Tiramisu Cupcakes

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Filled with tiramisu cream and topped with a Kahlua mascarpone buttercream frosting, these Tiramisu Cupcakes are light, fluffy, and absolutely irresistible.

Moist & Fluffy Tiramisu Cupcakes

If you haven’t already guessed, I am a huge fan of tiramisu. I’ve made so many recreations of the classic dessert, from cheesecake to brookies, and I love them all. Today’s tiramisu cupcakes are a bit of a combination of my classic tiramisu recipe and my tiramisu poke cake.

I chose to use a lighter, more traditional vanilla cupcake as the base, instead of my go-to vanilla cupcakes, to balance out the richness of the filling and frosting. Then I added the same filling I used for the poke cake frosting and for the tiramisu. I am obsessed with tiramisu filling. I could seriously just sit down with a spoon and a bowl of tiramisu filling and be a happy camper.

Naturally, any dessert that includes a generous helping of tiramisu filling is at the top of my list. I’m also a big fan of combining Kahlua and espresso, which is drizzled into the center of the cupcake, before the filling.

The end result, between the light cupcake, rich filling, and mascarpone buttercream topping, is an absolutely irresistible cupcake. I cannot get enough of these and if you’re a fan of tiramisu, I know you’re going to fall in love with them too!

Tiramisu Cupcakes on silver stand close up

What You’ll Need

These tiramisu cupcakes include classic ingredients like Kahlua, espresso, and mascarpone cheese, along with a handful of ingredients you likely have in the pantry.

For the Cupcakes

  • Salted butter – If you use unsalted butter, you’ll want to add about half a teaspoon of salt.
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sour cream – Gives the cupcakes a slight tang and also helps keep them moist.
  • Egg whites
  • All purpose flour – Not self-rising flour.
  • Baking powder – Helps create the light, fluffy texture.
  • Milk
  • Water

For the Tiramisu Filling

  • Egg
  • Sugar
  • Mascarpone cheese – A classic Tiramisu filling ingredient.
  • Heavy whipping cream – Whipped to help hold the form of the filling.
  • Warm water – Combined with the espresso granules.
  • Kahlua

For the Frosting

  • Unsalted butter – Room temperature.
  • Powdered sugar – For volume and consistency and sweetens the frosting.
  • Kahlua or espresso – It’s up to you which of these you prefer in the frosting.
  • Mascarpone cheese – This should also be at room temperature.
Tiramisu Cupcakes on silver stand

How to Make Tiramisu Cupcakes

These decadent cupcakes are made in three stages – the cupcakes, the filling, and the frosting. The cupcakes do need to cool completely before adding the filling, so I recommend making them several hours ahead of time or even the night before.

Make the Cupcakes

  1. Prepare the pan. Line a cupcake pan with liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make the batter. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream. Add the egg whites in two batches. Mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the milk and water. Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter, then the milk mixture, and finally the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until well-combined between each addition.
  3. Bake. Fill the cupcake liners halfway. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the Filling & Fill the Cupcakes

  1. Cook the egg yolks and sugar. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly. The color should be light and the sugar dissolved. Whip the yolks until thickened and slightly yellow.
  2. Combine the ingredients. Fold the mascarpone into the whipped yolks. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the warm water, espresso, and Kahlua.
  3. Fill the cupcakes. When the cupcakes are cool, cut out the centers. Drizzle a tablespoon or so of the espresso mixture over the inside of the cupcake holes, then fill with the tiramisu filling.

Make the Frosting

  1. Beat the butter until smooth.
  2. Add the other ingredients. Add two cups of powdered sugar and a tablespoon of Kahlua (or espresso). Mix until smooth. Add another cup of powdered sugar and the remaining Kahlua. Mix until smooth.
  3. Add in the mascarpone. Carefully fold in the mascarpone cheese. Then add in the remaining cup of powdered sugar, until just smooth.
  4. Add to the cupcakes. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Sprinkle with cocoa and chocolate covered espresso beans, if desired.
Tiramisu Cupcakes with bite missing

Can I Make These Without Kahlua?

Yes, if you want to make non-alcoholic tiramisu, you can omit the Kahlua from this recipe. I’m a big fan of the two flavors together but you can simply replace the Kahlua with more espresso if desired.

Tips for Success

For a tiramisu dessert with authentic flavor, keep these tips in mind.

  • Don’t overbake the cupcakes. For moist, fluffy cupcakes, be sure to not overbake them. They should still have a few crumbs on the toothpick when removed from the oven as they will continue to bake once removed.
  • Use a cupcake corer. For ease when cutting out the center of the cupcakes, use a cupcake corer. It will make things so much easier!
  • Don’t overcook the egg yolks. The mixture should be slightly yellow and thick when removed from heat. If the mixture starts to get too thick and/or a darker yellow, it’s overcooked.
  • Wait to add the mascarpone to the frosting. Mascarpone cheese seems to get softer the more you beat it and then it doesn’t firm up as well when refrigerated again. Because of that, I suggest carefully folding it in just before the final bit of powdered sugar is added.
  • What to do with the cupcake centers? If you have any leftover filling, I recommend mixing it with the cupcake centers and devouring it. So good!
Three Tiramisu Cupcakes on plate close up

Serving & Decorating

Since these tiramisu cupcakes need to be stored in the fridge, I like to put them on the counter for 30 or so minutes before serving. This makes the frosting and filling a little softer and not quite so cold.

For decorating before serving, I like to add a little sprinkle of cocoa powder and some chocolate-covered espresso beans on top of the frosting. You can also add a sprinkle of chocolate shavings if desired.

Leftovers & Storage

Tiramisu cupcakes should be stored in the fridge, due to the frosting and filling. Keep them covered in an airtight container. They will last for up to 3 days. I would not recommend freezing them, especially once frosted.

Three Tiramisu Cupcakes on plate
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Tiramisu Cupcakes with bite missing

Tiramisu Cupcakes

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17 minutes
  • Total Time: 47 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Cupcakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Filled with tiramisu cream and topped with a Kahlua mascarpone buttercream frosting, these Tiramisu Cupcakes are light, fluffy, and absolutely irresistible.



  • 6 tbsp salted butter, room temp (I use Challenge Butter)
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp sour cream
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp water


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 1/2 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso coffee granules
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Kahlua or espresso
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature


Make the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add vanilla extract and sour cream and mix until well combined.
  4. Add egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined.
  5. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl, then combine milk and water in another bowl.
  6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  7. Fill cupcake liners about halfway. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
  8. Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.

Make the Filling & Fill the Cupcakes

  1. While cupcakes cool, make the filling. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a metal mixing bowl set over a pot with simmering water in it.
  2. Cook for about 6-8 minutes, with heat on low, stirring constantly, or until mixture is light in color and sugar is dissolved. If mixture starts to get too thick and a darker yellow, it’s overcooked.
  3. When done, whip yolks with mixer until they thicken and yellow a bit.
  4. Fold mascarpone cheese into whipped yolks.
  5. Add heavy whipping cream to another mixer bowl and whip until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.
  7. In another small bowl, combine warm water, espresso and Kahlua.
  8. Once cupcakes are cool, cut out the centers. I use a cupcake corer.
  9. Drizzle about 1 tbsp of the espresso mixture over the inside of the holes of the cupcakes, then fill in the holes with the tiramisu filling.

Make the Frosting

  1. To make the frosting, beat the butter until smooth.
  2. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1 tbsp of Kahlua and mix until smooth.
  3. Add another cup of powdered sugar and remaining Kahlua and mix until smooth.
  4. Carefully fold in the mascarpone cheese.
  5. With mixer on low speed, add the remaining cup of powdered sugar and mix just until smooth. You don’t want to over mix the msacarpone cheese or it could become too thin.
  6. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with some cocoa and top with chocolate covered espresso beans, if desired.


Store in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, I recommend letting them sit out for 20-30 minutes, so they aren’t too cold and firm.


  • Serving Size: 1 Cupcake
  • Calories: 439
  • Sugar: 47.9 g
  • Sodium: 69.8 mg
  • Fat: 20.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 59 g
  • Protein: 3.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 80.2 mg

Keywords: tiramisu dessert, tiramisu cupcake recipe, mascarpone desserts




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    1. Lindsay

      Yes. For a non-alcoholic espresso mixture to replace the Kahlua mixture, replace with this:
      1/4 cup hot water
      1 tbsp instant espresso powder
      1 tbsp sugar

  1. Jenn

    Can you make the filling for the cupcakes the night before or is it best to make everything the same day? My plan was to make the cupcakes and fill them with the filling. Then, make the frosting the next day.

    1. Lindsay

      It sounds like your plan would be just fine. You can definitely make the filling the day before. I would just add it to the cupcakes right after you make it rather than storing it and trying to fill the cupcakes later.

  2. Jan

    Cupcakes always turn out perfect, but the filling is upsetting, as I always have to make it twice. I only heat it for 4 or 5 mins and by then its a mess and the sugar still isn’t dissolved. Only have heat on the lowest setting but it always thickens too fast. Can’t image if I cooked it 6 to 8 mins what a disaster I would have?

    1. Lindsay

      It’s hard to say from a distance what’s going on. Even for me, sometimes the sugar doesn’t fully dissolve but it usually works itself out once the filling is completely made. Make sure you’re using a double boiler and a lower heat setting and that the eggs are cooked to 160°. That may take more or less time for some people.

  3. Karen

    I have now made this three times (going for the fourth this week) and they have been a success every time. Everyone raves about them and asks for the recipe. I have not made them with actual Kahlua only the espresso mixture that you recommended to someone else because it’s been for school events (not that the teachers couldn’t use the Kahlua!) The only thing I would say about the recipe is that the fastest I’ve made them is a total of 2 hours, and that was having everything ready to go in advance and getting the filling ready while the cupcakes are in the oven and making the icing while the cupcakes are cooling. That being said, they are totally worth all the effort!

  4. Jackie

    Quick question-
    The recipe calls for four cups of powdered sugar in the frosting but the directions only indicate 3 cups used. I used four and the frosting does seem a bit thick.

    1. Lindsay

      The last cup of powdered sugar is added in step 5. My frostings do tend me be fairly thick, so feel free to reduce the amount of powdered sugar (just keep in mind you’ll end up with less frosting) or add some cream to thin it out, if needed.

    1. Lindsay

      My dirty little secret is that I often do not bring my eggs to room temperature. But you certainly can. The butter is listed in the recipe at room temperature, and you definitely need it to be at room temperature. The mascarpone cheese should actually still be kind of cool. It’s usually not super firm when cold, and if it gets too warm it can actually soften too much and get a little watery and it doesn’t thicken back up as well. I usually take it out of the fridge about 10 minutes or so before I need to use it.

  5. Marcia

    These cupcakes are fantastic! I had some trouble with the frosting because I’m not a baker and overworked it (twice!) I ended up using a different less intricate recipe. Folks thought these were from a bakery. Great recipe Lindsay!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29