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The Devil and The Monk

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Trappist Cupcakes

The story of The Devil and The Monk Cupcakes begins in 1812 with a beer…

(Not this one – this a a modern beer,
although it’s still made by Trappist Monks)

A brewmaster in an abbey brewery in the year 1812 made ale without weighing or measuring the barley malt.  This would have been most impressive – had he always gotten the measurements correct.  One day, his weighing was particularly askew and the whole abbey got so drunk that they believed themselves to be possessed by the devil.  (This part of the tale comes from Les Memoires de Jef Lambic, Editions La Technique Belge, Brussels, undated; via Brewing Techniques.)

…continues with an abbey cheese…

(This is also not a cheese from the 1800s, but it is the same style.
Work with me here.)

Regular readers may recall that I posted recently about Chaumes cheese (a Trappist monk-style cheese that I received from Ile de France).  I imagine that in their stupor, the monks would have questioned the devil’s involvement in this strange cheese that smells like passed gas but tastes like heaven.

…and concludes with a cupcake. 

While I don’t believe that there is any connection between devil’s food cake and monks, I thought that in light of the historic beer mistake, the freakish cheese, and the desire of monks to rid themselves of the devil’s influence, I would create a devil’s food cake cupcake featuring both Trappist Ale and Chaumes cheese.

As for the taste: The Devil and The Monk Cupcakes will be devoured before you can say, “Amen.”

The End

The Devil and The Monk Cupcake Recipe

(Recipe hugely adapted from David Lebovitz’s Devil’s Food Cake Recipe)

If you've tried this recipe, please RATE THE RECIPE and leave a comment below!

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The Devil and The Monk


  • 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 oz 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 C Trappist Ale
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1/2 C Chaumes or other soft cheese


  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.
  4. Mix together the ale and milk.
  5. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, then add the ale and milk.
  6. Stir in the other half of the dry ingredients.
  7. Mix in the cheese until fully incorporated.
  8. Divide evenly among 12 cupcake liners.
  9. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when touched lightly.

Recipe Notes

Frost the cupcakes with cheesy chocolate ganache and garnish with white nonpareils.
See picture below in this post.


Cheesy Chocolate Ganache

Frost the cupcakes with cheesy chocolate ganache and garnish with white nonpareils.

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10 comments on “The Devil and The Monk”

  1. Joysays:

    I like now unique this recipe is. I have to share with one of my friends. She would love it.

  2. Cheesy ganache frosting? Interesting. Interting enough to give it a try.

  3. Oh Stef, You have outdone yourself here. But then you usually do…

    I recently did a post for National Devil’s Food Cake Day and I simply must include this link!!! David Lebovitz’s Devil’s Food Cake is a personal favorite and your adaptation is truly unique. Mix together the ale and milk. WOW!!! so cool…

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. I adore cheese and chocolate together in truffles, so I know I would love these.
    Now I need to do a little ale and cheese shopping.

    Oh, and I love the drunk monks story!

  5. Those are so fancy and laid back all at once!

  6. I’m intrigued enough, too, to try this recipe. But not generally being a beer drinker, I have questions: is Trappist ale a type of ale made by many brewers? That is, where can I find it? How difficult is it to find? And if I can’t find it, what’s a good substitute?

    I have a cookout to got to this weekend, and these would be a different dessert to bring. No pressure. ;-)

    Thanks to anyone who can help!

  7. Stefsays:

    Erin – It shouldn’t be too hard to find. I got mine at Whole Foods. But, anyplace that has a good beer selection should carry it. Good luck! Hope you like them!

  8. Stef, I did find the beer in Shaws, and I made the cupcakes last weekend. Wow. Oh wow. These were wonderful!

  9. duelliisays:

    I was right about the devil (Devil food cupcake) but I thought the Monk you’re referring to is le Frangelico xD Although a Frangelico (hazelnut) cupcake would be nice too ;)

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