I love using beer in my recipes. Whether I’m cooking Beer Can Chicken out on the grill or baking Milk Stout Brownies in the oven, adding beer to a dish is just another way to appreciate its personality and flavor.
In many recipes, the alcohol mostly burns off and just the essence is left behind. However, I find that when it comes to using beer in baked goods, the beer is still fairly present in the finished product. That’s why it’s so important to choose a beer that compliments the type of dish you are trying to make. For example, I prefer lighter beers in my Beer Bread, but darker ones in my Milk Stout Ice Cream.
So, whenever I bake with beer, I have to pay close attention to its flavor profile. This means that I need to drink it first so that I understand what it really tastes like. While I’m drinking the beer, I jot down all of the ingredients that come to mind. Then, I try to match those flavors in my recipe.
For these cupcakes, I decided to use Barrage Brewing’s Yada Yada Yada. This quirky brown ale is brewed with peanuts, chocolate, and caramel making it a perfect addition to these rich, chocolate cupcakes. Since I really wanted to highlight the chocolate and caramel notes, I added melted semi-sweet chocolate to the cocoa powder and used a combination of white and brown sugar. The peanut garnish is just for kicks, but it certainly does complement the cupcake as a whole.
Yada Yada Yada Brown Ale Cupcakes
Ingredients (for the cupcakes):
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup cocoa, unsweetened
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup Greek Yogurt
- ¾ cup Yada Yada Yada Brown ale, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups white flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Ingredients (for the frosting):
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 2-3 tablespoons Yada Yada Yada Brown ale, room temperature
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- Cream together butter and both sugars. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Slowly add cocoa to the mixture and blend until just incorporated.
- Place chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave, in 30-second intervals, until just melted. Stir chips after each interval. When melted, add to the batter and mix.
- Add Greek yogurt and beer; mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to the batter in increments and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Divide batter among lined muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes. Do not overbake.
- In a separate bowl, combine powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla, beer, and butter. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more beer, in ½ tablespoon increments, if the mixture is too thick. Frost cupcakes.
This recipe was originally published in March 2017.