Miette’s Stout Cupcakes

Written by Jay Brooks for The Brookston Beer Bulletin

Alton Brown, from the Food Network, recently handed down his choices for the Nation’s Top Ten Sweets. Making the list for the “Best Beer-Spiked Cupcake” was the Bay Area’s own Miette. With two locations in San Francisco (the Ferry Building & Hayes Valley) and one in Oakland (at Jack London Square), here’s how Brown describes them:

A former dot-commer started this mini-chain after a successful stint at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, and her gingerbread cupcake might be the reason for Miette’s popularity. Made with a dark stout beer, it’s super moist and topped with lightly sweetened cream-cheese frosting and a candied orange flower.

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A cake made with beer, and picked as one of the best in America? That’s something I just had to eat. So I stopped by the Ferry Building location last week to try one for myself. Because it was late in the day, they were actually out of the cupcakes, but they did have a full-sized cake left. So I splurged on the whole cake. Besides, like beer, sweets are best when they’re shared.

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Miette’s website describes their Gingerbread cake and cupcakes as “[o]ur all~time best selling cake. Made with a dark stout beer, molasses, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom then topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting.” I spoke to the manager of the Ferry Building Miette’s, and she checked with the owner about what beer they used. It turned out they use Guinness as the stout for the cake.

So how does it taste? It was quite delicious, especially paired with a nice stout. It was extremely moist and the ginger worked wonderfully with the beer. It’s very rich. The sweetly delicate icing was a great compliment to the flavors in the cake. It’s easy to see why it’s their best-seller. My only criticism? I would like to see them perhaps use a locally brewed stout. There are plenty of tasty stouts made in the Bay Area. But apart from that, definitely pick up Miette’s lovely gingerbread beer cupcake or cake.