Official Food Fest Day

Saint Patty’s Day has come and gone, but the Irish side of me never dies.  Mainly the, lets-create-a-day-solely-to-feast mentality. Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century, and sprouting from that it became a celebration of Irish culture in general. As far as the green color scheme goes, it started our being a blue orientation, but over the years the color green became the color of choice. Even in the 17th century, people were rockin out with the green ribbons and shamrock adorned sweater vests. Ok, maybe they weren’t wearing sweater vests back then, but I’m sure some ladies placed a few in their garter belts. Last piece of knowledge for ya today, the whole three leafed plant actually came into play to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. Boom! Knowledge!

Green things I saw on P-day

Now, to the good stuff. For this years St. P day I decided to make some nice alcohol infused cupcakes to bring to the ladies at work as a tasty treat. Once again I found an amazing recipe from Chef Chloe for Chocolate Beer Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Buttercream Frosting. I’m not a big beer drinker and definitely not a hard liquor fan, but I was really excited to make these!

Beer time at Tony’s

Chocolate Beer Cupcakes
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour plus ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup stout beer (I use Trader Joe’s oatmeal stout)
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Irish Whiskey Buttercream
  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (I use Spectrum Organics)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 5 tablespoons soy, almond, or rice milk
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons Irish whiskey
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vegan margarine
  • 4 teaspoons soy, almond, or rice milk

Finished Product

To make the Chocolate Beer Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together stout, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.
Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.
To make the Irish Whiskey Buttercream
Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the shortening until smooth. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon nondairy milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. You may not need to use all of the nondairy milk. Add whiskey, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired taste. Beat on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.
To make the Caramel
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, heat brown sugar, margarine, and nondairy milk, stirring frequently.  Once mixture comes together, increase heat to medium-high and let cook for one to two more minutes, until it begins to boil and the bubbles move into the center of the caramel. Remove from heat.
To assemble the cupcakes: Frost cooled cupcakes with buttercream and dust with cocoa powder. Drizzle warm caramel over cupcakes using a fork or a squeeze tube. Caramel will be easier to work with while warm.
Voila! These are super dense and very beer-licious! Good to have a nice cup of black coffee to go with them!

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