Blue Moon Beer Cupcakes

August 31st, we had the second full moon of August, making it a blue moon.  The next one won’t happen until July 2015, so hopefully, you made this one count.  The phrase “once in a blue moon” doesn’t just exist for no reason, after all.  I couldn’t let the blue moon just pass by without a mention, considering my crazy fascination with the moon and all.  Seemed like the perfect time to try out the Blue Moon cupcakes I’ve been seeing so much of on Pinterest.

I’m so glad I did.  These are way too good to be a “once in a blue moon” treat.  The citrus and coriander in the Blue Moon, even though there really isn’t a lot of beer in these at all, is nicely enhanced by the orange zest in the batter.  The cream cheese frosting is amazing and has a hint of orange to it.  I would make these again well before the next blue moon arrives.  As far as brushing the tops of the baked cupcakes with beer, I recommend doing so as it results in a slightly more moist cupcake.  If you’re going to serve these to children (the remaining alcohol per cupcake after baking, before brushing is negligible) or otherwise want to skip this step, the cupcakes still taste completely fine if you do.

Blue Moon Cupcakes

Ingredients:

for the cupcake:

  • 3/4 C. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 C. sugar
  • 2-1/2 C. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • zest of 1 medium orange
  • 1 cup Blue Moon beer (plus an optional 1/4 C. for brushing on top if desired)
  • 1/4 C. milk

for the frosting:

  • 12 oz cream cheese, cold
  • 6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange/lime juice
  • 1 tsp orange/lime zest
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add the vanilla extract and zest and stir to combine.
Combine milk and beer in a small bowl.
Add the beer mixture alternating with the flour mixture to the butter mixture with the mixer on low speed, starting and ending with the flour.
Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
When cupcakes are done, poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes with toothpicks and brush some beer on each while still warm if desired.
To make the frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter in an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes.
Add the orange juice and zest and mix to combine.
Gradually add the powdered sugar until well-combined.
Beat for about two minutes until smooth.
Put frosting in a piping bag fitted with desired tip and pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes (I used a resealable bag with a corner snipped off to frost these).
Makes 24 cupcakes.
Source: adapted from Erica’s Sweet Tooth
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