tiramisu cupcakes

During a family vacation to Italy two summers ago, my brother developed a taste for tiramisu. We gathered this past weekend to celebrate his college graduation, so I whipped up a cupcake version as a surprise. These tiramisu cupcakes are layered with flavor, beginning with a vanilla bean-infused batter. The cooled cupcakes soak up an espresso syrup, then are topped with a light-as-air mascarpone frosting.

Tiramisu Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1 1/4 cups cake flour*
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup low-fat milk
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 cup sugar

Espresso Syrup
1/4 cup freshly brewed espresso
1 Tbsp Amaretto
1 Tbsp sugar

Mascarpone Frosting
2 Tbsp heavy cream
4 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Unsweetened cocoa powder

*To make your own cake flour, place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in an empty 1-cup measure, then top up with flour. Sift the mixture several times to evenly distribute the cornstarch.

Preheat oven to 325°F and line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with baking cups. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Heat milk and vanilla bean pod and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Let mixture stand 15 minutes, then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.

Beat eggs, egg yolk, and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until thickened and lightened, about 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. On low speed, mix in strained milk mixture. Mix in flour mixture just until combined. Pour a scant 1/4 cup batter into each baking cup. Bake for about 20 minutes or until centers are set and edges are light golden. Cool cupcakes completely in the pan on a wire rack.

To prepare espresso syrup, stir together espresso, Amaretto, and sugar until sugar dissolves. Let mixture cool. Poke holes across tops of cooled cupcakes with a fork or skewer and use a pastry brush to brush evenly with syrup. Allow cupcakes to absorb liquid 30 minutes. To prepare frosting, whisk heavy cream with an electric mixture on medium speed just until stiff peaks form. In a medium bowl, whisk together mascarpone and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely blended. Spread frosting onto cupcakes; refrigerate up to overnight in airtight containers. Dust with cocoa powder before serving.

Yield – 12 cupcakes (serving size: 1 cupcake)
Calories – 230
Carbs – 30

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  1. Grammy says

    These cupcakes are reminiscent of the tiramusu we enjoyed while spending some time in Tuscany. However, I enjoyed these more because of the subtle flavors of each individual cupcake. The presentation is more pleasing because they look like a gift wrapped present for each person.
    These are a winner, Laura!

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