Gingerbread Stout Cupcakes

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There’s a local cupcake store in Seattle, Cupcake Royale, which has some of my favorite cupcakes. They have exceptional seasonal/monthly flavors and whether I’m enjoying a blueberry crumble cupcake in the middle of summer or a boozy eggnog cupcake in December, I’m always a happy customer.

My last trip to Cupcake Royale involved buying one or two (or like ten) cupcakes, one of which was practically life changing: a stout gingerbread cake. Beer, ginger, and cream cheese frosting are in the top 20 of my favorite things, and it was all I could do not to inhale this delicious cupcake. I immediately made it my goal in life to replicate this cupcake.

My results definitely weren’t a match in flavor as I ended up with something that packed a lot more heat from ginger and had a delightfully forceful taste of molasses, but I am in love with them. Definitely not for the faint of heart as the flavors are in no way subtle. They’re quite bold, in fact. So bold some may call the flavor overpowering. I, however, find them very nicely intense.

FYI, I used Dragonstooth Stout, a beer made in Seattle, that has a very intense coffee taste to it. If you’re really into stouts or porters, feel free to use your favorite! The most common and easily accessible one is Guinness.

Oh, and these stayed surprisingly moist for 3 days. Best when they’re freshly made; however, a day or two in advance would be fine if you’re short on time.

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Gingerbread Stout Cupcakes

Adapted from David Lebovitz

  • 4 ounces fresh ginger
  • 1 cup mild molasses
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup stout or porter
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 24 capacity cupcake pan with 20-21 cupcake liners (recipe made 21 for me).

Peel, slice, and chop the ginger very fine with a knife (or use a grater)—or, pulse in a food processor until very fine (which is what I did, very easy). Mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper.

Bring the stout/porter to a boil in a saucepan, stir in the baking soda, and then mix the beer mixture into the molasses mixture. Stir in the ginger.

Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the batter. Add the eggs, and continue mixing until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pan(s) and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back lightly when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with only a one or two moist crumbs.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8-oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until slightly fluffy and well combined. Add in vanilla extract, mix slowly, and gradually add powdered sugar. Pipe on to cooled cupcakes.

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