If you’re not from the mid-Atlantic, you may not be familiar with National Bohemian beer — or Natty Boh.
Natty Boh has a long history in Baltimore, and while it’s not brewed in the Charm City anymore, many people consider it Baltimore’s beer. And the super cute one-eyed mascot, Mr. Boh, still winks at everyone from the top of Brewers Hill. So when I decided to bake some beer cupcakes in honor of Baltimore Beer Week, I had to use Natty Boh.
Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving when I took this photo. I don’t think.
I am not a beer person, but Natty Boh tastes a little like Corona to me. So I thought lime zest would work well with the beer in the batter.
I didn’t whip the egg yolks long enough because I’m impatient. But the cupcakes will be even spongier if you do. So you should.
Don’t be scared by the beer in the batter. The cupcakes just have a slight hint of Natty Boh flavor (and scent), but it’s really nice. I put a little bit of beer in the frosting, too, but you don’t have to.
FYI, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you have enough powdered sugar to make frosting before you start making the frosting… especially if it’s 11 p.m. and your neighbors are asleep.
Since these are Baltimore cupcakes, I used Duff/Charm City Cakes black fondant to make little Mr. Boh-esque mustaches. I just used a small sharp knife to cut the mustaches out, but you could make a stencil from parchment paper if you’d like. I also tried to do an eye, but it looked weird. Alas.
Can’t let the extra beer go to waste…
Beer-lime cupcakes (Recipe adapted from a really old edition of the Joy of Cooking. Makes about 15 cupcakes)
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 cup granulated sugar (sift if there are a bunch of chunks in it)
3 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/3 cup beer
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 F. Stir the sugar and lime zest together in a small bowl or measuring cup.
Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thick and lemon-colored — this may take a few minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until well combined. Stir in the beer. (And wash the beaters)
In a small bowl or measuring cup (you can use the one you used for the sugar), stir together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to the yolk mixture and stir until combined.
Using clean, dry beaters (and a clean, dry small bowl), beat the egg whites until they hold peaks, but are still glossy. Fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter.
Pour or spoon the batter into lined cake pans, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cupcakes start to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.
Beer-lime buttercream (makes just enough to frost 15-16 cupcakes, double recipe if you want to use a lot of frosting on each cupcake)
1 stick (1/4 cup) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2-2 cups powdered/confectioners’ sugar
1/2 to 1 tablespoon beer
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest (optional)
Beat butter and 1 cup powdered sugar together until fluffy. Add beer, lime juice and lime zest and beat to combine. Add additional powdered sugar until frosting reaches desired consistency (or until you run out, like me).