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I LOVE tiramisu – its amazing. These tirimisu cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery’s new cookbook, Cake Days are a more portable, party-friendly version of the usual dessert. I made them last week for my housewarming bbq and everyone seemed to really like them.

Here’s how I made them! I didn’t strictly follow the recipe to a T so I’ll post both the original recipe and my shortcuts!

For the cupcakes –

  • 80g unsalted butter, very soft
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 240g plain flou
  • pinch salt (I omitted)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 240ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

You have probably noticed that the above cupcake recipe does not use the standard ratios of fat to sugar and flour. The Hummingbird recipe uses a very small amount of butter compared to normal cupcake recipes – when I make cupcakes the normal way, I would need to buy one pack of butter (225g) for the cakes and another for the frosting. This method produced nice cupcakes and will also save you a ton of money (as one blogger puts it, ‘Its the cupcake of mass caterers and honey its going to save you a fortune’  because butter is so damn expensive (but don’t even CONTEMPLATE) using anything other than butter damnit).


  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees/Gas 5
  • Whisk the butter, sugar and flour plus the baking powder on low speed until everythings incorporated and looks like breadcrumbs (I was a bit scared by this variation to my trustworthy creaming method so I didn’t do this, but I will definitely try it next time)
  • Break eggs into a jug and add milk and vanilla and mix, then add the liquid mix to the dry ingredients with the electric whisk running on slow. Once everythings been mixed together, add the rest of the milk and mix again on a higher speed until its smooth, even and lump free!

Yeah I just did it the normal way

The resulting mix is pale and a little more liquid than a normal cake mix

Next, I divided the mix into paper cases, filling them up two thirds of the way. If you have an ice cream scoop you could use that (what the Hummingbird Bakery recommend) – I don’t so I used two metal spoons but its not too hard to get them all evenly filled! I would recommend being on the skimpier side of two thirds full as I noticed that most of my cakes rose over the rim of their paper case which made it a bit more difficult when it came to adding the frosting.

I used the blue cases for the tiramisu cupcakes and the pink ones for my watermelon cupcakes (post coming soon!). They were both great quality and didn’t turn clear from the cupcake mixture as cheaper (and Cath Kidston, Dr Oetker) ones are liable to do. The pink ones (with butterflys, sorry about the blurry picture!) are from Hobbycraft but were very reasonably priced about £1.50 and the blue ones were a gift.

Once the cupcakes are cooked (18-20 minutes) and cooling, make the soaking syrup! The recipe calls for –

  • 250ml strong coffee
  • 75ml kahlua
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • Mix it up!

I’m sure that would have tasted amazing but I don’t own any kahlua and I wasn’t going to spend £15 on some for one recipe I’m not going to be making frequently. So instead I used the strong coffee mixed with some whisky (rum would have been better but again I didn’t have any) and it turned out fine. At this point, the recipe called for me to cut out a round section of the top of each cupcake, add the coffee syrup, and then replace the section. This seemed like a lot of faff so instead I stabbed each cupcake repeatedly with a knife and added a generous amount (probably 4 tsp) of the syrup to each cake (although after eating them I think it could have done with more).

Here are the stabbed cupcakes with coffee syrup soaking through!

I’m sure the recipe would probably have been better if I’d followed it exactly (when I do get to a Hummingbird Bakery in the real life, I’ll try a tiramisu cupcake and verify) BUT I’m lazy and cheap and they turned out very nice as it was.

Now for the frosting! Hope you’re still with me…

  • 400g marscarpone cheese YUM
  • 50ml kahlua (I used some coffee)
  • 300ml double cream
  • 30g icing sugar
  • cocoa powder for dusting

Beat the marscarpone and coffee/kahlua until smooth and then beat the double cream (use an electric whisk for the love of god) in a seperate bowl until it reaches the soft peak stage. Fold the cream into the marscarpone mix and add the sugar.

My frosting mix was quite runny, probably because it was a warm day so I didn’t attempt a swirl on the cupcakes – just dropped the frosting on and sprinkled with cocoa powder and then put them in the fridge so they could firm up a bit.

Not the most attractive cupcake.... but they tasted good!

So what did I think of the ‘caterers’ cupcake? Here’s a shot of it below where you can see the consistency, it wasn’t ultra fluffy but it was good and very moist. I think I’ll make it again and follow the cupcake recipe exactly (using the mixer) and also try using some cake flour perhaps rather than normal plain flour.

What do you think of the Hummingbird Cupcake recipe? Has anyone tried any of the other recipes from their books?