#10DaysofTailgate: Boston Lager Cupcakes

Tailgate LogoToday is the last day of #10DaysofTailgate hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. I wanted to end this event with a dessert, and what tailgating event is complete without beer?!

I chose my husband’s favorite beer to use in a chocolate cupcake.

While I am not a beer drinker, even I enjoyed these cupcakes. The texture of the cake is lighter than your average cupcake. The flavor of the beer comes though, but not in an over powering way. The beer mellows the sugary flavor of a traditional chocolate cupcake and lends an earthiness to the cake.

The suggested frosting for these cupcakes was for a beer buttercream but I wanted to make these a little more family friendly so chose to omit the beer. I also wasn’t convinced that a traditional buttercream was the way to go with these cupcakes. I decided instead to make both vanilla and chocolate buttercream frostings to swirl together and create the look of a glass of foamy beer. At least, that was my intention. Whether or not that image came through to you or not, I’m proud of how these look. (If you’re new to Sew You Think You Can Cook, decorating cakes is one of my weakest skills in the kitchen and would always rely on my creative friend Kate to come rescue me. Now that I am living 750 miles away I’m going to have to learn how to do these things myself!)

 Boston Lager Cupcakes


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C Boston Lager beer
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 3/4 C flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time until combined. Mix in the beer and water until smooth.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix until combined.
  4. Fill lined cupcake trays 3/4 of the way full. Bake 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes.
  5. Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting. In a piping bag, place both vanilla buttercream on one side and chocolate buttercream on the other. Pipe over cooled cupcakes, creating a two-toned swirl. (Frosting recipes can be found here.)

*This recipe is modified from David at http://blogs.westword.com/cafesociety/2010/04/beer_cupcakes_and_beer_milksha.php *

Sam Adams Cupcakes

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more tailgating recipes today:

Beer Cheese Brat Chowder by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Ducky Joes by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Ducky 13 Bean Soup by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
13 Bean Chili by Miss Laura’s Kitchen
Za’atar Spiced Cashews by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Chicken & Potato Stir Fry on the Grill by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy

El Diablo Spicy Wood Smoked Pork Butt by CafeTerraBlog
Grilled Lemongrass Lamb by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Grilled Clash of the Seasons Panzanella by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Shirley Temple Cupcakes

In the world of sweets, cupcakes have been the dominating dessert for quite some time now. And one of the popular trends is to turn a favorite beverage into a cupcake flavor. There are countless margarita cupcakes, Guinness cupcakes, and cupcakes using soda.

Kate and I decided to take our favorite mocktail and turn it into a cupcake. It’s such a fun cupcake and would be adorable to use in February for Valentine’s Day, for a summer party, or any little girl’s birthday.

Shirley Temple Cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 C plus 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C cherry 7-up, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbsp maraschino cherry juice
  • red food coloring (optional)

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp maraschino cherry juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tray with paper liners.
  2. In a bowl, 1 1/2 C flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated.
  4. Add one third of the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add half of the cherry 7-up. Repeat until dry ingredients and soda are used (ending with the dry).
  5. Add the vanilla and almond extracts.
  6. In a small bowl, mix 3/4 C of the cake batter with the remaining 1 tbsp flour, maraschino cherry juice, and food coloring.
  7. Distribute the red cake batter between 12 cupcakes. Top with remaining batter – do not mix.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  9. Meanwhile, make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and pinch of salt. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, the lemon juice, and maraschino cherry juice. Frost cupcakes.
  10. Garnish with maraschino cherries and a a straw!

*This recipe is adapted from Shanon at http://www.thecurvycarrot.com/2011/06/26/shirley-temple-cupcakes/*

Shirley Temple Cupcakes


1yrToday is my blog’s anniversary! I can’t believe it’s been a year.  In my first year I have gained 132 followers and 113 Facebook friends. I’ve really enjoyed blogging. I will admit that I hit a spell in my first trimester of pregnancy when I was questioning my desire to continue with Sew You Think You Can Cook. Blame the hormones and exhaustion.

But I’m glad I stuck it out. I’ve met some great bloggers through The Crazy Ingredient Challenge, #BundtBakers, and Secret Recipe Club. I think joining in these link parties has brought me the most joy. It’s been nice to expand my horizons and get creative in the kitchen. In fact, I just joined another group – Foodie Extravaganza!

For my blog-iversary I decided to try something that’s always intrigued me. Using olive oil in baking. These cupcakes are beautiful – The olive oil gave them a nice golden color and the edges had a little bit of crisp to them which I adored. They’re not overly sweet so the cream cheese frosting accompanied them perfectly. I typically find icing to push cake over the top on sweetness level. I brought them to work and they were gone before lunch!

Olive Oil Cupcakes

Ingredients for cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 C cake flour
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 C sour cream
  • 1/4 C milk

Ingredients for frosting:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 C powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a cupcake tin, or line with cupcake liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the olive oil and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the sour cream until combined. Add the milk. Mix until batter is smooth.
  3. Place cupcake batter into prepared cupcake tin. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool.
  4. Make the frosting: Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar in two installments. Beat until smooth. Add milk 1/4 tsp at a time if needed (I didn’t need it).

*This recipe is adapted from Brita at http://www.bakingisascience.com/lemon-lime-olive-oil-cupcakes/*

Olive Oil Cupcakes

Thursday Thoughts #4

Thursday Thoughts

I’ve uncovered a flaw in my Thursday Thoughts. … They have to be posted on Thursday! So typically I’ll write my post ahead of time, and just have to wait for the next open Thursday on the blog schedule. Therefore, this post, once scheduled, could be so out of date it’s ridiculous! (but I do re-read them for updates and edits the night before they go live) I expect the Thursday Thoughts posts to become more regular once I’m in full swing mom mode. 🙂

I’ve been back at work now that I’m in the “safe zone” of pregnancy. This is the tough stretch. I am thankful that I’m not overly uncomfortable and that I’m not huge all over. Although, my ankles and feet swell pretty badly by the time my eight hours of work are up. I know I should be patient, my due date isn’t until the 28th. (Keep in mind I started writing this post on the 17th.) But after being on bed rest for 6-7 weeks and having 4 scares of pre-term labor in all, now that baby is full term and it would be acceptable for him/her to arrive each day is torturous. Really, is it too much to ask for my little one to send me a meeting invite so i can put it on my calendar? 😉 It seems I had 8 1/2 months of contractions and now nothing.

Cinnamon Buttermilk MuffinFor my first week back at work I decided to make these muffins. One of my #bundtbaker blogger pals (Stacy) starts every week with #MuffinMonday. When this post arrived in my inbox I knew I had to make them. I even had buttermilk in the fridge just begging to be used. I’m not going to lie, I made these the same day I made cupcakes and had some leftover cream cheese icing. I definitely ate one with icing… which negates the muffin-ness. But oh so good. They’re good without the icing too and were perfect to get me through my daily 9am snack time.

photo 2Have you been watching the World Cup? Stuart is a big soccer fan (weekend mornings are always a battle between Food Network and Soccer) and had us play along with ESPN’s World Cup Pick Em and World Cup Bracket. I’m not gonna lie – I’m kicking his butt! As of Wednesday night, I am currently ranked 14,557 with an 87.7% while he is laying “low” at 62,864 with a 46.9%. We should’ve bet on it! It makes watching the matches more enjoyable having a team to root for. Unfortunately Spain’s poor performance is really going to mess with my bracket when that portion of the tournament starts. I have them in the final match! But, I’m sure my bracket won’t be the only one that’s SOL. I wish I were clever and creative enough to make these World Cupcakes. There’s nothing saying I can’t make them… but I just won’t feel as awesome as if I’d thought of them myself. Maybe my creative juices will flow better when I’m finally a mom?… probably not… unless sleep deprivation sparks genius.

Stuart’s siblings got us the super awesome Ninja Blender system for Christmas. And we’ve gone through phases with smoothie making. Stuart will always try to make a smoothie with protein powder in it when he comes home from the gym. So we try to keep a stocked freezer full of fruits. After a few days in a row of unhealthy eating I really wanted something light and refreshing for dinner. Stuart brought up the idea of smoothies and it was perfect! My new favorite is Raspberry Lemonade (frozen raspberries, lemonade, yogurt)! It’s actually been a nice addition to my breakfast too. Also delicious is Blueberry Pineapple (frozen blueberries, frozen pineapple, yogurt, milk). We like to take them with us on our evening walks.

Olympic Ring Cupcake Display

The Opening Ceremony of the XXII Winter Olympics is tonight at 7:30/6:30C. If you are having a watching party I have the perfect display for your dessert table. I know there are many wonderful Olympics-related food ideas on Pinterest – hopefully this post will add me to the party!

I used two different boxes of cake mix for this project – one chocolate and one white. I really did this because that’s what I happened to have in my cupboard, but I firmly recommend following suit. Not only does it offer your guests options, but it makes it much easier to place the cupcakes prior to frosting.

Olympic Rings Cupcake Display (pre-frosting)

Make a double batch of butter cream (single recipe listed below) and divide evenly into four bowls. Color the frosting in red, blue, yellow, and green. Frost the respective rings appropriately. YOU WILL HAVE LEFT OVER FROSTING! Combine the left over red, blue, and green along with 3/8 C of cocoa powder. Now you have chocolate butter cream frosting for the black ring. I opted to not create black frosting because I find it to be unappetizing, additionally black frosting tends to stain mouths, hands, etc.

If you want to avoid dying frosting, you can easily use plain frosting and then use respective sprinkles – in which case I approve of using black! 😉

Olympics Rings Cupcake Display

Butter Cream Frosting


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat butter. Add in powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat until combined. (If frosting doesn’t come together, add just a little bit of milk at a time until a smooth texture is reached.)

*This recipe comes from my friend Kate*

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Today is my husband’s birthday! Some of his coworker’s know I’m a food (mostly) blogger and are always complaining that Stuart doesn’t bring in enough leftovers at lunch for everyone. So today I’m sending him to work with cupcakes!

I wanted to make them from scratch instead of using a box. I was trying to decide what flavor profile to do and decided to go with a play on his favorite candy bar: the Almond Joy. The frosting recipe called for coconut extract, but because I have a coconut allergy I didn’t want to buy a bottle to use 1/4 tsp. I looked up how to make my own, but doing so requires a fresh coconut. I decided to substitute vanilla extract, and trust that the coconut milk used to make the frosting will keep the coconut flavor alive. They’re additionally topped with shredded coconut (and an almond).

If you notice, the title of this blog post is Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting, not Coconut. That’s because I typed up the post before I made the frosting. The frosting did not turn out well. The texture was all off – it wasn’t smooth and almost looked like glitter.

So I switched it up and decided to go with peanut butter frosting. (It’s a good thing I got the new glass KitchenAid bowl for Christmas so I didn’t have to do dishes in between frostings, thanks parents!) I asked, “Can I just pretend Reese’s are your favorite candy?” “Yes, I like Reese’s!” Also, instead of pretending to be perfect, you get to know my Plan B secret! I followed the frosting recipe I used on my Caramel Filled Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Caramel Frosting, omitting the caramel.

Chocolate Cupcakes Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Peanut Butter Frosting

Ingredients for cupcake:

  • 2/3 C cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 C butter, melted
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 C sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 C flour

Ingredients for frosting:

  • 1 C salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 C canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 C powdered sugar
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 1/8 C + 1 tsp milk
  • 1/4 C peanut butter


  1. Boil 1 C of water in the microwave. Mix together cocoa powder and baking soda. Whisk in the boiling water and whisk until the mixture no longer bubbles and is smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat melted butter, oil, vanilla, sugar, and salt with a hand mixer. Add in the two eggs and beat until combined. Repeat with the egg yolks. Add the cocoa mixture and heavy cream. Once combined add in the flour in batches, mixing after each addition.
  3. Pour cupcake batter into 2 dozen cupcake tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean when inserted. Let cool.
  4. Make the frosting: Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and coconut milk until fluffy. Mix in the extract. Slowly add in the powdered sugar until a frosting is made! In a stand mixer beat together sugar, butter, and milk. When combined fully add in the peanut butter.
  5. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting. Top with shredded coconut and an almond, if desired.

*The cupcake recipe is adapted from Jaclyn at http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/02/chocolate-cupcakes-with-coconut-frosting-almonds-almond-joy-cupcakes/*

Chocolate Cupcakes Peanut Butter Frosting