Strongbow Hard Cider Cupcakes

August 24, 2010

Let’s get one thing straight: I am not a passionate beer drinker. In fact, I’m not much for alcohol in general, and when J. and I sit down to have a drink, a half glass of anything is enough to satisfy my tastes.

What I am is a Strongbow drinker.

Strongbow, as in the English hard cider, my favorite alcoholic beverage, and pretty much the only drink I ever really have a craving for. It’s crisp, and bubbly, and slightly sweet. Just sweet enough, I reasoned, to put it into a cupcake. Playing up the apple notes of this cider, I peppered these cupcakes with a bit of ground cinnamon and apple jelly.

And in case you weren’t temped already, I gave you chocolate, too. Apples and chocolate? Heck, why not? I’m already made a cupcake based on something from a beer bottle for goodness sake. The time to be risky, if there ever was one, is now.

I know that questions will come in about how that little flower was made. It’s an edible marzipan flower and it’s super easy to make. So easy, that I think a tutorial is in order. More details to come! Until then, bake some cupcakes and bide your time.

Strongbow Hard Cider Cupcakes 

(Printable Recipe)
*1 stick butter
*1 cup granulated sugar
*2 large eggs
*1/4 cup apple jelly 
*1 tsp. vanilla extract 
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*2/3 cup all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup hard cider (such as Strongbow)
*3/4 cup self-rising flour 
*2 sticks butter
*2 cups powdered sugar
*1 tsp. vanilla extract 
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1/4 cup cocoa powder
*1 Tbsp. milk, if needed 
*Shaved coconut (optional)

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners. Set aside. 
*With an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add in sugar, then eggs one at a time, and beat until well combined. Add in apple jelly, vanilla, and cinnamon and beat until just combined. 
*Beat in all-purpose flour until just combined. Beat in the hard cider, followed by the self-rising flour. Spoon batter into muffin cups, about half full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until just golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely on wire rack.

*Meanwhile, prepare frosting. Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Beat until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the extra tablespoon of milk, if needed.
*Top cupcakes with icing and shaved coconut, if desired.
*I also topped my cupcakes with homemade sugar flowers. Tutorial to come! 🙂

Happy Baking!



  • Reply Marilyn August 25, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Haven't tried the cupcakes yet, but the paper liners are ADORABLE! Please, do share where you found them.

  • Reply C&C Cakery August 25, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I love Strongbow! This cupcake is definitely on my to-do list now!

  • Reply CupcakesOMG! August 25, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    I love strongbow–used to be the only thing I'd drink in college until I learned to like beer!!

  • Reply Cianne August 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Madison, I LOVE the fact that you love Strongbow! It makes me so so happy. Next time I am in town I would love to catch up and have a Strongbow.

  • Reply Kelly August 26, 2010 at 1:59 am

    I love, love love hard cider so this sounds perfect to me. I would have never thought to pair it with a chocolate icing. I made apple cupcakes not that long ago and now I want to try your variety. I think I might pair this though with a burnt caramel icing since it's such a natural partner for apple. Well done. This is SUCH an inspired cupcake.

  • Reply rachbarnes August 26, 2010 at 3:27 am

    I too am a Strongbow drinker and I can't wait to try your recipe!

  • Reply Wendi September 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Just came across this recipe in my desperate search for Cider cake… This recipe is AMAZING!!! The only thing I did differently was use Woodchuck Cider (I’m a Vermonter, it’s in our contract) and replace the self rising with all purpose + baking powder.

    I loved the texture so much that I ended up doing a little subbing of flavors and came up with a Tiramisu cake as well… SO good!!!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Reply Chef Oshawott February 26, 2014 at 1:07 am

    These cupcakes are so amazing! Everyone I know loves them and even requests them. Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!

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