Mickey Adults-Only Cupcakes Part 2

Baking cupcakes is fun and easy. Cupcakes can be simple using a boxed mix, made from scratch, or a combination. A great tip I learned from a friend in physical therapy school was to substitute milk for water and butter for oil in a boxed mix! The cake is moist and dense after those easy substitutions and no one will know it came from a box. (Who even cares, by the way?!) It is also easier to decorate cupcakes which are moist and dense because they won't fall over. If you are baking at home don't be afraid to improvise or try different flavors or add ins to amplify the flavors of your cupcakes.
Picking a flavor for cupcakes can be fun and you can you anything for inspiration. I was inspired by a recently get together at Cerebral Brewing with friends from my physical therapy school class. This local, craft brewery has some great dark beers called stouts. We had the Forever Awake Hazelnut Mocha coffee stout and the Dark Galaxie oatmeal stout. Both had a smooth texture and pleasing combination of roasty, sweet, and bitter flavors! We talked out and I immediately told my hubby they would be great beers to use in cupcakes.
Just like most artistic creations, this cupcake recipe did not come without a lot of experimentation mostly due to the fact that I have never baked with molasses before. Molasses is a thick, dark brown syrup obtained from raw sugar during the refining process; combining it with white sugar creates brown sugar. Brown sugar is great it baking as it adds moisture and great chew. The molasses adds a smoky, bitter flavor which is perfect for the Dark Galaxie cupcakes.
After my first first attempt which had way too much molasses in it and only white sugar, I switched to a thicker batter with a traditional creaming of butter and sugar. Using brown sugar instead of white sugar supplemented the molasses but kept the batter creamy. The Dark Galaxie beer is characterized as having flavors of coffee, marshmallow, and vanilla. I was nervous at first to add too many spices to this cake because molasses is also a major component in gingerbread, and I didn't want this this cupcake to taste like Christmas. Luckily, using espresso powder and a dash of cinnamon made this cupcake deep and robust with complex layers of flavor without visions of sugar plums!
As more adult, alocholic options are added to the parks more treats like this will be found in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. I think these beer cupcakes would be a great fit for the Rose and Crown Pub menu in United Kingdom at Epcot. Currently they serve a spread of classic UK pub grub including scotch eggs, fish and chips, sausage rolls, and a cheese platter. They are missing desserts though! What better to have with a flight of beer and a basket of fish and chips besides a stout cupcake?

Dark Galaxie Oatmeal Stout Cupcake 

Yield 24 cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups Dark Galaxie oatmeal stout or strong black coffee
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, less 1/2 tbs
  • 1/2 tbs espresso powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
  • 7 oz marshmallow fluff

Espresso Buttercream

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy with paddle attachment. Add molasses and egg and mix until smooth.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk all-purpose flour, oat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and cinnamon together.
  4. Alternate adding beer/coffee with dry ingredients and mix on medium-low until smooth. Add mini chocolate chips if using and mix again.
  5. Fill cupcake liners with 2 1/2 tbs of batter each or about 2/3 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes.
  6. Cook for 10 min in muffin pan and then transfer to cooling rack and cool completely.
  7. Use a knife or cupcake corer to make a 1 inch hole in cupcakes 3/4 to bottom. Fill piping bag with marshmallow fluff, cut off tip, and fill cupcakes to top.
  8. In the bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment, mix butter, powdered sugar, espresso powder, vanilla extra, and heavy cream together on low. Switch to medium and whisk for 2 min until fluffy.
  9. Place 1M piping tip in bag and fill piping bag with buttercream. Swirl on top of cupcakes. Decorate with crushed chocolate covered espresso beans and chocolate disks for Mickey ears!
I sent a platter of these to work with my husband and he said they disappeared within an hour. Someone even came by the say it was the best cupcake they had ever eaten! If you want to make these for a crowd but are leery to bake with beer you can substitute strong coffee or espresso. Give them a try and tell me what you think. Comment below!

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