*18 regular size cupcakes*
1 box yellow or white cake mix
1/3 cup oil
1 cup Ale-8
1 tsp fresh ginger (grate with micro-plane zester)
For Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter (cut into tablespoons) at room temp
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp fresh ginger
Preheat oven 350 degrees F
Make the cupcake batter by box directions (leave out the water and replace with Ale-8) and add 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Spray cupcake tin with non-stick cooking spray or use liners. Fill each cupcake tin with about 1/4 cup of batter and bake per box directions (about 18-20 minutes, rotating pans half way through) When a cake tester or tooth pick comes out clean from center of cupcakes, they're done.
Allow cupcakes to cool on wire racks completely before frosting.
Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in a heatproof bowl (bowl of stand mixer) and place over pot of simmering water (make sure the water is not touching the bottom of your bowl). Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved.
Attach the bowl to your stand mixer and use whisk attachment. Start whisking on low and gradually increase speed to medium-high, whisk until stuff peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool. This takes about 10 minutes.
With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tbsp. at a time. Before adding more, make sure it's completely incorporated. Once all the butter is added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to paddle attachment and beat on low speed until all the air-bubbles are gone. This takes about 2 minutes. Scrap down with spatula and continue beating until frosting is smooth.
Keep buttercream at room temp. if using the same day. If not, refrigerate and bring to room temp. before using.
Pipe icing or decorate cupcakes as desired. I used a 1A Wilton tip with a piping bag :)