Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Snake Bite" Cupcake with Harp and Wyder's Pear Cider

I consider myself to be somewhat of a wine connoisour, but not at all someone with a refined palate for beer. I pretty much only like lagers and I definitely prefer my beer with some sort of fruit infusion (i.e. Shocktop Tangerine, Pyramid Audacious Apricot, etc). This is exactly the reason why I was inspired to create a "snake bite" cupcake for St. Patrick's Day, inspired by the Yard House version of the drink. While a traditional "snake bite" consists of half Guinness and half Pear Cider, The Yard House version uses Harp (an Irish lager), instead of Guinness, and Pear Cider. Since I wanted to make a yellow cake for the snake bite cupcake, Harp worked well for my purposes. Plus, I figured it was a fun way to pay unique homage to a more traditional Guinness chocolate cupcake.

The entire recipe I used is adapted from a champagne cupcake created by Sprinkle Bakes (my favorite dessert blog to date).

For the cupcakes: (Makes 15-17 cupcakes)

1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Harp
1/4 cup Wydmer's Pear Cider

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. in a medium sized bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup champagne and 1/2 cup sour cream (mixture will fizz and bubble a little). Add flour and champagne mixture alternately. Scrape bottom and sides of the bowl and mix until batter is well combined (do not overmix)

"Snake Bite" Pastry Creme Filling:

1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
1/4 cup Harp
1/4 cup Wydmer's Pear Cider
1/4 cup pear puree (to make puree, use canned pears or pears from a jar and blend until pureed, then strain with sieve)
2 tbsp cornstarch
5 tbsp granulated sugar
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium bowl, whisk cornstarch in 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Combine the remaining heavy cream, sugar and 1/2 cup beer and cider mixture in a saucepan; bring to a boil then remove from heat.

Beat the whole egg and egg yolks into the cornstarch/heavy cream mixture. Pour 1/3 of boiling champagne mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs do not cook. Return the remaining beer/cider/heavy cream mixture to a boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla. Allow mixture to cool fully.

Cut a hole into the top of each cupcake and fill with pastry cream. Trim the cut-out cake pieces flat to make a "lid" and place on top.

Pear Frosting:

1 cup plus 2-3 Tbsp pear cider (depending on consistency)
2 sticks of butter softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup pear puree

Place 1 cup of pear cider in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Transfer to a small bowl or condiment cup and allow to cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream softened butter and powdered sugar together. Once the frosting is thick and fluffy, pour in the reduced 2 tbsp. pear cider plus 2 tbsp from the bottle and mix well. Add a few drops of green and yellow food coloring and decorate as desired.


  1. WOW! These look amazing Heather :) Happy Paddy's Day!

  2. Thanks Parisa! And to you as well! :)

  3. I am so excited to find this recipe. My friend always drinks snakebites and I wanted to make her snake bite cupcakes for her birthday. Quick mention pear puree in both the frosting and filling ingredient lists but never say in the instructions when to add it. I assume in the filling you add it with the 1/2 cup of beer and cider. And in the frosting, with the reduced cider and bottled cider...Is that right?