Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blue Moon Cupcakes.

Back in October, I had a party at my place to celebrate Erik’s birthday. Being the Martha Stewart wanna-be that I am, I wanted to bake something, but I wanted it to be cool. Erik and his friends didn’t want frilly color-coordinated cupcakes or any type of fancy dessert.

Thanks to the power of Pinterest and the internet in general, I found a few cupcake recipes that mimicked alcoholic beverages and knew that was what I was going to make. Finding the recipe for Blue Moon Cupcakes (link to the actual recipe here) was just pure luck, considering most people like Blue Moon and it’s one of Erik’s faves.

Today (yes, only three months late) I’ll be sharing my experience making these. Spoiler alert: they’re AMAZING.

You’ll need to grab the following ingredients: unsalted butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, vanilla extract, red and yellow food coloring, orange zest, milk, and of course, a bottle of Blue Moon.

Perfect! Okay, the first step is to mix the dry ingredients in one bowl. That’ll be the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Next, I zested the orange, which proved to be a more difficult feat than expected. You’re looking for about a half a teaspoon; I don’t know if I managed to get that much, but I don’t think it really mattered.

After that are a series of steps I didn’t photograph. You beat the softened butter first, then add the sugar slowly, making sure it gets incorporated as you go along. Next, add the eggs one at a time – again, you’re making sure they fully mix in before adding the next one. Finally, add the food coloring, vanilla extract, and orange zest, and you’ll have the prettiest batter I ever did see:

Now it’s time to open that Blue Moon! Mix the beer and milk in a measuring cup. (Note: when I did this, the consistency was off-putting because I think the beer curdled the milk, or at least did something weird to it. However! Everything turned out fine in the end, so if this happens to you, don’t panic… like I may or may not have done.)

You’re going to alternate between adding the beer/milk mixture and the flour mixture. There’s no exact science here, but make sure the last thing you add is the remainder of the dry ingredients. Now the batter will look a little less orange, but still fun.


Scoop the batter into cups – about 2/3 of the way full – and bake. Let them cool completely, then decorate! The original recipe calls for homemade frosting, but I cheated and went with store-bought vanilla. You can garnish with little orange slices, but like I mentioned earlier, Erik and his friends likely wouldn’t, erm, appreciate my decorative skills; instead, I went with blue sugar.

These are so delicious and moist. The Blue Moon flavor is definitely there, but it’s not overwhelming. I couldn’t really say if non-beer drinkers would enjoy these – the Blue Moon/beer flavor may be subtle enough to not be too strange – so just be aware of that if you’re making these for a mixed crowd.

Blue Moon Cupcakes
3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c sugar
2 1/2 c flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 drops red food coloring
10 drops yellow food coloring
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 c Blue Moon beer
1/4 c milk
Frothy White Frosting [recipe here], or any homemade/store-bought vanilla frosting
small orange slices, for garnish

1. Line 24 cupcake trays with liners. [Use white liners if you can, they become translucent during baking and really sell the mini Blue Moon image]. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking power and salt.
2. In a large bowl beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar a little bit at a time, beating well. Once it's all added beat for 2 more minutes.
3. Add eggs, beating after each.
4. Add vanilla, food coloring and orange zest and beat.
5. Mix beer and milk in a measuring cup. Alternatively add beer / milk mixture and flour mixture to butter mixture in the large bowl, beating after each. End on the flour mixture.
6. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 18 minutes at 375 degrees F until cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
7. Once cool, frost each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting. Just before serving, garnish each with a small orange slice.