Category: rootbeer

Root beer floats, take 2.

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.

Rootbeer float cupcakes.

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.