I’ve been trying to think of a proper name for these bad boys because it takes too long to say “chocolate stout cupcakes with oreo cream cheese icing”. The best thing I could come up with so far, is something that describes what happens when these cupcakes are served. All the guys (and ladies and undeclared) kind of make that “ooughmgh” sound when they have one in their mouths. If these cupcakes were people, they would be the kind of people who come to your party and fix your broken chair because they’re awesome like that.
The creation of this cupcake was a happy confluence of different things that happened over the past few weeks. The Oreo cream cheese frosting was an inspiration that came from my friend and former colleague, Amanda, who brought home-made truffles to work and everyone died and went to heaven. She blended double cream Oreos in cream cheese, rolled them into balls, and dipped them in chocolate. We both agreed that it would be just as delicious in cake form.
Then, last Thursday, I was lucky enough to have gotten a ticket to attend the first Table Talk event, jointly hosted by Creativision, HighJinx, and featuring Hidden Harvest, some of my favourite movers and shakers and do-gooders in Ottawa. It was an intimate evening of live music, delicious food prepared by Good Eats with each course paired with a different Beau’s all natural beer, and intimate conversation with strangers that turned into new friends. The dessert was an amazing chocolate cake made with beer, with vanilla custard and topped with home made ginger candy glass.
That night, I fell in love with Beau’s, and the gracious hosts gifted me with a bottle of their new stout called Bottle Imp, made of organic fair trade coffee from Bridgehead! When I found out it was a friend’s birthday this weekend, everything came together – I had to make cake with this beer.
Of course I had to start by doing some research, having never used beer in cake before. But it was not hard a recipe using a dark stout for cake batter because of of its bubbly properties and deep taste. I was incredibly happy (and my friends too) that my first try turned out, after comparing and combining a few different recipes. The recipe below makes about 30 cupcakes, perfect for a party, or you can freeze some of them without icing for when you have a beer cupcake craving.
Preheat the oven to 350 F, with the racks on the upper half of the oven. For the cupcakes, stir together in a large mixing bowl:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
Combine the following wet ingredients in another mixing bowl:
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt+milk or sour cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark stout beer
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Spoon into lined muffin tins no more than two thirds full. Bake for 18-20 minutes (or up to 25 minutes – my oven runs hot). You will know they are baked when the tops are springy and your home will smell amazing. Cool the cupcakes fully, at least 2 hours, before putting on the icing.
For the icing, whip together:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened (one package)
- 4 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 18 Oreo cookies, severely crushed
If you did a really good job crushing the Oreos so that the crumbs are super fine, you can pipe the icing onto the cupcakes. I crushed my Oreos by hand so I just used a knife to pat the icing onto the cupcakes. There is enough icing here to make 16-18 cupcakes depending on how generous you are. You can make them pretty by decorating the tops with half an Oreo, but it is totally not necessary.
Keep these in the fridge, but serve at room temperature.