Beer & Pretzel Cupcakes

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.

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Beer & Pretzel Cupcakes

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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.

Ingredients:

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

Ganache Frosting

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 14 oz. chocolate, chopped

Pretzel Topping

  • 12 pretzel sticks
  • 2 oz chocolate, melted
  • 2 oz caramel, warmed

Instructions:

  1. 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

  1. 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.

Assembly:

  1. Pipe frosting on top of cooled cupcake. Cut pretzels into shards and place on top of cupcakes. Drizzle chocoalate and caramel on top.

 

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64 Responses to “Beer & Pretzel Cupcakes”

  1. #
    1
    DessertForTwo — June 27, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    omg I need these in my face. Right now and everyday. At 5:00, please.

    Reply

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    2
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — June 27, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

    Oh my goodness I need to make these soon!! I wish I had this recipe yesterday! I had friends over for my birthday and these would have been perfect!

    Reply

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    DessertForTwo — June 27, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    By 1/2 a Guiness stout, do you mean half of the bottle or 1/2 a cup?

    Reply

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    4
    Katherine — June 27, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

    You are a genius, and a total inspiration. These cupcakes are so creative and beautiful too! Can’t wait to try it out.

    Reply

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    Amanda @ The Dormestic Goddess — June 27, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

    These not only sound delicious (my dad loves the beer/pretzel combo and I love chocolate!) but they look stunning. Absolutely gorgeous!

    Reply

  6. #
    6
    Catalina @ Cake with Love — June 27, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

    OMG these cupcakes look so festive! I am definitely making them when the football season starts, my husband will enjoy them very much!

    Reply

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    7
    Megan — June 27, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

    These look insane!!! I’ve heard of beer in cupcakes, and pretzels in cupcakes — but never the two in one!

    Reply

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    Averie @ Averie Cooks — June 27, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

    Stunning photography! And of course the recipe..any time I can get salty, sweet, and drunk (kidding) by way of chocolate, I am all about it!

    Reply

  9. #
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    Natasha — June 27, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    Those look amazing, but I’m wondering… how do you eat them?? I see pretzel mouth splinters happening there. Although, who cares, because these are seriously awesome!

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — June 28th, 2012 @ 2:12 am

      Natasha-How to eat? Well ur best off picking a few shards off to eat like a snack then you will definitely need a plate and fork. :)

      Reply

  10. #
    10
    kankana — June 27, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

    That seriously looks like a piece of art. So so so gorgeous!

    Reply

  11. #
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    Sophie — June 27, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

    Naomi, these cupcakes are gorgeous! Love the dramatic shards of pretzel. I don’t usually get too excited about desserts, until I come to your blog! Totally want to make these! Your photos are effortlessly beautiful.. when I grow up, I want to photograph food like you do.

    Reply

  12. #
    12
    JulieD — June 27, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

    Genius…can I say that? xoxo, friend!

    Reply

  13. #
    13
    Jessica — June 27, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

    This is quite possibly the most badass cupcake I have ever seen!

    Reply

  14. #
    14
    Trish — June 27, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

    Holy cow! I think that these may be the spikiest coolest cupcakes I have EVER seen. Love them.
    Definitely on my to-make list.
    Thanks!
    Trish

    http://www.jelly-bones.typepad.com

    Reply

  15. #
    15
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — June 27, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

    You amaze me….every.single.time.

    Reply

  16. #
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    Ann P. — June 27, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

    The perfect non-frilly cupcake that manly-men don’t have to be embarrassed about loving. :) It’s still summer but i’m always thinking about football, tailgating, and gameday parties!

    Reply

  17. #
    17
    Miriam @ Overtime Cook — June 27, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

    These are so beautiful and dramatic! Pretzels and beer are indeed a good combination.

    Reply

  18. #
    18
    Laura — June 28, 2012 @ 1:44 am

    What an interesting combination, and just in time for my boyfriend’s birthday. A mixture of drinks, snacks and birthday cake all in one – just the right way to celebrate!

    Reply

  19. #
    19
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — June 28, 2012 @ 1:45 am

    Amazing Naomi! What a combo!

    Reply

  20. #
    20
    steph — June 28, 2012 @ 3:08 am

    they visual on those cupcakes is so eyecatching i cannot stop staring at them.

    Reply

  21. #
    21
    Lynna — June 28, 2012 @ 3:13 am

    what an awesome topper for a cupcake!

    Reply

  22. #
    22
    sarah — June 28, 2012 @ 3:22 am

    I have been geeking out over your blog – every post is so amazing. I love coming here.

    Reply

  23. #
    23
    myfudo — June 28, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    I think I love the non alcoholic version…The coffee flavor will be really awesome in this treat. Will try very soon.

    Reply

  24. #
    24
    Aurelia — June 28, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

    Crazy combination but looks extremely delicious and sensuous!

    Reply

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    Megan {Country Cleaver} — June 28, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

    My life has somehow been lacking – and it is because I didn’t have these in my life. o.O I require these – dramatic pretzels and all!

    Reply

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    ATasteOfMadness — June 28, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    Wow, what a unique cupcake! This combination intrigues me, I must try this!

    Reply

  27. #
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    anh@anhsfoodblog.com — June 29, 2012 @ 2:56 am

    Great work naomi! for some reasons, it keeps me reminding me of a fairy tale mood! :)

    Reply

  28. #
    28
    Javelin Warrior — June 29, 2012 @ 4:21 am

    Another inspired creation – I’m featuring this in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I always love dropping by to see what you’ve created…

    Reply

  29. #
    29
    Natalie — June 29, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

    I started yelling profanities in my office when I saw these. WOW!!! They look soooooo amazing.. I can’t wait to get off work and stop by the store to get all the ingredients. WELL DONE!!!

    Reply

  30. #
    30
    Jessica @ How Sweet — June 29, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

    umm odd coupling? you mean DREAM COUPLING. i’m about to move in with you.

    Reply

  31. #
    31
    bridget {bake at 350} — June 29, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

    Oh my gosh…these are STUNNING!!! You just have a “way” with food!

    PS…guess what is on my blog right now? Beer & pretzel cupcakes. Not stunning. But, I can take solace in “great minds think alike?” Right? right?

    Reply

  32. #
    32
    Erin @ The Food Doctors — June 29, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

    I LOVE beer, and these look amazing. I really like the pretzel daggers. I’m not sure whether I’m hungry or afraid, but I definitely want one.

    Reply

  33. #
    33
    linda — June 29, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

    Wish the recipe stated how many ounces of beer rather than just “half”. Also instructions kind of confusing:
    ADD THE BUTTER, EGGS AND VANILLA AND BEAT ON MEDIUM SPEED FOR ONE MINUTE and then you say ADD THE BUTTER AND EGG MISTURE AND BEAT FOR 20 SECONDS.
    I take it you mean in a “separate bowl” beat the three ingredience and then add to dry mixture. Could be stated better for clarification.

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — July 1st, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

      Hi Linda- Thanks for letting me know. I updated the recipe for clarification.

      Reply

  34. #
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    Tara Noland — June 29, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

    These look so good. I would love to dive in. I am going to add them to my Mouth Watering Mondays post this Monday. Come on over to see them at http://www.noshingwiththenolands.com Cheers, Tara

    Reply

  35. #
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    Cassie (Bake Your Day) — July 1, 2012 @ 12:31 am

    Pretty sure I’d eat the whole batch. This is genius, Naomi…nothing goes better with beer than pretzels!

    Reply

  36. #
    36
    Mara — July 1, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

    What interesting cupcakes. Are they really still alcoholic once they’ve been baked though? I’ve made a number of baked goods with alcohol in them and it always cooks off in the oven.

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — July 2nd, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

      Mara-Yes, the taste of the stout is still in there.

      Reply

  37. #
    37
    Mara — July 2, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

    Oh, the taste of course. I was thinking more of actual alcohol content burning off in the cooking process.

    Reply

  38. #
    38
    Kristen — August 5, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

    You never cease to amaze me… oh my. Wow.

    Reply

  39. #
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    Pam — February 12, 2013 @ 1:08 am

    Naomi.. These look great! Did you use frosting and ganache? How did you get the pretzels to stick in?

    Reply

  40. #
    40
    Melanie — March 6, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

    I can’t wait for my boyfriend’s birthday next month now. These will be perfect for him!

    Reply

  41. #
    41
    Uyen — August 16, 2013 @ 9:03 am

    This is a great recipe and I love the contrast of crunchy and soft, and sweet and salty. In my OCD nature, I tried my best to make them look as beautiful as this post but it’s a bit tedious. Plus, as I broke up the pretzel pieces they started to stale quickly. I will definitely try these again with just a few mods. :]

    Reply

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    Gina — January 7, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

    The recipe was a hit and was quite easy to make. I made them for a beer-loving friend’s birthday and for my work-friends. I used store bought semi-sweet chocolate frosting and added a peanut butter coated pretzel on each cupcake.

    Reply

  43. #
    43
    Amy - Borrowed Salt — March 20, 2014 @ 9:31 am

    Amazing presentation! I want to make these for a Game of Thrones premiere party!

    Reply

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    44
    Ashley — May 18, 2014 @ 9:12 am

    These look amazing, and I am already looking forward to making these for football season! Only thing- I am not a Guinness fan. Can we use a different beer without disturbing the flavors too much?

    Reply

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    JulieAnn — September 22, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

    I want to make these for a friend of mine but he’s sugar free, how would you recommend I do that?

    Reply

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