Sunday, 19 June 2011

Spiced beer cupcakes with honey buttercream

As it’s Father’s Day this weekend, my choice of baking had to be something that the CCD (Caked Crusader’s Da) would really enjoy. The CCD likes a spice cake and he likes beer, so this recipe seemed to select itself!

I chose Adnam’s Broadside as it’s one of the CCD’s favourites. Bitterness seems to be my nemesis with flavours – I just can’t fathom how anyone can drink a pint of beer without their mouth puckering up!

The intensity of the heavy spicing and beer needed balancing out with something softer and silkier, so I added a honey buttercream to the cake; it adds a beautiful texture to the cake.
My logic was that there are honey beers, so it had to be a combination that worked!

The aroma that filled the kitchen while these little cakes baked was intoxicating. I always used to be wary of baking with beer as I don’t like the drink, but the harsh flavour disappears on baking and adds richness and depth to the spices.

Don’t be tempted to cut down on the amount of sugar in the sponge recipe; I know it looks a lot, but it’s necessary to balance the bitterness of the beer. The dark sugar and the beer combine to produce an amazing flavour – first of all you get beer, but without the bitterness, then the spice hits, then the beer comes back.
Really flavoursome with a grown up edge!

Happy Fathers’ Day CCD!

For the cake:
110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
220g dark brown soft sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
200g plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
250ml beer – I used Adnam’s Broadside, because it’s one of the CCD’s favourites
For the buttercream:
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g icing sugar
3 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan oven 170°C/375°F/Gas mark 5.
Line two cupcake pans with paper cases (this mix will make 14 cupcakes).
Beat together the butter and sugar until well combined and light – as the recipe uses dark brown sugar it will never whip up like caster sugar will, but you should notice it gets lighter.
Beat in the egg.
Beat in the spices.
Fold in half the flour, along with the bicarbonate of soda.
Stir in half the beer. I found it best to keep the beaters going and pour the beer in a very slow trickle.
Repeat the process with the remaining flour and beer.
Ladle the batter into the paper cases; the batter it will be wet – don’t panic!
Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out cleanly. Mine took 20 minutes.
Leave to cool, in the tin, on a wire rack for 5 minutes until the cakes are cool enough and firm enough to handle.
Remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on the wire rack.
At this point the cakes will keep for several days in an airtight container.
Now make the buttercream: whip up the butter until it is light and fluffy.
Beat in the icing sugar and continue to beat until well combined. A good test for this is to take a little of the mix on your tongue and press against the roof of your mouth – if it feels grainy keep beating!
Beat in the honey.
If the buttercream seems soft, refrigerate for 10-15 minutes until it firms up.
Spread or pipe over the top of the cupcakes.
Optional: grate a little nutmeg over the top of the cupcakes.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.


Gloria said...

Theses cupcakes look awesome and Yummy!!! love them, gloria

Maria♥ said...

These are are what I would call "man" cupcakes! They look and sound delish!


Soo said...

I share your distaste of beer but those cupcakes sound YUMMMMMM!

Sarah-Jane - said...

your cupcakes look lovely and moist. I bet the honey buttercream DOES go well.

I don't like alcohol myself to drink, but strangely don't mind it cooked into things - such as casseroles and sauces.

Your cupcakes do look very moist. Yummy !

sarita said...

i absolutely love your blog! and as an avid baker am rather jealous of all your utensils!! hehe
sooo gonna try these beery badboys out very soon! thankyou for spreading the cake ways! :) xx

Anonymous said...

what a great cake, delicioius!

C said...

Like the sound of the beer and spice combo, I can imagine they go very well, along with the honey buttercream. Never thought of adding honey to buttercream. I'm not a beer fan, so I'll perhaps try to think of some other flavour that honey buttercream would complement.

Maggie said...

I would never have thought about making these cupcakes. They sound great for men - perhaps you could sell the idea CC?

Jakarta Cupcake said...

I never thought that spice, beer, and honey can all be made into one single cupcake ... what a creative way to do that ... Salut!!!

Katie said...

What a lovely idea. I love the smell of beer and bitters but hate the taste. Love the sound of the honey buttercream

Choclette said...

Oh wonderful stuff. Beer in baking works really well (in my limited experience anyway). That honey buttercream sounds good too.

Malli said...

Glorious cupcakes and that too with spiced beer?? Awesome:)

Cakelaw said...

What terrific cuppies! Perfect for Fathers Day, which we celebrate in September.

daphne said...

what an idea to use BEER! u have set the trend in creating a boy cupcake for sure!

Baking Addict said...

What a great idea for father's day. I'm sure it was very well received.

Lisa said...

What a clever idea!

Jacqueline said...

Mmmmmmmmm, lovely and so pretty!

Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog said...

as always another beautiful and different recipe :)

coco cooks said...

I have been experimenting with beer in cocktails, so why not more baking. Bet it tastes great!

Hazel said...

The first beer cupcakes I have ever seen! Very interesting!

Becca said...

I just want to say a BIG thank you for this recipe, I made them this weekend for my Adnams loving Dad & they were a huge hit!

mac said...

I made these yesterday - and brought into work - they went down VERY WELL ! My only error was I used spreadable unsalted lurpak - which was fine for the cake but made my icing too runny, leaving just a thin coating - which actually was plenty as its very sweet, for me a skim is enough.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Mac

I've just checked out the photo you left a link to - your cakes came out great! Love how you made a little swirl of the buttercream!

Really glad you and your colleagues enjoyed them

Happy baking

Ruthie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruthie said...

I made these yesterday for my husband's birthday. They are fantastic, possibly my new favourite cupcakes.

Thanks for sharing,

Ruthie x

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Ruthie

Glad you enjoyed them. I think a lot of people made them thinking they were "only for men - grrr, macho etc!" and then were surprised at just how nice they included!

Happy baking

Anonymous said...

These are currently cooling on the cooling wire…They smell and look amazing!

Thank you for sharing!