So for Tyler's birthday, when he sweetly told me, "I want you to bake whatever cupcakes make you happy," I turned to good ol' Pinterest to find something manly and acceptable for summertime.
The original recipe used either Blue Moon or Corona (with the appropriate citrus additions for each), but being a true Bendite, I quickly realized that I had no business baking beer cupcakes if it didn't involve local brew. I love Deschutes Brewery's seasonal additions of Twilight Summer Ale and River Ale, but while my favorite, River Ale, doesn't lend itself (at least to my perspective) to a dash of orange or lime, I thought Twilight would be delicious with a little citrus.
They turned out spectacularly light and fluffy like a champagne cake, with a little caramelization (as said by one of Tyler's friends) on top from the brushed on-while-hot beer. The orange flavoring pretty much overwhelmed any beer taste for those who don't love beer, but for connoisseurs (not me) there were enough lingering hints to be decidedly thrilled.
Twilight Summer Ale Cupcakes
Ingredients for the cupcakes:
3/4 c butter at room temp
1 3/4 c sugar
2 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp orange zest (if you use Corona use lime zest)
1 c Twilight Summer Ale (or brew of choice that pairs well with orange or lime citrus)
1/4 c milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.–In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.–In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.–Add eggs, beating after each addition then add the vanilla and zest.–Combine milk and beer and alternatively add this mixture and the flour mixture to the butter/sugar 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 cake tester 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.
Ingredients for the citrus cream cheese frosting:
12 oz cream cheese, cold
6 tbsp butter, room temp
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange or lime juice
1 tsp orange or lime zest
4 c powdered sugar
Cream together the cream cheese and butter in an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the citrus juice and zest and gradually add the powdered sugar until well-combined. Beat until smooth for about 2 minutes. Load frosting in a piping bag fit with a large star tip and pipe cupcake tops once cooled.
I had a small runny-ness issue with the frosting, but my cream cheese was almost room temp. I just added more powdered sugar and a tad more butter and it resolved the issue nicely. You could also chill it slightly if it is too runny out of the gate.
Recipe yields 24 cupcakes.
Do as us Bendites do and pair with a delicious local beer! Enjoy!