[pinit] These gluten free tiramisu cupcakes (what are tiramisu cupcakes? my children wanted to know, as they ate them all) are so fancy! But still so super easy to prepare. Tiramisu cupcakes for the win! All the flavors of tiramisu, but without the raw eggs (and without the alcohol), so they're totally kid-safe. I think they'd be lovely for Easter, but they're also lovely for a Thursday. Or a Tuesday. You get the idea.
The cupcakes are just a super simple sponge cake, baked into cupcake form. The lady fingers which form the base of “real” tiramisu are really just little finger-shaped sponge cakes, after all. There's a recipe for classic ladyfingers in my first cookbook, and a recipe for chocolate gluten free ladyfingers here on the blog. And we've made classic gluten free tiramisu here on the blog before. But to be honest? I like these sweet little cupcakes better!
I totally just left out any hint of alcohol in the coffee syrup that soaks into the cupcakes. I wanted to give these to my children, and perhaps even to other people's children, and no thank you for giving them alcohol. You could absolutely add a tablespoon of dark rum to the syrup, though, for an even more authentic taste.
The frosting is really just this gluten free cooked flour frosting, with much of the butter replaced with mascarpone cheese. And mascarpone cheese is proof positive that there is a heaven above.
All you really need to do with the frosting is to dollop it on top. I used a pastry bag fitted with about a 1/2-inch wide plain piping tip, but that's only because I take pictures of my food. As long as you're a normal person who doesn't take pictures of her food? Just dollop and get on with the eating!
Gluten Free Tiramisu Cupcakes
FOR THE CUPCAKES
1 recipe Gluten Free Sponge Cake batter
FOR THE FROSTING
1 1/2 tablespoons (12 g) cornstarch
2 tablespoons (18 g) basic xanthan gum-free gluten-free flour blend (12 g superfine white rice flour + 4 g potato starch + 2 g tapioca flour/starch)
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
dash (1/8 teaspoon) kosher salt
3/4 cup (6 fl. oz.) milk (any kind – just not nonfat)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature (it must be at room temperature)
4 ounces (112 g) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
FOR THE SYRUP
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (5 fluid ounces) strong brewed coffee (or just use water)
1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (10 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed, if possible)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
Make the cupcakes. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line the wells of a standard 12-cup muffin tin, and set it aside. Prepare the sponge cake batter according to the recipe instructions, and divide the batter evenly among the prepared wells of the muffin tin (the wells should be about 3/4 of the way full each). Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cupcake comes out clean (about 2o minutes). Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin before transferring the cupcakes to a wire rack to continue to cool.
Make the base for the frosting. Fill a large bowl about halfway with ice and set it aside. In a small, heavy-bottom saucepan, place the cornstarch, flour blend, sugar and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the milk, and whisk until smooth. Cook over a medium-high flame, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and the whisk leaves behind a visible trail (see photo), about 4 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and scrape the mixture into a separate medium-sized bowl. Place the medium-sized bowl on top of the bowl of ice to stop the cooking of the flour and sugar mixture. Whisk in the vanilla, and allow the mixture to cool until it reaches room temperature (temperature matters tremendously here).*
ETA: For step by step photos of every stage of the process for cooked flour frosting, see my original recipe for gluten free cooked flour frosting.
Make the syrup. Place all the syrup ingredients in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan, and whisk to combine well. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture just begins to thicken (about 3 minutes). Remove the syrup from the heat and brush generously over the tops of the cooling cupcakes. Allow the syrup to absorb into the cupcakes, and then brush more syrup on top until no more will absorb (it will begin to pool on top of the cupcakes).
Finish the frosting. Place the cooled flour and sugar mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (a handheld mixer will work just fine here), and mix on medium speed until smooth. With the mixer still on medium speed, add the butter and the mascarpone cheese, mixing well after each addition. The mixture will seem almost curdled at first. Turn the mixer to high speed and mix for about 3 minutes or until the frosting turns white and becomes light and fluffy.
Assemble the cupcakes. Place a generous dollop of frosting on top of the syrup on each cupcake, and sprinkle lightly with cocoa powder. The cupcakes can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for at least 24 hours.
*The cooked flour and sugar mixture can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days before being mixed with the room temperature butter. Simply allow it to come back to room temperature by sitting on the counter before mixing it with the butter and mascarpone cheese.
Adapted heavily from Martha Stewart’s Tiramisu Cupcakes recipe.