Beer & Chocolate Cupcakes: A Classic with a Grown-Up Twist

Quick, name your three favorite foods. My immediate response (in no particular order): chocolate, beer and coffee.

If your favorite foods are anything like mine, you will feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven when you make these cupcakes.

Yes, beer and chocolate work together. Trust me.

Just like red wine enhances a rich tomato sauce, dark beer really compliments dark chocolate. You won’t even be able to tell at first what that extra something is in this dark, moist chocolaty cupcake. There is beer throughout the recipe – in the batter, in the filling and in the frosting, but not too much. One 12-ounce bottle altogether. Don’t have a Porter-style beer (think dark) on hand? Try a Stout like Guinness.

There are a few extra steps here but they’re well worth your time. Start to finish the recipe took me one hour (I hurried up the cooling time by cheating and putting the cupcakes in the fridge so I could frost them sooner).

There is the rich, creamy filling…with beer. Think grown-up Hostess Cupcake.

After you take the cupcakes out of the oven, you take the end of a wooden spoon and poke a hole in the center of each cake. Don’t be afraid of making the hole too big or breaking through the bottom. You have the cupcake paper liners to protect you and you want more filling, not less.

And then you fill the cupcakes with the creamy, delicious filling. A little filling can peek out – it’s ok. Your beautiful buttercream frosting will ultimately cover it up.

Make these cupcakes for your boyfriend, he will love you forever. Bring them to a party, you’ll never get dropped from the invite list.

Makes 12 cupcakes

(modified from a recipe from


For the batter:

1 cup Porter-style beer

1 cup flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup softened butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

For the filling:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup Porter-style beer

1 egg

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the Porter Reduction:

1/4 cup Porter-style beer

1/4 cup brown sugar

For the buttercream frosting:

1/2 cup softened butter

3 cups confectioners sugar

1-2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/4 cup Porter reduction

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.

Make the cupcakes:

In a small saucepan bring the beer up to a simmer over medium heat, immediately turn off the heat and leave the saucepan on the stove. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix until combined. Set the mixer on low and slowly add 1/2 cup of the hot beer. Add one half of the dry ingredients and one half of the remaining beer, then the remainder of the dry ingredients and the remainder of the beer. Mix until just combined. The batter will be thin.

Pour the batter into the cupcake pan about 2/3 of the way up for each cupcake. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. Poke a hole in the center of each cupcake with the end of a wooden spoon, remove cupcakes from pan, and transfer cupcakes to a rack to cool.

Make the filling:

In a medium saucepan whisk together the cream, beer, egg, sugar, flour and salt. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat – about 8-10 minutes – whisking constantly, until mixture is thick and creamy. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool slightly (5 minutes or so) before spooning into the cupcake holes. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Make the reduction for the frosting:

Combine the sugar and the beer in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the mixture has reduced by about half and remove from heat.

Make the frosting:

With an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the sugar until the butter has absorbed all the sugar. Add vanilla and 1 tablespoon of cream and beat until combined. Slowly add the beer reduction to the frosting (if the reduction has hardened, reheat over low heat, stirring constantly, until it is liquified, and then add it to the frosting) and beat until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too stiff, add another tablespoon of cream. Scoop the frosting into a piping bag and frost the cooled cupcakes.

Some other fabulous cupcake recipes from

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Coconut Cupcakes

S’mores Cupcakes

Yellow Cupcakes

Plan B Mom is a mostly-stay-at-home mom of 3 who works from home but sees her main job as managing her family. When she is not taking care of her 13-year old and 11-year old girls, 9- year old son, yellow lab, and husband – she is baking, running, carpooling, or helping with homework. She tries to stay organized to keep life running smoothly – or at least catastrophes at bay. Follow her on Twitter at @PlanBMom.

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