Blue Moon Cupcakes

A few months ago, I entered a little competition called Iron Cupcake Earth. While checking out my cupcake entries as well as the other not-so-worthy competitors' cupcakes, my friend Maggie stumbled across a recipe for Blue Moon cupcakes. Thus began 3 months of Maggie badgering...i mean, persuading me to bake Blue Moon cupcakes.

When Labor Day finally rolled around, our friend Bobby graciously decided to host party at his snazzy new place. In honor of this (or really, just to appease Maggie) I decided to succumb to peer pressure and bring over the Blue Moon cupcakes. What's not to love about the combination of beer and food anyway? I also had these really pretty blue cupcake liners from BakeItPretty.com that I was DYING to use! This may have influenced my decision a little bit. Just a little.

Blue Moon Cupcakes
(makes ~15 cupcakes)

  • 3/4 a stick/6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 oz buttermilk*
  • 6 oz Blue Moon beer*
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp baking soda

* Here's a very important tip that I wish I was someone had thrown out there prior to my diving into the cupcake-making process. Unfortunately, I ended up learning the hard way: 1 shot glass does NOT equal 1 ounce. 1 shot glass actually equals 1.5 ounces. Thankfully I had plenty of buttermilk and Blue Moon beer, so I didn't need to run to the grocery store when I had to restart my cupcake batter after Step 3.

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Melt butter and set aside to cool down.

3) Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, beer, vanilla, and orange zest in one bowl, and mix together the sugar, flour, coriander, and baking soda in another. (Here's another tip: You can make buttermilk by combining 1 tbsp lemon juice and enough milk to add up to 1 cup. So easy!)

4) Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two parts, using a mixer to combine. Add the melted butter and combine.

5) Pour batter into cupcake cups and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool.

I initially attempted to make the Blue Moon cream cheese frosting that was posted with the cupcake recipe. Somehow, I ended up with a huge clumpy cream cheese mess. I'm not sure what went wrong here (although I suspect there's a typo in the recipe). Prior to executing a mad dash to the grocery store for additional frosting supplies, I decided to change my frosting approach. Since the first attempt didn't pan out, I went online in a search of an orange-flavored cream cheese frosting replacement. Ten minutes later, I found...

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
(adapted slightly)

  • 1 package(s) (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup(s) (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon(s) fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon(s) grated orange zest
  • 5 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
  • 1.5 oz Blue Moon beer

1) Blend the cream cheese, butter, orange juice, orange zest, and Blue Moon in a large bowl, using an electric mixer set at medium speed, until smooth.

2) Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and creamy -- about 3 more minutes.

The actual recipe calls for the frosting to be chilled until time for use. Since I was running late for the party, of course, I just used it right away. I don't think I've frosted cupcakes this quickly in my life! However, I think the frosting would have been significantly firmer (and probably prettier) if it had been chilled. I guess that mean I need to bake these again!

Both my roommate Kimmy and her coworker Rene thought the cupcake had a strong orange-y/wheat-y flavor. Rene thought it was a little dry, but he did get it two days after I had made it, so I'll let that slide...

Personally, I was surprised that the cupcakes came out as well as they did, since this recipe isn't officially tested by anyone other than the person who invented it. I make cupcakes all the time and they always have the potential to suck. Maybe some people just have a special knack for these things. One day that will be me!