Blue Moon Cupcakes

Blue Moon Cupcakes

Once upon a time, I didn’t drink beer. I was strictly a vodka-and-cranberry girl for a very long time. Then last year, something changed. In New York City, you are surrounded by craft beer. So many craft beers that eventually, you get a little curious and start checking things out. As my husband got more into the world of craft beer, so did I. A trip to the Dogfish Head brewery in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware last year sealed the deal and I became a convert.

Recently, I decided I wanted to start incorporating beer into baked goods. The most traditional thing out there is, of course, beer bread, but I wanted to do something sweet. So I scoured the Internet and found very little. Beer has a unique impact on baked goods owing in part to the yeast and hops and all those other goodies that make beer beer. So I was delighted to find a cupcake recipe that uses Blue Moon.

Blue Moon is owned by Coors, so it is technically not a craft beer. It is, however, much better tasting than a Coors. It is one of my favorite light, easy-drinking beers and it pairs well with a lot of food, particularly ones you eat in the summer. And its light, citrusy taste works especially well in this cupcake. The cupcakes have a great orange flavor with just a hint of wheat.

I’m excited to keep digging up new recipes that incorporate beer into baked goods. If you happen to know of any, please post them in the comments!

Blue Moon Cupcakes

Blue Moon Cupcakes
(Adapted from Miss Make)

Makes right around 24 cupcakes, depending on how full you fill your liners

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 TSP baking powder
1/2 TSP salt
3 eggs
1 TSP vanilla
orange food coloring
3/4 tsp grated orange zest
1 cup Blue Moon beer (I used the regular, but feel free to get creative and use the Winter Abbey Ale or Spiced Amber or whatever other seasonal is available)
1/4 cup milk
Orange Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)

1. Line 24 cupcake trays with liners and preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar a little at a time and continue to beat until the sugar is completely incorporated.
4. Add the eggs, beating after each.
5. Add the vanilla, food coloring and zest and beat well.
6. Mix the beer and milk in a cup. Add the beer/milk mixture and the flour alternately, ending with the flour.
7. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 18 minutes until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
8. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost each cupcake with the Orange Buttercream. (I frosted mine using an offset spatula to try to create a frothy look to mimic the foam on a glass of beer.)
9. Garnish each cupcake with a small orange slice just before serving, if desired.

Orange Buttercream Frosting
(adapted from Taste of Home)

1 cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 TSP grated orange zest
1 1/2 TSP vanilla extract
4 to 6 TBL orange juice

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add in the confectioners’ sugar a little at a time. Beat in the orange zest and vanilla. Add enough orange juice to achieve your desired consistency. Makes enough to generous frost two dozen cupcakes (with most likely some leftover).