Tiramisu Cupcakes

 

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With Easter on the horizon, I’ve got a great dessert for your dessert table—even if you’re not Italian as I am.  What can I say?  Tiramisu cupcakes are the perfect dessert to follow the ham and lasagna.

Recently, we had some neighbors and their two teenage sons over for dinner.  I asked the mom in advance if there were anything the boys didn’t like.  Turns out there were a fair number of things that didn’t appeal to them.  Italian food to the rescue!  What kid doesn’t like spaghetti and meatballs?

For dessert with the boys in mind, I debated making tried and true chocolate chip cookies—but anal as I am I preferred a dessert more in keeping with the meal.  Tiramisu cupcakes had been on my must-make list for a while, so I was excited to have a chance to make them.  Since I’ve been avoiding desserts as I try to get in shape to fit into my mother-of-the-bride dress for my daughter’s wedding, this was the perfect opportunity to enjoy a special dessert and not have it hang around the house until I ate every last bit of it.

I adore tiramisu (translates to “pick-me-up”)—and, if you do as well, I’ve already posted the best tiramisu recipe you’ll ever taste.  The cupcakes are a little bit different in that you don’t have to worry about pasteurized or raw eggs since there aren’t any involved.  The recipe makes tender yellow cupcakes that you poke with a fork before brushing on a flavorful espresso syrup which makes the cupcake so wonderfully moist.  Then you top off the tiramisu cupcake with a luscious melt-in-your-mouth mascarpone frosting.  I topped my cupcakes off with a dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder and crowned it with a chocolate-covered espresso bean.  The result of this pick-me-up cupcake was to die for!  Counterintuitive, I know, but true.

I was a little bit worried that the boys might not like the cupcakes, but I needn’t have worried.  They were a huge hit all around.  I can’t wait to make another batch after the wedding is over!

One year ago:  Coq au Chardonnay

Two years ago:  Hostess Cupcake Copycat aka Fauxstess Cupcakes

Three years ago:  Homemade Taco Seasoning

Four years ago:  Irish Coffee Sundaes with Caramel Whiskey Sauce and Coffee Nut Crisp

Five years ago:  Napa Valley Chicken Salad

Tiramisu Cupcakes

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Makes about 18 cupcakes

Ingredients  for Cupcakes

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 tbl.) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Ingredients  for Espresso Extract

  • 2 tbl. instant espresso powder
  • 2 tbl. boiling water

Ingredients  for Espresso Syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbl. Kahlua

Ingredients  for Frosting

  • 8-oz. container mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbl. Kahlua
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Garnish

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
  • 1 chocolate covered coffee bean per cupcake OR 2 1/2 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions for Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350o F.  Line cupcake pan with liners.

Sift cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, beat butter until creamy.  Add sugar and mix to combine.  Add eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition.  Add vanilla.

Gradually add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture.  Mix until flour just incorporated into batter.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2 to 2/3 full and bake for about 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  (I filled my tins 2/3 full and got 18 cupcakes.  They were baked to perfection in 17 minutes.)   Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

Directions for Espresso Extract

In a small bowl, stir espresso powder and boiling water together until blended.  Set aside.

Directions for Espresso Syrup

In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar together and bring just to a boil.  Pour syrup into small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of espresso extract and liqueur.  Set aside.

Directions for Frosting

Combine the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and liqueur in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.  In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until it hold stiff peaks.  Using a spatula, stir in about 1/4 of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.  Fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a soft touch.  Add espresso syrup to frosting, to taste.  I added 2 teaspoons and thought it was just right.  (If frosting is too soft to pipe, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes or so.)

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Directions for Assembling Cupcakes

Poke holes in cupcakes with a fork or toothpick.  Spoon about 1 to 2 teaspoons of espresso syrup over each cupcake.

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Using your favorite round tip, pipe frosting over cupcake.

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Sprinkle with cocoa powder and garnish with unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate-covered espresso bean or chopped chocolate.

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Source:   A recipe from I Heart Cuppycakes

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