Best In Show! The prizewinning Cupcakes!

Kate’s Beer Geek Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel

The Winner

photo: David Malosh

the recipe, if you dare…


1 cup flavorful dark beer– I used Rogue Mocha Porter but Lagunitas Cappucino Stout and Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (hometown love!) are also faves. Ask your favorite beer geek for a recommendation.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Combine the beer and butter in a large sauce pan and heat to melt.
Remove from heat; whisk in the cocoa, sugar, and espresso.
In a bowl, whisk the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla, then whisk into the beer mixture.
Sift together the flour and baking soda, and fold into the batter.
Pour into cupcake pan (you can go a little more than ¾ full on these) and bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.

Salted Caramel:

4 tablespoons water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher or sea

Combine the water, sugar, and the corn syrup in a deep saucepan and cook over medium heat—stir with a wooden spoon to combine
Cover the saucepan and let it cook over medium/medium-low heat for 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes, remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
(Do not stir from this point on, but once it starts to turn brown at the edge you should carefully shake/swirl the pan so that one area of the caramel doesn’t burn.)
Continue to cook until the caramel turns an even amber color then remove from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds.
Pour the heavy cream into the mixture. Be careful. The mixture will bubble up!
Stir the mixture. Add the butter, lemon juice, and salt. Stir until combined.
Pour into a Pyrex measuring cup.
Stirring occasionally, allow to cool until thick and warm, about 20 minutes.


1.5 sticks butter at room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese
4-5 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup salted caramel

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
Sift 2 cups of powdered sugar into the cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.
Add 3/4 cup of the salted caramel and beat to combine.
Sift rest of powder sugar, in 1 cup increments and beating between each, until you arrive at the thickness and sweetness you desire.

To Assemble: Frost the cakes, drizzle leftover caramel on top, and sprinkle a few grains of salt on each one. Top with a chocolate covered espresso bean if you’re feeling fancy. Pair with the rest of your beer! Makes 22-24 cupcakes.


47 thoughts on “Best In Show! The prizewinning Cupcakes!

  1. I shouldn’t comment this way, but that girl is hot, and her cupcake was awesome. It was the second I had that night, before I got all burnt out.

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  3. awesome beer selection. you may want to also try some Stone Brewing Co. Ales.

    Russian Stout or Old Guardian Barley Wine.

    But, Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I would like to make this yummy recipe, but would prefer not to have leftover salted caramel if possible. For those that have made it: how much salted caramel does this produce? Can I cut the recipe in half and still get the 3/4 cup I need for the frosting recipe? Thanks!

  5. Yes, I found that the recipe makes extra salty caramel and more than a cup of extra frosting, even if I iced generously. I’d cut the caramel and the frosting down by a third, then put a cup of caramel into the frosting instead of 3/4.

    Other than that, I love this recipe!

    Also, these cupcakes should be cooked at 350, which isn’t mentioned anywhere in the recipe.

  6. I made them and they ROCK. I could not find instant espresso powder, I used instant coffee and they came out pretty tasty. I used Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and it worked out nicely.

    thanks for sharing the awesome.

  7. I made these and they were good. I think next time I’ll add a little salt to the cupcake batter as well, to bring out the flavors.

  8. Ah yes, I like the Stone Brew idea! Since I live about less than 5 minutes from the Stone Brewery! I am going to try it!

    However I am not really a beer drinker…can anyone recommend which Stone Brew would be best?

    Thanks :O

  9. I have baked a similar recipe (without the caramel) but am really excited to try out this version. However, I don’t completely understand the step where it says “Pour the heavy cream into the mixture” – as I understand it the cupcake batter (heavy cream?!) is already in the oven when one turns to the salted caramel. Where does the caramel go – between cupcake and icing? into the icing?

  10. I’m going to try to make this this weekend, but I have some questions. I’ve never seen instant espresso before. Can you substitute regular instant coffee? Also, would a regular Guinness-like stout work just as well?

  11. I used Guinness. Found espresso at Earth Fare. I only make this on special occasions and we are going to our fav local pub.


    I’ve made stout cupcakes before, but I used Half Acre Big Hugs from a local brewery here in Chicago.

    Another great Rouge option would be their Hazelnut Brown — delicious.

  13. Just made these! Everyone ate 2 at the party! i’ve tried a lot of cupcake recipes, this one is a keeper! I also poured caramel sauce in the middle and ppl lOVED it!! thx!

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  19. BEST CUPCAKES EVER! I can only make them when I need to bring a dish…otherwise I EAT THEM ALL. Definitely a winning recipe!

  20. Good blog! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day! dbaabgefegdg

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