Autumn Maple Sweet Potato Cupcakes

This month we’ve collected recipes for food made with or made to pair with our fall seasonal, Autumn Maple.  Today’s comes from The Cupcake Friday Project.  Read below and check out their blog for some incredibly delicious food articles!

The Bruery’s Autumn Maple is a Belgian-style brown ale brewed with 17 pounds of yams per barrel, taking a slightly different route than the traditional fall seasonal, the pumpkin ale. The beer is sweet and malty, a definite sipper on cold evenings. Spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice play along with vanilla, maple syrup and molasses. Basically, this is the perfect beer to work into a cupcake. My buddy Randy Clemens knew this, so as soon as he heard about The Bruery’s first annual blogger invitational, he reached out to me and put me in contact with them.
I pitched my cupcake recipe idea based on playing off of Autumn Maple’s backbone, which is the yam—or sweet potato. I thought a sweet potato poundcake recipe would work best, and decided that instead of simply using beer as my liquid, I would instead create a concentrated syrup to deliver a flavor punch.
The Autumn Maple Beer Syrup that I concocted then became the workhorse of this recipe, being featured in the cupcake, the frosting and as a drizzle garnish.

Autumn Maple Sweet Potato Cupcakes
Yield: 16 cupcakes

Autumn Maple Beer Syrup Ingredients
3 cups Autumn Maple beer
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 tsp cinnamon simple syrup
1/4-3/8 cup heavy cream

Cupcake Ingredients
3 medium sweet potatoes, baked, skinned and mashed
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tbsp Autumn Maple beer syrup

Frosting Ingredients
3 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 1/2 tbsp Autumn Maple beer
2 tbsp beer syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

• Autumn Maple Beer Syrup: Combine beer and brown sugar in a small pot over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the maple syrup and cinnamon simple syrup, stirring to incorporate. Simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes until mixture has reduced and thickened to a maple syrup-like consistency. Taste to check bitterness—if too bitter, add a tbsp of brown sugar, stir to incorporate and taste again.
Remove the Autumn Maple Beer Syrup from the heat and add the heavy cream slowly, stirring to combine. Cool to room temperature before using.
• Cupcakes: Two hours before you bake the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and position the racks toward the center. Bake the sweet potatoes for 45 minutes. When ready, the potatoes should be soft and the skin slightly shriveled. Cool for 15 minutes, then skin the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a bowl and mash. Let cool for an hour before adding to cupcake batter.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl; whisk to combine and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. Add granulated and brown sugar and beat for an additional 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well to incorporate. On low speed, add the mashed sweet potatoes, about 1/4 cup at a time. Mix until incorporated.
In a measuring cup, combine buttermilk, beer syrup and vanilla extract. On low speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Divide the batter between 16 wrappers in cupcake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.
• Frosting: Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup of confectioners sugar, beating until combined. Add the beer, beer syrup and vanilla extract, then add the remaining sugar 1 cup at a time. Whip frosting for about 5-10 minutes on high once all the ingredients have been added, until light and fluffy. Using a 1M Wilton star tip and piping bag, pipe frosting onto cupcakes in a swirl. Take some of the remaining Autumn Maple Beer Syrup and drizzle over the frosting.
The recipe is a bit involved, but it’s totally worth it. You also end up with a surplus of syrup, which can then be used for more cupcakes or other recipes.

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