summer treat: root beer float cupcakes

Hi, it’s Michele from Cakewalk Baking and I’m back with my favorite new cupcake creation – root beer float! Summertime puts me in a nostalgic mood and one of my favorite childhood memories is leaving the beach and going to the drive in A&W for burgers and floats {where they actually brought it out to your car and clipped the tray onto your window. Wow, I’m old!}...

I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and tweaked it a bit, adding more butter, root beer extract and simplifying the method. I thought that root beer extract would be easier to come by but after searching all my local grocery stores, I finally found it at a homebrew/wine making store. There’s a much better selection online and I think I would try this one from Cooks next time.

For the frosting, I wanted to duplicate the vanilla ice cream, but also wanted to make sure that the overall flavor screamed root beer. I settled on making vanilla & root beer variations of my favorite Swiss meringue buttercream recipe and swirled them together. There are a couple of methods to achieve this effect – using 2 bags in one {see a great tutorial here} or you can use these very handy striper bags. Whichever technique you use, it is a little tricky to get the frosting to come out evenly, so plan on taking your time and practicing a few swirls before applying to your cupcakes. Making sure your frosting is on the softer side will make the process much easier. Happy swirling!

 {images via cakewalk baking}
Root Beer Cupcakes

¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups sugar
½ dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp root beer extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder (Dutch processed)
2 cups root beer (I used Jones and I would recommend using a similar, natural soda)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and pale.
3. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix until combined
4. Sift together flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda together
5. Stir together root beer & root beer extract
6. Alternately add dry ingredients and root beer to mixing bowl, scraping down after each addition. Start and end with dry ingredients
7. Fill paper-lined muffin tins with batter 2/3 full.
8. Bake at 350° for 20-22 minutes

Root Beer & Vanilla Bean buttercream

1 lb unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
8 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tsp root beer extract (or more to taste)

1. Combine the sugar & egg whites in mixer bowl and whisk together over simmering water until hot to the touch and all of the sugar has melted and is no longer grainy
2. Transfer bowl to mixer stand and whip on high until fluffy & cool – about 10 minutes
3. With the mixer on low, add the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time until incorporated. Add in vanilla. Whip until smooth (it may look curdled, but just continue to mix & it will be fine!).
4. Remove ½ of the frosting and add root beer extract to the remaining frosting.


Meghan McCann said...


jilliann said...

i have been using a similar buttercream method and have to wonder what the instructions mean by "just continue to mix & it will be fine!" like... it will taste fine even though it's curdled OR the curdled appearance will go away?

anyway thanks for the recipe! i can't wait to try!

Sheila... said...

this looks amazing. I LOVE root beer so I'll definitely have to try this.

Gloria said...

oh my goodness, i wish i could reach through the computer screen to sneak a little taste!

Victoria said...

These sound absolutely delightful!

whereorwhat said...


Cakewalk Baking said...

Thank you so much for your lovely comments!

@ Jillian ~ sorry to be unclear! It will all come together & be smooth, sometimes it just takes a long time.

Anonymous said...

That packaging is too cute, in all its vintage glory. How's the summer treating you?

Melissa said...

Hi! Love these. Can you tell me where you got the small white ceramic cupcake stands?

Hannah {Bonne Nouvelle} said...

Those look delicious.
Where did you get the cupcake stands?

Cakewalk Baking said...

Hi! The cupcake stands are from here:

Happy baking!

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