Local Beer & Baileys.

St Patty's Day Cupcakes UPDATED 1

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'm pretty excited about this post because I decided to put a different spin on the traditional Guinness & Baileys cupcakes!

A little backstory - Ever since Dylan & I moved to Michigan we try to have date night every Friday. And there are so many awesome restaurant choices, we rarely eat at the same place twice. Except Latitude 42, Portage's first microbrewery.

We first walked in at about 7 o'clock on a Friday night a few weeks ago. It was packed and the wait was over an hour. We were a little surprised, because since we moved out of crowded SoCal, we haven't experienced too many long waits at restaurants. But there were 2 seats open at the bar and I was starving (as usual) so we took them.

One of the first things you notice is the size of the building, about half being the restaurant & half the brewery with large windows inside and out. As well as a long list of house made beers and specialty menu items using them, such as their Beer Cheese Soup & the Dark Chocolate Stout Cake for dessert.

You can also buy Latitude 42's beer to take home, in 32 or 64 ounce growlers. Which is exactly what I did. I decided on All Night Long, a stout beer brewed with Sulawesi (Indonesian coffee beans) and organic Ecuadorian cocao nibs. Sounds perfect for baking with right?

I made these Dark Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with a ganache filling and a Baileys Swiss Meringue Buttercream!

St Patty's Day Cupcakes 38

Want some recipes? Here we go...

Dark Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
-made 33 cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup DARK cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
1/2 cup regular unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup stout beer
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add oil, beer, milk, eggs & vanilla and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes until smooth. Expect batter to be thin.
3. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake cupcakes 18-20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool completely before frosting. Brush tops of cupcakes with beer, if desired.

Ingredients ready to go.


The dry ingredients.


Add the wet and mix it up. Mr owl is supervising!


While cooling, I brushed the tops of the cupcakes with more beer!


Time for some filling!

Irish Cream Chocolate Ganache

2/3 cup + 3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips ( I used dark, but you can also use milk chocolate)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream liquor

1. Heat milk and butter over medium heat on stove & bring to a light simmer.
2. Pour over chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir until chocolate is melted. Add Baileys & stir until smooth.
3. Refrigerate until ganache is thickened but still fairly soft, about one hour.

I used a piping bag & tip to fill my cupcakes, but you could also cut out cones and fill cupcakes that way as well.


I filled them by counting to 4 and using even pressure for each cupcake.


Baileys Swiss Meringue Buttercream
-made enough to generously frost 27 cupcakes

5 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream liquor

1. Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.
2. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don't worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add vanilla & Baileys, and beat just until combined.
4. Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes.

Whisking my egg whites and sugar.


Lets frost those cupcakes!


Beautiful Baileys Buttercream.


Now for the drizzle...

Take what is left of the chocolate ganache and microwave for 10-20 seconds, stir to smooth it out.

I used a plastic squeeze bottle but a little ziplock bag with the corner snipped off will work just as well.


Keep a steady hand while drizzling.


Took some of these yummy cupcakes to mine & Dylan's combined birthday dinner at Latitude 42!


St Patty's Day Cupcakes UPDATED 3

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

<3hollicakes

Snowball Cupcakes


Welcome back hollicakes!

After about a year hiatus & some crazy life changes, I am finally back at it!

Over the past few months, I quit my baking job at the Fairmont Hotel and moved to Michigan to be with my boyfriend Dylan. This is my first official post as a Michigan resident!! So far I've only experienced a whole lot of winter. And when I say winter, I mean 100+ inches of snow. Something this CA born and raised girl has never experienced! And it has been amazing. And beautiful. Oh and I can't forget REALLY cold.

I know you're here to see some cupcakes, but let me take a moment to show you a few photos of things that inspired me to make these cupcakes! It may be March but winter is still in full swing over here...

Our new home in Michigan! With my little pup outside...


Cute little deer come hang out in the backyard all the time.


Enjoying our time in the midwest & built our first snowman!


Okay, okay, onto some yummy cupcakes!

So I've been pretty obsessed with the snow, coming from CA, I've never seen this much snow on the ground. I love watching it fall and how the sun shines & makes it sparkle.

That means...

...must make snowball cupcakes!!!

With cute little deer friends too.


Snowball Cupcakes (adapted from Sweetapolia's Fluffy Vanilla Cake)
-made 27 cupcakes

5 large egg whites
1 whole egg
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour, sifted
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 24 even pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake tins with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, combine and stir the egg whites, whole egg, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed for 30 seconds.
4. Add the butter a few pieces at a time with mixer on low speed until the mixture is a fine crumbly texture.
5. Add 3/4 cup milk, and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture a little at a time until batter is smooth. Fold once or twice to ensure the batter at bottom of bowl is incorporated.
6. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake 14-16 minutes, making sure not to over bake.


Whipped Coconut Buttercream

3 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons coconut milk (optional, you can use regular milk instead)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip butter for 5 minutes on medium speed until butter is pale and creamy, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
2. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light & fluffy.
3. Pipe 1/2 inch layer of buttercream on each cupcake, smoothing and rounding over with offset spatula. Place shredded coconut in shallow bowl and immediately dip frosted cupcakes in coconut. Gently moving cupcakes in circular motion until coconut sticks to the frosting. Careful not to push too hard and flatten the top of your "snowballs".

Hopefully these cupcakes get you through the rest of this long winter!

Its almost springtime =]