I live in a college town and that means when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around everywhere you look there are pub runs, pub crawls, and bars opening ridiculously early (like I’m still sleeping early). I’m not sure how a religious feast day celebrating Ireland’s patron saint turned into a day of drinking massive amounts of beer and wearing green; but I’ll happily raise a pint to anyone who can drive snakes out of a country! Yes, I know that is actually a myth. While I do love a good beer, I also really enjoy baking with beer. I have been loving a spiced stout produced by a local brewery, 7 Sisters Brewing, and I decided to make a St. Patrick’s Day worthy dessert out of it. Unlike a regular stout such as Guinness, a spiced stout is like a grown-up version of root beer, full of delicious spice and a touch of sweetness.
Now unless you live by me, you probably don’t have access to 7 Sisters beer. Choose a spiced stout or chocolate stout or something like Founders Breakfast Stout from your local grocery store or beer distributor to use in this recipe. The beer taste in the cupcake is balanced out with cocoa powder, espresso powder and even root beer extract, so if you don’t like beer you still might want to give these a try. My 10 year old said they were delicious and had no clue there was beer in them.
The cupcake recipe is fairly straightforward. I do recommend sifting the dry ingredients because cocoa powder has a tendency to stay clumped up even when whisked. I also recommend measuring out the beer first thing so the foaminess has time to subside.
Even though these cupcakes don’t contain butter or eggs, they are deliciously moist. My husband said it tasted like a devil’s food cake ran into a beer. Works for me!
The frosting is so good!! What makes cream cheese frosting better? Malted milk powder. And what makes a beer cupcake better? Malted cream cheese frosting. The malt subtly ties together with the beer in the cupcake and brings it all together. I do not like my frosting really sweet, but if you do, just add more powdered sugar a couple tablespoons at a time until you achieve the desired sweetness. Remember to only use ROOM TEMPERATURE butter and cream cheese with the plastic whipping bowl and wire whisks.
Hope you enjoy the recipe and however you may be celebrating, have a happy St. Patrick’s Day! (And remember to wear green so you don’t get pinched.)
Spiced Stout Cupcakes with Malted Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
1 tsp. espresso powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 cups stout, preferably a spiced, chocolate or breakfast stout
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. root beer extract
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line 2 regular size muffin tins with 19 muffin papers.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda and salt together into a medium bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients to the Ankarsrum plastic whipping bowl with the single wire whisks. Beat on low speed (2 o’clock) until combined. Add in dry ingredients and beat on low speed (1 o’clock) just until combined. Scrape down sides if necessary.
Divide cupcake batter evening among cupcake papers. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Tops should be set and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean when cupcakes are done.
Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes in pan. Move to a rack to finish completely cooling before frosting.
Malted Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 malted milk powder
In the plastic whipping bowl with the balloon whisks, cream the butter and cream cheese for 1 minute on highest speed (7 o’clock), turning off and scraping down sides and middle tube halfway through. Add in the sugar and malted milk powder. Turn speed down to the lowest setting (12 o’clock) and then gradually work up to the highest speed again and whisk until sugar and malted milk powder are thoroughly mixed in.
Yield: 19 cupcakes
Whole Wheat Version:
-Replace the all-purpose flour with equal parts whole wheat flour, preferably whole wheat pastry flour. If you mill at home use a soft wheat. If desired, replace sugar with honey granules (aka sucanat with honey).
-Follow recipe above.
-Whole grain baked goods will have a denser texture than the original version.
Gluten Free Version:
-Replace all purpose flour with equal parts multi-purpose or all-purpose gluten free flour blend. I prefer King Arthur brand.
-Malted milk powder and most beers contain wheat so you would need to use a gluten free beer if available and leave out the malted milk powder from the frosting.
-Follow recipe above.
-Gluten free baked goods are always best consumed on the day they are baked.