Beer and Pretzel cupcakes- fork required. I know it may sound like an odd coupling, but it’s really such an awesome combination. The pretzels give the whole ensemble a saltiness that balances the rich chocolate ganache frosting and also provides a nice crunch to the softness of the cupcake crumb.
If you are not a beer fan you can easily flip these to be chocolate and caramel pretzel cupcakes (see notes). And of course you don’t have to take the time to chop the pretzels into shards like I did. I just love it like that because they look dramatic.
The first few that I made were simply piped and finished like the Toffee Crunch Cupcakes from here, but that didn’t seem like enough pretzels to me, so I ended up with what you see here. This way the chocolate and caramel pretzel seems so much stronger and you can pick off a few of the shards to enjoy before diving into the cupcake portion.
A few notes:
- To make this non-alcoholic, replace the beer with hot coffee.
- For the frosting I used my chocolate ganache recipe for a stronger chocolate flavor, but any frosting will work so use your preferred frosting if the ganache frosting is too heavy for you.
- To keep things simple spread frosting on top of cupcake and sprinkle with crushed pretzels.
Beer & Pretzel Cupcakes
Preparation: Makes 12 cupcakes | Preparation: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cupcake (adapted from Alice Medrich)
- 1 cup (4.5 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7.3 ounces) sugar
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) SCHARFFEN BERGER Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Guinness Stout
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 14 oz. chocolate, chopped
- 12 pretzel sticks
- 2 oz chocolate, melted
- 2 oz caramel, warmed
- Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly to combine. Add in the butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute. Add 1/4 cup of the beer into the mixture and beat for 20 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add remaining beer. Beat for 20-30 seconds until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thin enough to pour. Divide it evenly among the lined cups. Bake 18-22 minutes just until a toothpick inserted into a few of the cupcakes comes out clean. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool.
TIP: For light tender cupcakes, spoon flour and cocoa lightly into measuring cups (instead of dipping the cups into the flour or cocoa) and then sweep the measures level without tapping or shaking them.
To make ganache frosting
- Bring heavy cream, butter and vegetable oil to a light boil. Pour hot heavy cream mixture over chocolate. Using a spatula gently fold chocolate through heavy cream until well combined. Set aside to cool for at least an two hours or until frosting consistency is acheived. Frosting will thicken as sits.
- Pipe frosting on top of cooled cupcake. Cut pretzels into shards and place on top of cupcakes. Drizzle chocoalate and caramel on top.