Tiramisu Cupcakes


I have a pretty high standard for tiramisu. My former boss was married to an Italian chef. Not just a chef who specialized in Italian cuisine, a chef who worked in Italy his entire career until he met his wife. You know he made some pretty mean tiramisu. So yeah...the bar is high.

And this is probably where I should tell you that these tiramisu cupcakes are just as good as my former boss's Italian chef husband's tiramisu (say that 5 times fast). Yeah...they aren't (dude, his tiramisu is legit). But, they are pretty dang good! And just a tad easier. 


Instead of ladyfingers, I made my favorite vanilla cake, which just so happens to be Trader Joe's vanilla bean cake mix (don't hate!). Once they were nice and cooled, I poked a couple holes into cupcakes using some left over (unused) chopsticks.


Then I poured over an espresso cream over top, which soaked right into those holes faster than I can put back a cup of coffee on Monday morning. 


Next, I topped off these coffee-soaked cakes with a whipped cream-marscarpone icing. Which, as you may guess is made up of whipped cream and marscarpone cheese (and a bit of sugar, of course).


Tiramisu isn't tiramisu without a hint of chocolate. Like traditional tiramisu, I dusted the tops of each cupcake with some cocoa powder. 


Pretty easy right?! I would much rather make these tiramisu cupcakes than actual tiramisu. There's almost no assembly required.

And if you are wondering why in the heck did I poke all those holes? 


That's why! All that creamy-coffeey (making up words over here) goodness works it's way right down into the cupcake which makes the cakes super moist and extremely flavorful. Like having a shot of espresso along with your cake. 


The best (and only) way to have a shot of espresso, in my opinion. 


Prep Time: 30 minutes  Cook Time: 30 minutes

Makes 12 cupcakes


  • 1 box vanilla cake mix, prepared.

  • 4 ounces sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 tbsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) marscarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour cake batter into a prepared muffin tin so that each tin is about 2/3rds full. Bake as directed on the package (approx. 20-25 minutes).
  2. Once cupcakes are baked and cooled, use a chopstick, straw, or other instrument to poke 6-8 holes into the cupcake.
  3. Pour condensed milk into a small saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in espresso powder and whisk continuously until espresso powder is completely dissolved. Immediately spoon mixture over the cupcakes and let soak into the cake.
  4. In a medium bowl, pour in whipping cream and add the sugar. Whip using an electric beater on high until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add the marscarpone cheese to the bowl and whisk until completely combined.
  5. Pipe or spread frosting on top of the cupcakes. Dust the cocoa powder over top using a small mesh sieve.


Replace marscarpine with cream cheese if it is not available. You can also replace the espresso powder with decaf instant coffee if you have a sensitivity to caffeine.