Ah, the collision of two wonderful things.
This recipe really doesn't need very much explaining. They're cupcakes that look and taste like little Blue Moons. The cake has that faint citrus and wheat taste, and the frosting is light and airy and barely there, just like the foam on top of a beer.
These would be a great crowd pleaser to bring to a Labor Day barbeque. And if you don't want to make them from scratch, I'd be willing to bet that you could just add some Blue Moon and orange zest to a packaged yellow cake mix. Just get one that uses butter, not oil [otherwise it will be too liquidy] and add 1/2 - 3/4 cup beer and 1/2 tsp of orange zest.
I used a little food coloring in the cake batter because I really wanted that golden orange color of Blue Moon. You can definitely leave it out, your cupcakes will just be a lighter color.
NOTE: I know some of you might not be too into the idea of making icing out of egg whites. If that doesn't sound appealing, or if you're going to store your cupcakes for a little while before eating, you can just make a basic buttercream recipe [like this one] and add the orange zest and juice to it.
Blue Moon Cupcakes
3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c sugar
2 1/2 c flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 drops red food coloring
10 drops yellow food coloring
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 c Blue Moon beer
1/4 c milk
Frothy White Frosting [recipe follows]
small orange slices, for garnish
1. Line 24 cupcake trays with liners. [Use white liners if you can, they become translucent during baking and really sell the mini Blue Moon image]. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking power and salt.
2. In a large bowl beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar a little bit at a time, beating well. Once it's all added beat for 2 more minutes.
3. Add eggs, beating after each.
4. Add vanilla, food coloring and orange zest and beat.
5. Mix beer and milk in a measuring cup. Alternatively add beer / milk mixture and flour mixture to butter mixture in the large bowl, beating after each. End on the flour mixture.
6. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 18 minutes at 375 degrees F until cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
7. Once cool, frost each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting. Just before serving, garnish each with a small orange slice.
Frothy White Frosting
2 egg whites, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp orange juice
1 c sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 c water
1. In a saucepan, mix sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly.
2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites, vanilla and orange juice until soft peaks form. Slowly add hot sugar mixture, beating continuously. Beat for 7 minutes until stiff peaks form.