Craft Beer Cupcakes

Posted by vinny on 02 06 2014

It’s Thursday, that “oh so close I can almost taste it” day right before Friday and the weekend! The glorious promise of 2 relaxing days is right on the horizon but we still have two brutal work days to get through. Well one really, because let’s be honest, Friday is a wash. A nice cold beer at the end of the day can help with fast forward through the anticipation for the weekend and ease us into Friday. What’s better than coming home to a cold one? Coming home to a cold one AND some cupcakes made with even more cold ones!

We’ve done the excrutiating work of testing out some recipes, and are happy to bring you our favorite craft beer cupcakes. Feel free to switch up what beers you use and incorporate your favorites.

First up a Bacon and Belgian Pale Ale recipe. We used Alamanac’s Extra Pale Ale, but feel free to switch it up.

Beer Batter Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream and Praline Bacon


For the cupcakes:

    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup Almanac Pale Ale beer, room temperature (this is important– melted butter will curdle if it’s mixed with cold beer)
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
    • 3 large eggs
    • 3/4 cup sour cream

For the maple buttercream:

    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 4 ounces (half brick) cream cheese, softened
    • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon maple sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

For the cayenne praline bacon:

  • 1/2 pound thick cut bacon
  • 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup halved pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more, if you want a greater kick)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place cupcake liners in muffin tin
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine beer, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, whisking well as you go.
  4. Fill muffin tin until each is 3/4 full. Bake for about 19-21 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
  5. Remove cupcakes from tin and allow to cool completely.
  6. While cupcakes are cooling, combine cream cheese and butter in a medium mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy
  7. Add powdered sugar two cups at a time, beating well between each
  8. Add maple sugar, vanilla extract, and maple syrup and beat
  9. Spoon buttercream into a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes
  10. Place bacon strips in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes
  11. Pulverize pecan halves in a food processor
  12. Dump pecan crumbs into a small bowl and add brown sugar and cayenne, mix with a spoon until blended
  13. After bacon has been baking for 20 minutes, remove from oven, generously sprinkle pecan mixture over the bacon, place back in oven, and bake for another 5 minutes.
  14. Remove bacon from oven, break up into smaller pieces, and stick them into the iced cupcakes!

For our second batch we used Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence.

1 cup Porter or Stout
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake cups with the prettiest liners possible!
Bring 1 cup beer and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend.
Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine.
Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
Pour batter into prepared liners. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

The cake is dense and needs a bit more time than your traditional cake mix.
Ice with your favorite icing. Here are just a few icings that pair really nicely: peanut butter, salted caramel, cream cheese, chocolate ganache or chocolate mint. We iced ours with some whipped peanut butter and it was delicious. Nutella would also be a great spread.