Over the years, I’ve had many people guest post on my blog (you can see all those cool bloggers here!), the majority of which either had their own blog or were avid bakers. This year, I’m doing something a little different. Instead of inviting a professional blogger to guest post, I’ve decided to mentor an inspired baker who wants to start her own food blog and have that person contribute to JavaCupcake. Meet Roxana!
Roxana has been a loyal reader of JavaCupcake for many years and I have loved her continued dedication to leaving comments, Facebook messages and her overall desire to be a part of the JavaCupcake community. Last year, Roxana stepped up when I put a call out to my readers asking for help with some technical upkeep on the back end of my blog. You may have noticed the new JavaCupcake Recipes board on Pinterest, Roxana was responsible for creating that!
As a part of my #BakerMentor program, once a month Roxana will be posting a new recipe. I’ll be guiding her on how to create recipes, photograph her creations and showing her the ins and outs of out to create a blog post! This is her first recipe and I’m pretty impressed! It took me years of baking before my cakes looked this amazing!
So without further adieu… here’s Roxana!
If you’ve ever watched QVC on a Sunday and seen David Venable do his “happy dance” after taking a bite of delicious food, then you have an idea of how excited I am to be posting here on JavaCupcake! I’ve been following Betsy’s blog for some time now and am honored that she’d allow me and my newbie-self to hang out with you guys. Thanks Betsy for being an inspiration to me and taking me under your wing! xox
So, before I get overly squishy let’s get to the recipe.
I was recently working on a cupcake recipe for my friend Kirsten’s blog. Although I do not drink beer, I decided that I wanted to try using it in my recipe. I mean, it tastes good in bread so why not? I also knew that I didn’t want to use Guinness because I knew plenty cupcake/cake recipes already existed using it. That’s when my brilliant husband (who by the way, also doesn’t drink beer) suggested I try using chocolate beer. I was surprised that such a thing even existed. So I turned to my sister and brother-in-law (because they actually drink beer and they like to cook with it) for some help and Rob delivered! He gave me a chocolate oatmeal stout to try in the recipe.
Can I just tell ya… AWESOME! I was so happy with how the cupcakes turned out that I decided to use the leftover beer in this Chocolate Beer Pretzel Cake! Waste not, want not… right? If you are a lover of salty and sweet then this is the cake for you. My sister, Corinna, actually said “I think this is the best cake I’ve ever put in my mouth” when she tasted the cupcake version.
When I made the cake I noticed that the beer flavor came through a little more without being overpowering. Peanut butter buttercream, mini chocolate chips, and pretzel crumble finish this cake off. If you can believe it, the only thing I forgot was the caramel! So if you really want to kick the cake up some more, drizzle some caramel on the top. Grab a tall glass of milk or your favorite beer and enjoy some Chocolate Beer and Pretzel Cake!
- ½ c salted pretzel sticks
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- ½ Tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ c mini chocolate chips
- Homemade caramel sauce or your favorite store bought (optional)
- 1 c chocolate stout beer (I used Boulevard Brewing Co. Tasting Room Oatmeal Stout, Kansas City, MO)
- 1 c (2 sticks) butter
- ¾ c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 c flour
- 2 c sugar
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ⅔ c sour cream
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 c (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 1 c heaping of creamy peanut butter
- 3 - 4 c powdered sugar
- ½ c heavy cream
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- In a food processor, pulse the pretzel sticks into small chunks.
- Add the brown sugar and melted butter, process on high until well combined and the pretzels are in smaller crumbs.
- Transfer to a small bowl, add the mini chocolate chips, stir together, and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease and flour two 8” cake pans.
- In a heavy saucepan, bring the butter and beer to a simmer over medium heat.
- Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla, let cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg together with the sour cream
- Very slowly add the warm chocolate mixture to the egg/sour cream mixture, whisking constantly.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until just combined and no lumps remain. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 26 – 28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool cakes in the pan for 10 – 15 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Make sure cakes are completely cool prior to frosting.
- Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter and the peanut butter together until it pales in color a bit.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add powdered sugar ½ c at a time.
- Add the salt and the vanilla.
- Add the heavy cream and beat on high until light and fluffy.
- Using a cake leveler or serrated knife trim the crown (top) off both cake layers making them even.
- Place 3 – 4 pieces of wax paper around the perimeter of your turntable or cake stand/platter. These will help to catch the pretzel crumble and will pull out easily from under the cake without having to lift the whole thing.
- Place about a tablespoon of buttercream in the center of your cake board or stand and place the first layer flat side down on top of it. Using an offset spatula spread an even, generous layer of buttercream on the first cake layer, then sprinkle some mini chocolate chips over the buttercream. Place the second cake layer flat side up on the first. Spread a thin, crumb coat over the entire cake and put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to chill.
- Remove the chilled cake from the freezer and finish frosting the cake with the remaining buttercream (save some if you want to pipe a border). Put the buttercream on the top of the cake and just spread it over the edges with an offset spatula. Then work the buttercream around the edges until the cake is completely covered and evenly coated.
- Gently press the pretzel crumble into the sides. Remove the wax paper from under the cake. Pipe a border if you like (I used a Wilton 1M tip), then sprinkle the top of the cake with more crumble and drizzle with some caramel (optional).