Monday, March 18, 2013

Friends Don't Let Friends: Not Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Over the past several weeks, the husband and I have been getting together at another couple's house, along with another couple and all our dogs(!!!), for Sunday night dinner, games and The Walking Dead.

Yesterday, being St. Patrick's day, we decided to get all festive and do a full Irish dinner... veganized of course!

Everyone in the group cooks so we've had some great meals - enchiladas, tacos, lasagna, many many varieties of homemade pizza, chili, and more. Last night we had a corned beef-style seitan (made from scratch), colcannon made with kale, red cabbage and apples and Irish soda bread. Everything was amazing!

 I've also used these dinners to bring back what I call "Sunday Night Test Kitchen". I try to make a new recipe each time and we've had tiramisu, chocolate cheesecake, coconut cake and, of course, cupcakes.

Last night's dessert, to be festive, were Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Buttercream Frosting, modified from Chef Chloe's new book.


Chocolate Beer Cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour plus ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup stout beer (I used Guinness Extra Stout, which is vegan)
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar (I used white)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Irish Whiskey Buttercream (note, I made my regular frosting and did not add milk)

  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (I use Spectrum Organics)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 5 tablespoons soy, almond, or rice milk
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons Irish whiskey


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vegan margarine
  • 4 teaspoons soy, almond, or rice milk

I opted to ditch the caramel and instead do a festive green ombre frosting with green jimmies.

Here's the process:


To make the Chocolate Beer Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners. Note, I got 16 cupcakes out of this recipe. 
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together stout, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.
Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

To make the Irish Whiskey Buttercream

Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the shortening until smooth. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon nondairy milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. You may not need to use all of the nondairy milk. Add whiskey, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired taste. Beat on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.

To make the Caramel

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, heat brown sugar, margarine, and nondairy milk, stirring frequently.  Once mixture comes together, increase heat to medium-high and let cook for one to two more minutes, until it begins to boil and the bubbles move into the center of the caramel. Remove from heat.
To assemble the cupcakes: Frost cooled cupcakes with buttercream and dust with cocoa powder. Drizzle warm caramel over cupcakes using a fork or a squeeze tube. Caramel will be easier to work with while warm.
If you want the ombre frosting, I use gel food coloring and then paint 4 stripes of it in my piping bag before putting in the frosting.  When it comes out, it's swirled!

I hope you enjoyed some craic and... 
Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh

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