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!
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
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
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):
Blueberries and chocolate combined is entirely underrated. It is a fantastic combination of flavors, and I highly recommend trying it. This weekend we created a chocolate cake using North Coast Brewing’s Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, and combined it with some frozen blueberries, best idea, ever (maybe). Not only is blueberry and chocolate a great combination, this beer is spectacular. Old Rasputin weighs in at 9% ABV, so even after a half bottle (1 half for cupcakes, 1 half for me), I was feeling pretty tipsy.
The cake itself was a basic chocolate, the only thing different was that we added in about a cup of blueberries and we puréed them in a blender before adding them into the batter. The cake turned out dark and delicious with a hint of stout flavor and blueberry. Perfect. What didn’t work out great for me was the frosting. I was avoiding making a trip to the grocery store, so I used the butter and left over cream cheese I had on hand. Well, I guess the butter wasn’t too happy with my blueberries and lemon I added to it, and the frosting separated before I could even get it on the cakes.
Being that it was a beautiful, summer-like day, here in Spokane, I decided to pair the cake with some Tillamook Mudslide ice cream and forgo the frosting all together. Sometimes, cupcakes don’t need frosting, and this was definitely an awesome alternative! I topped the dish with some thawed blueberries, and now I can’t wait to go back and have more.
- Jackie & Dylan
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
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
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
In the spirit of fall (the best season), we present to you, these cranberry orange cupcakes made with Southern Tier Brewing’s Harvest Ale. We have been looking forward to trying this beer, and have yet to be disappointed by Southern Tier. This beer is perfect for fall! It was also perfect for our recipe this weekend.
One of my favorite (besides pumpkin) flavors of fall is cranberry. It’s tart but sweet flavor, is great in desserts, and complimentary to a turkey dinner for thanksgiving. Orange is great paired up with cranberry, so we used our orange cake recipe (with a few modifications) to make this tasty treat.
The night before we baked these, I took some dried cranberries and minced them, then placed them in some orange juice to soak over night. When I pulled them out of the refrigerator, they had absorbed a lot of the orange flavor nicely, and I added them into the batter. I also included some of the cranberry flavored orange juice to help carry through the flavor in the cake.
For the frosting, we did a light whipped cream and garnished with a few cranberries for extra flavor. These turned out exactly how I wanted them to taste. A creamy orange cranberry cake. The bite that you get from the Harvest Ale, partnered with the cranberries, really gives these cupcakes some personality. They would definitely make a great addition to a holiday meal this fall. I’m tempted to keep the leftovers here at home, rather than take the extras into work!
This week we’re bringing you something a little different. In celebration of fall, we thought we’d do an apple cider cupcake. Of course, we wouldn’t be Sweet and Stout if it didn’t involve a little alcohol, so, we present to you these hard apple cider cupcakes made with Fish Brewing Company’s Spire Mountain Dark & Dry Apple Cider. That’s a long name for a delicious hard apple cider.
Fall is our favorite time of year, so this cupcake is fitting for the season. These cupcakes are dense, delicious, and filled with all the fall spices you’d expect – cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. They all compliment the cider very well. For the frosting we created an apple butter cream that turned out so thick, I could barely get it through our cake decorator.
Interested in giving these a try? Well, here’s the recipe!
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs, one at a time
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2/3 cup hard apple cider
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In large bowl, combine butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time and mix well after each.
- Combine flour, salt, baking powder and spice in separate bowl, stir with whisk, set aside.
- Measure out cider and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla to it.
- Add dry ingredients alternating with cider mixture to batter. Start and end with dry ingredients.
- Scoop batter into lined cupcake papers – 3/4 way full.
- Bake in preheated oven for 23 – 25 minutes, or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove.
- Makes about 20 cupcakes.
Apple Butter Frosting:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup apple butter (you can usually find this near the jelly & peanut butter aisle in the grocery store)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbls milk
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1.5 cup powdered sugar
- Melt the butter in a sauce pan, add apple butter and brown sugar.
- Bring it to a boil until sugar is dissolved, should be a couple minutes. Keep at a medium heat.
- Add milk and cinnamon, stirring until dissolved.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- After frosting has cooled to room temperature, add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time and mix with electric mixer. After all the sugar is in, place in the refrigerator until the frosting reaches the desired thickness. Frost cupcakes when they are completely cooled.
This week’s cupcake idea is brought to you by Dylan. He’s been dying to show me the secrets to his black forest cake recipe. Lucky for us, we recently received a lovely package of beer from my best friend (Mrs. 100 Beers), and in it contained a bottle of Derailed Black Cherry Ale from Erie Brewing Company. What a perfect opportunity for Dylan to showcase his kitchen skills!
These cupcakes are really fun. Each cupcake has a gooey cherry center. Dylan shared with me, after they had all been filled, that there was also a bit of rum in each. Not being one to shy away from alcohol in a recipe, I congratulated him on sneaking that in. We topped each cupcake with whipped cream frosting, shaved chocolate flakes, and a cherry.
The only issue we ran across when making these cupcakes, was the fact that it was about 94 degrees outside. The kitchen was so hot from the oven being on so we had to take a lot of refrigeration breaks to help our frosting hold it’s shape. I’ve made whipped cream plenty of times, but never really considered it to frost a cupcake. I’m glad we went with it, the cream definitely complimented the cherries and the chocolate quite well. The thing I love about this frosting is that it’s not overly sweet. It lets the flavor from the cake and cherry filling take over. We each had to sample 2 cupcakes, just to make sure we got it right. I’d say this was a success.
After we garnished each with a cherry on top, I couldn’t resist the cuteness of these cupcakes! I could have taken many more pictures than I did. (I also could have eaten many more than I did) I think these will be added to the wedding cupcake list. These were very enjoyable all around.
One thing I love in the summer is strawberry shortcake. Fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and of course, the short cake, combined makes for a wonderfully delicious dessert. For this week’s cupcake I wanted to capture that flavor, but in my own way, of course.
We decided on using Laughing Dog Brewing’s Cream Ale, a wonderfully smooth ale, and a perfect compliment to the strawberry and vanilla flavor in the cake. I baked pretty early in the day, as to avoid the heat that will come later on. It’s been nice baking in the morning, it makes the day feel longer and gives me more time to work on other things. I used to feel funny about finishing off a beer before 10 am, but now, it doesn’t bother me so much! Half the beer went into the cupcakes, anyways.
On to the frosting. I kind of really dislike frosting some times. I tried a new recipe, but it turned out runny. I tried my best to fluff it back up with some powdered sugar, but all I really ended up with is a giant bowl full of strawberry icing. Maybe I should have just stuck to the cream cheese recipe I know and love. While the strawberry icing tastes pretty good, it’s just a lot thinner than I would have liked it to turn out.
Maybe I need to take a frosting making class or something! Does anyone have a go-to frosting recipe that always turns out really great? That’s how I feel about my cream cheese frosting, but I get tired of putting it on every single cupcake I make. I think I need to do a little more research and development on that. Anyways, I would consider these cupcakes a success, the only things I would do differently would be to add more strawberries to the batter (yum!), and work out a different frosting (something light & fluffy next time).
Thanks for reading!
Every now and then, I have an idea that sounds awesome, but when it’s actually made, it’s kind of awkward and strange. That’s what happened this past weekend. I got it into my head that smoked chocolate would be a new flavor we could implement in some of our cupcakes. I made a chocolate ganache for the frosting over my little charcoal grill and used hickory chips to smoke it. (Looking back, hickory was probably not the best choice) I let it fully cook in the smoke and heat, then put it in the refrigerator to cool.
I did this all on Friday night, Saturday morning I made some chocolate cupcakes to go with it. I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe, which usually calls for a stout. I happen to have a growler of Great Divide’s Rumble Oaked Aged IPA, and wanted to use that instead, so I did. I won that growler last Thursday evening while playing trivia over at Brews on Washington, look how pretty it is!
If you’ve never had the Rumble before, I highly recommend it, it’s so delicious. I’m a sucker for anything oak aged, and you can definitely taste it in this brew. When I mixed it up with the chocolate, it had a very appealing aroma, like chocolate-woody goodness. This is why I thought the smoked chocolate would be a great idea. On paper it looked great …
I ended up putting some raspberry jam in the middle of half the cupcakes because when I said “smoked chocolate raspberry IPA cupcakes” it sounded really amazing. Well, after they were all baked, I got out my ganache, and frosted one up. It was okay, but it was more like tasting a barbequed cupcake, and just kind of weird. I was taking these out to a friend that afternoon, and I didn’t want to subject her to my strange cupcake experiment, so I resorted to plan B: raspberry cream cheese frosting.
I had just enough ingredients around the house to pull this together, and was so happy I didn’t have to go to the store. I even added some raspberry jello (the powder, not already made jello, that’d be weird) to the frosting to give it that extra raspberry taste. As a bonus, the frosting came out this tasty looking pink color, a nice contrast to the dark chocolate cupcake.
I frosted the cakes, boxed them up and took them out to my friend’s place. They loved them! I’m so glad I went with raspberry. I may try to smoke some chocolate again, perhaps with apple wood, or something a little more sweet. It won’t be for a while though.
Here at Sweet and Stout, we strive to be resourceful and creative when it comes to our cupcake flavors. I’d like to think that each time we come up with a new recipe, we’re getting farther away from the average cupcake. I’ve been reading up on food pairings with IPA beers, and the basics of it is this: If the flavor of the food is bold and/or spicy, have it with an IPA.
So, in celebration of the first ever #IPADay, we would like to present these chipotle apple pecan IPA cupcakes made with Ninkasi’s Total Domination IPA (yum!). I got this idea while browsing cake recipes online. The one I based my recipe off of was intended to be a cake, but with some substitutions & additions, I carefully crafted the recipe to fit my beer cupcake needs. I wasn’t really sure what IPA to use, so Dylan and I went to the grocery store, and it just so happened they had Total Domination in a 6 pack for a pretty good price. Since I am in love with Ninkasi anyways, I figured it’d be a good fit. A little beer for the cupcakes, and 5 bottles left for me. Good deal.
This cake was kind of like an apple spice cake, the only big difference was the massive amount of chipotle I threw in there. Here’s the thing that really required some creativity on my part. The recipe called for ground chipotle, so you’d think you could find it either with the spices, or with the Mexican food at the grocery store. Well, we couldn’t find any! Dylan remembered that we had a bottle of chipotle hot sauce at home, so we just decided to use that instead. I wasn’t totally convinced that it wouldn’t make my apple spice cake taste like a burrito, but it actually worked out really well.
The original recipe called for a caramel-chipotle glaze that was to be drizzled over the cake. It’s kind of messy to do that with a cupcake (and not as pretty), but I did it anyways, and boy does it have some heat to it! (in a totally good way). Next time I play around with this recipe I’m going to take that glaze and whip it up into some frosting for a little less mess (and to make prettier pictures!)
After the cupcakes were all made and glazed, Dylan and I sat down with a bottle of Total Domination and ate a few. I’d say the recipe and the pairing were quite successful! Hope everyone has a hoppy IPA Day (sorry, I couldn’t resist)!
I don’t know how your week has been, but ours over here had been pretty awesome! Thursday night, Dylan and I met up with the owners of Brews on Washington, a new downtown bar and coffee joint. We discussed cupcakes and beer, ate cupcakes and drank beer, and talked about the future possibilities of Sweet and Stout going commercial and becoming a viable business. Great fun was had by all, and now we are uber excited for the future of our beer cupcakes.
In celebration of said awesomeness, I feel it appropriate to share another recipe! We made a few different flavors of cupcakes to take over to Brews, 2 of which (Pineapple Coconut & Chocolate Salted Caramel) have had their recipes posted on our blog, so I figured, why not one more?
This one is for an orange flavored cupcake using Rogue’s Somer Orange Honey Ale, a great beer for summer and is quite delicious! I also have to say that I had some of Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Nectar last night (on tap) and it was so good! I definitely will be developing a hazelnut cupcake in the near future with that one, so make sure you check back to see.
Anyways, on to the Orange Honey Ale Cupcakes!
- 2/3 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups white sugar
- 2/3 cup Rogue Somer Honey Ale
- 1.5 tablespoons orange juice
- 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (grated orange peel)
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar with electric mixer until fluffy. Add beer, juices and peel; beat on high until mixed well. (it may appear curdled looking, don’t worry, it’s okay!)
- Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat well after each with mixture.
- Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, add to batter slowly while mixing. Mix well.
- Pour into cupcake tins (lined with cupcake papers). Bake at 375 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes. Check if they’re done by placing a toothpick in the center, if it comes out clean, they are done!
- Now for the frosting. You can really do whatever frosting you like on these, I’ve had them with a few different kinds. I bet an orange flavored cream cheese frosting would be really good. Here’s a recipe for an orange icing. Feel free to garnish each cupcake with a little slice of orange just for fun.
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar (+ maybe a little extra)
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice
Whisk together powdered sugar, zest and 2 tablespoons of juice until smooth. If too thick add more juice, if too wet add more powdered sugar. Mix until desired consistency is reached.
Dip cupcake into icing, add orange garnish (if desired), eat and enjoy!
As I’ve continued down the enlightened path of craft beer drinking, I have come to realize that I really do enjoy a good India Pale Ale. I like a beer with a little bite, it keeps things interesting. This week Dylan decided he wanted to do a lime cupcake and we both agreed that the Southern Tier 2xIPA we had in the fridge would be a perfect fit. I opened the first bottle and put almost all of it in the cupcake batter, so clearly I had to open another to enjoy while I was baking. One thing I always forget about this beer is the ABV is 8.2%, it kind of sneaks up on you!
Another reason I may have picked this beer is because the label is lime green and it totally matches my new cupcake liners I bought on ebay. I mean, really, how could this have been any more coordinated? It doesn’t hurt that they tasted pretty good too!
After the cupcakes were done baking, and before I topped them with meringue, I made a mixture of lime juice and powdered sugar and put about a 1/2 teaspoon of it over each cake. I stabbed each with a fork first, so the liquid had somewhere to go. It was really messy and as I was doing this I wondered if it really would make a difference in the flavor. Well when all was said and done, it was worth the mess. I probably did this to 75% of the cupcakes I made today. When you bite into one of them, it’s like a little extra burst of lime flavor, very good!
This was my first time making meringue, and it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I just used a basic recipe and it tasted pretty good. I like how meringue is fluffy and easily spreadable. I piled it on the cupcakes and popped them back in the oven for 10 minutes and they all looked like little toasted piles of joy.
These were the perfect thing to brighten up my rainy day today. Oh, and the beer helped too!
Sometimes I want Dylan’s job… official taste tester of all my cupcake creations. These cupcakes went quick and so did the beer. This time we opted for a Great Divide Brewing Company Hades Belgian Style Ale. The beer was pretty good, and had that classic Belgian style taste. I’ve had Belgian style beers with an orange slice in the glass, so I figured why not try an orange cupcake?
This recipe was a little different from the last two in that I actually had to modify a recipe in order to incorporate the beer. The recipe I found called for 3/4 cup of orange juice, so I just made a substitution. I ended up adding more and using a full cup of beer as the batter seemed slightly too thick.
Instead of a frosting, I opted for an orange icing. Icing is fairly simple and while I did add orange zest to it, the main flavor of the icing was powdered sugar. I’m not complaining, I could eat powdered sugar all day. The icing was light enough though that it didn’t take away from the flavor of the cupcake.
These cupcakes were delicious. Regrettably I can’t pass some out to you over the interwebs, but I think you would agree. They were soft with a subdued orange-Belgian flavor that left you wanting more and I couldn’t resist. After the photoshoot I sat down with my glass of beer and made short work of these.
I would definitely make these again.