I love cupcakes. I love how they are the perfect portion, easy to transport, and the options for cake flavors and frostings are seemingly endless. I also enjoy how they open up one’s creativity. I like adapting flavors of other desserts I enjoy and transforming them into a cupcake. With that said, it is clearly obvious I love the Italian trifle Tiramisu and set out to make its cupcake counterpart.
I began with the base, the cake itself. It was here that I wanted the coffee flavor to stand out so I didn’t want to over complicate the cake. I used a simple white cake recipe and laced it with a little bottle of Kahlua liquor. This not only gave it the kick of coffee flavor I was looking for but also fools my brain that I am indulging in a boozy cupcake… and who doesn’t like the thought of a boozy cupcake.
Next up was the frosting. This is where I integrated the traditional mascarpone and things got a bit tricky. My first trial run, I used too much marscapone, which lent a very heavy and overly sweet frosting. The base cake layer is very light and airy and the frosting was just too much for it. In my second trial run, I wanted to make the frosting be more light and airy like the cake beneath it. I didn’t want the cake to be weighted down. So I used less marscapone and more heavy cream. The result…perfection. A light dusting of cocoa powder to bring out the swirls of the frosting was all I needed and there you have a delectable and easy Tiramisu Cupcake worth sharing.
I made my own white cake batter from scratch but if you are in a pinch you can surely use a white cake mix. Also be sure to use a nonstick muffin tin and do not grease it. This will allow the white cake to brown nicely.
- 1 recipe homemade white cake batter or white cake mix prepared according to box directions
- 1 (50 ml) Kahlua Mini Bottle Liquor
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 4 oz. Mascarpone Cheese; room temperature
- ½ cup Confectioners’ Sugar; sifted
- Cocoa Powder; for dusting
- Preheat oven according to white cake recipe instructions or box mix instructions. Use two nonstick muffin tins. Do not use paper liners or grease. Prepare a recipe for white cake either from scratch or from a box mix according to recipe instructions or box directions. Once batter is mixed, add in the mini bottle of Kahlua. Mix until just incorporated. Do not overmix. Fill each muffin cup halfway. Bake until toothpick in center comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the cupcakes gently from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- After cupcakes have cooled completely prepare the frosting. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or by hand, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Be sure not to overbeat or the cream will become grainy. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip together the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the whipped cream until completely incorporated and no streaks of white remain.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip with the frosting. Using firm pressure and a clockwise motion, pipe large rosettes onto the cupcakes, passing the 12 o’clock position twice. Using a small sieve, sift a light amount of cocoa powder over the frosted cupcakes. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
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