This past weekend we hosted a dinner birthday party for our friend Lauren at The Red House in Cambridge. As good cupcaketeers we made cupcakes as party favors for the guests. Naturally, she served as our inspiration—she loves chocolate, coffee, beer and to most of our dismay– cats! Not to eat or drink but as companionship. Our original idea was to create a cupcake that looked like a cat. While this idea was cute in theory in practice it didn’t work out so well. Moral of the story— cats do not make cute cupcakes.
We decided on a chocolate cupcake flavored with Berkshire Brewery’s Coffeehouse Porter topped with an espresso buttercream and then dipped in candy chocolate. The result was a fluffy cake with a “full-bodied” rich coffee taste. The hard chocolate candy coating added texture but made the larger cupcakes a little more difficult to eat. The small bite size cupcakes were perfect with the candy coating. We decorated the cupcakes with a stylized “L” for Lauren and a little paw print for the tiny cupcakes.
Coffeehouse Porter Cake
2 cups flours
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
12 oz Berkshire Brewery Coffeehouse Porter
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup sour cream
3 eggs, room temperature
- Preheat oven 350 degrees.
- Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
- In a saucepan over medium heat the Porter, butter and vanilla. Stir until butter is melted.
- Pour into a bowl and set aside.
- In a bowl fitted for an electric mixer combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda and whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Add the cooled Porter mixture in three batches until fully combined.
- Mix in sour cream until incorporated.
- Add eggs in one at a time.
- Divide batter among cups, about 3/4ths full.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Frost after they have completely cooled.
Espresso Buttercream Frosting
6 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ teaspoon instant espresso dissolved in 3 tablespoons of water
- In a bowl fitted for an electric mixer cream the butter until smooth.
- Alternate the sugar and espresso and mix until smooth.