Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Bourbon Caramel Buttercream Frosting & Bourbon Caramel Drizzle
First prepare Bourbon Caramel Sauce:
(Yields about 1/2 -3/4 C.) Use at room temperature for frosting and drizzling, or refrigerate for 2-3 weeks.
1/2 C. Granulated Sugar
2 Tbsp Water
1/4 C. + 2 Tbsp Heavy Cream, at room temperature
1 1/2 Tbsp Butter
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Good Bourbon (or Vanilla Extract if you prefer)
In small sauce pan fitted with Candy Thermometer, heat sugar and water on Low heat while stirring constantly with a silicon whisk or wooden spoon (avoid metal utensils). Continue heating and stirring until sugar completely dissolves (when liquid appears less white and more clear.) Once sugar is dissolved or begins to bubble (after about 3-5 minutes), increase heat to Medium High and stop stirring. Closely monitor candy thermometer and allow to heat to 350*, occasionally running wooden spoon or silicon spatula around pan to loosen crystals that may adhere to pan. As candy temperature approaches 350*, sugar will begin to darken in color. Once caramel is appears amber at 350*, promptly remove from heat and prepare to quickly stir in remain ingredients. *(If thermometer registers 350* but color is only a light gold, can allow to heat briefly so reaches amber color, but don’t let temperature exceed 353*). Wearing an oven mitt (to protect your pouring hand from steam), slowly pour in heavy cream while whisky constantly. If sugar crystals seem to have formed, simply continue whisking briskly until dissolved. Add butter and continue whisking. Once smooth consistency is achieved, add bourbon and salt and stir to incorporate, Transfer caramel into heat safe bowl (preferably pyrex) and allow to cool at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
Pumpkin Ale Cupcake (Makes 12 Cupcakes)
2 C. Cake Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
Dash of Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 C. (1 stick) Butter, softened
1 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2 XLg Eggs
1/3 C. Buttermilk
3/4 C . Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Bottle (6 oz.) New Belgium Pumpkick Beer (reserving the other 6 oz. to drink with your cupcake)
Line a muffin pan with cupcake wrappers and preheat oven to 350*. Stir together flour, baking powder and spices and set aside. In an electric mixer cream light brown sugar and butter on Med-High until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl in between. Combine beer and buttermilk in measuring cup and prepare to pour into batter alternately with dry ingredients. Reduce speed to low and alternate dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk+beer mixture (half of dry ingredients, combine, then adding buttermilk/beer, combine further, then rest of dry ingredients). Finallly, fold-in pumpkin puree just until combined. Fill wrappers with batter scoop, same about 3/4 full and bake for approximately 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center.
Bourbon Caramel Buttercream Frosting
1 C. (2 Sticks) Butter, slightly softened to room temperature
1/2+ C. Bourbon Caramel Sauce, prepared and cooled to room temperature
3 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Prepare the Caramel sauce above and allow to come to room temperature.
In an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium high, speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, scrapping down in between. Once sugar is incorporated, add vanilla. Gradually add in 1/2 C. of the caramel sauce, reserving the rest to drizzle over top later. Once cupcakes have cooled, frost and then finish by drizzling with extra caramel sauce.
Recipe courtesy of Spoonful of Sugar Cupcakes