for the Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons table salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but slightly cool, cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs
3/4 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the flavoring, frosting and decorating
1 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso, cooled
3-4 tablespoons kahlua or other coffee liqueur (optional)
cocoa powder for dusting
chocolate shavings (optional)
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
8 ounces marscapone
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F. Line a mini muffin pan with paper baking cups and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar on low speed. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, and combine until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the eggs, 1 at time, and mix until fully combined. Add the milk and vanilla, increase the speed to medium, and mix until the batter is light, fluffy and free of lumps.
Fill the lined muffin cups three-quarters full, being careful not to overfill. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean, about 12-15 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Combine Kahlua and Coffee together in a small bowl. Using a fork, poke a few holes in the tops of the cupcakes. Using a pastry brush, or a teaspoon, brush/pour a small amount of the coffee liquid across the tops of the cupcakes. Allow to soak in completely and repeat two or three times. Set cupcakes aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer using the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, marscapone and confectioners sugar on medium until smooth. In another, slightly chilled bowl, beat heavy cream on medium until stiff peaks form. Be careful to not over beat. Gently fold the whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture using a spatula until completely incorporated. Using a piping bag pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Using a small sieve, dust tops of cupcakes with cocoa, and top with chocolate shavings (optional).
Refrigerate cupcakes until ready to eat. Can be made a few hours ahead, but no more than a day.