Pumpkin Ale Pairing: Apple Donuts with Maple Glaze

Its time for round two of pumpkin ale pairing! If you missed last week's post for pumpkin ale and brown sugar chicken thighs, make sure you go check it out. If you're craving a donut and beer pairing though, make today's recipe!

You may be thinking, "pumpkin beer and donuts??". Yes. Duuuhh! Okay, yes I know that donuts are generally known as a breakfast food. And you may not think to ever, ever have donuts with a beer. But there are two solutions to this: one, you could have beer for breakfast. Or two, you could have donuts for dessert. I think the second solution is fitting for most scenarios, but don't forget that beer for breakfast indeed IS a thing.

The Pairing

In case you didn't know already, beer goes great with sweet things. When it comes to dessert pairings, I don't look to wine to do the job--beer always wins this category. I was looking for something sweet to pair with these mouth-watering apple donuts with maple glaze, so I turned to the original pumpkin beer of America: Buffalo Bill's Original Pumpkin Ale.

Did you know that pumpkins used to grow wild in fields back in the colonial days? Since they were so widely available, no one really liked them back then. But if the grains to make bread and beer ran out, people would substitute pumpkin instead. Legend has it that George Washington used to brew a pumpkin beer. When Bill Owens of Buffalo Bill's Brewery read about it in 1985, he decided to brew his own pumpkin beer just like George. However, what made his beer so good was the addition of an entire jar of pumpkin pie spice...and pumpkin beer was reborn!

The specifics of why pumpkin beers go with these apple-maple donuts is relatively simple: the spices in the beer match the fall-driven spice in the donuts. Doesn't cinnamon naturally sound good to have with maple and apple? Its an easy pairing. My biggest suggestion is to choose a pumpkin beer that is relatively sweet and displays these spiced flavors pretty heavily. My favorite "sweet" styles besides Buffalo Bill's include New Belgium Pumpkick, Wasatch Pumpkin Ale,  and Magic Hat Wilhelm Scream. I'm sure there are plenty of other options out there though, so give any a try!

The Recipe

Apple Donuts with Maple Glaze

Author: Dani 

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Serves: about 20

Recipe adapted from yummyhealthyeasy.com


  • 3 apples (I used Gala)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 Cups coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp cream
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp maple flavoring


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease 4 donuts pans (or however many you have, you can make these in batches).
  2. Begin by peeling and coring the apples. Place them in a food processor and process until smooth with minimal chunks. Scoop them out and place into a mixing bowl along with the 3 eggs and sugar. Mix until combined.
  3. Add the orange juice, vanilla, flour, salt, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking powder and mix well. Finally, add the melted coconut oil and mix one more time.
  4. Pour the batter into the greased donut pans and cook for about 15-18 minutes or until cooked through. Let the donuts cool in the pan for a few minutes before popping them out with a spatula. My batter made 21 donuts, so if you need to work in batches, just make sure the pan is cooled before regreasing and placing more batter in.
  5. While the donuts are cooling/cooking, make the glaze: Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. The batter should be thick but not difficult to stir. Add more cream/milk to either thin or thicken up the frosting. Dip the donuts into the frosting to coat, then place on a cooling rack until the frosting hardens.

Happy Pairing!

Homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream and a Chocolate Stout Float

Every blog I've been reading has been either excited or depressed that its the end of summer. For the first time in 10 years, I can finally feel it happening! In Las Vegas, autumn would always hit us overnight at Halloween time. I know this because throughout October it would still be hot enough that you'd think you could pull off that skanky halloween costume. And then like 2 days before Halloween the weather would be all "nope!" and you'd freeze your butt off. Those were the college days...don't worry, since I've grown into my late 20s I no longer wear those skanky halloween costumes. Last year I was Andrew for Halloween, beard, cigar, and the rest of the getup. Hardly any skin showing:

Now that I live 8 hours north of Vegas, its safe to say seasons are a little more prominent. Our days are still 90 degrees but it drops to the low 60s at night. Talk about a mountain town!

So before the summer totally slips away from us, let me share this awesome beer float I made this weekend. In attempts to spend only $30 on our groceries each week, I'm obviously not buying any snacks or desserts. But sometimes you've got to satisfy that sweet tooth! Ice cream can be a super inexpensive dessert to make and will last you as long as you can let it in the freezer (before eating it).

The Pairing

I don't think I need to go into too much detail of why peanut butter ice cream goes with chocolate stout. Thanks to Reese's ads, I grew up knowing the two go hand-in-hand.The key here is to make sure you're putting a sweet, chocolate-y stout into that beer float. Stay away from traditional dry Irish Stout like Guinness or Murphy's (unless you intentionally want a coffee-flavored float, which I do not prefer). I also paired sweet stout with those mouth-watering brownies I posted a while back, so the same principles apply here. These are some of my favorite stouts to pair with dessert:

  • Great Basin Outlaw Milk Stout (used in this recipe!)
  • Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
  • Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout
  • Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout
  • Samuel Adams Cream Stout

Just look for "sweet", "cream", or "milk" stout on the label. That means you're good to go.

The Recipe

Now I am no expert at creating ice cream recipes from scratch yet. The recipe I used to make my peanut butter ice cream was from Ashlee Marie's blog. (And side note, I've totally fallen in love with her blog and started following it...I love the simplicity of her recipes and layout of her posts.)

So to make the float...do I really need to explain? I put 3 scoops of the peanut butter ice cream in my glass and filled it with sweet stout. Then I ate it (and drank it). If you feel like being really creative you can put a few salted peanuts or chocolate sauce in the float, but it was absolutely delicious just as it was. Eat it quickly as the ice cream will melt!  I may just need one of these for dessert tonight...mmmm....

Happy Pairing!

Perfect Pairing: Fudge Brownies and Sweet Stout

Ever had a stout with your dessert? If you haven't had that "Aha!" moment yet in pairing beer with food, this recipe will be sure to change your world!

I'm drooling over these pictures as I write this post! It is so hard not walk 15 feet over to the kitchen and eat the entire pan of brownies. I rarely make desserts--I've only posted one other dessert pairing on this blog as I'm not a huge fan of sweets, but man, every once in a while all I want is brownies.

And let me tell you, I have found the recipe of all brownie recipes. I'm writing this one down and won't ever search for another one. Its THAT good. When I stumbled upon it this morning on Yammie's Noshery blog, I knew it was the one. The first words on this girl's "About Me" blurb says she's a chocoholic, after all.

The Pairing

Pairing stout beer with chocolate desserts is a pretty common thing in the world of beer pairings--can't say I ever actually tried it though (again...I never really eat dessert!). This pairing, with the specific recipe and local Great Basin Brewery's "Outlaw Milk Stout", was almost an epiphany for me. With the first bite and sip, it brought me back to why I started this blog in the first place: to find great food and drink pairings.

The key to this pairing is to choose a very sweet, chocolatey stout. There are many different kinds of stouts out there. The one we know most commonly, Guinness, is an example of a Irish Dry Stout (Murphy's is the other popular beer in this style). Dry stouts are great but not the best choice to pair with desserts. For this recipe, choose a sweeter style like a Milk (Sweet) Stout, Oatmeal Stout, or Foreign Extra Stout. These styles are indeed sweeter and more chocolatey than their Dry Irish counterparts, thus complementing the chocolate and sweetness of the brownies. And don't think this will be chocolate overload--it is so much better than pairing the brownies with milk, I promise!

A note on milk stouts: don't think that these stouts necessarily taste "milky" which could be considered gross in any other situation than this one. To make a milk (sweet) stout, brewers add lactose, the sugars found in dairy products, to sweeten the beer. Alternatively, oatmeal stouts are created by literally adding oatmeal to the mash, which does not necessarily alter the flavor but adds a more mellowed, rounded texture to the stout. Both of these styles expose a more chocolatey character to the beer over the typical roasted flavors you'd find in dry stouts. Milk stout is truly my favorite type of stout since the added sweetness quenches whatever form of sweet tooth I have.

Recommended Milk Stout and Oatmeal Stout to Pair with Brownies

  • Great Basin Brewery Outlaw Milk Stout (paired in this blog post, and possibly my favorite stout out there--it's so chocolatey!)
  • Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout
  • Young's Double Chocolate Stout (the first dark beer I ever liked. I remember equating it to chocolate milk)
  • Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout
  • Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout
  • Samuel Adams Cream Stout

Happy Pairing!

White Chocolate Cheesecake Paired with Framboise

Once upon a time a girl who didn't really like to make desserts made an incredible dessert. And everyone lived happily ever after. That's how I feel about this beautiful dish I made.

I really don't like making desserts. Don't get me wrong, I like a good dessert now and then, but I just don't really crave them on a daily basis. I think it is because all of the beer and wine I drink that doesn't go with dessert...hehe

But trust me, this dessert is 10 times more delicious than it looks...and I think I did pretty dang good with the pictures! If you are like me and don't usually make beautiful-looking desserts, this is the recipe for you to try. It was fairly easy, and sticking all those raspberries on top was a piece of [cheese]cake.

The Pairing

Ahhhh....Framboise and White Chocolate Cheesecake. What a match made in heaven. I think I've been saying that about a lot of my pairings, but its the way I feel about them all! Framboise is French for "raspberry", but this is a Belgian beer. Framboise is a type of fruit lambic, and if you think this is a relatively new invention, think again--lambic is the oldest beer style in the world that is still in production today.

Lambics are funky--unlike other beers, wild yeast and a whole lot of bacteria are invited into the beer. Its not harmful, but it sure does create a completely different flavor profile compared to what you're used to. Expect a lot of acidity and slight "sourness" when you try a lambic for the first time. Dare I say these beers have more in common with wine than with beer? Yes, especially when you add fruit to them.

Lindeman's Framboise, the most widely available fruit lambic in our wonderful country, was a great accompaniment to this cheesecake. Even though there are beautiful raspberries on top of this dessert, it is in no way a "raspberry" dessert. If it was, I wouldn't be suggesting the Framboise with it, it would be too much raspberry and the flavors would cancel each other out. So don't go pairing this beer with your next raspberry pie or something (is that a thing?).

The truth of this dessert is that its very mild. The white chocolate is very subtle and absolutely perfect. The Framboise adds a sweet fruity touch to the entire meal--a paring I would call PERFECT! And my friends who don't really like beer OR cheesecake loved it too. This is definitely a crowd pleaser!

The Recipe

I loved this cheesecake. Its definitely in my "keepers" section of my recipes as it is simple to make and simple to decorate. In fact, the cheesecake in the photos even collapsed in the middle...something you don't want your cheesecake to do...but was easily covered up with the raspberries! If you're new to the cheesecake-baking-business, this is a great recipe to start out with!

White Chocolate Cheesecake Paired with Framboise

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 1 hour 25 mins

Total time: 1 hour 55 mins



  • 1/4 Cup and 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp and 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 4 pkg (8 oz each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 16 oz White Baking Chocolate, melted and slightly cooled (I used Girardelli's)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 pint Raspberries


  1. Preheat oven to 300 F
  2. Beat 1/2 C sugar, 1/2 tsp of vanilla, and butter in a small bowl with an electric mixer. Add flour little by little, mixing on low speed until well blended.
  3. Press mixture firmly onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and prick with fork
  4. Bake for 25 minutes until the edge is lightly browned
  5. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, 1/2 Cup sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla in a large bowl until well blended.
  6. Add the melted chocolate and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on low speed after each addition. Be careful not to overblend as this will cause air pockets in the batter.
  7. When the crust is done cooking in the oven, pour the cream cheese mixture over it.
  8. Bake for about 1 hour or until center is almost set. When finished, run a knife along the rim to loosen the cake. Let the cake cool before removing the rim of the pan.
  9. Top with raspberries and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Carrot Cake and IPA: A Classic Beer Pairing

Who would have ever thought that an IPA goes perfectly with Carrot Cake? It's true, friends...this carrot cake beer pairing is a classic.

The first time I heard that carrot cake is a classic match with IPA, I was in disbelief. I get why chocolate pairs well with sweet stouts, I get why spicy foods go well with dry lagers...but why would you drink an IPA with carrot cake?!

Let's take a look at how this dessert tastes for two seconds. It may not be the first thing we think about, but carrot cake is incredibly sweet. There is a lot of natural sweetness from the carrots and raisins you may add to it, plus the whole thing is buried under a thick layer of sweet, tangy cream cheese frosting. Carrot cake is not like other cakes my friends. And can I throw in there that having vegetables in your dessert automatically makes it healthy??

The Pairing

So because carrot cake is so sweet and tangy, pairing it with another sweet beer or wine will just overwhelm your entire dessert experience. We definitely don't want to do that. So the key with pairing beer with this cake is balance. Imperial Pale Ales (IPAs) are snappy, bitter beers with lots of citrus or floral components coming from the addition of bright hops. When you pair that alongside a super sweet dish like carrot cake, the bitterness and sweetness of the two contrast one other, balancing the extremities of each. So if you aren't usually a fan of  hoppy beers, this pairing may change your mind since the cake will decrease the perception of bitterness in the IPA.

Recommended Beers to Pair with Carrot Cake

When you're picking a beer to pair with this cake, you want to choose an American IPA, not an English IPA. English IPAs are slightly less bitter and more malty than their American cousins. We want more hops and bitterness in the beer to contrast the cake's sweetness, so American styles are the best. If you like double or Imperial IPA (the hoppiest of all IPAs), that's an even better beer to match this meal. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Anchor IPA
  • Speakeasy Double Daddy IPA
  • Great Basin "Icky" IPA
  • Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA (60 minute is not as hoppy as you want and 120 minute might be too sweet)
  • Firestone Walker Union Jack or Double Jack
  • The Alchemist Heady Topper
  • Harpoon IPA or Leviathan IPA

To make the same carrot cake that I did (so yummy!), head over to SallysBakingAddition.

Other dessert and beer pairings on Care to Pair:

Fudge Brownies paired with Sweet Stout

White Chocolate Cheesecake paired with Raspberry Lambic

Apple Donuts with Maple Glaze paired with Pumpkin Ale