It’s always wonderful when a recipe takes me by surprise, and boy, did this one take my by surprise.  Sure, tiramisu cupcakes sound pretty good, but there are plenty of other flavors on my list to try that make my tummy rumble.  Most of the time when browsing through the list, I sort of glaze over this one and think, “They’ll be fine.  Maybe later…”  No longer.  These cupcakes are superb.  The cupcake is a nice light, eggy sponge cake reminiscent of lady fingers.   The cakes are soaked with an espresso-Kahlua syrup over and over to infuse them with flavor.  The whole thing is topped off with a whipped mascarpone frosting and a dusting of cocoa powder.  After tasting a few bites of the one sacrificed for photo purposes, I kind of didn’t even want to share.  They catapulted right up my list of favorite cupcakes and definitely sit in the top four or five.  I’m serious.  Just make them.

I suppose if I had to find one bad thing about these cupcakes, it would be the tickle in your throat from the cocoa powder on top.  But even that is okay with me, because every time it happens, it just makes me think of this.  I heart Michael Scott.


For the cupcakes:
1¾ cups plus 2 tbsp. cake flour, sifted
1¼ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. coarse salt
6 tbsp. milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
5 large whole eggs plus 4 large egg yolks
1½ cup sugar

For the soaking syrup:
½ cup freshly brewed very strong coffee (or espresso)
3 tbsp. Kahlua
6 tbsp. sugar

For the frosting:
1½ cups heavy cream
12 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

To finish:
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting


  • 01

    To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Whisk to blend; set aside.  Add the milk to a small saucepan.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean pod into the pan, and add the scraped pod to the pan as well.  Heat over medium-high heat just until bubbles appear around the edge of the pan.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted.  Let stand 15 minutes.  Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard (or rinse and save for another use).

  • 02

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar.  Whisk lightly to blend.  Set the bowl over an inch or two of simmering water and heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is warm and the sugar is dissolved, about 6 minutes.  Return the bowl to the mixer base.  Whisk on high speed until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy, and able to hold a ribbon when the whisk is lifted.

  • 03

    Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture in three additions.  Stir ¾ cup of the batter into the milk mixture to thicken, then fold the milk mixture into the batter just until evenly incorporated.  Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling them about three-quarters full.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cakes are set and light golden, about 20 minutes.  Transfer pans to wire racks to cool slightly before removing from the pans.

  • 04

    To make the soaking syrup, combine the hot coffee, Kahlua, and sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Place the warm cupcakes on a wire rack and place a baking sheet underneath to catch dripping liquid.  Use a pastry brush to brush the soaking liquid onto the tops of the cupcakes, repeating until the syrup is used up.  (This took me about four or five cycles of brushing).  If necessary, poke each cupcake a few times with a wooden skewer to help the syrup soak in.  Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

  • 05

    To make the frosting, add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to a separate bowl and return the mixer bowl to its base.  In the mixer bowl, combine the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Fold about a third of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture with a spatula to lighten.  Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until evenly incorporated.

  • 06

    Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip (I used Ateco # 809).  Pipe a large dollop of frosting on top of each cupcake.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Just before serving, dust the cupcakes with unsweetened cocoa powder.


  • Katharine

    Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts….I’m going to have to put these on my “bake soon” list! It also gives me a great excuse to buy mascarpone cheese :)

  • Wow, I don’t even like tiramisu but I think I’d love these! :)

  • stephanie

    hi annie,i’m stephanie,what a lovely blog and recipes,can’t wait to try the recipes.I want ask,do you think it will make a different if using evaporated milk instead of usual milk?thank you

  • This is the perfect cupcake for a wedding shower. I love tiramisu but I never make it because I can’t face having a big vat of it around…this is the solution I’ve been waiting for. The youtube clip was hilarious!

  • branny

    My birthday is next week and THIS is what I want.

  • Tiramisu in cupcake form? Sold! Need to get caught up on The Office, I’m a season behind. Miss Agent Scarn! (that’s what SHE said)

  • Jenn

    These look amazing (as does anything you make)! I got my husband hooked on tiramisu when we first started dating and now it’s his favorite! I will definitely be making these! I too, LOVE Michael Scott! I knew exactly what episode you were talking about even before looking at the video :o)

  • Brenna J

    My mom absolutely LOVES tiramisu (and so do I!!) so I am bookmarking these to make for Mother’s Day this year… IF I can wait that long! These look delicious! :)

  • Heather@Kids in the Sink

    I have the same book and I’ve also just passed by this recipe. I knew it’d be good because I like tiramisu, but I just pass it by. I recently found the mascarpone in my grocery store after searching so I think maybe it’s fate. I should make and consume tiramisu cupcakes.

  • yasee

    Looks so YUMMY! I’ve been eyeing this for quite some time now…can’t wait to try it!

  • Jan

    I’m going to have to try these! I love tiramasu!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    I have never tried tiramisu! It sounds so delightful, but I just haven’t gotten to try it yet! Darn.

  • annieseats

    Woot! Love to know some readers are fellow Office fans :)

  • annieseats

    Happy early birthday! Should I forward this to your man? Haha.

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page regarding substitutions. Thanks!

  • Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, so these are right up my alley!! Love ’em!

  • Alice

    I made these for an office cupcake contest a few weeks ago and while I sadly didn’t win, I was in love with them from the first bite. I thought they would be good but they just blew me away! So light and airy; totally reminiscent of actual tiramisu.

  • Looking at the picture…. I felt my stomach growled. Delicious cupcake! =)

  • UrbanWife

    I can totally get behind these cupcakes.

  • Crystal Power

    Wow, these do sound great! And I watched that clip and it made me laugh out loud. Can’t wait to try them!

  • Kelsey

    Annie, these cupcakes look divine. I’ve always loved tiramisu. Michael doesn’t like coffee and tiramisu is one of the only things he’ll eat with coffee flavor in it. I must make these!

    And as for the clip–love it. I miss Michael Scott.

  • A bakery by our house makes tiramisu cupcakes and I’ve always wanted to try one! Your cupcakes look really tasty too. I may just have to make some soon.

  • Sstiehm

    I <3 Michael Scott too…miss him so much! As for the tiramisu, YUM!! My mom's birthday is right around the corner and I am trying to decide what to make. I think I found it! :) Thanks Annie!

  • These were the first cupcakes I made out of that book, before I even started blogging I think. And I can’t believe that I haven’t made them again. They are insanely wonderful. And now I want tiramisu and a cupcake. And a tiramisu cupcake. :)

  • Dinah

    This look and sound amazing. Can’t wait to try them.

  • Now I want to eat cupcakes and watch The Office, good thing it’s the weekend! I guess there’s a reason it’s Cupcake Friday :)

  • Love tiramisu, these look fab.

  • Yum…glad you tried them – they sound (and look wonderful!)

  • I love tiramisu. I also love cupcakes. Cannot wait for an excuse to make these!

  • Gail

    AHHH! I wanted to make tiramisu cupcakes this past Sunday for a friends’ birthday… didn’t find a recipe on here and was so sad b/c every recipe I’ve tried on here has either been fantastic or a fabulous base to start from for me to tweak… so I hunted around, and found some ideas and put them together. I must say I’m quite pleased with hoe mine turned out – and find it funny that I actually got to make up my own recipe for something before you put out a fabulous version!

  • Tara

    Found my recipe for our book club treat! These look so yummy! Looove the marscarpone frosting! Hopefully I won’t eat it straight from the bowl… :) Have a great weekend!

  • Jackie

    Thank you for this! My family loves tiramisu and these look so yummy. I heart MS too. Thanks for the laugh :)

  • Marcela S.

    mmm yummy
    great idea

  • I’m not sure what I love about this post more… the delicious-looking recipe or the video clip. That’s what she said! Happy Friday and thanks for the beautiful post and recipe.

  • Ellie

    i just made these today! funny!

  • Oh man… these look amazing.

  • gorgeous! I’ve never had or heard of a tiramisu cupcake, but I am all in to try one :)

  • goodthymesfoodblog

    Oh my gosh. I cannot even…I LOVE tiramisu but haven’t tried to make it at home yet. I am definitely going to make these cupcakes, though. They look amazing.

  • Pastrychef23

    This was also one of the first recipes I made from that cookbook too, and it is by FAR one of my favorites! I have not made it since, but now I’m wondering… why? I think it’s a definite on this weekend’s baking to-do list.

  • Annie, you have completely stolen my heart with these. Tiramisu is one of my favorites. I love these cupcakes! Absolutely gorgeous.

  • I’m in love with this cupcake

  • Yum! I love tiramisu, and I’ve never seen them as cupcakes. :)

  • Sarah

    You are my favorite person ever! Thank you for using my favorite cheese ever!! One quick question. Can I cut everything in half and it still be successful? If I made 28 cupcakes I’d end up eating half.. But 14 would a perfect amount to give out and keep at home.

  • Oh wow. This looks like a little project for the weekend!

  • You are amazing, here I am thinking “hmm I really want to bake some cupcakes this weekend, but I don’t know which ones” and you post these delicious looking cupcakes. You had me sold at the picture, on my way to the store, I’m sure these will turn out amazing. Thank you!

  • sarah (songbird sweets)

    im so excited that you posted this!!! i have always wanted to make a tiramisu cupcake and i cant wait to try this recipe:)

  • branny

    Lol please no! I don’t want to help clean up a flour explosion!

  • Natalie

    I literally just went out and bought a stand mixer. This recipe was the final straw! I must make these and to do them justice. They will christen my stand mixer. :)

    They look beautiful and so fluffy, thank you Annie!

  • Debbie

    Oh my. I MUST make these one day!

  • annieseats

    That is so awesome! Great first recipe choice. You will love it, and absolutely never regret that purchase. Main has been life-changing, no exaggeration!

  • annieseats

    Yeah, that’s pretty much what would happen here too :)

  • annieseats

    Enjoy, and happy baking!

  • annieseats

    Yes, you can divide any recipe you like. Enjoy!

  • I was just challenged to make Tiramisu cupcakes the other day by my friend. And today I came on to check out your blog, and imagine my surprise that these were here. It’s like the planets have aligned and are telling me I must make them now! And of course, I will always try your version first… ;-)

  • These look amazing! :)

  • Katrina Skinner

    I always skim over these in the Martha Stewart Cupcakes cookbook too but I will have to move them up on my list now. Your photos look delish and the YouTube clip made me laugh :)

  • After the horrific day we had today with the weather, when I went to the grocery store tonight I decided life is too short and went ahead and bought all the stuff to make these cupcakes. I even stopped at the liquor and bought Kahlua, and went ahead and bought a bottle of Grand Marnier, as I’ve been wanting to try baking with it, also, for over 20 years. Since you said you live in Indy, I hope that you are all okay.

  • It’s a strange thing but I can’t stand drinking coffee but put it in a cake or dessert and I love it. These would suit me just fine.

  • Aside from the misspelling (missing grave accent on the “u”) in “tiramisù”, this post is pretty much perfect. I enjoyed gawking at the yummy, inventive cupcakes and watching the Michael Scott excerpt. I must make these cupcakes soon. YUM!

  • Wow! These look great! What a creative and wonderful cupcake!!

  • Medeja

    You have convinced me to try them..but I think later :) but better later than never :)

  • At Home with Vicki Bensinger

    Well you definitely convinced me to try them. They look beautiful and the way the icing floats on top is stunning. Now I have to think of an occasion to make so many. I’m not sure I can wait until the end of the month when it’s my birthday. I’m printing this to make very soon. Thanks for sharing.

  • Emma

    Annie, if you’re ever looking for an out-of-this-world recipe for classic tiramisu, I highly recommend the Cook’s Illustrated version. I made it last weekend and my boyfriend said it was the “best thing I’ve ever made” (and I bake a LOT). After I made that, I even searched this site for tiramisu cupcakes (he finds traditional cupcakes too sweet, which I think is blasphemous), so I laughed out loud when I read your post yesterday. Can’t wait to try them.

  • Leslie

    These look amazing! How long did they take to put together (just prep- not baking time)? And how much longer do you think it would take a total amateur? I want to budget my weekend accordingly.

  • I LOVE that first photo, Annie! These cupcakes look like pure winners and I’m dying to get my ovens working so that I can make them!

  • What are the others in the top five? Let’s get an official ranking. ;)

  • By the way, you are WAY over-represented in my cupcake board on Pinterest at this point, but I can’t help it. Each new cupcake is just so pretty and yummy-looking.

  • Sarah

    These are going to be perfect for my girl’s night tomorrow! I think I’m going to make them mini… any advice on the timing for mini cupcakes?

  • Chelsia Rief

    Help! I’ve Fallen and I can’t get up!!!

  • Emily Clark

    I LOVE that bit from the Office. I laugh every time I see it. Thank you for the great recipe, and THANK YOU for the great laugh!

  • Mmm, the perfect light bite to have with afternoon tea. Yum!

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page.

  • annieseats

    I don’t really do time estimates of my recipes, particularly because as you allude to, how long it might take me can vary widely from how long it might take someone else. The best way to know is just to read the recipe directions and think about how long you might imagine it would take you. Enjoy!

  • I think I, too, would like to know the top 5 favorites. There are so many delicious looking cupcakes and cakes posted, I just never know which one I should try next.

  • They look absolutely perfectly amazing to me. Oh my yumminess. I cannot wait to try them!

  • You Go Girl!

    I love Tiramasu – my hubby does even more. I can’t wait to try these!

  • Tiramisu is my all time favorite dessert. Never had it as a cupcake but I’m definitely going to give it a shot!! Thanks for the recipe!

  • These look absolutely scrumptious!! I will certainly be trying these! And hopefully I can master them before Easter, as they would be a wonderful addition to the table. Thank you!

  • Jen

    I usually bring my cupcakes to work; how long do you think they could sit out without refrigeration?

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page regarding food storage. Thanks!

  • JudeP

    Love tiramisu! Can you do a post on what eggs do in the batter? These have a lot of eggs. Why is that? Thanks

  • Ok, so…DEFINITELY on my to bake list. Tiramisuis my fave dessert so I can imagine I’ll LOVE these!

  • Ooo, these look so fun! I’m not a fan of tiramisu, but my boyfriend’s dad loves it…Last year, I made him some for his birthday, but it came out ridiculously boozy. I’ll have to see if they’ll let me redeem myself with these this year!

  • Lauren Ochoa

    No wonder you got so much feedback on this one. Tiramisu AND cupcakes? And surprisingly I found it much easier than traditional tiramisu (I always need a shot of the espresso/rum mixture to shore me up by the end). I happened to have all the ingredients when I first saw this posted yesterday and I whipped up a half batch of the cupcakes while the kids were napping. I brushed the liquid on them this morning when I made coffee and frosted them right before dinner. They were a real hit with my guests. I definitely recommend not overfilling them because I overdid it and some of them kind of exploded. Just throw the extra batter away!

  • Haha! I can NEVER talk about tiramisu without cracking up just because of that scene. Classic.

    Tiramisu is my hubby’s favorite (he considers himself quite the connoisseur). I can’t wait to try these and see what he thinks!

  • Jenny

    I made these a few days ago and they were FAN-tanstic!

  • Kah

    Love Tiramasu on my way to the store to get ingredients!

  • greenspade

    made these tonight. they are delicious but this is a very time consuming process. thanks for sharing a great recipe.

  • I’ve made this twice and each time the frosting has turned out grainy. The whipped cream was smooth and nice, but the mascarpone and powdered sugar always came out grainy when I tried whipping them together. It was curdled-like. I had it room temp, and nothing seemed to smooth it out, although it got fluffy enough. Is this normal? Should I just whip the mascarpone longer, or will that make it curdle more?

  • annieseats

    I have no idea why that would happen. Mine was super smooth and fluffy. I would guess whipping the mascarpone longer would help.

  • Jesseca

    I attempted to make these today, but they sank in the middle during the baking process… What would cause them to sink like that?

  • annieseats

    Possibly overmixing or underbaking.

  • Jackie

    I made these as regular cupcakes and minis. Everyone LOVED the minis – they were addicitive. It made 8-9 dozen, so I shared with all of our friends and neighbors.

  • Kiesowcm

    Try slowly adding the sugar, this should keep it from getting grainy,

  • I had the same issue tonight when I made the frosting. Not sure why it would do that… I followed the directions exactly. Room temp mascarpone, beat together with the sugar on medium high, and it curdled. It still tastes OK- just an odd texture. I am freezing the cupcakes with the frosting on them, so we will see if it holds up. If not, I will scrape it off and try again with half mascarpone and half cream cheese.

  • I actually ended up using chilled mascarpone, cream cheese, and room temp butter, and throwing together some semblance of frosting from that. It worked! I’ve read up a ton of mascarpone since then, and it’s apparently notoriously fussy for curdling. Next time round, I beat the frosting by hand very carefully with it at room temp, but now I’m curious about trying the mascarpone chilled. Someday…

  • And I guess the brand matters too, get the best one you can find!
    Which makes me curious…can you remember what brand you used, Annie?

  • annieseats

    I don’t know the name off the top of my head. Our store only carries one brand, so that’s what I buy!

  • Sofiabrickman

    Mascarpone seems to often curdle when whipped, so make sure that you use the paddle attachment not the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer. But I find that mixing it by hand takes a few extra minutes but you’ll never get the curdle.

  • Kia

    Hi there,

    I just noticed that you use cake flour in your recipe. As i live in Australia, we don’t have cake flour. Is self raising flour the same or is there something else I can substitute for it?

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page. Thanks!

  • Kat

    I used coarse salt and it sunk to the bottom after baking and was still in chunks. What did I do wrong?!

  • annieseats

    I’m not sure. That is strange!

  • Thank you for this awesome recipe!!!! This is a keeper:-)!!

  • yousra

    hi, i want to know if I can subsitute kahlua for something else? thanks

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page. Thanks!

  • Lauren

    These look amazing. And I also heart Michael Scott:)

  • Rohma

    Hi Annie, could we substitute the marscapone with cream cheese to lighten the frosting? Thanks for your help!

  • annieseats

    Cream cheese isn’t really any lighter than mascarpone and the flavor of mascarpone is better here, but substitute as you see fit.

  • Linda

    Hi Annie, what is the reason of heating up the eggs and sugar mixture over the simmering water? Thanks.

  • annieseats

    It dissolves the sugar into the eggs. Enjoy!

  • Elleanor Eng

    I loved the mascarpone cheese :) I’m pretty new to baking, since I don’t tend to like things that are too sweet without some other flavor to undercut it. If I made this again I’d have to use less sugar. One thing I noticed with my batch is that the cupcakes had a dry, rough texture, even after I soaked them with the coffee mixture. I could have messed it up at some point (odds are high), or I might just be used to the slightly more gentle sweetness and moisture of my local food. LOVE your blog, though.

  • Elleanor Eng

    I had no problem with the mascarpone, and I just added everything together and went at it with a hand mixer. (Mind you I’m very new to baking) it was smooth and delicious.

  • Ashley

    Hi Annie, can I use vanilla extract instead of the vanilla bean?

  • annieseats

    Sure. Enjoy!