I needed to make some cupcakes for by boyfriend’s birthday and of course I needed to make beer-infused cupcakes. Baking with beer is fun, especially if you choose the right beer for the job.
I made two different kinds of cupcakes based off Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes book of recipes. I made a Tiramisu cupcake with Old Ruffian and a Stout cupcake with Serpent Stout.
Great Divide’s Old Ruffian Tiramisu Cupcakes
1 ¼ cups cake flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt (I used pink Hawaiian sea salt)
¼ cup milk
1 vanilla bean (fresh as possible – but dried will work)
½ stick unsalted butter
3 eggs – room temp (mine weren’t but who cares) and 3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
Sift cake flour, BP and salt … I never sift my salt because it doesn’t sift! The chunks are too large. So just sift your flour and BP and then toss in your salt and whisk it. Heat milk in a small saucepan with the vanilla bean (split of course). Heat until it just simmers and then take it off. Mix in butter until it’s combined and let it sit for 15 mins. Then strain it. Set it aside. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the egg yolks and sugar over boiling water with a electric mixer. After it looks like the sugar is melted then take it off the heat and keep mixing it with the electric mixer until it gets fluffy. Fold flour into egg fluff and then add the milk mix. You should add some of the thickened batter to the milk-vanilla mix to make it thicker before adding it since you are folding all of it in. I kinda half-hazardly added it all and it turned out fine. Fill up your cupcake liners 2/3 with the batter and then bake at 325 for about 15-20mins.
I know what you are thinking…where the heck is the beer in this? I will tell you. I made an Old Ruffian syrup to coat the cupcakes like the coffee-marsala syrup would have. Basically I just poured about a cup – maybe a bit less in a saucepan with a ½ cup of sugar and heated until combined. Then I stuck it in the fridge. Once the cupcakes are cool, coat twice with the syrup mixture. Any leftovers can be added to the frosting. The frosting I made was basic butter cream with some beer added and the beer syrup. In case you don’t make your own frosting, basic butter cream is room temp butter (which cold butter can be made room temp by zapping it in the microwave for 30 seconds), and adding sifted powdered sugar. I am too lazy/hurried to sift the powdered sugar but it helps taking out any lumps. Make sure you don’t add too much sugar at once, add it about ¼ cups to ½ cups at a time. After you have added 2 cups to 3 sticks of butter then you need to taste it. Make those around you taste it too. I typically will just shove it in their faces and have them tell me if it needs more beer or sugar etc. I only added about ¼ cup of beer. Otherwise it will get chunky and the consistency is gross and that’s no fun for anyone.
The Old Ruffian is a Barley Wine beer from Great Divide. It’s what turned me around on barley wine beers after having a few not-so great ones. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s 10.2%ABV and has a nice hoppy-fruity quality perfect for desert-integration.
Serpent Stout Cupcakes
3 ¾ cups AP flour
½ teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
1 ¾ teaspoons of baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 ¼ teaspoons grated nutmeg
1 ¼ cups veg. oil
1 ¼ unsulfured molasses
1 ¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon of light-brown sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of orange zest
1 ¼ cups of stout beer (settled)
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In another bowl (preferably a kitchen aid electric mixer with the whisk attachment) mix together the oil, molasses, sugar, whole eggs, egg yolk, zest and stout until combined. On low speed mix in the flour. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. I made syrup from the Serpent Stout just by heating some beer with some sugar and cooling. I coated the cooled cupcakes twice. I used the same butter cream I made for the Tiramisu cupcakes. The Serpent’s Stout by Lost Abbey is also perfect for baking. It’s thick and creamy with a chocolate colored head that settles so quickly because it’s 10.5%ABV. It already has vanilla, chocolate and a hint of coffee with an almost nutty quality which is all things I like to bake with.
After piping the frosting I shaved some 60% dark chocolate on top for decoration.
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