Sunday, June 2, 2013

Birch Beer Cupcakes: Oh, Pennsylvania

We say it all the time. Hoards of people lined up at Wawa (most of them not even filling up their tanks). And Rita's. No fences, all hexes. When biting into a "PA Dutch" flavored sausage and getting refereed to as "You's guys." King of Prussia is just K.O.P., please. 

Oh, Pennsylvania...

After 8 months of life in the outer Philly banks, words like Schuylkill and Conshohocken are proudly pronounced with ease. And people totally go to the Jersey Shore, all the time. They also prefer birch to root beer. 

Made from birch bark and reminiscent of teaberry and something medicinal, birch beer is one of those things that never really took off in the rest of the US. Since it's so prolific here, why not turn it into cupcakes and bring them to Pennsylvanian Dutch people in exchange for wanted goods? Because I only make cupcakes to appease other people. The result? The authentic Pennsylvanian Dutch could very well recognize the birch beer. But if you don't live in the East, use sarsaparilla or root beer. Or something local and please tell me about it! 

Birch Beer Cupcakes
(adapted from the Gastronomer's Root Beer Bundt Cake) 
Makes about 24 cupcakes. Best is made 1 day ahead to let birch beer flavor intensify.

2 cups of birch beer (I used Pennsylvania Dutch brand)
1 cup dark cocoa powder (had to use Hershey since this is Pennsylvania)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs


3 ounces 60% chocolate (melted and slightly cooled)
4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup birch beer
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake tray with cupcake holders and lightly grease. 
  • Mix birch beer, cocoa, and oil until smooth. Add both sugars and whisk until dissolved.In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk eggs until just beaten, then whisk into cocoa mix until combined.
  • Fold flour mixture into chocolate mixture. Mixture will be slightly lumpy, but do not over-beat which could cause the cake to be tough.
  • Pour into cupcake holders. Bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick proves it. 
  • Let cool and make frosting.

In a food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes. 


Amy said...

What a lovely cupcake with wonderful flavors. I love cakes baked with beer for a depth of flavor and the texture must be light and fluffy too. Thank you for sharing.

Gastronomer said...

I can't believe I've never heard of birch beer. There's no excuse considering I lived in the state for 6 years! Shame on me. Woo for YOU! Your cupcakes look so moist.

Banana Wonder said...

Amy - Thanks for stopping by. I check out your blog and has got me dreaming of Southern California!

Cathy - Say, whaaa? Looks like I need to bring some back to you.

Trevor Sis Boom said...

Well I've never heard of birch beer! But I do happen to have a few bottles of crafty root beer in my cabinet that are looking for something like this to coax their way out.

Banana Wonder said...

Trevor - Oh bring those babies out, or save them for my husband next time we're in town. He'll love you forevers.

Katerina said...

These cupcakes make me drool!

Anonymous said...

Ooh I am dead interested in this birch beer! Nothing like that in Australia - that's for sure! Love these lovely cupcakes Anna!

Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy said...

Ooh I am dead interested in this birch beer! Nothing like that in Australia - that's for sure! Love these lovely cupcakes Anna!

Unknown said...

Need some of my home state peeps to send me birch beer for these. I haven't had a sip of birch beer in about 10 yrs. I miss it. I always liked Bear Run White Birch Beer the best.

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