Beer and pretzel cupcakes need to be on your to-do list today. Sweet and salty is the perfect combo!
My kids go through snack phases where they’ll want the same thing over and over for weeks, and then suddenly decide it doesn’t taste good. I assume they just burn out their poor taste buds, but it’s still frustrating when I’m the one who has to keep to the food budget and things go uneaten.
Because of that, I’ve taken to using the bits and bobs we have left to create other recipes. When their refusal of the last of the pretzels coincided with the April theme for Progressive Eats, I knew I had to whip up something fantastic.
My friend and I recently hit up the new bar in town that has about 45 beers on tap, and it reminded me how fun it is to try different beers. We had a whole discussion about how we might like wine but we don’t know anything about it (and yes, we’ve tried to learn), but beer just feels more approachable to learn about. I love using beer for other things besides drinking, too, like my beer pancakes and beer cheddar waffles, but I wanted to go to dessert for this one.
We don’t have cake or cupcakes too often in this house. Usually I reserve them for birthdays or other parties, but sometimes regular days need celebrating too, right? One kid had a great report card and the other kid is finally wearing underpants, and if the latter isn’t something to celebrate I don’t know what is.
These beer and pretzel cupcakes are for Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month we’re having a Pretzel Party hosted by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez, who blogs at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. Since today is National Pretzel Day, we thought it was the perfect chance to feature all sorts of fabulous homemade pretzel recipes, recipes that feature pretzels (both soft and hard), and pretzels dips/condiments. We have a varied and delicious menu for today that we hope you’ll enjoy!
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.
Pretzels as an Ingredient
- Almond Pretzel Bread Pudding from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
- Beer & Pretzel Cupcakes from Stetted
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust from Creative Culinary
- Margarita Pie with a Pretzel Crust from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Peanut Butter, Pretzel, Chocolate Chip Energy Bites from Healthy Delicious
- Pretzel and Mustard-Crusted Fish Fillets from Mother Would Know
- Triple Berry Pretzel Dessert from Miss in the Kitchen
Pretzels from Scratch
- Bread Pretzels with Beer Cheese from Pastry Chef Online
- Gluten Free Pretzel Dogs from The Tomato Tart
- Homemade Philly Style Soft Pretzels from The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine
- Pretzel Bites with Honey Mustard Dip from The Redhead Baker
- Pretzel Rolls from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
There’s only half an ounce of beer in each cupcake, and after baking 45% of that remains, so it’s really not much, but just enough to add a bit of flavor and lighter texture thanks to the yeast.
These beer and pretzel cupcakes are light and moist, and the pretzel buttercream just adds so much. Who knew just adding pretzels to buttercream would make a world of difference?!
I used chocolate stout for my version, but you can use your favorite dark beer.
Beer & Pretzel Cupcakes
- 12 ounces chocolate stout beer
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sifted cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the frosting
- 8 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature
- 6 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup crushed pretzels plus more pretzels for the tops, if desired
Preheat oven to 350°F and line 24 cupcake holes with paper liners.
In a large saucepan, combine beer, butter, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Heat over medium-low, whisking until butter has melted and ingredients are fully incorporated. Remove from heat.
Whisk in sugar until melted.
In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Once the beer-sugar mixture has cooled somewhat, quickly whisk in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until blended and smooth. (You want the mixture to be cooled so you don't cook the eggs.)
Whisk in flour mixture until you have a smooth batter.
Pour batter into prepared cupcake pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting
When the cupcakes are cooled, combine butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Beat until it comes together, gradually increasing speed. Add the milk and the vanilla and keep beating until frosting is light and fluffy.
Add the crushed pretzels and mix until just combined throughout.
Frost cupcakes and top with a pretzel, if desired.