When life gives you bad beer, make cupcakes!


My hubby loves beer. Let me clarify, my hubby loves GOOD beer. The word good being the key and he’s very particular about it. Good equals flavorful, hoppy, non-fruity, microbrews, specialty beers, and the list goes on and on. You can imagine his delight when the base’s mini-mart received a shipment of American microbrews. He snatched up a few sampler cases to enjoy.

Overall, he was happy with the new brews and was enjoying them until the Kona Brewing Company’s sample pack. It included a Koko Brown Ale which was described as having a toasted coconut flavor. He thought he’d give it a try but immediately put it down. Too tropical for beer! He pondered keep them or just empty them.  I suggested making cupcakes with the beer.

I’ve played around with chocolate stout cupcakes before (think home-brewed chocolate-hazelnut stout with Nutella & cream cheese swirl icing) so I figured the recipe could be worked to enhance the coconut flavor. I did some adjustments and they turned out great. Hope you enjoy as well!

Chocolate Coconut Ale Cupcakes

Adapted from My Baking Addiction’s recipe (see notes below for link)

3/4 cups Koko Brown Ale (or similar flavored beer)

1/4 cup coffee

1 cup unsalted butter

3/4 unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

½ TBSP baking soda

¾ tsp salt

2 large eggs

½ TBSP coconut extract

2/3 cups sour cream

Cake Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare muffin tins with cupcake liners.

2. In saucepan, bring stout, coffee and butter to a simmer over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

3. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. In large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat eggs, coconut extract and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.

4. Add stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat until just combined, taking care the stout mixture is cool enough that it will not cook the eggs. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Divide batter equally among cupcake. Bake cupcakes for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from tin and cool completely.

Coconut Buttercream Icing

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

3 -4 cups powdered/icing sugar

1 tsp coconut extract

Heavy cream or milk, as needed

Coconut Buttercream Directions:

Beat butter until softened and fluffy. Add one cup of powdered sugar at a time until incorporated. If using a stand mixer, use a low speed to ensure that it doesn’t spray everywhere. After adding the third cup of powdered sugar, add the coconut extract and blend until smooth. Adjust consistency by adding more powdered sugar or heavy cream. Note: You can use coconut milk in place of heavy cream/milk to intensify the coconut flavor (for those coconut addicts out there!).

Toast sweetened coconut flakes over medium-high heat until they are fragrant and have a light brown coloring. Stirring frequently to keep from burning.  Cool to room temperature.

To assemble, ice cupcake and then roll in toasted coconut flakes. Enjoy immediately. The cupcakes are best the day they are made but will last 1-2 days in the fridge.

Makes approximately 24 cupcakes.

Note: Recipe inspiration from My Baking Addiction’s Chocolate Stout Cake. Recipe at: http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/chocolate-stout-cake/

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