Cupcakes and Cocktails

My cupcake journey began with a Margarita Cupcake, complete with lime, salt and tequila in the cake and of course, more tequila in the frosting. Over the past few years I’ve seen, or been sent, a variety of cupcake recipes which have alcohol as part of the recipe either in the cake itself, the frosting, or sometimes in a filling.

One of the most popular cupcakes I make is the Irish Car Bomb. Named after the drink which is a Guinness stout beer with a Baileys Irish Cream and Jameson Whiskey shot in it, it is very popular around St. Patrick’s Day. The cupcake is a chocolate cake made with Guinness Stout beer, with a chocolate ganache filling that has Jameson Whiskey and Baileys Irish Buttercream frosting. I have made it many times and won 4th place in the 2014 OC Cupcake Classic with this cupcake.

IMG_5943Several cupcakes I’ve made have called for beer in the batter. Several beers I’ve used include Nitro Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing and several chocolate stouts from various breweries. I’ve also used a cherry sour beer to infuse some dried cherries for a filling. I actually had some chocolate cupcakes that sunk in the middle, so I added the filling and topped it with a cherry almond frosting. Sometimes when you hit a snag, it inspires a win!

IMG_3851The Maple Bacon Beer Batter cupcake won second place for me at the Orange County Fair this year and it’s made with Delirium Tremens Belgian Ale. The batter is light and has a great flavor which is no doubt why the cupcakes are light and also have a great taste.

IMG_5949I have a girlfriend who is all about Fireball Whiskey. If’ it is sweet and has Fireball in it she has sent the recipe to me, or posted it herself. She inspired me to make a Fireball cupcake recently that had good reviews from my tasters. The recipe I used called for Fireball in the batter, brushing more Fireball on the cooled cupcakes, and adding Fireball to the brown sugar  butter cream frosting. When I first thought about making them I was trying to figure out how to change it up. I know cinnamon and apples are a good combo so I decided to add a filling. I grabbed some apple pie filling, added some apple pie moonshine and filled my fireball cupcakes. They were very good and had a bit of a kick, which is always a plus my book.

IMG_6043I know I will continue to look for new ways to incorporate alcohol and different ingredients into my cupcakes. In the past cupcakes were primarily a dessert found at kids parties, but they have really grown into a specialty dessert. It’s a perfect size,  not too filling, but can still provide a sweet finish to any meal. They can be as simple or decadent as you want, and by adding alcohol I think it just makes for a more “grown up” dessert.  Cupcakes…They aren’t just for kids anymore!

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