Football season is among us! At Odell Brewing Co., we celebrate one of our favorite sports with one of our favorite beers. This year, we decided to showcase that beer – 90 Shilling – in a cupcake recipe by Raspberry Eggplant. Behold, chocolate-90 Shilling cupcakes with caramel buttercream and crushed pretzels. One bite will have you reminiscing about football season long after the Broncos take the Super Bowl.
Chocolate-90 Shilling Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream and Crushed Pretzels
Recipe courtesy of Raspberry Eggplant
makes 12 regular size or 36 mini cupcakes
For the chocolate-beer cupcakes
1 cup flour
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon good quality cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup 90 Shilling
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the caramel buttercream frosting*
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Pinch of salt
3 large egg whites
2 sticks butter, room temperature
*Recipe calls for homemade caramel in the frosting, but we substituted a high quality caramel sauce.
3/4 cup crushed thin pretzels
Make the cupcakes
1. Heat oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with papers and set aside.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl and set aside.
3. Add the beer, sugar, oil, vinegar, and vanilla to a medium bowl and whisk well to combine. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and gently whisk to combine.
4. Divide the batter among the lined cups and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the caramel buttercream
1. Put 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small, heavy pot. Make an X in the center with your finger and pour in the 2 tablespoons water. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, swirling occasionally. Continue boiling and swirling until the syrup is a medium amber color. Remove from heat, then slowly pour in the cream and mix with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula until the caramel is completely smooth. Add the salt, stir, and set aside until the caramel is completely cool. [This is critical – if the caramel is even slightly warm, it will melt the butter in the frosting and you’ll be left with a mess of liquidy frosting.]
2. Put the remaining sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set the bowl over simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and whisk the mixture until it reaches 140 F. If you don’t have a thermometer, don’t worry – the mixture will turn thick and white and all the sugar should be dissolved – this should take about 5 minutes.
3. Transfer the bowl to the mixer and, with the whip attachment, mix on high speed (8) until the whites are fluffy and cool, 10-12 minutes.
4. Once the mixture is cool, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the butter a few pieces at a time, mixing well before adding more and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Once all the butter has been added, turn the mixer to medium-high speed and slowly drizzle the cooled caramel down the side of the bowl into the frosting until all of it is incorporated.
5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed (2) for 5-7 minutes – this gets rid of air bubbles, thereby making the frosting smoother and more even when you apply it.
Assemble the cupcakes
Use a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip to frost the cupcakes. Top each one with crushed pretzels and drizzle with caramel. If you’re serving them more than 4 hours after assembly, leave off the pretzels until just before serving (otherwise they’ll get soggy).
**Photo credit: Odell Brewing Co.