Monday, January 11, 2010

Ginger Beer Cupcakes

I had to make these cupcakes. I have been thinking about nothing but making ginger beer cupcakes for the last week. You can thank my dear friend Lisa from spicy icecream for that. I hardly ever used to drink ginger beer, but her recent obsession with it somehow triggered something in my brain and I have been going nuts for it. I was even lucky enough to grab some ginger beer cordial off my brother, and that's when I decided I had to try making cupcakes flavoured with ginger beer.
I had no idea how to go about this, I didn't like the idea of having to add so much liquid to a cake mixture. But I just went ahead with it, because I had so much ginger beer in my fridge. I'm so glad that I did because these moist, golden cupcakes are delish!
The flavour of the ginger beer gets quite diluted in the cake mixture, so if you can get your hands on the ginger beer cordial to help boost that, then I would really encourage it. These went a lovely golden brown in the oven and you could really smell the ginger beer in the cakes. I had to add a little bit of ground ginger to the batter to add a little extra gingery-ness, because I love my ginger. It's funny since I never used to like ginger as a child, only knowing it as that unpleasant tasting chunky thing that you might be unlucky enough to bite into while eating your Mum's stir fry. No one ever used to tell me it came in so many deliciously sweet forms!
Ginger Beer Cupcakes
(Yield: Approx 20 cupcakes)
For the cupcakes:
1 cup tightly packed brown sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarb soda
3/4 cup ginger beer
2 tbsp ginger beer cordial (if unavailable, substitute with 1/4 cup ginger beer)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
For the icing:
375g (2 cups) icing sugar
140g butter (salted or unsalted), softened slightly
2 tsp ginger beer cordial (or 2 tsp ginger beer)
1 tbsp glace ginger, finely chopped
Optional: Plastic straws, chopped short
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Cream sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, and beat well with an electric mixer until combined.
Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and ginger) into a separate bowl and mix together. Combine ginger beer and ginger beer cordial in another small bowl.
Alternating between adding the ginger beer mixture and the flour mixture, gradually fold the ingredients into the butter-egg-sugar bowl. The mixture should be pale and fluffy and as runny as a regular cake batter.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3-3/4 full and then bake in the oven for 18-20 mins, or until cooked through and golden brown on top, rotating tray halfway to ensure they bake evenly. Remove from the oven and carefully remove cupcakes from tray. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Beat butter with an electric mixer on high speed until it is light and fluffy. Fold in the sifted icing sugar gradually and then stir in the ginger beer cordial. Adjust amount of cordial and amount of icing sugar until it reaches a good consistency for piping.
Pipe icing over the top of cupcakes once they are cooled. Sprinkle glace ginger over the top of the icing and then stick a small straw into each cupcake.
Can be stored for several days in an air-tight container.
I only wish I could have gotten some of those cute bendy straws to use instead of boring straight ones! Everyone I gave a cupcake to asked me if there was something that they could suck up through the straw, expecting some sort of crazy ginger beer capsule in the middle. Others wished that the straw was edible. Sheesh I didn't realise expectations were so high!
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  1. eee yums.. And surely the ginger is good for the stomach?

  2. Can't believe im still yet to try ginger beer. Now I have the perfect excuse! Thanks steph x

  3. Love all your cupcake creations! Ginger beer, how nice!

  4. Oooh yum!! And the straw decorations are too cute! Hehe I'm with you... I HATE eating pieces of fresh ginger even though I love their flavour in savoury dishes and gingery desserts are to-die-for.

    And I don't like ginger beer. Is that weird?

  5. Ooh so creative Steph and I love the straw detail. I bet I would have tried using the straw :P

  6. I was thinking that there would be Ginger Beer coming out of the straw too. ehehehe. They are such cute cupakes. I didnt like ginger beer at first but its incredibly refreshing on a hot summers day. I havent tried the cordial though. I'll have to go and buy some.

  7. Ooooh, I LOVE ginger beer! I definitely have to try and find ginger beer cordial to make these! :)

  8. oh, I love ginger beer! got hooked when I lived in NZ - but there's no way of buying it anywhere in Germany. Only Schweppes ginger ale, but that doesn't really count.
    Those cupcakes are right up my alley :-)

  9. I've never liked ginger, not even in candied or beer form BUT I can imagine ginger beer would work in cake. To give the straws some purpose u could try to make a ginger beer jam-type thing for the centres...?

  10. maybe you could add some chopped candied ginger into the cake mix for extra texture? Otherwise, very creative!!

  11. I don't like eating ginger, but I love ginger beer :) Nice creation you have there !!

  12. I've never heard of ginger beer Steph but it looks and sounds delicious! One question - is the ginger fresh or powdered? I would love to try this!

  13. Your creativity never ceases to amaze!

    I wonder if you could make an edible straw by pouring white chocolate down the inside of a real straw, letting it set, then cutting/peeling off the straw? Hmmm, seems fraught with disappointment and swearing.

  14. Thanks for the tip on the ginger beer cordial. I'll have to keep an eye out for that, as I love everything that's ginger. ;)

  15. These are the coolest cupcakes I've ever seen. I have to make these. The straws are such a cute touch. I just can't stop *squee-ing* about them!!

  16. I never used to like ginger either, I'd actually spit it out if it someone mixed into my rice! I never knew it was so awesome, until only a few years ago! These cupcakes look so cute! Love the photos! You really are the cupcake queen!!

  17. Fiona - Hahaha a very good point! Eat one of these to soothe a stomach ache!

    Kate - Haha no worries! You should try it, but careful I find it so addictive!

    Ellie - :D Heehee thanks Ellie!

    Karen - I know, it's so unpleasant chomping into a huge piece of ginger in savoury dishes! Oh no :( Why don't you like it???

    Lorraine - Hehe thanks! It seems to be the most controversial detail about it!

    A cupcake or two - The cordial tastes exactly the same but without all the fizz. which is good when you just want to drink it quickly on a super hot day!

    Sara - Yay another ginger beer lover! It should be available in the supermarket I think!

    Mel P. - Yeah it's so addictive, Lisa & I were saying that they must put crack in it hehehe.

    mademoiselle délicieuse - Ooh that might work, but it would be pretty hard to suck jam up a straw! You could always replace it with coke if you prefer it?

    panda - Hmm yeah I thought about that but decided it would overpower the flavour of the actual ginger beer, so I just kept it on top :)

    YW - I love ginger in all forms but ginger beer is one of my favourites! Thanks!

    Trissa - OMG you haven't?? You have to try it Trissa! I use the powdered ginger but if you mean in the actual beer I have no idea how they make it!

    Conor - Aw thanks! Hmm that would be so cool, but far too delicate for me I think! Much swearing would be involved for sure!

    Carolyn Jung - Same here! It's great how versatile ginger is. I think it should be in the cordial section of the supermarket!

    Lisa - Heehee thanks :) I hope they turn out well when you make them!

    Betty - Haha same here! I always seemed to be the unlucky one to get the big knob of ginger my Mum threw into the chicken stir fry. :) Thanks!

  18. After Zumbo, seeing something unconventional like a straw in a cupcake sets certain expectations.

    Sweet, moist, ginger cupcakes sounds like they would have been fantastic, espcially when they're made by your masterful hands :)

  19. Simon - That's true, I will have to do something more interesting with a straw next time! :) Thanks!

  20. These looked so yummy I had to try them out for myself. I used Ginger Beer throughout though as couldn't find cordial. Tasty!

  21. Debbie - Yay! Hope you liked it and the ginger beer flavour wasn't too weak!

  22. These look delicious! Question: could I substitute ginger ale for the ginger beer? Thanks :)

  23. Kelly - I suppose you could, though you may need to increase the amount of ground ginger you add to the batter so the flavour isn't too mild

  24. Plug the end of the straw with a bit of hard icing & fill the straw with ginger beer? I do that with margarita cupcakes & tequila... :)


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