Friday, April 13, 2012

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Drinking a Racer 5 at Bear Republic
If you know me at all, you know that one of my family's biggest passions is beer. I mean just look at the number of cupcakes I've made with beer (Snow Covered Mountain, Punkin, Beer and Peanuts, Fat Tire).   So it should come as no suprise that our Spring Break Trip revolved at lot around beer!

But after a week of beer and wine, my body needed a break.  So while it makes sense I would make cupcakes around beer, this week, its all about detox!  And so for my cupcakes this week, I decided to make root beer float cupcakes.

Of course I had a recipe pinned on my pinterest boards, but I also wanted to do some research and see if i could find a recipe I liked better. After extensive googling, I came up with a recipe that included making root beer icing!  That sounded so delicious that I knew I had to try it.   However there was a problem... it also called for root beer extract.   So when I googled "root beer extract" I learned that since it was made by McCormick Spices, it should be easy to find!  I should know better than that!!!   I tried Harris Teeter, Giant, Wegmen's and Walmart and none of them carried it.    Defeated, I went back to the drawing board and tried to come up with another type of cupcakes to make next week.   But, as luck would have it, I passed my favorite cake supply store on my way back to school for a lacrosse game and thought "Why didn't I come here first!!".   Unfortunately, it was quite expensive, but I really wanted to try them out and knew it'd be worth it in the long run.  So if you can find it, it's definitely worth a purchase!

The root beer I chose to use was diet IBC.  Normally when I bake I dont tend to use "low fat" anything (sorry people!) but I knew I was going to be buying a six pack of the root beer and I didn't want to have a fridge full of it!  And I went with IBC since I wanted the whole "bottled root beer" taste and that was the only option Harris Teeter had.  I had been hoping for Dominion or Saranc but oh well. 

 Overall I was disappointed with this attemp and I think that I will definitely be making another one (especially now that I have the extract).   A couple things I was dissatisfied with
- the cake was "too light".  it was like a boxed cake mix would be.   I don't like 'lighter' cakes and it just didn't hold together as well as I would have liked once I added the filling.
-  the filling didn't really "fill".  I don't know if the tip I used was too small (even though its the one i normally use) or what, but it didn't want to fill as much as I would have liked.  I think they would have been a lot better and a lot more "root beery" had I put in more filling.   Still it was good.
- the icing was kinda "blah".  I should have just made my standard vanilla buttercream, but didn't really think of it.  And in all honesty, if I were to make them again, I think I would make it with a whipped cream icing.   I don't know why, but that scream "float" to me more than butter cream.

But the overall response to the cupcakes has been positive.  I think that even though they didn't exactly taste like root beer floats, at least they tasted good.  I assure you that I will definitely be tweaking this recipe and making another batch in the future.  Especially now that I have the root beer extract!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Make 26

  • 2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 4 teaspoons root beer extract
  • 3/4 cup root beer

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flower, cocoa powder and baking soda together with a whisk and set aside
  3. In another bowl mix the egg and sugar until smooth and no lumps remain 
  4. Add cream, butter and vanilla, and mix until combined. 
  5. Stir in sour cream. 
  6. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients
  7. Add root beer concentrate and root beer. Mix until batter is smooth. 
  8. Line a muffin tin with liners and fill each cup about 2/3 of the way through. 
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool before frosting.
Root beer and Vanilla Frosting
  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • milk or heavy cream to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon root beer extract
  1. Beat butter in an electric mixer until soft
  2. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  3. Add in Vanilla extract
  4. add in milk or heavy cream one tablespoon at a time until you get to the desired consistency
  5. Remove about a cup of the icing and add in the root beer extract
  6. Using a medium sized opening tip, fill a pastry bag with the root beer frosting.  Fill the cupcakes by pressing the tip into the top of the cupcake and squeeze in the frosting until the shape of the cupcake changes. 
  7. Using the remaining Vanilla icing, ice the cupcakes as you wish (I used a super large opening Atecco tip) and enjoy
 Cupcakes adapted from How Sweet it Is

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