Beer Infused Desserts

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I’m just gonna say it, beer is totally neglected in the dessert world. Wine and spirits seem to have all the fun when it comes to dessert pairings and ingredients. Why don’t we show beer any love?!? I set out this past week to make a few beer infused desserts to convince people to consider beer as an ingredient in and pairing with desserts!

Lager Lime Cheesecake
When I was telling people about my idea for this recipe, I got some mixed reactions. Beer? In Cheesecake? Yes, beer in cheesecake. And it was amazing. I was inspired by the lime flavor in the beer to give this the flavor profile of a key lime pie, so that's where the graham cracker crust came from. The cheesecake had the best texture of any cheesecake I have ever made, and I am wondering if the carbonation from the beer had anything to do with it.
Cheesecakes are really easy to make, just toss everything into the food processor and blend until smooth. Bake the cheesecake at 350 for an hour and then let it sit in the oven for a bit after that. This cheesecake is so creamy with the perfect amount of tang and sweetness. You can really taste the beer! You could serve this with some whipped cream, but I don’t think it needs anything.

Pairing notes: Lagers work with zesty and citrus flavors. An Island or Mexican-style Lager like Bud Light Lime has a great balance of fruity sweetness and zesty notes which will uplift the lemony and citrus flavors in the dessert with a great cleansing effect to counterbalance the sweetness of this dessert.

Chocolate Stout Pretzel Donuts
These donuts are really fun because they combine beer and pretzels, which are the most classic bar snack. Stout beers have become more and more sweet and are often even made to mimic desserts. One of the times I tested this recipe I even used a donut stout! These donuts came out great and are the exact type of donut that would be served at one of those new high end donut shops popping up all over the place.
The donut dough rises and then you cut out those classic donut shapes. Fry them for about a minute per side. The chocolate topping is just chocolate, cream, and butter, warmed in the microwave. Then just sprinkle on the pretzels. These have a super soft and doughy inside, but have those deep stout and chocolate flavors. The salt from the pretzels really makes the chocolate pop!

Pairing Notes: Richer, dark bitter chocolate or coffee flavored desserts go with the deeper, warming flavors of an Imperial Stout like Goose Island’s The “Muddy,” which has a soft roasted bitterness and creamy sweetness with hints of vanilla.

Cherry Coconut Lager Cookies
With the multitude of holidays coming up, it’s good to have some unique cookie recipes in your back pocket to whip out at a moment's notice. These cherry coconut lager cookies fit the bill in many ways. The texture of these cookies is like a cross between a sugar cookie and a coconut macaroon, which is unique in and of itself, but the real surprise is the dried cherries that have been soaked in beer.
This recipe isn't that fussy, just basically mix everything in a bowl. The only trick is whipping the egg whites to lighten up the batter a bit. I wouldn't say that these are the prettiest cookies, but they pack some really great flavor. The coconut gets toasted on the edges which adds a whole new dimension of flavor.
Pairing Notes: The wide range of flavors in a Belgian Witbier like Shock Top Wheat Beer sync up nicely with a fruity dessert like this or can also complement different tasting flavors such as Raspberry Wheat with Cheesecake or with chocolate. I hope I have convinced you to consider beer in your desserts as the holiday season approaches!

Beer Infused Desserts

  • Bud Light Lime Cheesecake
  • 24 Ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup Bud Light Lime
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Sleeves Graham Crackers
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar
  • Chocolate Stout Pretzel Donuts
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Warm Stout
  • 1/2 Cup Stout
  • 1 Package Yeast
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter (softened)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 Cup Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • Cherry Coconut Lager Cookies
  • 7 Ounces Coconut
  • 1/2 Cup Beer
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 Cup Butter (softened)
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cherries


    Bud Light Lime Cheesecake
    1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix the crust ingredients in a food processor until crumbled and fully mixed. Clean out the food processor and add all of the filling ingredients. Blend the filling ingredients until fully mixed and smooth. Grease a 9 inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. Pour the graham cracker mixture into the pan and press into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour the filling into the pan. Bake for 1 hour. Kill the heat on the oven and open the oven for 5 minutes. Close the oven with the cheesecake in it for 30 minutes. Pull the cheesecake and allow it to rest on the counter until fully cooled. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan. Slice and serve.
    Chocolate Stout Pretzel Donuts
    1. Mix the warm beer with the yeast and allow to sit for 15 minutes until frothy. Meanwhile, whisk together the butter, eggs, yolks, and beer. whisk that into the yeast and beer mixture. Then add in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Knead for about 10 minutes until well mixed. Dough should be a little wet and sticky but hold a firm shape. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise for an hour.
    2. Roll out the dough into a half inch thick sheet. Cut out donut shapes with cookie cutters. Place the donuts onto a baking sheet and allow to rise another 30 minutes.
    3. Bring oil to 350 in a dutch oven or thick frying pan. Fry the donuts in batches of 2 or 3 for 1 minute per side. Remove from oil and place on a drying rack.
    4. Mix the chocolate butter and cream in a bowl and microwave for 15 seconds. Stir and repeat until you have a smooth sauce. Make sure to stir for awhile each time to give the chocolate a chance to fully melt.
    5. Frost the tops of each donut with the ganache. Then sprinkle on the pretzel pieces. Best served immediately, but are still really good for about 24 hours.
    Cherry Coconut Lager Cookies
    1. Preheat oven to 350. Cream the butter and sugar together until lightened and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add int he coconut, beer, cherries, flour, and sugar. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Incorporate the egg whites into the coconut mixture in 3 batches, gently folding the whites into the mixture slowly each time.
    2. Spoon out the dough into 2 tablespoon sized cookies. You can load up the trey cause they don't expand much. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned on the edges.