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Tiramisu Cupcakes

Turn the traditional Italian dessert on its head by serving it as a cupcake.

  • Yield: Makes 18
Tiramisu Cupcakes

Source: Martha Stewart Cupcakes, May Spring 2009


  • 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 (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 3 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Coffee-Marsala Syrup
  • Mascarpone Frosting
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. To finish, brush tops of cupcakes evenly with coffee-marsala syrup; repeat until all syrup has been used. Allow cupcakes to absorb liquid 30 minutes. Dollop frosting onto cupcakes; refrigerate up to overnight in airtight containers. Dust generously with cocoa powder just before serving.

Reviews (45)

  • robinreactiongrid 10 Sep, 2013

    I made these cupcakes for my boyfriends mothers birthday.
    I got rave reviews on them and I thought they were awesome!
    Everyone asks me when I am going to make them again and if I can double the recipe - they want more than just one.
    The recipe was a tad tough as I am a novice baker but after making them a few times it gets easier.
    Worth the amount of effort that goes into making them in the rich flavors in this lovely cupcake. Also makes a great personal layer cake just be aware of cook time.

  • bakaengie 2 Mar, 2013

    I agree with Megconell. This recipe was absolutely amazing! The mascarpone frosting and coffee-marsala syrup complemented each other well and I plan to make these cupcakes again at a later date. If you follow the recipe correctly your cupcakes should come out fine and if you don't want to use cocoa powder you can use cinnamon powder and decorate it with some plain animal crackers(the ones I used are called Animalitos and are manufactured by La Moderna).

  • carabau 3 Dec, 2012

    Thanks Megconell for the review, I thought these were marvelous.
    Booshey-get a grip and learn a bit more about the internet.

  • Megconell 14 Sep, 2012

    After reading the last review, I also registered so that I could review this recipe. I'm not sure if the previous person left out some liquid or overcooked the cupcakes, but I had great results. They were moist with awesome flavor and soaked up my coffee syrup well without falling apart. I don't want the last review to deter anyone from trying this recipe because they were delicious - definitely my go to recipe when I need a sponge cake!

  • Erin Pie 6 Sep, 2012

    Horrible!!! Positively HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    First off they are VERY VERY DRY even after adding the coffee syrup
    And I doubled the recipe to get 18 cupcakes. Ridiculous. Not worth it. I signed up just to tell you all how horrible these cupcakes were.

  • Booshey 3 Aug, 2012

    I want the Tiramisu Cupcake recipe emailed to a friend but you have to answer Media question.. What does that have to do with cooking and is just a waste of time. If you do not know the answer! Surprise not recipe. Not all people are interested in such trash, nor have the time to play mine games. It is a recipe-- bring it back to kitchen and leave the trash to TV and Video games, please

  • Lexova Zee 6 Jul, 2012

    This recipe very success on my kitchen. Lately, I love to do easy home cooking and baking. I thought its gonna be too hard for me to make this tiramisu, but I follow this recipe and do the direction so carefully. But then... tadaaa... I'm so glad, I can make it. I'm not an expert but i made it. :) So many thanks for sharing this recipe..

  • Bluestarbaker 12 Jun, 2012

    Tried these cupcakes as a birthday surprise for two co-workers who love traditional tiramisu. Delicious! The frosting is super simple and will be used as a "lighter" (texture only, probably not caloric...sigh) substitute for cream cheese frosting on some of my favorites.

  • rpetruce 8 Jun, 2012

    I live in Australia and I so love watching Martha and her recipes especially the new cup cakes, good work i luv it

  • PrincessTiana 9 Mar, 2012

    Excellent recipe! Word of advice, poke the [filtered word] all the way to the bottom of the cupcake so that the coffee can make its way throughout the entire cupcake. Since it's a dry dough, it needs the coffee to make it moist, and it can hold at least 2-3 teaspoons. Also, I used a good quality rum flavoring in the syrup instead of the marsala (don't sell it where I live) and it turned out great!!

  • chanss 5 Feb, 2012

    There were awesome cupcakes (just make sure you follow the directions). I poked the holes with a fork like Martha did in the video and the cupcakes absorbed all the syrup. I did not use the Marsala (wanted an alcohol free version), but added vanilla extract instead. They were a huge hit at the party I was at. I will definitely make them again.

  • kalie0 4 Nov, 2011

    These cupcakes were a huge hit with everyone except me. They just didn't taste the way I imagined. Good for something different but I think I would just rather have a vanilla cupcake. I am not sure the vanilla bean is worth wasting on this because once you add the syrup thats all you really taste. I also didn't really care for the icing but again that was just me because after my mother in law ate hers she went to the kitchen find the bowl to lick.

  • lzdente 30 Oct, 2011

    Amazing cupcakes! The cake is light and airy and mimics the traditional lady finger taste. The cake does not absorb enough of the coffee though, I highly suggest poking holes to assist absorption or injecting it into the cake with a small squeeze bottle. I used my own version of the coffee, coffee, khalua, & a little vanilla...I thought the MS version was much too sweet. Frosting is AMAZING as is!! Overall phenomenal cupcakes!

  • VanessasKitchen 8 Aug, 2011

    This cupcake is marvelous. While not necessarily an easy cupcake, it is definitely worth the time and effort.

  • mistyanne 4 Jul, 2011

    There are a few details that were in the video that would have been helpful to know. The coffee should be hot. When you fold the egg mixture in you can use a mixer instead of folding it in. What the consistency of the batter should be and how to thin it out if it is to thick and gooey. You should put folk holes in the cakes to help absorb the coffee.

  • davisn719 14 May, 2011

    Highly impressed with this chiffon-like cake, earthy espresso and decadent mascarpone frosting. The frosting can be adjusted to your liking by adding more mascarpone/confectioner's sugar mixture, however, if you beat your cream to stiff peaks, keep your cream and tools cold, you cannot fail.
    The recipe results in a lighter frosting which adheres more closely to the orignal dish.

  • VanessasKitchen 10 Apr, 2011

    These were very, very good! They did involve a lot of technique and took a long time to make, but the cake was very spongey and light and delicious! The only thing I would warn you about is that the frosting is very liquid. I would, personally, only add 1/4 cup of cream because I had to whip the death out of mine and it barely stood on the cake.

  • Bleach 2 Mar, 2011

    I'm apart of a monthly potluck dinner party with a bunch of girlfriends. We choose a different theme for every month.. This month being Italian. I figured everyone would do some variation of lasagna or chicken parm, so I decided to go a dessert route. These little cupcakes were so fun, and a huge hit!! I did make extra *Espresso-Marsala syrup and saturated them thoroughly. Also, instead of dusting them with cocoa powder, I used Starbucks carmel flavored Via. That put them over the top!!!!

  • chasingthecloudsaway 28 Feb, 2011

    I couldn't find mascarpone in the stores here, so I subbed a mix of 8oz cream cheese, 3 tbsp sour cream and 2 tbsp heavy cream. It wasn't the same as mascarpone, but the cupcakes still turned out amazing! I will definitely make them again, although next time I'll make more of the marsala syrup to saturate the cupcakes more thoroughly. These cupcakes are heavenly and completely worth the time they take to make!

  • DessertJunkie 24 Feb, 2011

    My mascarpone/whip frosting came out a little grainy- from the mascarpone. Any suggestions on how to get a smoother frosting?! Where's MArtha when you need her?!

  • np2535 23 Feb, 2011

    This was a DELICIOUS and beautiful cupcake recipe. I made mini ones, and ate about 5 right after making(the dangers of mini cupcakes). The one thing I would change is that I would make more syrup and perhaps spoon it on to make more of a coffee flavour. Brushing did not saturate it enough

  • jamieanne 26 Jan, 2011

    Has anyone noticed that in the video, Martha adds the milk mixture before the flour mixture, while in the written instructions it says to add the flour mixture before the milk mixture. Which is the right method, or can it be done either way?

  • AT1941 21 Jan, 2011

    I always use Kahlua liquor with coffee and it is always delicious!!

  • krazykris 16 Nov, 2010

    annoying advertisement pops out when watching the video. I clicked off the salmon advertisement several times and it keeps showing up.....really annoying and it took me forever to write this comments because this website requires all of your information before you can comment. Not easy to navigate and recipe is not easily searched. I'm disappointed that Martha Stewart's website is not up to par to her standard.

  • iHateCorn 2 Nov, 2010

    I am allergic to eggs. How would I make this without eggs?

  • iHateCorn 2 Nov, 2010

    I am allergic to eggs. How would I do this without eggs?

  • rezzie2 27 Sep, 2010

    These were great! We made as mini cupcakes. I substituted Kahlua for the marsala in the syrup. I also used a mascarpose cream cheese icing. I will make again

  • alicia_i 10 Sep, 2010

    These were really good! I would definitely make these again :)

  • Giulia82 9 Sep, 2010

    buonissime!!! thanks Martha!!

  • casey94 17 Jun, 2010

    I made these and they were reallllyyy good. It may seem like a lot of coffee syrup to soak up, but use ALL of it...i used about two thirds of it because i thought it would make them too soggy, but they could have been soaked more. The frosting was kind of wierd, it was good but kind of just tasted like whipped cream. And the recipe makes exactly eighteen perfectly sized cupcakes.

  • rainbowjoy 5 Mar, 2010

    THey were amazing but hard to make

  • DiabeticSinglesDotCom 31 Jul, 2009

    I made these for a party and they were a hit.

  • barriemom 17 Jul, 2009

    Sorry but if your going to substitute the mascarpone then you might as well make another flavour of cupcake, it is no longer TIRAMISU!!!!!

  • freeluna 14 Jun, 2009

    I used a mixture of Kahlua and coffee instead of the coffee-Marsala syrup, and it turned out great.

  • Debi1217 13 Jun, 2009

    Has anyone tried to substitue the vanilla bean and just added vanilla?

  • djdooms 18 May, 2009

    I use brandy instead of marsala wine and it works great! Also, you can use cream cheese mixed with sour cream for a substitute for the mascarpone.

  • Bardita 17 May, 2009

    I LOVE tthis cupcake it is awesome.

  • jrenick 16 May, 2009

    Can I use Kahlua instead of the Coffee-Marsala syrup?

  • Pohling 16 May, 2009

    Can I substitute marsala with anything else?

  • marinad 15 May, 2009

    Marsala is a sweet Italian wine available at most grocery and Italian stores.
    I get mascarpone at Trader Joes. They also have it at Ralphs and Vons near my house. If you cant find it, use cream cheese.

  • boopabella 15 May, 2009

    coarse salt is kosher salt...

  • dragonswing 15 May, 2009

    What is marsala? Where would you get mascarpone cheese to make the frosting?

  • dragonswing 15 May, 2009

    Is coarse salt sea salt??

  • kiminindy 15 May, 2009

    be careful marsala is wine so these already have some alcohol in them.

  • Twizz1ler 15 May, 2009

    I LOVE tiramisu - I add a little liquor when I make it - wonder if I can do the same for the cupcakes, if they are for adults.

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