Introduction: Root Beer Float Cupcakes

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After a recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking helped me bake the most fudgey, decadent, and all around best brownies I've ever made, I knew I'd be coming back to this amazing cookbook. And with root beer floats being one of my favorite summertime treats, my next baking adventure became clear to me as soon as a I saw the recipe for Root Beer Bundt Cake.

Step 1: Root Beer Float Cupcakes

2 cups of root beer (Diet root beer is forbidden!)
1 cup of dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup of unsalted butter (cut into 1-inch pieces)
1-1/4 cups of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon of LorAnn Oils root beer flavor

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
Using medium heat, melt the butter, root beer, and cocoa powder together in a saucepan. Then, add the granulated sugar and brown sugar, whisking until dissolved.
Remove the mixture from the heat and set it aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt using a whisk.
Beat the eggs in another bowl and them add them to the cooled cocoa mixture, along with the root beer flavor.
Combine all ingredients by folding the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture.
The root beer float cupcake batter is ready when it is combined yet slightly lumpy.
Pour the mixture into cupcake liners, filling 3/4 of the liner.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.
Test cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. Remove the cupcakes from the oven when the toothpick comes out clean.
Let cupcake pan sit on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes. Then, remove the cupcakes from the pan and place them on the rack until completely cooled.

Step 2: Root Beer Glaze for Root Beer Float Cupcakes

2 cups of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of butter (room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon of LorAnn Oils root beer flavor
4 tablespoons of whole milk

Sift powdered sugar into a medium bowl and combine with butter.
Add root beer flavor.
Slowly stir in milk a little bit at a time and mix until the glaze is smooth.

Step 3: Vanilla Frosting for Root Beer Float Cupcakes

1 cup of unsalted butter (room temperature)
3 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean

Using a paddle attachment, beat the butter for a couple of minutes on speed 4 (or medium) until it is creamy.
Split a vanilla bean in half vertically and scrape the seeds from 1/2 the bean.
Leave the mixer running and add the seeds, sugar, cream, and vanilla extract to the butter.
Increase the mixer’s speed to high for a few minutes to thicken.

Step 4:

I didn't add any root beer flavoring to the frosting, but I did add brown stripes! This extra design element takes these cupcakes over the top and is so easy to do. Simply paint some stripes of brown food coloring down the sides of your pastry bag using a food safe paint brush. Stack that vanilla frosting high! (I used AmeriColor gel food coloring in warm brown and a Wilton 1M star tip for frosting.)

Step 5:

Put the final touches on your root beer float cupcakes by topping them off with a gummy root beer candy or maraschino cherry. Rolled wafer cookies make adorable edible straws, but keep in mind that they can get soggy so you will want to add them as close to serving time as possible.