Several of my colleagues are participating in Movember. What’s Movember, you ask? Well, in order to raise awareness of Men’s Health and funds for prostate cancer research, they’re growing moustaches in the month of November. Well, some of them are trying to, at least. I uh.. don’t have the right hormones to participate directly, so when I saw the Manly Cupcake challenge at C&C Cakery, I thought, “Cupcakes. Now there’s something I can do.”
The rules are pretty simple. You have to post your recipe, pictures, and links to the challenge details and prize sponsors on your blog.
Here are the sponsors.
The Manly Cupcake Contest Prize Sponsor’s Include:
- Blush Printables– a $15 electronic gift card
- Hello Hanna – A pack of Sweet Stands (for every finalist)
- Elise Steven’s Illustration and Design – a hand-painted ornament featuring our mascot, Colonel Cupcake.
- Taraduff – a handmade bearded beanie
- Miss Kitty Creations – a special edition Tuxedo Cupcake Charm
- Bella Cupcake Couture – one pack of Cupcake Wrappers for each finalist and one extra for our grand prize winner
- Drama Llama – a handmade secret stuffie
- My Creative Side – Two dozen Mustaches on sticks
I figure that I’ll support my coworkers in their endeavour. You can donate to their campaign at their mo space.
Ok, preamble done. Let’s bake!
What could be more manly than beer cupcakes? Ok, maybe a steak and a beer, but I couldn’t come up with a way to make steak cupcakes that wouldn’t be completely gross.
I based my recipe off of one I found in Chatelaine magazine several years ago for a Guiness cake, but I decided to make it with Waterloo Dark, the beer of choice around these parts.
I modified the recipe slightly. This is more or less what I used:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (this is all I had of non-dutch processed cocoa)
1/2 cup dutch process cocoa
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Waterloo Dark beer
Order of operations is where I diverged again from the Chatelaine recipe, and sort of did things in a pseudo Rose Levy Beranbaum butter cake method. Sift together the dry ingredients, whisk to make sure they’re combined, then set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add half the flour mixture, and beat for 30 seconds or so. Add the other half of the flour mixture, and beat for about a minute. It should be really thoroughly combined and nice and fluffy. Add the beer, and mix on low speed until combined, then crank it up to medium, and make sure it’s thoroughly combined.
Dish out into lined cupcake pans, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. I got 24 cupcakes out of this recipe.
For the frosting, I followed the recipe more or less exactly.
12 oz icing sugar
1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup (this is the rest of your 341 mL bottle) Waterloo Dark beer
1 tsp vanilla
Generous pinch of salt
“For icing, sift icing sugar with cocoa into a bowl. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy, 2 to 3 min. Gradually beat half the icing-sugar mixture into the butter, scraping down the sides as needed. The mixture will be dry at this point. Gradually beat in beer or milk, vanilla and salt, then remaining icing-sugar mixture.”
I was agonizing over how to decorate these in a “manly” way, when my husband made a great suggestion. First, I made some chocolate fondant (recipe from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes — I won’t publish it here, due to copyright), and coloured it black. I frosted my cupcakes, and covered them with a layer of the black fondant. Then, I made indentations in a double H pattern, and piped over them with white royal icing. Then, I added numbers, and the letter R.
Can you guess what I made yet?
Here’s a shot from an angle to prove it’s actually a cupcake.
I test-drove some of these with friends on the weekend, and they seemed to go down well. The beer’s just barely noticeable in the cake, but definitely is there in the frosting. They’re pretty good, if I say so myself. We’ll see how they go down with the “Mo Bros” at work.