It's been awhile since I've spent an evening baking. I baked a pie and a batch of brownies during the Christmas holidays, but I was very sick, so it was more like me, handing out orders to my mom, so I wouldn't get everyone else sick.
Since the holidays, I've been trying to make an effort to eat as healthy as possible, and of course this means cutting out sweets...when I can. Since I live alone, baking a batch of cupcakes is never a good idea because I most certainly would sit and eat them all myself.
For this reason, I love it when people give me a reason to bake. A few weeks ago, some of my coworkers approached me, asking me to bake cupcakes for a baby shower.
I happily agreed and got to brainstorming. I always try new things when it comes to cooking or baking—I don't want to just make the same old thing. I've baked many times for my coworkers before (peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, vanilla-orange cupcakes, strawberry...), but this one needed to be just as special.
The theme of the baby shower was "Paris," and the couple was waiting until birth to discover the baby's sex. So it needed to be gender-neutral colors.
I immediately started thinking about what Parisians eat for dessert? After some Google searches, I figured out they eat fruit tarts and eclaires—not cupcakes of any kind.
So, I went to my usual resource for cupcakes, my book of Martha Stewart Cupcakes, of course!
After getting through a few pages, I came across a recipe for "Stout Cupcakes," that used stout beer in the batter. I remembered that the baby's father was actually a homebrewer! Perfect!
The only problem was, the cupcakes featured a stout glaze also. I knew baby shower attendees would want actual icing, so I kept looking. To my delight, I found a recipe for St. Patrick's Day cupcakes that featured a Bailey's Buttercream icing.
So I mashed these two ideas together, creating a near-carbomb dessert that was an absolute hit at the party! I even made the cupcake toppers myself, because gender-neutral Paris-themed cupcake toppers don't exist.
What you'll need for the cupcakes:
- 3 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 3/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 cup of unsulfured molasses
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs +1 yolk
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of fresh orange zest
- 10 ounces of stout beer, poured and settled (I used Guinness)
Preheat your oven to 350°. Mix the dry ingredients in medium sized bowl. Mix wet ingredients with an electric mixer on med-low until combined. Switch to low and add gradually add flour until just combined.
Fill the tins 3/4 the way full and bake for 20 min until the tops spring back slightly when you touch the top of the cupcake. Cool on wire rack.
What you'll need for the buttercream:
- 1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 cups of powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons of Bailey's Irish Cream
Cream the butter on high speed for approximately 3 minutes. Add the Bailey’s and mix thoroughly. Slowly add the powdered sugar until well blended.
Wait until the cupcakes are completely cool before adding the buttercream.