"Lola" | brown sugar | cupcakes | glaze | icing | recipe | rootbeer

Root beer floats, take 2.

September 2, 2009

Before we get to the cupcakes, Lola (my pink KitchenAid mixer) has been feeling a bit neglected. Sure, I use her all the time, and I mention her every now and then. But I haven’t given her any face-time in a while. So here’s Lola:

“Yes, I’m gorgeous.” -Lola

Anyway, back to the baking. Last year I attempted some root beer cupcakes, and they were less than stellar. They looked great, but they just didn’t have the oomph I was looking for- the root beer flavor just wasn’t there like I wanted it to be. I decided to try them again and put the idea on the back burner (I swear that’s not an intentional lame cooking pun, I didn’t even realize it until proofreading the post). But when I got an assortment of awesome extracts from Jay for Christmas, there was a root beer extract among them and it made me think of making them again. I forgot about it until recently, when looking for my coconut extract, I moved some lemon extract out of the way and saw the root beer extract again.

And it was on like Donkey Kong!

I’m corny and used straws again. Hey, what’s a root beer float without a straw!?

So I came up with a new version of Root Beer Float cupcakes. I combined components from a few different recipes, and came up with this. It’s pretty stellar. It involves root beer cupcakes, a root beer glaze and a thick vanilla buttercream to mimic the ice cream on top. Talk about a powerful root beer flavor! I finally achieved what I wanted. Bwahahaha! *lightning crashes*

Of course, I go to the dentist tomorrow to have some cavities filled, and I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t be as excited about my root beer cupcakes as I am. Okay, I know she wouldn’t.



  • 1 ¼ cups root beer
  • 1 ¼ tsps root beer extract
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsps baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a bowl, mix together root beer and root beer extract. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth, light and fluffy. Add egg, mix until smooth.
  4. Sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix with hand mixer on low, while slowly pouring in root beer mixture.
  5. Mix until smooth and lump-free. Pour into lined cupcake pan. Fill nearly to the top, resist the urge to use more than 12 cups.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cake springs back when touched. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool on rack for 10.
  7. Frost cupcakes with buttercream, generously.
  8. Pour a teaspoon or so of glaze on top, allowing it run down over frosting.
Yeah, looks like caramel, but it ain’t!




  • 2 ½ – 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • ¼ cup root beer
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon root beer extract


  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix until smooth and lump free.



  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Place the butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla.
  2. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency.
  3. You may not need to add all of the sugar. Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

You could also put the glaze on the cupcake, allow it to set, then frost it. I like how the glaze looks over the frosting myself, though.

OH! And the extract I use is by Watkins. Word to your moms.

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  1. OK, I totally have to try those. My boys would LOVE them! Good luck with the dentist…just went to mine today and was a little surprised that I did not have a cavity!!

  2. Wow, great looking cupcakes!!! They must have tasted wonderful!! Great pictures!! Ya just want to reach into the computer screen and feel them!! What Anna said is soooo true too!!! Yummerssss!!!!!

  3. Patti- they were SUPER root beer-y. 😀 Thanks for the good luck, everything went just fine, though I was numb all day. Which wasn’t so bad, actually…

    Jimmy (aka JAY)- you’re creepy.

  4. I have been selling Watkins for years and the rootbeer extract has always been a BIG seller – funny thing is – I had never tried any recipes using it!

    A friend passed along your recipe and I gave it a try- AWESOME! You are very talented in your creations and so glad you shared! This will make it’s way into the “My Favs” cookbook in our house!

    Suggestion: If you ever wanted to share this recipe w/Watkins they’d be thrilled! They have a recipe section on their site and are always looking for more recipes to share w/customers. This recipe would be most welcome!

    Thanks again for sharing it! (My dentist will probably thank you too but it’ll be worth it!) 🙂

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