Recipe: Dystopia Buttercream and Vanilla Cupcakes [Guest Post from Emily Klutts]

Here’s another guest blog post from server extraordinaire, Emily Klutts!

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Dystopia, how fitting is it that for the beer I chose to make Valentine cupcakes with? Dystopia is defined on as, “A society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.”

I think some people may think of a few of those things if they hate this holiday. But I doubt anyone would hate this Russian Imperial Stout. It  goes great with something sweet, so I paired it with a pink vanilla cake with chocolate stout buttercream mixed with Dystopia, tangled with a vanilla buttercream, also dyed pink. It’s like angel food cake meets devils food frosting. A dark and a light side so you don’t have to make up your mind about how you feel about February 14th.

I love Valentine’s Day.  I think it stems from when I was little and each year my mom would have the table set with heart plates and Valentines. She always made something sweet for breakfast too, usually cinnamon rolls. To this day my sisters and I still give Valentine’s gifts to each other and our mom and dad. In fact we exchanged gifts a few days early (we have a hard time waiting to give gifts).

I know many people think of Valentine’s Day as made-up holiday. I like the idea that there is a day that I have another excuse to make my friends something sweet (even though most of us are trying to keep up with our New Year’s Resolutions). So the next time you find yourself dreading Valentine’s Day remember it could just be a day to celebrate the people you love. Use it as another excuse to share a meal or a beer with friends. Not that you need an excuse to come to Greenbush.

Recipe adapted from Makes 12 cupcakes.

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch of salt
5 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Emily’s Dystopia Buttercream
Note: I chose to make two different frostings to add more color to the cupcakes, but you could certainly just frost these with the Dystopia buttercream and they’d be delicious (if you choose to do so, double the recipe below).

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 sticks butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup Dystopia Russian Imperial Stout (or to taste–and less if doubling the recipe)

Emily’s Vanilla Buttercream
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix butter in bowl on medium speed until smooth.
  4. Add the sugar, eggs, egg yolk and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix on medium speed until thickened.
  5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low speed.
  6. Optional: Add a couple drops of red food coloring for a Valentine’s-Day-pink cake.
  7. Bake about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer tin to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the tin to cool completely on wire rack.

While the cupcakes are baking & cooling…

Emily’s Dystopia Buttercream

  1. Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix butter in bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave until completely smooth and melted (set to a low power level to keep chocolate from burning or melt using a double boiler).
  3. Whisk together cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Add mixture to the butter a little at a time, alternating with the melted chocolate, and mix on low until blended.
  4. Add Dystopia slowly so it mixes well with each addition. (Make sure not to get it too runny or piping will be difficult.)
  5. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until firm. If only using the Dystopia buttercream, pipe or spread onto cupcakes however you desire.

Emily’s Vanilla Buttercream

  1. Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix butter in bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time until completely blended with butter.
  3. Add vanilla and a couple drops red food coloring if desired.
  4. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until firm. If using both frostings, spoon them into a piping bag side-by-side to create a marbled look when frosting the cupcakes.

And… enjoy!


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