My last post was a week and a half ago. I got back from vacation last Tuesday and meant to post a vacation recap (aka photo-dump a select few of the thousands of pictures we took) and a recipe later last week. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Life got a little… crazy.
Let me back up to a month ago. I applied to a really awesome nutrition program consultant job. I didn’t think I would get a call back from them. Fast forward about a week: I get a call for an interview. I go to the interview, it goes fine, and I don’t think much more of it. Fast forward again to last Wednesday.
I got a job offer. I cried, called Mike, and didn’t sleep for the next two days. They needed an answer by Friday, and I hadn’t had time to fully process everything yet. Taking this job would mean moving back to Madison, our college town. Mike’s business is in Appleton. Our families are in Appleton. We have a house in Appleton.
After several long discussions and a total of 6 hours of sleep in two nights, I called them back and accepted. We’re moving back to Madison! Kind of. I’m estimating that I will be spending 1/3 of my time in Madison at the office, 1/3 of my time traveling to my sites,a nd 1/3 of my time in Appleton. I still can’t believe that all this is happening. Needless to say, I have a lot to prepare in the next month for the big transition. It looks like the travel yoga mat I bought for vacation is actually going to get put to some good use!
Anyway, I will spare you the photos from my vacation (for now) and instead share with you these cupcakes that I made for Mike’s birthday over the weekend. My handsome hubby turned the big 2-5! Mike gave me the go-ahead to make whatever birthday treat I wanted. Perfect.
These cupcakes were to die for. Seriously. Make these now. Everything from the cake (moist, fluffy, and chocolatey with a hint of stout) to the frosting (creamy, caramely deliciousness) is perfect. In fact, I ate all the extra frosting with pretzels and ate the rest of the caramel with a spoon. Don’t judge, because when you go finish reading this post, you will go and make these cupcakes. And you will eat all the leftover frosting and caramel, too.
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting
makes 24 cupcakes
for the cupcakes:
3/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-12 ounce bottle Guinness Extra Stout (or other stout beer), room temperature
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
for the salted caramel:
1/2 granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
for the salted caramel frosting:
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
mini pretzel twists to garnish, optional
sea salt to garnish, optional
- To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 24 muffin tins or line with cupcake liners.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the stout, butter, vanilla and eggs. Beat together until combined. Mix in Greek yogurt until smooth and well combined. Carefully stir in dry ingredients 1/2 cup at a time.
- Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cupcakes are domed in the center and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan before place removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make the salted caramel: place sugar and water in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir carefully until sugar is dissolved, being careful not to touch the sides of the pan. Bring mixture to a boil and stop stirring. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until mixture turns a deep amber brown color, about 10 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and carefully stir in whipping cream and vanilla extract. Let cool for 1 hour.
- To make the frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until well combined. Add in 1/2 cup of caramel and mix until fluffy.
- Frost cooled cupcakes with salted caramel frosting and drizzle remaining caramel on top. Garnish with a mini pretzel twist and a tiny sprinkle of sea salt, if desired.
cupcake recipe barely adapted from Food Network and frosting recipe adapted from Carla’s Confections