These Beer and Pretzel Cupcakes are made with a salty crunchy pretzel crust, a beer flavoured chocolate cupcake filled with a beer ganache and topped with beer buttercream! These beer flavoured cupcakes would make a great gift for Father’s Day.
Since I shared a few recipes for Mother’s Day, I decided I should at least make something for Father’s Day. The Mother’s Day desserts I shared were more on the fruity side, mainly raspberry because that’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think “Mother’s Day food”. When I think of Father’s Day food, though, my first thought (along with many others) is beer! Beer is the #1 Dad drink, and it’s even better in dessert!
I’m not much of a beer drinker because I’m not really a fan of the taste. But add it to some cupcakes — more specifically, CHOCOLATE cupcakes, and it’s surprisingly delicious! Just like coffee, the beer heightens the chocolate flavour while keeping its bold beer flavour.
Quite a bit of work goes into the making of these cupcakes, but don’t let that scare you off! It’s still extremely easy to make, it just takes a bit of time. But with the pretzel crust, moist beer chocolate cupcakes, silky beer ganache and beer buttercream frosting, it’s totally worth it!
To start, we’ve got the pretzel crust. The crust didn’t really hold together all that well, but that’s mainly because I didn’t crush the pretzels fine enough. I only crushed my pretzels into small chunks because it was really late and I didn’t want to wake everyone up. I know it’s silly, but that’s the real deal.
I recommend grinding your pretzels into fine crumbs. Kind of as fine as graham cracker crumbs so the crush holds together better.
The cupcake itself is the exact same as my tried and true perfect chocolate cupcakes, except instead of adding boiling water or coffee in the end, I added beer! You can use any brand you want — Guinness, Heineken, Budweiser etc. (did I google those brand names? Heck yeah, I did).
I just picked up a case of beer I found in the grocery store that didn’t actually have any alcohol in it. This didn’t really bother me because, like I mentioned earlier, I don’t drink beer so any beer was absolutely fine with me.
The filling is a simple ganache, except I replaced half of the heavy cream with beer. Beer ganache! Simply heat the heavy cream, beer and chocolate chips together in the microwave until silky and smooth.
To fill the cupcakes, I like to use the bottom of a large piping tip (you can also use an apple corer), place it on top of the cupcake, then press it down while twisting to create a hole in the centre. I used to use a small knife to cut out the centre, but I found this new method creates a deeper hole which allows us to add more filling!
For the frosting, I made a simple Vanilla Buttercream and replaced half of the cream with beer to create a beer buttercream. I intentionally made the frosting soft because I didn’t want to pipe a traditional swirl on top. I wanted these cupcakes to resemble a beer mug cake, so I piped some big poofs over the top to re-create beer bubbles.
To finish these cupcakes off, I topped them with white nonpareils, gold sprinkles and a salty pretzel.
Moist, rich, boozy, sweet and salty — these unique cupcakes have it all! As someone who doesn’t enjoy drinking beer, I can definitely tell you that these cupcakes are absolutely superb and the beer complements the chocolate perfectly! They’re sure to be a hit this Father’s Day!
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Let’s get baking!
- 1 and ½ cups pretzel crumbs
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Beer Chocolate Cupcakes:
- 1 and ½ cups All purpose flour
- 1 and ½ cups granulated Sugar
- ¾ cup "black" or dark unsweetened cocoa powder (can substitute for regular unsweetened cocoa powder)
- 1 and ½ teaspoons Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large Eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup Vegetable oil
- ¾ cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup beer (you can use any brand you like)
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- ¼ cup beer
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup Hi-ratio Shortening
- ⅛ tsp Salt
- 5 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- ¼ cup beer
- 1 and ½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- Pretzels, for topping
- White nonpareil sprinkles
- Gold sprinkles
For the Pretzel Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and Line two 12-cup muffin pans with liners. Set aside.
- Add pretzel crumbs (crush in a food processor or in a ziploc bag using a rolling pin) to a mixing bowl and mix in melted butter. Place 1 or 2 tablespoons of crumbs into each liner and flatten using the back of the tablespoon or a small glass. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
For the Beer Chocolate Cupcakes:
- In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Add beer and mix until combined and smooth. Batter will be runny.
- Scoop batter into cupcake liners, filling them ⅔ way full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely before frosting.
For the Beer Ganache:
- Put the chocolate chips, heavy cream and beer into a small heat safe bowl.
- Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool while you make the frosting.
For the Beer Buttercream:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, beat the butter, shortening and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5-6 minutes).
- Turn the mixer to low, and gradually add half of the sugar one cup at a time. Once incorporated, add heavy cream, beer and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix on low until combined.
- Once the sugar is combined, increase mixer speed to high and whip until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
- Core the centre of each cupcake using the bottom of a large piping tip, or an apple corer.
- Using a spoon or a disposable piping bag, fill the cupcakes with the ganache.
- Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe large and small "bubbles" on top of the cupcakes to represent beer foam. Garnish with white nonpareils and gold sanding sugar, if you want. Place a pretzel on top. Serve and enjoy!
- I recommend grinding your pretzels into fine crumbs. Kind of as fine as graham cracker crumbs so the crush holds together better.
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Love, Dedra ❤