January 18, 2012

there's a tear in my beer

My stepdad has a new hobby. (Incidentally, so does the Mamster--you won't find a softer scarf, I guarantee it.) He has taken up brewing his own beer, and as far as I can tell, he's having a blast.


Even though I have a degree in food science, I don't pretend to know the first thing about homebrewing, probably because I don't personally enjoy it as a beverage. My stepdad has caught on quickly, however, and he's learning a lot as he goes. With each new batch, I think he's more and more satisfied with the outcome.  The hardest part, I believe, is waiting for the stuff to ferment to an appropriate degree.  Ah, there's nothing like a test of patience, right?



While I don't necessarily enjoy the flavor of beer, I do like immediate gratification, and I thought that incorporating dark beer into a cupcake might be neat (and an improvement upon my opinion of the stuff, at the very least). Surprise, surprise, Martha already thought of that. I used her recipe as a guideline, though I definitely went with a lightly beer-flavored buttercream frosting rather than the glaze she suggests. What can I say, I always prefer a buttercream.


The main flavor in these is not the beer, but molasses. It's almost too much, but in the end, a nice, gingerbread-like balance is found. I would recommend these surprisingly moist and fluffy cupcakes to beer-lovers and beer-haters alike, especially if you're waiting for your home brew to be ready for proper consumption.

Stout Cupcakes (to contribute to your stoutness!)
(based on a recipe found here)
(makes 24)

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
zest from one orange
1 1/4 cups stout beer

one batch o' buttercream, with stout beer added instead of maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with liners.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.
In a stand mixer, beat the oil, molasses, brown sugar, whole eggs, yolk, zest, and stout until combined. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture in batches, beating until just combined.
Pour batter into lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake about 20 minutes, rotating tins halfway through. Let cool completely on wire racks.
Once cupcakes are cool, frost generously and eat (dark, seedy bar optional).

41 comments:

Becki's Whole Life said...

My dad used to make homebrew and it was great. I don't know if he ever did a stout, but he did make some nice nut brown ale's. So does the beer do more on this cake than just add flavor? Does the hoppiness or yeast add any texture to the cake? I'm always curious about that. The buttercream sounds good with the stout beer and the chocolate undertones.

Leslie said...

Ohhh..I love molassas cupcakes!!! I bet the beer add a touch of "hmmmmmm , what's in here?" YUM

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a great hobby! Those cupcakes must have a fabulous flavor. I love beer in food.

Cheers,

Rosa

Natasha Price said...

These sound terrific, I've been recently obsessed about molasses so would definitely love these cupcakes!

Abby said...

Food science? Smarty pants! I missed that all this time! I often bake with beer, too, but it has to be a recipe where I can't taste the beer at ALL.

bellini said...

My daughter is in food sciences at university and heading to be a dietician. She has even began her own blog which is in its infancy.I do like beer in cooking s it makes a hearty gravy but I have never tried it in sweets.

Aarthi said...

What a awesome recipe...Delicious dear..

Aarthi
http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

Dana said...

I'm much the same, I don't really enjoy beer itself much at all, but I know it makes a mean chocolate cake. I'll have to try your cupcakes!

Lynda said...

I share your disdain of the brew Grace, but these cupcakes certainly look delish. I'm also glad you used buttercream frosting as I love the stuff. Cake and buttercream are meant to be together!

Lisa-Marie said...

Grace, i am beginning to think you are trying to kill me with delIcious goodies.

I love beer. And cake, and gingerbread, and icing.

I MUST MAKE THESE.

Also, husband's bandmates (who I am very fond of) are staying over after a gig on Friday. I shall be making these for them.

Erica said...

It sounds interesting!!!I would love to try them...The flavors are amazing, Grace! It looks so moist.

Hornsfan said...

A ton of my friends are into homebrewing right now, and while I actually do like beer this cupcake looks like a super way to use some tasty brew!

Pam said...

Wow! I love beer and I love cupcakes and what could be better than combining them! Way to go with the homebrew! Our next door neighbor when I was a kid made his own beer and wine also.

Robin Sue said...

Your title reminds me of an old song, "I have tears in my ears from crying on my pillow over you!" I do like a GOOD beer now and again and sure, I'll have some in my cupcake too!

kat said...

I love stout so these sound awesome! We have gotten into home brewing over the last year too Now we are experimenting with whole grains & brewing only a gallon at a time.

Pam said...

I bet my fancy beer loving husband would dig these beauties!

Andrea said...

Cupcakes AND Beer. Sign me up! I will be making these!

Jann said...

Oh, what a gorgeous recipe ,story and cupcake! To die for icing!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Yum! I made some one year using Guinness for St Patrick's Day. Who knew that beer in cakes would be that delicious? :)

Joanne said...

I'm much more of a beer eater than a beer drinker myself. Bring on the cupcakes! These sound awesome. And you're right...buttercream >> glaze.

Amy said...

These look great! I made a Guinness gingerbread over the holidays and we LOVED it. We couldn't stop eating it! I bet the same would happen with these cupcakes.

Beth said...

I made a similar recipe by David Lebovitz and it was really good. It's surprising how much moistness Guinness adds!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I'm not a big beer fan but I am a HUGE cupcake, Martha, and buttercream fan! :)

lisa is cooking said...

Why have I never baked a cake with beer in it? This needs to change. (I also just unearthed a recipe I saved ages ago for a pecan pie made with stout.) The beer in the buttercream sounds great too!

~~louise~~ said...

Beer is a GREAT ingredient in bread but the only time I baked any sort of dessert with beer was for St. Patrick's Day. I better stock up. There just may be some cupcakes in my future.

Thanks for sharing, Grace...

Hungry Dog said...

These sound great, wintery and spicy. I was actually contemplating making cupcakes of some sort for a little football watching this weekend, and these might be just the ticket.

Rosita Vargas said...

Pastel muy hermoso y tentador,se me hace agua la boca,estupenda receta,abrazos hugs,hugs.

kellypea @ sass & veracity said...

Hey! I started out majoring in Food Science before I decided to head toward teaching. It's in my bones. And this cupcake could also be in my bones. Yum. The only home brewed anything I've had is wine, and it was so horrible I'd rather drink vinegar. Sounds like that's not a problem here! No calories, right?

kimberleyblue said...

Well, I never knew you were a food science girl! I've been loving your blog forever...why didn't I know? You should do some....food science...stuff here.

I love the idea of a beer cupcake, and this recipe calls for a lot of it. I never thought of adding beer to an icing...yum!

Cathy W said...

Beer in a cupcake...what a novel idea! I can't think of anything that looks better with a frothy top, except maybe...beer.. These really look good! :)

Helene said...

We don't brew beer but we like to taste different ones from micro brewery. I would become addicted to these cupcakes fast.

Mimi said...

We have a local bakery here that makes all of their cupcakes with beer. Maybe I'm missing something.
Mimi

Carolyn Jung said...

I love cooking and baking with beer from everything from beef stew to gingerbread cakes. Just adds that extra something-something that can't be beat.

Kerstin said...

My hubby brews beer too and all his equipment is slowly taking over our kitchen, lol. Your cupcakes look amazing!

shaz said...

Oh I really don't need any added stoutness really. But I will have soem of those stout cupcakes :) My dad doesn't brew beer but stout is definitely his bevvy of choice. Btw - your mamster sure makes a lovely scarf!

Barbara said...

We had a friend years ago who made his own beer. It was a hoot. I am not much of a beer drinker, but stout and beer in a cake adds a super flavor to the batter. These look great, Grace!

eatme_delicious said...

I can't believe I haven't tried making a cake/cupcakes like this before! Thanks for the reminder. They look delicious. :)

The Teacher Cooks said...

Never baked with beer and I might have to try these. They look great!

Marjie said...

No beer lovers in this house. But my Grammy used to use beer in her beef stew, and it was wonderful, so I've no reason to believe cupcakes wouldn't also be an improvement on the original brew!

The Blonde Duck said...

Beer bread was a tradition in my mom's family--I like these better!

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