Queen Village pastry chef cooks up treats with baked-in brew

    Lexi Malmros calls herself a pastry innovator. She’s mixing up a batch of cupcakes in the kitchen at Cookie Confidential in Philadelphia’s Queen Village neighborhood.

    “I am going to add some butter,” she said while furiously stirring. “And now my egg.”

    But what makes her innovative?

    “Now I’m going to add my beer. Today I’m using a Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale.”

    That’s right: Malmros makes beer cakes.

    After all, other adult beverages have had a place in cake recipes for some time — rum, amaretto, even Champagne.

    “But I felt like beer was very underrepresented in the dessert world,” said Malmros. “So I decided to play with recipes, and the rest is history.”

    She has to mix everything by hand — if she uses a mixer, the carbonation from the beer will make the batter too foamy. And the cakes are not only made with beer — right down to the frosting — but they also are made to taste like beer.

    “Now I’m adding my secret ingredient that I can’t discuss,” she said. “But it’s what makes my beer cakes taste so much like beer.”

    The only hint? It isn’t beer.

    The pre-med student turned pastry chef sells the sudsy cupcakes for $4 each. A 9-inch round cake will run you $28.

    The wildest thing she’s ever made?

    “Oh, that’s easy,” Malmros said. “I used Tröegs Hopback, and I made a chocolate-jalapeno cupcake with black pepper and caramel butter cream. I mean, I thought that was a little out there.”

    But it sold out.

    And don’t worry — with only a quarter-ounce or so of beer in each portion, you won’t get tipsy. Unless you’re doing the cooking.

    “It’s fun to have a job where I can actually drink beer in the morning and get away with it,” said Malmros.

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