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Witbier Beer Cupcakes and Frosting Recipe

Drink your beer and eat it too with these orange peel, coriander and chamomile Witbier-inspired beer cupcakes!

Witbier Beer Cupcakes

This recipe is a bit of a different direction from our past “cooking with beer” recipes. In all honestly these beer cupcakes are more so “inspired by” than “required to contain” beer. I wanted to come up with a unique cupcake recipe idea when I realized that the Belgian Witbier I had just brewed had all the elements for an awesome dessert — assuming everything was turned up to 11. One trick I’ve always loved in recipe design is looking at what works in one area of food or drink and applying it to another. Look at how many cocktails look to emulate desserts, for example.

Witbier cupcakes. Step 1. #cupcakes #witbier #homebrew #cookingwithbeer

A photo posted by Ugly Stick Brewing (@uglystickbeer) on

With a white cake base, citrus peels, coriander and a touch of chamomile these cupcakes already contain loads of “witbier character” to the point that adding actual beer is arguably redundant. Regardless I’ve made them with and without beer so I decided to include both options. Without the beer I think they lose a bit of a the bready malty goodness but overall the character is still there.

Common Commercial Witbiers

  • Blue Moon/Belgian Moon/Rickard’s White
  • Hoegaarden
  • Shock Top
  • Blanche de Chambly
  • Allagash White

The goal with the cake was to have the citrus and spices be present but not over the top and for it to all blend together, much like a witbier. In my early attempts I overdid it with the orange peel and they essentially became ordinary orange cupcakes. I’ve provided weights for those additions so you can avoid my mistakes though I recognize for many people accurately measuring to the gram, even with a kitchen scale, may be nearly impossible. Therefore I tried to include notes on volumes where I could, but really, take them as a very rough estimate. Don’t let that discourage you. Worst case scenario they’re just a different kind of awesome.

Witbier Beer Cupcakes

The decorating was pretty straight forward. I piped on the frosting, but slap in on with whatever you want if you’re not looking to impress anyone. Sure, just put out a bowl of frosting and let people frost their own cupcake. People like to feel empowered.

If you’re feeling extra saucy, you can put on a piece of candied orange peel, a piece of fresh orange, those little mandarin orange dealies that come in a can, or an orange gummy. This is especially important if you want to give off that “wow this place must really know how to serve a beer because they garnished it” Witbier vibe. I sprinkled some extra ground coriander to give it a bit more of that smell.

The beer-free version of these were brought out to an Easter Seals charity cupcake competition. The response was very positive, primarily among the adults, with many people commenting on how “fresh” they tasted. Much like a Witbier, I assume this character comes from the coriander. With those elements transferring over from beer to cupcake I’ll consider this a success!

Orange Coriander Chamomile Cupcakes - Ugly Stick Brewing

Witbier Beer Cupcakes and Buttercream Frosting

Witbier Beer Cupcakes and Buttercream Frosting
Yum
Print Recipe
With a white cake base, citrus peels, coriander and a touch of chamomile these beer cupcakes contain loads of Belgian Witbier character.
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
18 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
18 minutes
Witbier Beer Cupcakes and Buttercream Frosting
Yum
Print Recipe
With a white cake base, citrus peels, coriander and a touch of chamomile these beer cupcakes contain loads of Belgian Witbier character.
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
18 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
18 minutes
Ingredients
Cake - Dry Ingredients
Cake - Wet Ingredients
Buttercream Frosting
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Reduced Witbier (optional)
  1. Pour about half of a 330ml (11 fl. oz.) bottle of beer into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Watch for boil overs. Boil the beer down to about two tablespoons of syrupy liquid.
Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (~175C) and prepare a muffin/cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Prepare the dry ingredients by whisking together the flours, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixed.
  3. Mix the the butter, eggs, yogurt, milk and vanilla until combined. Does not need to be smooth.
  4. Add the citrus zests, coriander and chamomile to the butter mixture.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Still enough so as to wet all the flour then mix until just smooth. A few butter lumps are ok. It's better to slightly undermix than overmix.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners in the pan about half way if you want "domed" cupcakes or about 2/3-3/4 if you're cool with "muffin tops".
  7. Bake for about 18 minutes. Check with a toothpick. If it comes out clean (i.e. not wet, it can have crumb on it...) then they're done. Otherwise check again in a couple of minutes. Remove from oven and remove cupcakes (once safe to do so), placing them on a wire rack to cool.
Buttercream Frosting
  1. While waiting for the cake to cool, make your frosting. Start by combining the butter with the icing sugar. If you don't like your icing too sweet you can leave out 1/2 cup at first. You can always add it later to taste.
  2. Once butter and sugar are smooth, add the remaining ingredients and continue to blend. If not using the reduced beer, substitute with milk or cream in order to reach desired consistency.
Recipe Notes
  • Flour is always best weighed if you have the option. It's more accurate. Note that if you use the built in recipe scaler it does not adjust the weights listed in the comment field!
  • Regarding zest: This is a hard one to measure. To put it into context, I used the zest of approximately one half of a medium size orange, or what I'm assuming would be that of a full small orange. By volume this was a very full teaspoon (i.e. well compacted into the spoon). You want the zest without much of the white pith. The lemon was about a third as much. Does not need to be precise!

 

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