead and it was perfect. I got a nice crunch texture using regular coffee.

Here’s Pampered Chef’s Deluxe Mini Muffin Pan – each cup holds about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling, which makes these the cutest mini-cupcakes ever. You can use a regular muffin pan too.

The mascarpone layer is so simple – just combine the mascarpone cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

After the cupcakes are baked, you’ll immediately use something to make indentations for the mascarpone layer.

I used the Pampered Chef Mini Tart-Shaper tool dipped in powdered sugar, but you can use the bottom of a shot glass or any other item you can find in the kitchen to make the indentations. You have to do this while the cupcakes are still hot from the oven.

A veeerrry nice brushing of coffee liqueur (like Kahlua) is next, and then pop them out to cool completely on a rack.

The mascarpone cheese filling goes into a plastic bag with the tip snipped off and piped into the indentation.

You can use a pastry bag if you want, but a plastic bag works just fine.

And then the whipped cream (I used my fancy ISI whipped cream maker thingy)

Lastly, shaved chocolate.

This Tiramisu Cupcake recipe comes from Pampered Chef – I recently flew over to their HQ in Chicago to film their very first live cooking show and made these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.


Tiramisu Cupcakes

Servings: Yields 12 regular cupcakes or 48 mini cupcakes if using Pampered Chef Deluxe Mini Muffin Pan Prep Time: Cook Time:
Tiramisu Cupcake recipe

Recipe adapted from Pampered Chef. If you are using Pampered Chef's Mini Muffin Pan, you'll need to bake the cakes in 2 batches.

To substitute coffee liqueur, combine 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tbsp instant coffee granules and 1 tsp rum extract. Microwave, uncovered, on high 1–2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved; cool.


For the Cupcakes:
1 box any brand devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
3 tablespoons water
For the Topping Layers:
1/3 cup coffee liqueur
16 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups thawed frozen whipped topping (or 1 pint regular whipped cream)
Shaved chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or just rub the insides with cooking oil.

2. To make the cakes, combine the cake mix, combine cake mix, sour cream, egg, coffee granules and water. The batter should be thick.

If using regular sized muffin pans: divide batter evenly among cups of pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean.

If using Pampered Chef Deluxe Mini Muffin Pan: spoon 1 tablespoon of filling in each cup. Bake 8-10 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Repeat with remaining batter.

3. Meanwhile, mix together the mascarpone cheese, just 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, vanilla extract. Put in plastic bag for piping and set aside. You can also place your whipped topping in a plastic bag for piping and refrigerate until needed. Place remaining 2 tablespoons of the powered sugar in a small bowl and have your tart-shaper (or whatever you will use to create the indentations) ready.

4. When the cakes are done, immediately make the indentations with the tart-shaper. Dip the tart-shaper in the powdered sugar to prevent the cake from sticking to tart-shaper. Brush the tops of each cake with the coffee liqueur. Move the cakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.

5. Trim corners of both bags. Pipe filling over cakes. Pipe whipped topping over filling. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate or cocoa powder.

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Comments 37

  1. IrvingWashington

    These look delicious!

    I absolutely agree that puddings should include a tipple – I’ve been making boozy chocolate truffles today and was a little tipsy by the afternoon from all the ‘testing’. Hehe. I see it as a perk of the yuletide season!

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  3. Suzanne

    Wow! These look fantastic. Must make these before the end of the year when my self imposed sugar ban happens. Must get over the Christmas Sugar Coma 😀

  4. Kiki

    Ok, silly question… how would you make these without cake mix? Like, what parts of a cake recipe would you throw together before adding the eggs and the rest? I live overseas now and cake mixes here are different, so I’m not sure how it would work with a Dutch cake mix. I always prefer to bake from scratch, but I like the idea here of a thicker, fudgier cupcake – almost more of a dough than a batter.

    1. Kiki

      Oh, and these would look SO adorable baked in the little star-shaped silicone cupcake forms I bought myself for Christmas =)

  5. Tonisha

    Laura at a little barefoot – YES! I tried this recipe and mixed the whipped cream with the marscapone. YUM!! these little treats did not last long at ALL!!

  6. Carla

    Made these, I used the cream cheese, and they came out great! I also used flavored Kahlua…

  7. Pudding Pie Lane

    I like these 🙂 I especially like how they’re chocolate and booze at the same time – I totally agree, if I’m gonna spend calories, might as well tick both of these off the list!

  8. Lori

    I tried this last week, they were quite the hit at the birthday party I took them too. Since I had to transport them quite a ways, I substituted a dark chocolate drizzed glaze for the whipped cream topping. They were very good, thanks!

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