Tiramisu Cupcakes with Marscapone Buttercream

Sweet mascarpone frosting tops these buttermilk cupcakes that are soaked with coffee and liqueur syrup, then dusted with bitter cocoa. It's a grown up treat wrapped up in a fun cupcake.

A friend of mine got this recipe off the internet (I don’t have the original source, sorry) and asked me to make them for her. I modified the buttercream recipe (went from 12 oz mascarpone to 8 oz, and 2 cups of sugar to 4) to make it more stable for frosting. There are several steps involved, but it’s absolutely worth it!

Tiramisu Cupcakes with Mascarpone Buttercream


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

Espresso extract:
  • 2 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 2 tbsp boiling water

Espresso syrup:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp Kahlua

  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp Kahlua



  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Sift cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and mix to combine.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Add vanilla.
  5. Gradually add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture.
  6. Mix until flour just incorporated into batter.
  7. Fill cupcake liners about 1/2- 3/4 full and bake for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
  8. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

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

Espresso syrup:
  1. In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar together and bring just to a boil. 
  2. Pour syrup into small bowl and stir in 1 tbsp of espresso extract and Kahlua. Set aside.


  1. Beat butter and mascarpone cheese until light and creamy. 
  2. Add sugar and continue beating until smooth. Frosting can be made several days ahead of time and stored lightly covered in the refrigerator. 
  3. Bring to room temp before frosting cupcakes.

To assemble cupcakes:
  1. Poke holes in cupcakes with a fork or toothpick. 
  2. Spoon about 1-2 tsp of espresso syrup over each cupcake.
  3. (Let syrup soak in a little at a time before you add more or it will overflow.) 
  4. Using a large round tip (I used a star tip) pipe frosting over cupcake and sprinkle with cocoa powder.

Comments (3)


Very tasty! I Love the original Tiramisu but this is a nice alternative to have on hand. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


Nice recipe. Thank you for sharing. Because I can never leave well enough alone, I took out 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup sugar and replaced with 1 cup ground ladyfingers. The resulting cupcakes really tasted like tiramisu and had a different texture, almost cornbready. Different but good.


This is a wonderful recipe. I made them today and the cupcake had a great texture and taste. The only criticism I would have is that the frosting is way too sweet. I would cut the sugar in half and adjust to taste. The sweetness overpowered the mascarpone. I might try using decaf espresso the next time also. I felt a little jittery from the caffeine but I really liked the coffee flavor infused into the cupcakes.