Sunday, March 13, 2011

following a recipe

It's my little sister's birthday today, well she's not so little anymore she's 26 and is already a mommy! One of her favorite desserts is Tiramisu. I decided to see if I could adapt Tiramisu to cupcake form. I did a search online and I decided on a recipe from because it had 41 reviews and 5 stars. I like recipes that have reviews from readers because it lets me know if there are any errors in the recipe or if it's any good. Reading the comments also gives me ideas and tips, and I always print the recipe and make notes on it.

So usually I'm pretty good about following a recipe, but I think I'm at a point in cooking and baking where I feel ok about making my own adaptations and adding, submitting, or changing ingredients and directions. I know what flavors I like, don't like, want to try, and yeah some times it doesn't work out but most of the time I find that I'm usually right on! Which makes me more confident to keep on trying new things and recipes and ingredients.

This is MY adaptation of the recipe posted at I changed some things, kept some the same. I made a few notes that were helpful for me so please read those before you make these believe me it will make it easier for you. I've got to say these are some DELICIOUS cupcakes. Rich, and decadent and if you love Tiramisu you wont be disappointed.

Tiramisu Cupcakes adapted from


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used 1 1/2 tsp)
4 eggs , room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup whole milk (makes a difference trust me)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
24 FOIL cupcake liners

Liquid Coffee Layer

2/3 cup water, boiling
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee
2 tablespoons Kahlua (or any other coffee flavored liqueur)

Mascarpone Filling

1 cup mascarpone cheese (from tub)
3 tablespoons Kahlua (or coffee extract)
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container cool Whip
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar (more to reach desired consistency)
1 teaspoon vanilla
21/2 teaspoons Kahlua


chocolate shavings


1. Make mascarpone filling mix first & allow to chill 4-6 hours or overnight.

2. Mascarpone filling: Beat mascarpone, Kahlua and condensed milk until well blended. Fold in cool whip. Chill 4-6 hours.

3. Prepare cupcakes as directed in THIS post. OR you can use any other vanilla cake recipe that's to your liking. Make sure they completely cool.

4. Liquid Coffee: Boil 2/3 cup water in microwave (or boil on stove) and stir in instant coffee then powdered sugar & allow to cool to tepid (or pour in a bowl and put in freezer for a few minutes) then stir in the Kahlua. Once cooled, use a fork to poke holes into cupcakes so that they will absorb the liquid coffee & then brush liquid coffee onto each cupcake using silicone baking brush. I made all kinds of holes! I wanted the cake to absorb as much of the coffee mixture as possible. I brushed the cupcakes about 3 times.

5. Fill pastry/icing bag with mascarpone filling & inject about 1 spoonful via bag directly into top-center of each cupcake. Also frost each cupcake with a layer of the filling. (you will have enough left over to do this)

6. Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting:Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours,Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment. Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add half of the sugar, then the vanilla and Kahlua. Beat until combined. Gradually add remaining sugar (more if you have to) until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.

7. Frost each cupcake with frosting (This will be a little messy and you will have to mix it in with the filling layer you put on the cupcakes already but believe me it's worth it. Finally garnish with chocolate shavings and a dusting of cocoa.

-these cupcakes ARE time consuming but are well worth the effort and time, so make sure you have the time.
-Use REAL mascarpone cheese, it's a bit expensive but I've found that the taste and texture is heavenly with the real thing.
-I used a lot of Kahlua in this, but you can always adapt the amount to your liking and what you are comfortable with. One tip I saw in the comments for the original recipe was if you don't want to shell out the money for Kahlua try Kimora as a substitute.
-YOU WILL have A LOT of frosting and filling left depending on how much you frost, just put the leftovers in plastic containers and freeze for next time, or some other cupcakes.
-you will notice I state to use foil liners, this is because of the soaking you have to do with the liquid coffee mixture. They are really inexpensive and you can get them at practically any grocery store.

ENJOY! I am seriously hoarding the leftovers they are so yummy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Good Foundation

I gotta say today was not my day for good looking cupcakes. The humidity and temperature of the house made it impossible to get a good consistency on the frosting. The taste however was awesome! I've been looking for a good vanilla cake recipe that I can adapt for cupcakes. I've tried quite a few already and haven't been really happy with any of them. They are either too dry, taste is not to my liking, or too dense. Today I think I found the BEST vanilla cupcake recipe. OK so when I say the best I mean the best to MY liking. I know everyone has different ideas of what the best is but believe me I had 5 very happy people taste test this recipe today and they all loved it. Oh wait make that 7 including my parents. My dad is super picky and he even said it was tasty :)

I decided to do a vanilla/yellow cake with strawberry jam filling and cream cheese frosting today for my coffee date with the girls. I loved it. They loved it. Although the frosting wasn't as firm as I like it, it still was very yummy with the whole cupcake. The cake was soft, and moist and a pretty light buttery color. Paired with the strawberry jam it was delicious. I know I will be definitely be keeping this recipe as one of my favorites.

(UGH! Pardon the horrible picture but I was in a hurry and today was a yucky day, no sunlight!)

The original recipe is actually called Triple Citrus Cupcakes, and although that sounds great I was on the hunt for a simple vanilla cake recipe. I decided to use this but take out all the citrus from it and add more vanilla flavor.

Vanilla/Yellow Cupcakes adapted from Read.Cook.Digest.


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used 1 1/2 tsp)
4 eggs , room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup whole milk (makes a difference trust me)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 325˚F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, combine cream cheese, butter, and beat until light and fluffy, add vanilla beat about 30 seconds more.

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Then beat in oil. Gradually add flour mixture and milk in 3 additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Try not to over mix.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full, I use an ice cream scoop. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I checked the cupcakes at 25 minutes with a toothpick and they were done I took them out and they were perfect. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.

*Frost cupcakes with your favorite frosting or eat them without, either way they will be good! I cored the cupcakes put some strawberry jam in the middle replaced the cored pieces and frosted them with The BEST cream cheese frosting (at least to me :))

NOTES: I have to say that following the recipe exactly is highly recommended. I didn't use to think temperature of the ingredients mattered but it really does make a difference. This goes for the milk, eggs, butter and in this case the cream cheese. Room temperature is always the best.

Not a good day for a pretty cupcake but a great day for a delicious one :)