This weekend, I had the honor of baking for the one-year anniversary party of Girls Pint Out – Milwaukee’s chapter of women who love craft beer. Yep, we’re a group of fun ladies who get together to learn about and drink craft beer in our own hometown.
If you weren’t aware, Milwaukee is an amazing place to be for beer-lovers. Craft and nano breweries are popping up left and right, it seems, and each one brings a unique aspect, whether that’s through flavor, ingredients, green energy, or funky labels. While it’s fun to try out beer on your own, GPO brings together a community of women for exclusive brewery tours, beer glass lessons, homebrewing opportunities, food & beer pairing classes, and much more!
What better way to celebrate one year of craft beer drinking than with beer-infused cupcakes? I rose to the challenge, and armed with some Door County Brewing Co. 6-packs, developed two cupcake flavors to please the crowd.
I chose the Polka King porter to put into a chocolate cupcake. This beer is made with pale chocolate malt, so the flavor was perfect. Topping it with a caramel buttercream really helps to bring out the sweetness of the beer, and a drizzle of porter caramel sauce rounds out the dessert to pack a porter punch.
So glorious with their caramel drizzle and pink bottle caps! Photo courtesy of Kelly Planter.
Break out a couple bottles of beer and bake up these beauties for your next celebration! Don’t forget to enjoy a glass while you’re at it 🙂
I’m having way too much fun at this party! Photo courtesy of Kelly Planter.
Chocolate Porter Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream and Salted Porter Caramel Drizzle
Makes 24 cupcakes
For the porter caramel sauce, adapted from Betty Crocker
- 1 12 oz bottle porter beer
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1-1/2 C packed dark brown sugar
- 1 C heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
Begin by making the beer caramel sauce, as it requires time to cool.
In a large saucepan, simmer beer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the butter and brown sugar. Cook about 12 minutes, without stirring, to 234-235°F on candy thermometer (mixture will look syrupy). Remove from heat.
Slowly add the whipping cream, vanilla, and salt, stirring constantly. Return to medium heat; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and creamy. Transfer to a glass dish and allow to cool at least 2 hours.
For the caramel buttercream, adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
- 1/2 C salted butter
- 1 C packed dark brown sugar
- 2/3 C heavy whipping cream, divided
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 C powdered sugar
Note: The frosting also requires some cooling time, so start this before baking the cupcakes.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add brown sugar and 1/3 cup heavy cream. Stir constantly over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add salt. Let the caramel bubble for exactly 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool (now is a good time to bake the cupcakes).
Once caramel is cooled, beat in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time along with the other 1/3 cup heavy cream, until you reach desired consistency.
For the chocolate porter cupcakes, adapted from Sugardish Me
- 2 C all-purpose flour
- 2 C granulated sugar
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 C unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 12 oz bottle porter beer, divided
- ¾ C unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- ⅔ C buttermilk (or use skim milk mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice)
Preheat the oven to 325. Line two muffin tins with paper liners.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in one cup of the porter beer and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Let cool slightly for a few minutes.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Beat in the eggs and buttermilk. Pour in the cooled chocolate mixture and mix until combined.
Scoop batter into the lined muffin tins. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool 10 minutes in the tins, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Poke about 4 holes into each cooled cupcake. Using the remaining beer, spoon a little over each cupcake. This will ensure they’re super moist. Let the beer soak in before frosting.
Transfer buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip of your choice. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Drizzle a teaspoon of beer caramel sauce over each frosted cupcake. Serve and enjoy!