Archive | July, 2013

Leinenkugel Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

9 Jul


Move over Blue Moon, there’s a new brew on the block this summer – Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy – or Leinie’s for short. What Blue Moon did for the orange, Leinie’s is doing for the lovely lemon.


I think I had my first Leinenkugel last summer, but it didn’t really hit my radar until this year when I realized it is the perfect summer quaff. Technically not a beer per se, Leinenkugel is a shandy, which, I learned just this weekend, is a lemonade/beer hybrid. And, like all things awesome (in this Anglophile’s humble opinion), the shandy is brought to us by way of Great Britain.


Although here in the States you can get good bottled shandies like Leinenkugel’s or Shock Top’s Lemon Shandy (and believe me, I have), I think my next endeavor behind the bar will be to do as the British do and create my own. There, they fashion shandies by mixing 2/3 lager or pilsner with 1/3 lemonade to create the most crisp, cool, refreshing summer brew. The British lemonade is different from the yummy lemon, sugar, water beverage we make here. Theirs is more like a tart lemon soda sometimes used just for mixing with “spirits”.


Now, I just happen to keep the fridge stocked with real British lemonade – Fever Tree British Lemon, to be exact, which I keep on hand to mix with little Pimm’s to create sensational summer cocktail. But that’s a story for another post. As soon as I decide which of my favorite brews to use, I’ll be mixing up a little summer shandy of my own.

In the meantime, Leinenkugel’s is my new go-to outdoor summer treat; light, citrusy, bubbly, refreshingness with a low ABV. Not too heady, just right for a little buzz while rocking in the hammock or sunning by the pool.


As far as I’m concerned, what’s good enough for Blue Moon is good enough for Leinie’s, so I had to give it a go as a cupcake. I was not disappointed. The flavor of Leinie’s really shines through, deliciously accented by a bright lemon buttercream. Easy enough to whip up, why not try a batch for your next summer cook-out. You won’t be disappointed.



Like the Blue Moon cupcakes, these start out with a box mix. Follow the directions on the box, but substitute the water with Leinenkugel’s.  I use Betty Crocker, so I’ve listed the ingredients called for on the box. Other brands may vary.

1 box yellow cake mix

1 cup Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy

3 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

grated peel from 1 lemon

Combine all ingredients in large bowl of stand mixer. Mix on low for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fill paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or as directed, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.


1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature

4-5 cups confectioners sugar

juice and grated peel from 1 lemon

Cream butter in large bowl of stand mixer. Add 4 cups confectioners sugar, lemon peel, and 1/2 lemon juice, on low speed until blended and then at high speed for 4-5 minutes, adding more juice and/or sugar until desired consistency is reached. Frost and decorate as desired.




4 Jul


Happy Independence Day! July 4th has to be my favorite holiday – I don’t know why really. Maybe it has to do with my interest in early American history, American culture and celebrations.

Or maybe it has something to do with being a native New Englander, now living just outside Philadelphia, both regions claiming to be the birthplace of America. (Philly may try to claim it, but we all know it was Boston).

Maybe it’s my love of that patriotic red-white-blue color combination, which also happens to be the team colors for both the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots (coincidence? I think not.) But who isn’t moved by the sight of the star spangled banner, waving proudly in a gentle breeze atop any stadium or ballpark in this country?


Maybe it’s the parades, the fireworks, the cookouts with family and friends.

Or maybe it’s the sheer wonderment how just a handful of men, full of provocative philosophy and even more courage, managed to create this country of ours 237 years ago. We’re a baby really compared to some other nations, but look how far we’ve come and the impact we’ve had on the rest of the world – cause indeed for the most glorious fireworks celebration!

For these July 4th cupcakes, I’ve taken my red hot Goldschlager cupcakes, added a little flash of red, white and blue, and topped them with some sizzling Goldschlager cream cheese frosting. Because today of all days, your cookout or picnic should end with a little bang!


I love the way Goldschlager has it’s own fireworks display going on inside the bottle.



Follow the recipe for Goldschlager cupcakes, but omit the cinnamon hearts. Instead, after all the ingredients have been mixed together, gently stir in 2-3 tablespoons of red, white and blue jimmies or decorating stars. Bake as directed, but be sure to fill the tins only 2/3 to 3/4 full.


1/2 cup butter

4 ounces cream cheese

4 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons Goldschlager

red white blue sprinkles

Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add sugar, vanilla, salt and Goldschlager and mix at low speed until combined, then at high speed until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Frost and decorate as desired.



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