November is a big month around here. On November 11th, my husband and I celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary. The next day, we celebrated his 31st birthday. And on November 15th, this blog turns one.
I think celebratory cupcakes are in order, don’t you?
My husband and I are huge craft beer nerds, so it only seemed right to make a cupcake inspired by one of our favorite styles — the imperial stout. For this particular recipe, I used Ballast Point Brewing Company’s Sea Monster Imperial Stout – a seasonal brew with 10% ABV. I chose to top it with a salted caramel frosting because…well…who doesn’t like salted caramel?
Thanks to everyone who has read, commented on, or just swung by my blog. You’ve made this extra fun for me. Cheers.
Imperial Stout Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream (Makes approximately 20 cupcakes)
What you need:
For the cupcakes:
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup imperial stout
- 3/4 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt butter, cocoa powder and chocolate, stirring frequently until completely melted. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until well combined. Sir in the stout and buttermilk. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir until well mixed. Slowly add the dry ingredients, gently whisking until everything has been combined and no lumps remain.
- Carefully spoon the batter into your prepared cupcake tins, filling each about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
- In a small saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring for approximately five minutes or until the mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes. (Note: if the caramel appears runny after adding the cream, that’s okay. It’ll continue to thicken as it cools.)
- Meanwhile, using an electric mixer or KitchenAid, beat butter and salt together until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and slowly add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Scrape down the side of the bowl and slowly drizzle in the cooled caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy; about two minutes.
- Spoon frosting into a pastry bag loaded with a wide star tip (I used Wilton No. 2110) and slowly pipe onto the cupcake, starting from the outside and working your way in a circular motion into the center.