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Chocolate Stout Pretzel Cupcakes

frosted cupcake on top of two plates with a fork

This easy chocolate cupcake recipe has a salty, sweet twist! With rich stout undertones, a salty pretzel crunch and a sweet caramel drizzle, these chocolaty bad boys are the ultimate decadent treat.

  • Author: The Simple, Sweet Life
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

For the chocolate stout cupcakes:

  • 1 oz dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 oz baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup stout beer

For the vanilla buttercream frosting:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 water
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 lb. unsalted butter, at room temp.

For the garnish:

  • Coarsely crushed pretzels
  • Caramel sauce (store bought or homemade)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F/175C and line your cupcake pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine your dark chocolate and milk, and microwave for 30 seconds, or until the chocolate begins to melt.
  3. Stir until the chocolate has melted completely, then set aside to cool in the refrigerator.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg until light and frothy.
  5. Add the oil and continue beating until the two have completely combined.
  6. Whisk in the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, and the chocolate/milk mixture.
  7. Add the beer and gently whisk until just combined.
  8. Pour the batter into your lined cupcake pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  9. To make the frosting, combine the granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer registers 240F/115C.
  10. While the syrup cooks, beat your egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer until they hold stiff peaks.
  11. On low, pour the hot syrup into the egg whites, increase the speed to high, and beat until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch.
  12. On low, begin adding the butter piece by piece until all the butter has been added.
  13. Add the vanilla extract, increase the speed to high, and beat until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
  14. Fill a piping bag with the frosting, attach a tip of your choosing (I used a large, round tip), and frost your completely cooled cupcakes.
  15. Drizzle with caramel sauce and crushed pretzels.

Notes

  • Knowing when your cupcakes are done: There are two ways to test for doneness. 1. Insert a tooth pick in the center of the cupcakes and if it comes out clean, it’s done. 2. Gently press the top of the cupcake and if it almost immediately springs back, it’s done.
  • Looking to save a little time? You can skip the homemade frosting and opt for store bought. You’ll need approximately 1 lbs.
  • If you’re making the frosting in this recipe, don’t be discouraged if it looks curdled after you add the butter. The butter and meringue will separate slightly before coming back together. Just keep whipping the frosting.
  • The secret to smooth, air-bubble free frosting: Once the frosting has come together, turn your stand mixer down to low and continue whipping it for about 5 minutes. This should work out most of the air bubbles.
  • Fill that piping bag like a pro: Spoon your frosting onto a large piece of plastic wrap, roll and twist the ends. Trim one end so there’s about ½” in length, drop your frosting into the piping bag (short end first) with the tip already on and pipe!
  • Getting that perfect frosting swirl: To get that perfect swirl to hold your caramel, pipe your frosting onto the tops of your cupcakes. Then, using the back of a spoon, drag the tip through the frosting while you turn the cupcake
  • Storing frosted cupcakes: While cupcakes are always best when eaten the same day they’re made, these can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.

Nutrition

Keywords: easy chocolate cupcake recipe, chocolate stout cupcakes, how to make chocolate cupcakes