cupcakes | recipe | rootbeer | whipped cream

Rootbeer float cupcakes.

August 18, 2008

I love rootbeer. My one true love, soda-wise, is Coke Zero however… I occasionally will cheat with rootbeer (oh… and Dr. Pepper, what a slut!). Sometimes, ya just need a nice, cold, frosty rootbeer. Rootbeer floats, I’m not incredibly into. Maybe cuz I’m really not into ice cream, but anyway… I’m not really big on it. Unless… its in cupcake form.

And this is.

Yes, folks, a rootbeer float cuppin’ cake.

After spending 4 days in Pennsylvania Dutch Amish country, I saw enough rootbeer (and sasparilla, and birch beer) to last the world a lifetime (and ate enough Shoo♥fly pie to float away on said rootbeer). I swear, they sell rootbeer everywhere: roadside stands, gift shops. EVERYWHERE. You see signs for it all over; either rootbeer, olde timey style sasparilla, birch beer, olde timey style rootbeer, homemade rootbeer or ice cold homemade rootbeer. Anyway, I remembered I had seen this recipe a while back on the BitterSweet blog. I have been wanting to try it for a year and never found the rootbeer extract. I could have ordered it online, sure. But… hello? Have we met? I’m kinda lazy when it comes to that kind of stuff. Well, another wonderful thing about the Amish country in addition to delightful desserts made of 100% sugar, is the fact that most of the people there brew their own rootbeer, so… rootbeer extract is sold in stores! Hurray! Needless to say I bought it… and the result is rootbeer float cupcakes.

To be fair, Jay noticed the extract before I did and remembered that I wanted it. So he gets the credit for these, really.

RootBeer Float Cupcakes


  • 1 Cup Rootbeer Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Canola Oil
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Teaspoons Rootbeer Extract
  • 1 1/3 Cups Flour
  • ¾ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a dozen cupcake tins with papers.
  2. Combine the soda and vinegar and let stand for a few minutes. Add in the sugar and oil, whisking vigorously until slightly frothy.
  3. Integrate your extracts, and gently introduce the flour, along with the baking powder / soda, and salt, being careful not to over mix. Distributing the batter evenly between the prepared tins, fill cupcake liners approximately ¾ of the way to the top. Bake for about 18 – 22 minutes. Allow them to cool completely before proceeding to the frosting.

Whipped Cream Topping


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Whip cream until almost stiff.
  2. Add sugar and vanilla, beat until cream holds peaks.
  3. Spread or pipe over top of cooled cupcakes.

You could also just use store bought whipped cream, or plain old vanilla buttercream. I find the whipped cream gives it more of a “float” kind of feeling. Or chocolate frosting, if you’re a weirdo. Or even rootbeer buttercream frosting. Actually, if you make that, and it comes out good, let me know. I’m intrigued now. But anyway, I could’ve just whipped up some heavy cream and put it on, but I felt the sugar would stabilize it and the vanilla would add a bit more flavor. But then I ended up having some frosting issues… so they kind of look like a disaster. Don’t even ask what happened. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Apparently they taste amazing. I don’t know because I haven’t eaten any yet.

I omitted the ganache because I just didn’t think it was necessary for me. But by all means, if you wanna add the ganache, go for it.

Anyway everyone’s saying they’re really good. If you decide to make them I hope you have better luck with your frosting than I did! Who knows. Sometimes the cupcake gods frown on you. Maybe because I wasn’t really baking for enjoyment, I was baking just to bake and use the extract. Theres a lesson for you all in that somewhere.

When you find it let me know.

I chose to top them with straws because, well, its cute and I’m cheesy like that.

EDIT: Okay I’ve had one. Its not as “rootbeer”-y as I’d expected. Which is weird, since my extract is superpowered plus the cup of actual rootbeer thats in it. Would I make them again? Probably not, unless someone requested them. They’re not BAD, they’re quite good, but for rootbeer, they aren’t all that rootbeer-ish.

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best cupcake I’ve made, I’d rate this a 3, mainly because of all the issues I had with my frosting.

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  1. I was a bit disappointed with the subtle rootbeer taste. I was expecting more of a ‘pop’, you know? But they weren’t bad at all. Just not what I was expecting.

    And my frosting disaster wasn’t really such a disaster in hindsight.

  2. I have a story to tell you about your cupcakes:

    About 4 or 5 months ago, I had two friends b-day party and decided to make your root beer cupcakes and another one.

    It was such a hit, that one of the guests who tried one requested I made them for her for her b-day.. which was on Monday.

    My friend, LOVED your cupcakes, hell everyone at the club that night who tried one, loved it. I made over a dozen and they went so fast the DJ did not even get a chance to try one.

    the strangest complained I had about the cupcake is one person did not like it due to the bubbles, Yes, as I said strange complaint, since no bubbles but I think just flavor reminded him of the pop.

    I made a different frosting I used a basic frosting that I used root beer extract in it instead of vanilla.

    thanks for the recipe, you post some great recipes that are not complex and fun.

    I thought I would tell you this story to let you know, how your cupcakes were a great hit.

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