Hoegaarden and Orange Cupcakes

Seeing as my first post was about gin and tonic cupcakes, I decided to continue with the alcoholic theme (I promise my posts won’t all be about alcoholic cake!) …

Living in Belgium, it would be unthinkable to not include beer in my cooking at some point. I recently had friends over for a beer and cheese evening so this seemed like the perfect occasion to test out beer cupcakes. I found a recipe for ‘white beer cupcakes’ – in Belgium the obvious choice was to use Hoegaarden. I altered the recipe slightly so here is my version:

Ingredients:

For cakes:

170g unsalted butter

300g sugar
310g plain flour
2½ tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 tsp orange zest
240 ml Hoegaarden (white beer)

60ml milk

For buttercream:
140g butter
280g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk (depending on desired consistency)

1 tsp orange zest

Method:

  • Pre-heat oven at 190º and line your cupcake tray.
  • In a large bowl beat the butter for about 30 seconds. Then add the sugar to the butter and beat until it’s light and creamy.
  • Add the eggs individually, beating after each.
  • In a measuring cup, mix the Hoegaarden beer and milk.
  • In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together.
  • Slowly add a bit of the beer/milk liquid into the rest of the cake mixture, followed by some flour so that the mixture does not curdle. Continue to alternate these, ensuring it is all mixed in before adding the next element. End on the flour mixture.
  • Fill cupcake cases about 2/3 full and bake for 18 minutes at 190º until cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

While the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream:

  • Beat the butter until creamy and light in colour.
  • Add the icing sugar and orange zest.
  • Depending on how you want to apply the icing, you can add 1-2 tbsp milk to change the consistency – if you are wanting to pipe the buttercream, you will want it more stiff so that it holds its shape.
Finally, on top of the buttercream I sprinkled some citrus sugar that I had in the cupboard. But you could also decorate them with some extra orange zest or a small slice of fresh orange.
I couldn’t really taste the Hoegaarden itself (I wouldn’t have been able to put my finger on the exact ingredients if I had been blind-testing them) but the beer certainly made the cupcakes very light and moist and the orange zest gave a deliciously refreshing citrus hit. They went down amazingly – many said they were the tastiest cupcakes they had ever tasted … so definitely a recipe to be repeated!

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