So I had mentioned in my last post that I made that deliciously sweet and sticky Chocolate Beer Caramel Sauce as part of my boyfriend’s birthday treat. You may have even seen little glimpses of that treat in the background of some photos. Enough so that I bet you could even guess what I made. Well, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. The big birthday treat was…cupcakes!
I know cupcakes were super trendy a few years ago, but they really are a fun thing to make. Something about everyone getting their own individual little cake, that is socially acceptable to eat without a knife and a fork just seems so fun. And honestly, it was a great way to avoid serving cake to people at his birthday party – just put out the cupcakes and let everyone enjoy.
I kept the cake itself totally simple – just a rich, chocolately wacky cake. Never heard of wacky cake? It’s a rather ingenious way of making a really great tasting cake without any eggs, butter, or milk. It’s thought to have come about during World War II, when thing like eggs and butter would have been scarce. It makes for a great tasting moist chocolate cake that is also suitable for vegans. Since I had some leftover beer from the caramel, I added that to the cake batter instead of just water. Can’t let any of that go to waste! And then I went ahead and topped my vegan cake with a so-not-vegan white chocolate cream cheese icing,followed by that delightful beer caramel drizzle. Not only did they look to-die-for, they tasted pretty amazing too. Textures, flavours, presentation – it was all good. And perfect for the craft beer enthusiast’s birthday…and another Christmas party I went to a week later.
Birthday Boy Chocolate Beer Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes
Two kinds of chocolate, cream cheese, and your favourite craft beer come together to make a sinfully delicious cupcake. Perfect for the beer enthusiast in your life, or anyone who loves decadent sweet treats.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 4 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp vinegar
- 3/4 cup oil (use a neutral tasting oil like canola or avocado)
- 1 cup dark beer (like a stout or porter)
- 1 cup water
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 oz white chocolate
- 3 cups icing sugar
Chocolate Beer Caramel Sauce (for drizzling)
To make the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners into 2 muffin pans (for a total of 24 cupcakes)
2. Mix flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl.
3. Make 3 wells in the dry ingredients. Pour vanilla, vinegar, and oil each into one of the wells. Pour water and beer over top, and mix together until just combined.
To make the icing:
1. Beat cream cheese on high until smooth and fluffy.
2. Add vanilla and butter, and lightly blend.
3. Melt white chocolate over double boiler, then add to cream cheese mixture. Blend until smooth and fluffy.
4. Slowly add icing sugar until well incorporated and icing is light and fluffy.
1. Using either a piping bag or knife, spread icing on top of each cupcake. Drizzle with beer caramel. Enjoy!
Notes: Feel free to use either all beer or all water in your cake batter. If you are feeling fancy, pipe a small amount of beer caramel into the centre of each cupcake.
What would be your ultimate birthday dessert?