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Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012

Beer and Cupcakes, Together At Last

Brew Cakes’ hoppy treats

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As exotic as it sounds, stout beer isn’t all that uncommon of an ingredient in cake and brownie recipes—the savory malt and coffee flavors of most stouts complement chocolate well, so it’s a natural pairing. After whipping up a well-received batch of chocolate-stout cupcakes for her friend’s birthday a year or two ago, Angela Figueroa began to wonder if other varieties of beer might lend themselves to cupcakes as well. She began to experiment and liked what she discovered. The recipes she created became the basis for her company Brew Cakes.

Brew Cakes now sells eight varieties of beer-flavored cupcakes, including amber red velvet, chocolate lager, vanilla porter, orange wheat (with yellow cake and citrusy wheat beer) and berry (with Berry Weiss). Figueroa admits that some of these recipes required a good deal of trial and error. “Especially when working with some of the lighter beers, I had to fool around with the recipes a lot,” she says. “The lemon shandy cupcakes in particular weren’t rising as well as the ones with stout at first, because beer is not a rising component, so it took a few tries to make them work.”

Because of the beer, Brew Cakes’ cupcakes are a bit denser than the typical cupcake—and yes, Figueroa says, you really can taste the beer in them. “I’ve had a lot of people who don’t normally like sweets tell me that they really enjoy them,” Figueroa says. “I think that’s because the beer tones down the sweetness of the cake a bit, but the frosting is still sweet enough that it creates a nice balance.” She’s also begun creating other booze-based confections, including a Captain and Coke cupcake and a RumChata frosting.

Cupcakes can be ordered directly through Figueroa through either email, angiela85@gmail.com, or by phone, 414-507-2041. If the company’s long-term plan works out as Figueroa hopes, there may soon be another way to purchase them, too.

“I’ve been looking to buying one of those little cotton candy trucks and convert it,” Figueroa says. “I want to do a cupcake truck.”