Monday, September 16, 2013

birthday cupcakes: frothy beer cupcakes


I wasn't all that surprised when Paul's brother, Mike, chose "beer" as his birthday cupcake flavour - Mike is a big fan of beer. I wasn't sure how beer would translate into a cupcake recipe, but he chose his flavour and stuck by it, so off I went in search of inspiration.

There weren't too many beer cupcake recipes on the internet (I was actually mildly surprised by this) but I did manage to find a few, and using them as inspiration, I whipped up my own version of beer cupcakes.

For the frosting, I took my go-to classic buttercream recipe (I've had fantastic results using this recipe as a base for pretty much any flavour I can think of) and added in beer. Instead of fancy piping (I had decided that manly beer cupcakes shouldn't have fancy-schmancy piped frosting) I used an ice cream scooper to place a large "plop" of frosting on each cupcake. Mike said it reminded him of the foam on top of a frosty mug of beer (hooray!), hence I named these "frothy beer cupcakes".

I have to say that these were the lightest cupcakes I've made in the "birthday cupcake" series. I think the beer added lightness to the batter. They have a subtle, but unmistakeable beer taste and the frosting adds another layer of beer flavour.

You can probably use any beer to make these cupcakes, but I'd recommend sticking to "lighter" beers, like white beers, pale lagers, etc. Something like Guinness might be too heavy and the recipe would probably need to be tweaked to handle that. I used Molson Canadian because we always have a lot of that hanging around.

On a side note, my mom, who doesn't drink beer at all and rarely eats sweets, made 3 of these cupcakes "disappear" over the weekend. I definitely need to make more of these soon!


frothy beer cupcakes 
source: adapted from Miss Make's Blue Moon Cupcakes
printer-friendly version


2 1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 drops red food colouring
10 drops yellow food colouring
1 cup white beer or pale lager (I used Molson Canadian, but you can experiment with your own favourite type of beer)
1/4 cup milk

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup of the same beer you used in the cupcakes
up to 4 tablespoons milk 



  1. Line two standard cupcake trays with 18 liners. 
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking power and salt. 
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Slowly add sugar, beating together light and fluffy. 
  4. Add the eggs one at a time to the butter and sugar mixture, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  5. Beat in the vanilla extract and red and yellow food colouring. 
  6. In a measuring up, mix the beer and milk together (gently so that the beer doesn't foam up!)
  7. Divide the beer/milk mixture in three equal parts. Do the same with the flour mixture. 
  8. Add a third of the beer/milk mixture to the butter mixture and mix on a low speed to combine. Then add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix to combine. Repeat this  (beer/milk, beat, flour, beat) until everything used up. As soon as everything is combined, stop the mixer.
  9. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. 
  10. Bake for 18 minutes on the middle rack at 375 degrees F until cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. 
  11. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place them (still in the pan) onto a cooling rack.
  12. After 5 minutes, remove the cupcakes from the pan and place back on cooling rack to cool complete.
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter for a few minutes with the paddle attachment on medium speed. 
  2. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed. Once the sugar has been incorporated with the butter, increase the mixer speed to medium and add salt and 2 tablespoons of milk. Slowly drizzle in the beer. Beat for 3 minutes. 
  3. If you want your frosting stiffer, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want.
to assemble cupcakes:
  1. Make sure cupcakes are completely cooled.
  2. Using a round ice cream scoop, scoop a half-globe of frosting onto each cupcake.
yields: 18 cupcakes

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