Where beer and cupcakes unite!

Strawberry

Strawberry Lime IPA Cupcakes

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


Strawberry Cream Ale Cupcakes

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!

– Jackie