Hi there! Pete and Andrea of Savor Sweets here. Since Jackie and Dylan are off getting themselves married (yay!), we asked if we could step in for the weekend and give this beer cupcake thing a try. Generally our expertise lays in candy, so this was a fun venture outside our comfort zone, and quite the learning experience!
During the summer, I have been known to sit down with a half of a watermelon and a spoon, only to emerge thirty minutes later, feeling slightly guilty and very, very happy. Those memories of watermelon came to mind when I heard of 21st Amendment Brewery’s Hell or High Watermelon beer.
The beer itself is a light, wheaty beer with an aftertaste of watermelon. Not hugely complex, but great for a backyard BBQ or hanging out on the front porch after work. I figured this light, slightly fruity flavor would make for a great cupcake. We have been experimenting with watermelon candy for the last few months, and that should have taught me that watermelon is one of those flavors that I should know better than to try and bake into a cupcake. The delicate nature of watermelon can even be assumed when you read 21st Amendment Brewery’s description: brewed with watermelon extract and enhanced with watermelon. We really wanted to do this without artificial extract, and wow it was a challenge.
The good news is, the final cupcake we ended up with was pretty tasty, and definitely has a fruity flavor. It only took us three tries and twelve pounds of watermelon!
In the end, in order to get the fruity flavor across without being completely overwhelmed with overly sweet one-note flavors, we took a three-pronged approach.
First, we paired the watermelon with fresh-scraped vanilla beans. The pairing helped round out the flavor of the watermelon, which turns very one-note when baked.
Second, we used four different preparations of watermelon. The Hell or High Watermelon beer was first. Then, pureed watermelon right in the batter and in the frosting. Third, a watermelon-steeped sugar is poured over the finished cupcakes, dulche de leche style. Finally, cold-dried watermelon on top (seriously. Slices of watermelon on a cooling rack, laid out in front of our air conditioner. I’m fairly certain our neighbors were very, very worried about us.)
Finally, we reduced the amount of sugar in the cupcake itself, helping to balance the sweetness of the frosting with the cupcake.
In the end, Hell or High Watermelon makes a very tasty cupcake, though these are enough work we’ll probably crack the beer much more often than we treat ourselves to the cupcakes.
Happy Wedding Dylan and Jackie!
Dylan and I got married on the 21st in beautiful Bellingham, Washington! As much as we love you all here, we are out enjoying our honeymoon, so we’ve lined up a couple guest bloggers to take over in the mean time. We’ll be back in a couple weeks!
We did a guest post over on cookingwithsurly.com a couple months ago and now Alissa is stopping by Sweet and Stout to do the same. She writes a great blog about cooking with beer in all kinds of recipes, you should definitely go check it out.
We started chatting back in May about exchanging recipes, and both agreed it was a great idea. Alissa had been wanting to try her hand at beer cupcakes for a while, her recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen and is called “Chocolate and Whiskey Beer Cupcakes”. The title alone makes my mouth water!
Alissa says the only issue with these cupcakes was that she bought a new silicone pan and figured that the paper liners weren’t necessary if you just grease it really well. As it turned out, the cake kind of stuck to the pan, so paper liners would have been more favorable. Even still, she was able to save a few for her photo of these delicious treats. Alissa used Schokolade Bock, from Millstream Brewing, and says it turned out good. Some styles of bock beer are dark and very malty, a great beer to pair with a rich chocolate cake. I think a dopplebock would be a excellent choice. Many thanks to Alissa and Smitten Kitchen for this amazing sounding recipe!
So, want to give these cupcakes a try for yourself? Check out the recipe below:
Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes
Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes
1 cup stout (I used Schokolade Bock, but Surly Coffee Bender would be great too!)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream)
Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.
Filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.
Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
Frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
Ice and decorate the cupcakes.
In case we haven’t mentioned it enough, Dylan and I are getting married … this weekend! Finally after over a year of planning, our wedding is here. To say that we’ve been busy is probably an understatement. This week, I thought it’d be a good idea to visit a past post, and 1-up it by sharing the recipe. I’d say that’s a win for everyone!
Remember those Crème Brûlée cupcake that we made back in September? Well, if you don’t, you can check it out here. For these cupcakes, I highly recommend using the Crème Brûlée Stout from Southern Tier Brewing Company. If you can’t find it, another sweet stout could work too. Anyways, on to the important stuff! The recipe! This should make around 2 dozen cupcakes.
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for egg whites
1/2 cup butter, room temp (1 stick)
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, separated
3/4 cup beer
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons caramel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. In medium bowl, combine flour, powder and salt, stir with whisk until mixed. Set aside.
3. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until well combined. Add egg yolks and mix well.
4. Combine beer and heavy cream in measuring cup (it will look gross, just go with it) and add it to the creamed butter and sugar, alternating with the dry ingredients. Make sure to end with the dry ingredients. After that’s all together, add in the caramel and vanilla.
5. In separate bowl, beat egg whites (saved from earlier) until you get stiff peaks. Carefully fold into the cupcake batter using a rubber spatula.
6. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake 18 – 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
While you’re baking, you can prepare the filling:
1 cup brown sugar, plus extra for later
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temp (2 sticks)
7. In a double boiler, combine sugar, salt, and egg whites. Constantly whisk while sugar dissolves and the mixture gets warm. Then remove from heat and use an electric mixer to beat it until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Continue mixing until it cools, probably 6 – 7 minutes, all together.
8. Add in 2 tablespoons of the softened butter at a time while continuing to mix on medium speed. After all the butter is added, increase mixing speed and beat until it appears thick, 2 – 3 minutes.
9. After your cupcakes have all been baked and cooled, use a sharp knife to cut out a decent sized crater in the cupcake tops. (not a ton, just enough to fill and have some cupcake left over.)
10. Fill the cupcakes with the prepared filling. Sprinkle each with a little brown sugar, then use a Crème Brûlée torch to caramelize the top. We have this awesome torch-like lighter that worked perfectly for this.
Enjoy these cupcakes with your left over beer, and you’ve got yourself an awesome dessert!
Next week we’re going to have a guest post from Cooking With Surly, which also includes a recipe, so make sure you come back to check it out.
Jackie & Dylan
Over the last year, I have grown to love IPAs. I seek them out whenever we’re trying new beers, some may say (ahem, Dylan might say) that I’m obsessed with them. Don’t get me wrong, I still love stouts and porters, but IPAs have me smitten. They are perfectly refreshing, and the ones I love have a great hoppy bitterness that makes them perfect for me.
I know IPA day is in August, but I don’t need a special day to enjoy the beer I love. We picked up a bottle of No-Li Brewhouse’s Born & Raised IPA this weekend and I wanted to give it a try in a new cupcake flavor. IPAs are notoriously not favorable to bake with because they can be bitter, but I embrace the bitter! This week I matched it with a strawberry lime cake, the perfect contrast to the floral, hoppy, and bitter Born & Raised IPA.
The first thing I did was put the beer in a blender and mixed it with frozen strawberries, lime juice and a little bit of vanilla. After that was good and frothy, I mixed it into a basic yellow cake batter. The batter tasted a bit tart, and you could definitely taste the beer in it. IPAs and lime go really well together, it’s one of my favorite combinations. The cake turned out very soft and moist, but didn’t rise up that much. (It didn’t sink either, so that’s good!)
I used a buttercream frosting and used strawberry preserves and a little bit of lime zest and juice to flavor it. The frosting turned out sweet enough to be able to eat it (by the spoonful), but the lime gave it a bit of tartness that was really pleasant. After frosting these I had to set them in the refrigerator for a little bit so they wouldn’t melt. It’s a bit of a hot one here today (My computer tells me it’s 96 degrees out right now!).
After we are all done with cupcakes we’re planning on having a couple frozen strawberry lime margaritas to beat the heat. The perks of left over ingredients!
Last week I posted a question on our facebook page about what flavors you guys think we should add to our commercial set up. Have you had a chance to weigh in on that? After our wedding (less than 2 weeks now! woohoo!) I’m planning on adding 1 or 2 flavors commerically and I’d love it to be a flavor that you’re interested in trying! Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
Oh, and if you’re in Spokane, you should head over to No-Li Brewhouse and have a Salted Chocolate Caramel cupcake made with their Imperial Stout! This week the Manito Tap House has our Red Velvet, Salted Chocolate Caramel, and Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes.
Until next time, cheers!
- Jackie & Dylan
There are so many different kinds of fruit that I want to turn into cupcakes! This week Dylan challenged me to create a cupcake using grapefruit. Challenge accepted! Grapefruit is known for its citrus sweet, yet bitter flavor. If I’m having one for breakfast I usually sprinkle sugar on top to sweeten it up a bit. We’ve made lemon and lime cupcakes, which are also sweet/sour/bitter, and they’ve all turned out delicious, so I figured these would turn out similar.
For the beer, we wanted to use something light, so we went with Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale. This beer was a perfect match for the grapefruit, it has a very crisp, citrus-like taste to it and just enough hops to add some bitter. This beer is great for a very hot day, or for a day of baking (like we so often do at our house!)
The cake is pretty simple, and if you have a good recipe for lemon cake, you can pretty much substitute any lemon ingredients with grapefruit. That’s what I did, and I added a bit more grapefruit zest just to make sure the flavor came through. The cake turned out super soft and the grapefruit flavor was definitely there. For the frosting I made grapefruit buttercream using reduced grapefruit juice and more zest. You still get some of the bitter from the grapefruit, but all the powdered sugar in the frosting balances it out.
To top them all off, I candied some grapefruit peel, which turned out surprisingly good. I’ve never attempted to candy anything, so I was pleased with the outcome (and it tasted awesome). If I candy anything again I’d probably cut the peels a bit thinner, but that’s only for aesthetic reasons. After putting the entire cupcake together, Dylan and I each took a bite and declared victory. I would definitely make these again, and look forward to it in the future!
- Jackie & Dylan
If you follow us along on Facebook, you may recall the time that I mentioned that Dylan and I met Dan O’leary, the owner of Duo Brewing. We met up with Dan a while ago and brought him some cupcakes and being that Dan is awesome, a few weeks later he sent us a few bottles of his Twin Ports Porter. Dylan and I shared a bottle that same night (I was really looking forward to trying it, we love getting beer in the mail!) and really enjoyed it. The porter has a nice roasty quality to it and is very easy to drink.
I was really looking forward to using it in a cupcake and wanted to create the perfect recipe to match it. We steered clear of the chocolate and opted for a buttermilk cake that really let the beer flavor shine through. For the frosting we made dulce de leche, which if you’re unfamiliar, is the most delicious thing you could put on cupcakes, ever. It’s made from cooking condensed milk, the sugar gets all dark and delicious and almost tastes like caramel, except it’s much, much creamier. If you’re on Pinterest you may have seen a pin for taking a can of sweetened condensed milk and either putting it in a crock pot for hours, or cooking it in the can on the stove (covered in water). We went with the shorter version and simmered the unopened can in water for 2 hours, then let it cool before adding it to our cream cheese frosting. Best. Idea. Ever. When I opened the can, I was pleased to see that it had worked, and I was equally as pleased that it was frickin’ delicious.
The cake turned out so soft, which was a great compliment to the smooth and soft texture of this frosting. The whole cupcake tastes like a deliciously creamy porter, and it’s really hard to resist the 2 dozen of them that are still in our refrigerator. We decided to bake these on Saturday because we’ll be busy baking some fresh cupcakes for the Manito Tap House AND a new location that we will be announcing shortly! We’re pretty excited about it, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with you all!
Jackie & Dylan
This weekend did not feel like June, at all. Saturday we were lucky to get into the high 40s, and it was pouring rain most of the day! Sunday has brought a bit of sun so far, but I could really go for 80 degrees right about now. This week’s cupcake is inspired by the weather I wish we were having here in the Pacific Northwest!
Peaches and cream is a classic flavor combination for a reason, it’s amazingly delicious. As always, there’s a Sweet and Stout twist to these cupcakes, I baked the peach cake with Elysian Brewing Company’s Bête Blanche Tripel. I wasn’t quite sure what beer would go with a peach cake, but after perusing the beer section I decided a tripel would be a good choice. Tripel’s have that classic Belgian spicy-fruity taste to them, and this beer went really well with the peaches. It’s incredibly easy to drink, too.
The cake had about a cup of pureed peaches in it, and yet only came out with a slight hint of peach flavor. Next time I will dice up some peaches and put them right in the batter. It did bake up nice and soft though, very tasty. For the frosting I used a whipped cream and cream cheese frosting and, oh my, it’s bowl-devouring good. There is quite a bit of leftover frosting, and I’m imagining myself with a giant plate of peach pancakes later topped with a lot of frosting. Whipped cream is the shiz. For real.
To make sure there was no mistaking these cupcakes for anything but peach, I garnished each with a thin slice of it’s fruity namesake. It’s hard not to shove the entire cupcake in your mouth due to it’s delicious nature, but I’m refraining from eating them all. For now.
As I mentioned last week, Dylan and I participated in the Spokane Humane Society’s Parade of Paws. We got a bit soaked, but it was totally worth it. Our dog went into puppy and puddle overload, and had a great time. Our team, A Furry Frenzy, raised over $700 for SHS, and we’re proud to have been a part of that. For your enjoyment, here’s a picture of our dog, Big, soaked after the event.
Hope you had a great weekend, too!
- Jackie & Dylan
I’m always looking for that perfect blend of salty and sweet. You may have noticed that theme in the last few weeks of our cupcakes. This time we will round out the salty-sweet trifecta with these Chocolate Pretzel Cupcakes. These last few cupcakes would be the perfect bar food: potato chips, popcorn, and pretzels.
The cake is a slightly salty chocolate cake infused with Firestone Walker’s Velvet Merlin, a smooth and delicious oatmeal stout. You can definitely taste the chocolate and roasted coffee flavor in this beer. It’s perfect for a chocolate cake. I used coarse sea salt in the cake, and as you take a bite, you get the tiniest bit of saltiness. I wasn’t expecting that, but it worked out in our favor.
I was trying out a new recipe for chocolate caramel ganache for the frosting, but it never stiffened up in the fridge. Being the cupcake innovator that I am (and totally modest, by the way), I tossed in a bunch of powdered sugar and whipped it into shape. The frosting had a really interesting flavor, it tasted like ganache but not heavy at all, it was fluffy and quite enjoyable! I crushed some pretzels on top of each cake after frosting and stuck a whole pretzel in to top it off.
I’ve always loved chocolate covered pretzels, and using the frosting as a pretzel dip was a great idea to do with the leftovers. I love when there’s leftover frosting.
I wanted to mention that next weekend, Dylan and I will be walking with our dog (silly dog photo: click here) in the Spokane Humane Society’s Parade of Paws. It’s a walk that raises money for the shelter, and we’re on team “A Furry Frenzy“. Our team has raised almost $300 so far (online)! We’re really proud to be a part of the team. If you’re in the Spokane area, you should come out and join the fun!
Who knows what we’ll come up with for next week. I think I’m running out of things to cover with chocolate, is that even possible?
- Jackie & Dylan
I hope your extended weekend was filled with fun, good food & great beer! Dylan and I laid low all weekend, then on Monday we decided we had better make some cupcakes. The idea for this week’s cupcake came from a couple different places. Last Thursday, Dylan happened to meet John Bryant of the newly re-invented No-Li Brewhouse, here in Spokane. He ended up buying a couple of each of their new bottles: Crystal Bitter Ale, Born & Raised IPA (my favorite), and Silent Treatment Pale Ale. There were talks about how we should do a No-Li Cupcake, so after we tried each of the beers, we decided to use the Crystal Bitter Ale in this week’s cupcake, Caramel Popcorn.
The cake flavor came about as I was discussing ones we haven’t done yet, with my coworker, JoNelle. She’s always thinking of new cupcake ideas, and when she started to talk about caramel, I knew we were on to something. We both agreed that the Crystal Bitter would be a great match for caramel. The malty smoothness of this ale compliments the rich caramel flavor these cupcakes exude. I made caramel from scratch, and while it’s kind of messy, you can really taste the difference between it, and store bought caramel. The ingredients are really simple: just sugar, water, butter, and cream. I wanted to add the popcorn in to give the cupcakes the salty contrast that goes really well with caramel.
Before we made the cupcakes, we had to make the popcorn. Using the air popper, we made a ton of it, and spread it out on a cookie sheet (with wax paper lining it – I did not want to clean that mess up). After melting chocolate chips in a double boiler, I drizzled it over the popcorn along with some caramel, tossed in peanuts, sprinkled with a little bit of sea salt and put it in the fridge to cool off.
The cake turned out really soft and delicious. Basically it’s a yellow cake with added caramel and the Crystal Bitter, of course. The frosting was made using browned butter and powdered sugar, and I’m surprised how much it tastes like caramel despite having none added to it. We garnished each cupcake with a good chunk of the chocolate caramel peanut popcorn we made earlier, and voila! Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes were born.
After one bite, I knew that people were going to love these, they are SO good!
Because we love you all from the bottom of our beer bottles, we’re sharing a recipe this time! We’re also posting the recipe because the last time we used a Dogfish Head beer and didn’t post a recipe, there was hell to pay. We’ve learned our lesson. Now, I introduce to you, Rosemary Lemonade Cupcakes using Dogfish Head’s Saison du Buff, which is a collaboration beer between Dogfish Head, Stone, and Victory. This collaboration happened first in 2010, and now, again, in 2012. If you haven’t got your hands on this beer yet, I highly recommend that you do. This beer is delicious, and is a perfect match for these rosemary infused lemon cupcakes.
On to the recipe!
Rosemary Lemonade Cupcakes
(Makes about 18 cupcakes)
1 cup water
1/4 cup rosemary leaves
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter (8 tablespoons)
Lemon zest of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup beer
1/2 cup rosemary lemon juice (from above)
1. In a small sauce pan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Once boiling, add 1/4 cup rosemary leaves (we used dried rosemary). Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup lemon juice. Let sit while you prepare the cupcake batter.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place paper cupcake liners in pans, set aside.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, beat butter and lemon zest until creamy. Add in sugar, then beat again until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating between each addition.
5. Beat in 1/4 of the dry ingredients, then add beer to the batter. Mix well.
6. Using a strainer to separate the rosemary leave from the juice, strain 1/2 cup of the rosemary lemon water into a measuring cup. (Save the remaining rosemary lemon juice to use in the frosting, see recipe below) Mix this alternating with the rest of the dry ingredients into the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
7. Fill cupcake liners with a 1/4 cup of batter, place in preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Use a toothpick inserted in the center to tell if it’s done after 15 minutes. It should come out clean.
After your cupcakes have cooled, you can prepare the frosting.
Rosemary Lemonade Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick butter (8 tablespoons), room temperature
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2+ cups powdered sugar
left over rosemary lemon juice from cake recipe above
1. Beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth and creamy
2. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add in leftover rosemary lemon juice and beat well. If the frosting is too runny, just beat in more powdered sugar.
3. Frost cupcakes after they’ve cooled, and enjoy!
If you make these cupcakes, please tell us how they turned out for you in the comments, we’d love to hear about them! If you have an idea for a cupcake, or a beer to use, let us know! We’re always willing to try something new.
- Jackie & Dylan
This week’s challenge, aside from Dylan and I participating in Bloomsday (a 7.46 mile walk/run), was to create a cupcake based on a random fruit we picked at the grocery store. We’re always trying to do something a little different here at Sweet and Stout (in case you haven’t noticed!). When we arrived at the store, we discovered that kiwi was on sale, so that’s what we decided to use. For the beer, we picked Monk’s Indescretion (great name!), a Belgian Style Specialty Ale from Sound Brewing. On the label the beer says that it’s “an intense tropical hoppy aroma & flavor, with balanced bitterness”, seemed a good fit, so we got it. This beer was VERY good, and, like the label also says, “scarily drinkable” with an ABV at 10%. Wowza.
I’ve never baked kiwi into anything, so we just improvised the whole thing. The first thing we did was chop up the kiwi and boiled it with some water to make them nice and soft. Then we reduced it down a bit, while mashing them (with a potato masher), and finally added a little sugar to make a mushy, mashy, kiwi sauce. It definitely wasn’t the most attractive color, however it tasted delicious.
We strained out some of the juice and set it aside for the frosting, then used the mashed up fruit in the cake. I used a recipe that I have for a lemon cake and replaced the lemons with kiwi, a simple swap. When the cake came out of the oven, it really looked like a lemon poppy seed cake. For the frosting I went with a cream cheese one (shocking, I know), and added the kiwi juice I had saved from earlier. I topped each off with half a slice of freshly cut kiwi, took a bite, and was very pleased with the outcome.
Makes me wonder what other types of fruit we can base a cupcake off of. Anyone else have some ideas?
- Jackie & Dylan
P.S.- We’re so glad that we decided to wear our Sweet and Stout t-shirts to the Bloomsday race. Many people came running up behind us to find out “Where Beer and Cupcake Unite”, and they all seemed pretty excited that there are beer cupcakes here in Spokane. So, thanks to all the people that said “hi” to us, and we hope you’ll get a chance to try some of our cupcakes soon!
This past weekend we put a twist on the classic margarita, turning it into a beer-rita. If you missed it, we did another beer cocktail a couple weeks ago when we made beer mojitos (and cupcakes). Since they turned out really great, I thought we’d give it a go with beer margarita cupcakes. I’m really starting to dig beer cocktails, and definitely will try more in the future. First things first. You need a BeerRita in your life, and here’s how you make one (or 2):
Maybe I’m wishing too hard for it to be summer, but this Sunday, it was pretty nice outside. We wanted to make a fun cupcake to go with a warm summer (or near spring-like) day. We both enjoy a tasty mojito, so why not flavor a cupcake after one? Plus, I found a recipe for a beer mojito, and could not resist giving it a try. Have you heard of beer cocktails? I don’t think it’s anything new, but I think it’s becoming more popular. Here’s a link I found to the beer mojito, and I know there are plenty of other good beer cocktail recipes out there.
For these cupcakes I wanted to use a pale ale, something that would compliment the lime and mint flavor that mojitos are known for. Dylan recently found the spring release of the Ninkasi four-pack, which included Spring Reign, a delicious pale ale. We decided that would be the best beer to use, plus I was saving the Tricerahops all for myself. (Seriously, if you like double IPAs, Tricerahops is the shizz.) Anyways, the crisp taste and the light hop character of the Spring Reign was a perfect match for these cupcakes.
To get the mint flavor, I steeped some mint leaves in the beer (heated up on the stove). After letting it cool, I added a little lime juice. Tasting the finished cupcakes, I’d go back and add a bit more mint leaves. You can definitely pull a lime flavor when you take a bite of these, the mint is a little subdued. Of course, this doesn’t mean it was a bad cupcake. In fact, they were quite delicious. We used a cream cheese frosting flavored with more fresh squeezed lime juice, and garnished each with a mint leaf.
I think lime would be a really good flavor for us to add on to our lineup for the summer. We did a lime cupcake with meringue last year, and these are much better. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait for summer to get here. Patio beers, sunshine, and cupcakes sound really good right now!
- Jackie & Dylan
Maybe you’ve heard of Millionaire Pie? My mom used to make it when I was a kid, and I always remember it being delicious. If you’ve never had it, it’s a no bake pie made with whipped topping, pineapple, and maraschino cherries in a graham cracker crust. I’ve been wanting to do a cupcake inspired by these flavors, and with a little help from my mom, I finally did. (Thanks for the recipe, mom!)
When Dylan and I went to the store today to pick out a beer to go in these cupcakes, we weren’t quite sure what we were going to use. Then we found a beer called Mana Wheat, from the Maui Brewing Company. It’s a wheat beer and it’s brewed with pineapple juice! I can’t see there being another beer that would be better suited for this cake. The beer is light bodied with a crisp pineapple taste to it, and not in an overpowering, or overly sweet kind of way. I’ve got another can in the refrigerator waiting for me, it’d be perfect on a bright sunny day.
The cake is basically a yellow cake with crushed pineapple added to it (and beer, of course). The crushed pineapple keeps the cake moist, and I think the beer flavor comes through really nicely in this one. My original plan for the frosting was to make the pie filling, like my mom used to make. Since we’re going to be offering samples of this cake tomorrow evening at the foodie tweetup (are you going?), I wanted a frosting that wouldn’t melt after being out of the refrigerator for a short time, like a whipped topping might do. I used a cream cheese frosting instead, and flavored it with pineapple juice. It turned out delicious! After frosting a bunch of mini cupcakes, and a few full size ones, each is topped off with a dusting of graham cracker crumbs and half a maraschino cherry.
(On a tasty side note, there was leftover frosting and I may have eaten a spoonful or two covered in graham cracker crumbs. It tastes like cheesecake.)
We are looking forward to seeing you at Launchpad on Monday evening for the tweetup! We won’t be there right at 5 pm when it starts (have to work the day job until 5 pm), but we’ll see you soon after.
- Jackie & Dylan
Our favorite day in March is rapidly approaching, St. Patrick’s day! We started this blog almost a year ago, and to get into the holiday spirit, we made these Chocolate Potato cupcakes, inspired by the traditional Irish dessert.
For the beer this week, we were lucky enough to receive a bottle of Boundary Bay’s Imperial Oatmeal Stout from Dylan’s dad (who lives in Bellingham, where Boundary Bay is located). I wish we could find Boundary Bay’s beers in bottles here, this beer is fantastic! You can find some of their beers on tap around Spokane, so we’ll have to settle for that.
I know we did a sweet potato cupcake last year, so I was pretty sure that a potato version was going to turn out just fine. I was a little worried after last weeks cupcake experiment, I didn’t want two bad posts in a row. Thankfully, the potato and chocolate cake turned out fabulous. These cakes are dense and hearty, pretty sure it has something to do with the riced potatoes that I put in there. Ricing potatoes without a ricer is a bit time consuming though, I had to run those bad boys over our tiny cheese grater to make sure there were no lumps. They have just a slight hint of chocolate flavor, despite the 2 1/2 ounces of baking chocolate I put in them (also grated the chocolate over the cheese grater, when will we ever invest in a food processor?!).
To top them off I went with a classic cream cheese frosting. I was not going to try and get all fancy this time, and I stuck with what I know. It was a good choice. The frosting doesn’t overpower the cake, which lets the cake flavor be the most prominent.
Next week, if you’re in the Spokane area, you should join us at the #foodie tweetup going on over at Launchpad on Monday, March 12 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. We’re going to be using you all as test subjects for a new flavor we’re working on, plus there will be all kinds of other cool people there with tasty treats to share (Savor Sweets and Farm Girl Gourmet, plus wine pours from Nectar Wine!). I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday evening, hope to see you there!
- Jackie & Dylan
I’ll admit right now, I’ve got the winter blues. I am craving some warm weather and sunshine, and all Spokane gave me this weekend was snow. It’s just not working for me. Anyways, what does this have to do with cupcakes? Well, I made cupcakes this weekend, but much like the weather, they really didn’t work for me.
Mainly it was the frosting. I found an interesting recipe I wanted to try. Looking back, I probably should have just gone with something I know, but I wanted to be different! The frosting was something of a hybrid between meringue and butter cream, and by hybrid, I mostly meant some kind of weird, gross mutant baby of the two. I don’t even think my description is close to conveying how awkward and flavorless it tasted. Okay, moving on, let’s talk about the cake.
The cake tasted fine. I was going for a coconut raspberry with a hint of lemon, and that’s what I got, mostly. The one great thing that I came up with, and all on my own, was a beer raspberry sauce. My original intent for this sauce was to swirl it with the lemon coconut cake batter, bake amazing cupcakes, and wow you all with my genius. Since I’m not going to wow you with my cupcake skills this week, I thought I’d share the raspberry beer sauce recipe. I think this would be really tasty over some vanilla ice cream. (Now I wish I had some). Since I used all the sauce in the cupcakes, I don’t have a picture of it, but I swear, it looked really tasty.
So, without further adieu, here is my recipe for Raspberry Beer Sauce:
(makes around 1/2 cup of raspberry beer saucy goodness, double recipe to make more)
1 cup frozen red raspberries
1/4 cup beer (we used Deschutes Red Chair NWPA, yum!)
1/4 finely chopped coconut flake
Combine ingredients in sauce pan over medium to low heat. As the berries thaw out, mash them up into beer and coconut. Continue cooking over low heat, I probably cooked it for 10 minutes or more. If you’re not a fan of raspberry seeds, you could strain the mixture & just use the juice, but that’s really no fun. Let it cool a bit before you start chugging it, or put it on your ice cream. Enjoy!
These week’s cupcake is brought to you by my love for chocolate, and my plentiful supply of bananas. We used Voodoo American Stout from Left Coast Brewing Company in the cake. This beer has a roasted, almost coffee-like flavor to it, and is great paired with chocolate. A cup of beer went into the cake, and Dylan and I shared the rest of the 22 oz. bottle, at 10 am! Nothing like a little buzz to wake you up in the morning, I say.
This cake recipe has 2 mashed bananas in it, and in the finished cake the banana flavor comes out really well. I love adding fruit into cake because it always turns out very soft. For the frosting we used a peanut butter ganache. I enjoy using ganache as a cupcake frosting, it’s really easy to change the flavor to compliment whatever kind of cake you’re baking. I used the same recipe I always do, just changed the amounts a bit to accommodate the peanut butter.
Truth be told, I didn’t make nearly enough frosting for all the cupcakes today. The frosting gun (what else would you call it?) that we have at home really puts out a lot of frosting. I won’t complain too much, the frosting does look very nice when we use it. I’ve run out of frosting before and I’ve learned from experience, if you just pile on some peanut butter, it’ll do the job.
Dylan doesn’t actually like banana, but I think I may have converted him.
- Jackie & Dylan
I don’t know why more people don’t love coconut. It’s a great flavor, and it pairs especially well with chocolate (the greatest flavor, ever). This week we made these Mocha Coconut cupcakes based off of a recipe that I found on Pinterest from How Sweet It Is.
Are you on Pinterest? There’s a wealth of creative ideas, just waiting to inspire you over there. You can find me (Jackie) on Pinterest here. (I share all kinds of ideas, including cupcakes, of course!) I’ll wait while you go check it out, but hurry up, I can’t promise there will be any cupcakes left over by the time you get back.
Back to these tasty cupcakes. We had to modify the recipe to incorporate the beer, of course. After a trip to the beer store, (always fun on a Sunday morning!) we decided to go with Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, a fantastic imperial stout. This was the first time I’ve had this beer, and let me tell you, I fell in love with it. It’s a thick, malty stout that hides it’s alcohol content (10.5%) VERY well. Half of the can went into the cupcakes, and the other half went to me. Let’s just say, I was feeling toasty myself before noon, but (as it was pointed out by a friend on Untappd) it’s Superbowl Sunday, therefor holiday drinking rules apply.
The cake batter alone was fabulous, thankfully I did manage to bake it into a dozen cupcakes (instead of eating it all). The frosting was a buttercream with added coconut milk and flake for flavor. The recipe also has a chocolate mocha syrup to drizzle on top, and I toasted some coconut flake to top it all off. I’m not sure what I did, but the frosting started to separate before I could get it on the cupcakes. I did my best to get it back together, and lucky for me, it still tasted fabulous on top of the cake.
After messily compiling all the frosting components, I sampled the whole package, and it was excellent. Imagine soft, dense, chocolate cake with creamy coconut frosting with a hint of toasted chocolate coconut all together in your mouth. Honestly, if any of these make it into work tomorrow, I will be surprised.
- Jackie & Dylan
Before we get into the cupcakes, I just wanted to share a piece of news. Last week we excitedly announced that our beer cupcakes are now on the dessert menu at the Manito Tap House. Last night we were excited to get an email that they had sold out of cupcakes and were in need of some more! We’re heading off to the kitchen tonight (Sunday) to resupply them, what a great problem to have.
On to this weeks cupcake idea. I know that blackberries are out of season, but the idea of a blackberry cupcake sounded like something I required. We were in luck, our favorite grocery store had a fresh blackberries available. We also bought a bag of frozen berries, just to make sure we had enough. Even though blackberry sounds exciting by itself, I wanted to pair it with almonds to keep it interesting.
We used Samuel Adams Blackberry Witbier, which is a wheat beer with just a hint of blackberry flavor. This beer was perfect for our recipe. One of the other additions to this cake was a blackberry compote. I made it by smashing some berries over heat and added just a little bit of sugar and water to it. I cooked it down for a while, then separated the mashed fruit from the juice. I saved the juice to flavor the cream cheese frosting, and used the berry mash in the center of each cupcake. In the end, the fruit settled at the bottom of the cupcake, but it added a great burst of sweetness to the almond cake.
I’m not sure how to fix the issue of the fruit sinking to the bottom. It was suggested that we try and bake a small portion of batter in the bottom first, pull them out after a couple minutes, add the fruit, then cover with more batter before returning to the oven. I think next time we’ll give that a try. I’d rather bake the fruit inside than injecting them after they bake. We thought about that too, but the last time we did that, there were a few cupcakes explosions. (oops!) While I’m sure the best kind of explosion would be one of cupcakes, I just don’t want to clean up the mess.
- Jackie & Dylan
Our blog will be 1 year old in 2 months. I can’t believe we’ve been baking a different type of cupcake almost every weekend for the last 10 months. That sounds like a lot of cupcakes! We’ve come up with 36 different flavors and posted them up here (there were a few duds that we haven’t posted). Someone asked me a couple weeks ago if we ever run out of cupcake ideas. While we haven’t yet, it got me thinking. I think we’ve gone through a lot of basic cupcake flavors, now it’s time to get into some new flavor combinations.
To start off our new flavor pairings, we bring you these Lemon Pomegranate IPA cupcakes. I sent Dylan off to the store to find a nice hoppy IPA to match with the lemon cake I wanted to bake. He came back with 4 different bottles (it was difficult to choose)! This round we decided to use Hopworks Urban Brewery’s IPA, a balanced blend of hops, bitter, and a bit of a citrus flavor. A perfect pairing for the zesty lemon flavor in this cake.
The cake itself has the zest of 2 lemons, plus a bit of extra lemon juice, along with a full cup of IPA. I reduced a bit of pomegranate juice and added it into a cream cheese frosting, stirred in some more lemon zest, and piped it on the cakes after they had cooled. As a garnish, I placed a small spoonful of pomegranates seeds on top. Not only did they look pretty, they added a lot of flavor to the whole package. As you take a bite of the soft lemon cake, you get a rush of pomegranate juice from the seeds, it’s quite delicious.
We’re hoping to add a few more flavors to our official flavor list soon. It’s been a little crazy in our house lately, planning a wedding and all. If you have any suggestions on what you’d actually like to be able to purchase (here in Spokane, sorry, no shippy yet), we’d love to here from you. Let us know!
- Jackie & Dylan
This week’s cupcake idea is brought to you by Dylan! We used Sierra Nevada’s Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale in these apple pie inspired cakes. The Harvest Ale is wet hopped with hops from Yakima Valley and give this beer a fresh, crisp taste. Definitely a great pairing with the granny smith apples that went into this cake.
While Dylan created the batter, I caramelized the apples on the stove top. We used some of these brown paper cupcake wrappers, a gift from my sister, Taylor, for Christmas. They were just the right height to fit in our toaster oven, and look really pretty. After the batter was placed in the wrapper, I topped each off with a few apple slices and sent them to be baked.
The frosting on these was interesting. It came out really thick, I equated it to working with concrete. It was almost too thick to come out of the frosting gun. You can see by the pictures that the frosting looks pretty stiff. It tasted really good though, so we did our best to work with it.
I think if we were to bake these again, we’d put a lot more apple on the top. The cake turned out really soft and spongy, very enjoyable. Oh, and maybe a brown sugar crisp topping would be a tasty addition, or a substitute for the heavy frosting. They do taste really great just the way they are.
In other news, this Friday you can catch Sweet and Stout at the grand opening/ First Friday event over at Studio 66 Art Gallery, here in Spokane. You can see the invite here for time and location, or check them out on facebook. If you’re in the area, you should definitely stop by and see us, plus see some amazing art from local artists! We’ll have mini cupcakes on hand for ease of snacking while viewing some great art work! The event starts at 5, and we hope to see you there.
- Jackie & Dylan
These past couple months of actually doing business have been amazing! This week, Dylan and I will be in vacation mode. While we don’t have a new cupcake flavor for you, we do want to share a few photos. These are from our collaboration with Savor Sweets, another local Spokane small business. We met them a few months back when the Spokesman Review did an article featuring both of our businesses. We both successfully used Kickstarter as a means to raise start up costs.
This past Monday, we attended a tweetup and brought our peppermint chocolate cupcakes. What made them different this time is that Andrea, of Savor Sweets, created a peppermint candy garnish to top them off. It was really fun to see her create the candy. She tried out a new technique to make the candy look like coral, and it went really well. We topped off the cupcakes, then brought them out the next day to the event.
Watching the positive reacts of those that tried them was awesome. There’s an awesome photo of @1ntheDepths (Christina Deubel) enjoying a cupcake on Design Spike’s blog that I just love. Anyways, here’s a couple photos I snapped right after the decorating with Andrea.
We’ll be back next week with a new flavor. We both sincerely wish you a very happy holiday season!
Jackie & Dylan
It was a pretty cold weekend here in Spokane. We went out and picked up a six pack of Avery Brewing’s Old Jubilation Ale, a malty winter warmer, and paired it with a peppermint chocolate cupcake. What’s better on a cold winter evening than a roasty-toasty beer and some chocolate? (Not much! Well, maybe a fireplace would be nice, too.)
These cupcakes were all Dylan’s idea. He wanted to make a cupcake that was reminiscent of a cup of hot cocoa, complete with the marshmallows on top. The cake was just a basic chocolate cake and I replaced the vanilla with some peppermint syrup to give the cake a hint of minty flavor. For the frosting we used a mix of whipped topping and marshmallow creme and a splash of peppermint syrup. Warning: this frosting is highly addictive and delicious. (also kind of messy!)
After mixing up the frosting it seemed like it was going to be too runny for the cupcakes, so we put it in the freezer for a little bit to thicken it up. I don’t think it really made a difference, it was still runny. (I believe marshmallow fluff is immune to all things, like freezing) After spreading it on the cupcakes anyways, it started to spread out on it’s own, and we were actually really happy with the way it looked.
This frosting made me want to revisit the s’mores cupcake idea that we did in the beginning of the year and use this as a frosting instead. It is SO good. I must confess, I did eat more than one cupcake, and I may or may not have dropped some extra frosting on top. Don’t judge me. I think these turned out really cute, and very tasty. The white of the frosting looks like little snow poofs, great for holiday gatherings!
- Jackie & Dylan