Now that the summer has come, I have sweet treats on the brain (not that I don’t usually!). One of my favorites is root beer floats. I love the ice cream slightly melting, the fizz that bubbles in your nose and of course, the cherry on top.
This cupcake has just the right amount of root beer flavor with smooth vanilla frosting complete with cherry and straw. Also, they’re so adorable I can’t stand it. they don’t take a lot of decorating skills either!
Your secret weapon for these is going to be root beer extract (or concentrate).
Step 1: Bake Your Cupcakes
Root Beer Float Cupcakes
1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons Root Beer Soda
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 Cup Canola or Vegetable Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Teaspoons Root Beer Extract (You can get this at the grocery store, not too hard to find)
1 1/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
Pour root beer and apple cider vinegar into blender and let sit for three-ish minutes. Dump remainder of ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
You should be able to pour the batter out without the aid of a spoon, but it shouldn’t be loose and runny. If the batter is too thick add in more root beer one tablespoon at a time, checking the consistency after each. If the batter is too runny, add just a bit more flour.
Line muffin pans and fill each 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Take cupcakes out to cool for 10 minutes or so then transfer to a separate plate. Also, when you take your cupakes out, never be afraid to stick a toothpick in them to see if they’re done. If you’re worried about leaving a hole in the cupcakes, don’t. It’s going to be covered in frosting anyway.
Step 2: Make Your Frosting
Vanilla Fizz Frosting
1 Cup Vegetable Shortening
3 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
2 Tablespoons Plain Soymilk
1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Root Beer Extract
Beat the shortening with a hand mixer on low until creamy. Add in confectioner’s sugar a half a cup at a time and beat together. Add in soymilk, vanilla extract and root beer extract and beat until frosting is fluffy.
Side note: This makes a TON of frosting. If you want big heaping clouds, it’s perfect, if you want an amount that won’t send you into diabetic shock, cut the recipe in half.
The root beer extract isn’t overpower in the frosting so don’t be nervous about adding it. It gives it more of a light brown color, the way fizz looks on top of a root beer float.
Step 3: Decorate With Frosting
Now, to decorate the cupcakes. You can either pipe the frosting on, or you can slap a pile of it and smooth with your finger. I will say you can’t really spread this frosting on with a knife.
I personally hate piping, and if you think about it, the fizz on a root beer float is definitely not ornately made flower petals and pearly dots. It’s bubbly. I opted for the finger technique.
Because the frosting uses shortening, it won’t stick to dry fingers. So all you have to do is scoop a pile of frosting on the cupcake and pat with your finger. Don’t worry if there are little air bubbles that pop and leave pock marks on the frosting, honestly, it looks more like fizz (I know, I know… you’re thinking what is with this girl and root beer float fizz).
I do suggest piping a tiny dollop of frosting on the top of the cupcakes. This is where you will put the cherry.
Step 4: The Finishing Touches
Speaking of cherries… Take twelve maraschino cherries from the jar and lay them on a paper towel. You will need to pat them dry so that the juice doesn’t run all over your cupcake or make your frosting loose.
While you are waiting for the cherries to dry, take out twelve bendy straws and a pair of scissors. I promise, I won’t get too arts and craftsy on you!
Cut the straws to a good length, you want about 3/4 to an inch of straw between the cupcake top and the bendy part. I trimmed a little off the top of the straw too, just to it didn’t look out of proportion.
Stick the straws in the cupcakes off to one side. If you make jumbo cupcakes, use two straws and put one on each side. (You’re almost done!!)
Now take your dry cherries and place one on each cupcake on the dollop of frosting. And voila! You have your root beer float cupcakes. Adorable and so very tasty.