Eat Your Beer: Dream Police Cupcakes

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In case you missed the memo, we like beer over here at Castle Island. So much so, that with the upcoming St. Paddy’s weekend we took your basic chocolate cupcake recipe and turned the dial all the way up to 11 by tossing Dream Police, our limited spiced porter, into the mix. Couple that with a few extra dashes of vanilla and cinnamon, and the final result? Sweet, sweet harmony.

Whether you’re a “from scratch” or “from the box baker”, you are 100% capable of making this dreamy lil’ porter cupcake. Impress all your friends, family, co-workers, random strangers, etc with a killer recipe that includes a beer that pairs perfectly with this delightful dessert and your weekend festivities! (Limited amounts of Dream Police 4-packs are still available — snatch ’em up quick!!)

Recipes are below – scroll to the very bottom for our icing recipe……………….

For the “from scratch” baker:

Ingredients: Note – be sure all are room temperature for proper combination

  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and then cooled to room temperature prior to mixing into batter
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup plain, full fat, yogurt
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) Sweet Dreams Porter by Castle Island Brewing Company
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (recommend a dark chocolate for deeper flavor)
  • 1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (can double for a more pronounced cinnamon flavor if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. I find using standard baking option and not convection helps the cupcakes to bake more evenly.
  • Line cupcake pan with paper or foil liners.
  • Melt butter on stove-top or in microwave. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • In a large bowl, combine eggs and yogurt until fully combined and smooth. Add Sweet Dreams Porter and vanilla, stirring until well combined (a whisk, handheld or standing mixer will help to make sure fully combined).
  • Sift together the following ingredients in a separate bowl: Cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Recommend sifting 3-4 times to obtain optimal mixing and de-clumping of all ingredients.
  • Using a hand or standing mixer, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined (do not overmix!). Add remaining dry ingredients in two equal batches in the same fashion.
  • Once all ingredients are mixed, add melted butter and continue to mix until fully combined.
  • Pour batter into cups, filling each ¾ full. Be careful not over-fill as these cupcakes will rise while baking.
  • Bake in center of preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes spring back with light tapping and/or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Be sure to not over-bake as this will dry out your cupcakes. If you’re not familiar with your oven, start with a bake time of 18 minutes and then test every 3-4 minutes during first batch until done.
  • Remove from oven and immediately remove cupcakes from pan to dry on a wire rack. This will prevent the hot pan from continuing to cook your cupcakes. Cool completely before icing.

 

For the “from the box” baker:

Ingredients:

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 small box instant chocolate pudding
  • ½ cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup Sweet Dreams Porter by Castle Island Beer Company
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks (optional for the serious chocolate lover)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F, placing rack in the middle of the oven. Place muffin liners in tin.
  • Blend all ingredients (except dark chocolate chunks) on low speed into large bowl of standing mixer or separate bowl with hand mixer until combined.
  • Turn mixer to medium speed and mix for approximately 2 minutes to allow for fluffing of the ingredients.
  • Add chocolate chunks by hand if desired.
  • Pour batter into muffin tins, taking care to only fill to ¾ full to allow for rising during baking.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until top of cupcakes bounce back or until toothpick comes out clean. Be sure not to over-bake.
  • Immediately remove from pan and allow to complete cool prior to frosting.

 

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

Note: if you want to make frosting green, add ½ tsp food coloring at a time until you obtain desired color. If frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar, 1 TBSP at a time, until desired consistency for frosting.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces full fat cream cheese, room temperature (will allow for easier mixing)
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature for ease of mixing
  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar (measure after sifting)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  • In a medium bowl (or bowl of standing mixture), blend together cream cheese and butter.
  • Once fully combined, add vanilla extract until just combined.
  • Sift powdered sugar 4 times, then measure 4 cups required for recipe.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing well between additions until all incorporated.
  • Decorate cooled cupcakes in any way you desire while frosting at room temperature (will harden when cooled), with your best, greenest decorations!

 

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