Sometimes grown-ups need cupcakes too. Of course, you could serve these to kids, just not right before bedtime. These are really not tiramisu- they are just tiramisu-themed. There is espresso but no liqueur. There is cream cheese instead of mascarpone. So, Italian purists: whatevs.
- 12 yellow or white cupcakes, baked and cooled. Use your favorite cake mix or recipe.
- 2 T. instant espresso powder
- 1 1/4 C. sugar, divided
- 1 C. water
- 1 1/2 C. whipping cream
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- pinch of salt
- chocolate curls or sprinkles for garnish
- cocoa powder
First make the espresso syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the espresso powder, 1 C. of the sugar, and 1 C. water. Bring to a rapid boil stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool. You will have leftover syrup which you can put into steamed milk, or in a vodka and cream cocktail – similar to a White Russian.
To make the topping, pour the cream and the rest of the sugar into a bowl or a food processor and whip until stiff peaks form. Add the very soft cream cheese and process until smooth. Add 2 t. of the espresso syrup and the salt and process for just a few more seconds.
To assemble the cupcakes, use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the cakes with the espresso syrup. Brush them all once and wait one minute, then brush them all a second time. Place the topping into a piping bag with a star tip. I used my Squeeze It Decorator which I love because it’s so easy (totally not a paid endorsement) . Pipe the topping in a pretty spiral. Dust them with some cocoa powder in a mesh sieve and top with a few chocolate curls or sprinkles. Chill until ready to serve.