Tiramisu Cupcakes (with Kahlua and espresso, topped with a chocolate covered coffee bean)

Tiramisu Cupcakes

I LOVE tiramisu! The only thing is...

....when I first made it, I was maybe a bit  generous soaking the ladyfingers in coffee liqueur, and my mascarpone cream filling wasn’t very thick. So it tasted amazing, but oh man - serving it was a huge mess! I hesitated to make it for a party or large group for years afterward juuust because it was so messy to serve!

Wanting a tiramisu dessert more easily served to a large group; I put together these Tiramisu cupcakes! They’re drizzled with espresso and Kahlua, filled with chocolate Kahlua filling, and topped with a light whipped cream cheese/Neufchatel buttercream – they taste AMAZING and can be served with minimal mess! 😉 All wins in my book!  

Recipe and instructions below! 


Do I have to use Kahlua? 

  • Absolutely not if you don't want to! Dark rum is the most commonly used liqueur for tiramisu, though a sweet red wine (Marsala) is traditional. You can also use amaretto or any coffee liqueur. I used Kahlua out of personal preference, but feel free to substitute your favorite liqueur!  

Can I make the cupcakes / frosting ahead of time? 

  • You can! Wrap the cupcakes well (or use freezer zip-lock bags) and refrigerate up to 4 days or freeze up to 4 months. Transfer the frosting to a zip-lock bag and squeeze out the extra air, and again - refrigerate up to 4 days or freeze up to 4 months. Thaw in the refrigerator. 
    On a related note – cover any remaining cupcakes well after serving to keep them from drying out - they'll keep at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for 3-5 days. 

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Don't forget to pin this recipe for later! 

Tiramisu Cupcakes pinterest pin

Tiramisu cupcakes

If you're craving Tiramisu in single-serving form - these delicious coffee and Kahlua Tiramisu Cupcakes are just for you!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Decorating time20 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Tiramisu cupcakes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 497kcal



Tiramisu Cupcakes

Tiramisu Frosting + cupcake filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese (one package; softened)
  • 8 oz Neufchatel cheese (one package; softened)
  • 8 Tablespoons butter (one stick; softened)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Kahlua
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • 3-5 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (save and add later!)
  • 3 Tablespoons Kahlua (save and add later!)

Cupcake drizzle + Decorations


Tiramisu Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180C), and line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  • Melt your unsalted butter and set aside to cool (so that it doesn't cook your eggs when added to the batter!)
  • In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and instant espresso powder).
  • In a separate bowl, beat sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk and sour cream until well combined. Add the cooled melted butter and whisk again until well combined.
  • Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. (Thick batter is normal!)
  • Divide the batter between the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until set in the centers and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before filling and decorating. (This is a great time to make your filling and frosting!)

Tiramisu Frosting

  • Beat together softened cream and Neufchatel cheeses and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk and Kahlua until frosting reaches a pipeable consistency. Add vanilla and salt and beat until well combined.
  • Remove 1 cup of frosting and stir in 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 3 tablespoons Kahlua – this will be your chocolate filling!


  • Once the cupcakes have cooled, you're ready to core them. There are a few ways you can do this....you can buy a cupcake corer, or you can do what I do and cut a core out with a plastic knife. Up to you! I haven't the foggiest idea why cupcake crumbs don't stick to plastic knives like they do regular knives, but it’s been working for me for years – I figure if it’s not broken don’t fix it!
  • Microwave ½ cup kahlua for about 30 seconds, until warmed, and stir in 3 Tablespoons of instant espresso powder until dissolved. With a squeeze bottle drizzle each cupcake with a few teaspoons of the espresso-kahlua mixture.
  • Fill cored cupcakes with chocolate filling - this can be done with a spoon, though I find a piping bag faster and easier. (On to the fun part!)


  • Transfer remaining frosting to a large piping bag – I used the largest open star tip from this set to pipe mine. Pipe into large swirls onto your cupcakes, and place an espresso bean on top of each one.
  • Add a few teaspoons of cocoa powder into your sifter, and add a dusting of cocoa powder over your cupcakes – and you’re done!



Please note nutrition information is an estimate and may not be exactly accurate.


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 24g

Did you make these Tiramisu Cupcakes?

Let me know how it went – or make my day and find me on Pinterest or on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!
You can also add a comment or a recipe rating at the bottom of the page! 🙂

A bit of recipe credit - I've modified significantly, but Two Sugar Bugs’ ‘Simply Vanilla Cupcakes’ recipe inspired this cupcake base! Do yourself a favor and check out Tasia’s site; she is an amazing lady with a beautiful blog! 

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