Friday, August 24, 2012

tiramisu cupcakes with mascarpone frosting

TGIF!!!  Seriously.  Time for a cupcake using the ethereal mascarpone!  When I introduced a cup of mascarpone nearly 6 weeks ago, my first post was such a hard decision.  I knew I wanted to use a recipe with my blog's namesake mascarpone, but which one?  I have so many mascarpone recipes in the planning stages, but my first post came down to two.  The divine Blueberry and Lemon Mascarpone Tart won out over the tiramisu cupcakes, but for only one reason - it was blueberry season!  What better way to showcase one of the luscious fruits of the season, than to combine it with lemon and mascarpone.  My tiramisu cupcakes were waiting patiently in the wings ready to proudly show off!

The Tiramisu Cupcake with Mascarpone Frosting, is an individual little delicacy adaptation of Italian Tiramisu, and will be the centerpiece of any special occasion!  The extra egg yolks make this delicious, vanilla bean sponge cupcake able to withstand the generous layer upon layer soaking of the coffee-marsala syrupy goodness.  These delicious cupcakes can be served at room temperature; however, when chilled, there is something  remarkable about them!

Yes, they do take a little extra tender loving care to create over your everyday cupcake, but it is so well worth it! Consider it as tiramisu 101 - the elementary stage before someday creating the delectable tiramisu!

The blanketing of mascarpone frosting, and dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder is so delicious, delicate and refreshing, you will want to use it on more than just this tiramisu cupcake.  In fact, this weekend's baking in my kitchen (along with a savory treat) is going to feature chocolate mascarpone frosting, and I can't wait!

I hope you have lots of fun creating - and eating, these scrumptious cupcakes!  Have a great weekend!

Until next time…mangia!  xox


Tiramisu Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting
Makes 15 - 18 cupcakes
Read through the recipe before beginning.  It will make each stage so much easier!


for the cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup milk
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
3 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, at room termperature
1 cup granulated sugar

for the coffee-marsala syrup:
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly brewed very strong coffee or espresso
1 ounce marsala (I used an Italian dry Marsala)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

for the mascarpone frosting:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

Create the cupcakes:

make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.  Heat milk and vanilla-bean pod and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat just until bubbles appear around the edge.  Remove from heat.  Whisk in butter until melted, and let stand 15 minutes.  Strain milk mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, and discard vanilla-bean pod.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together whole eggs, yolks, and sugar.  Set mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk by hand until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm, about 6 minutes.  Remove bowl from heat.  With an electric mixer on high speed, whisk until mixture is fluffy, pale yellow, and thick enough to hold a ribbon on the surface for several seconds when whisk is lifted.

Gently but thoroughly fold flour mixture into the egg mixture in three batches; stir 1/2 cup batter into the strained milk mixture to thicken, then fold milk mixture into the remaining batter until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until centers are completely set and edges are light golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

make the coffee-marsala syrup:
Prepare the syrup while the cupcakes are baking.  Stir together coffee, marsala, and sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Let cool and set aside.

make the mascarpone frosting:
Prepare frosting after you have finished brushing your cupcakes with the syrup, since you will need to use it immediately.  With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overbeat, or cream will be grainy).  In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone and confectioners' sugar until smooth.  Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated.  Use immediately.

Finishing touches to your Tiramisu Cupcakes:

Pierce the top of the cupcakes with a toothpick, so the coffee-marsala syrup soaks in.  Brush tops of cupcakes evenly with coffee-marsala syrup; repeat until all syrup has been used.  Allow cupcakes to absorb liquid for 30 minutes.  Dollop frosting onto cupcakes; refrigerate up to overnight in airtight containers.  Dust generously with cocoa powder just before serving.

Carol's note:
The cupcakes can be served chilled, or at room temperature - both ways are delicious!  My personal opinion is chilled.  Use the mascarpone frosting on any of your favorite cupcakes when you're looking for a refreshing, airy and not too sweet topping.  It is delightful, and very easy to make!

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes.

coffee-marsala syrup ingredients:  hot espresso, sugar and a shot of marsala


  1. Drool - these look scrumptious!

    1. Thanks, Gretchen!! Thank you also for stopping by and leaving a comment - so appreciated!!! Hope to see you again soon!

  2. These cupcakes look like bites of heaven! I'm not sure if the Mascarpone frosting would make it from the bowl to the cupcake... :)

    1. Hi Laura! I'm seriously considering making a bowl full of mascarpone frosting to eat with a spoon! ;) Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend!

  3. I´m a fan of tiramisu but not of cupcakes since they tend to have too much sweet frosting. That said, these I must try! The not-too-sweet frosting is perfect! I can´t wait.

    1. Paula, I "promise" you, not too sweet! :) Happy Saturday, and thanks for stopping by!!!

  4. Carol, I love tiramisu and this is a genius idea! They are so pretty and I bet just as delicious! Every time I read your blog, I am more impressed. You really need to publish a cookbook (says the blogger who aspires to do that exact thing!)... You don't even need a food photographer, your photos are stunning!

    1. Thanks, Jeannie! I actually photographed these prior to beginning my blog, when I couldn't decide which post to do first. I was so disappointed in the photos (still learning about lighting and workings of the camera), that I almost made the cupcakes over again, just for the photos - but I was SO scared if I did that, I would eat half of them before they made it to the office on Monday. That's the only reason I didn't! LOL I'm learning as much as I possibly can right now on a true tiramisu before I create one for my parents's 60th Wedding Anniversary in November, and feature it on the blog. No cookbook planning, but I am beginning a photo book with the recipes for when Kelly gets married! :) xox Carol

    2. What a wonderful wedding gift that will be! My masters thesis, among other things, focused on relationships in the kitchen and tradition, with the passing down of recipes, oral or written, from generation to generation. Your gift will be all of that. It's fascinating, to me, how food creates community. We focus so much today on how food impacts our lives with calories in and calories out, body image, etc., but the real meaning of food in our lives (imho) is legacy, tradition, and the gift of family history. Your Italian heritage brings a wealth of that to your life. My Irish heritage didn't provide that, so much, in my family, so I am trying to lay the groundwork for kids and grandchildren with my blog. I think that's why your blog appeals to me so - I can envision generations behind your recipes. I just love it!

  5. Such a beautiful blog with fantastic pictures.
    This is so inspiring for me, I have also noticed your lemon poppy seeds cake , so so lovely!!
    Have a nice day, Barbara xx

    1. Thank you so much, Barbara! So happy you found my blog and stopped by! Speaking about inspiration - your Italian dishes are phenomenal! …and you AMAZE me with your blog written in half English and half Italian!! Enjoy your Sunday! Carol xox

  6. Wow, love these cupcakes, I have to try making frosting with mascarpone, it sounds so good with your coffee Marsala syrup;-)

    1. Thanks so much!!! You will definitely have to try it, and it's so simple!! Let me know what you think after you do! Thanks for stopping by, Pachecopatty!!!

  7. This sure does put the mascarpone to good use! ;)
    I love coffee and marsala in sweets, this seems a nice twist from the classic tiramisu. I'll give it a go.

    Have a nice week! :)

    1. Thanks, Miriam! I'd love to hear what you think after you try them! If you're like me, you will love them!!! Please stop by again!

  8. Replies
    1. Hi Dusty! Thanks for stopping by and leaving the sweet comment!!!

  9. An extra bit of cupcake TLC is well worth it if these cupcakes taste as good as they look!

    1. You are absolutely right, Lisa…and they actually taste better than they look! :) Thanks so much for stopping by!!!


Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by a cup of mascarpone, and taking the time to leave a comment! I read, smile, and cherish each and every one of them! xox