Root Beer Cupcakes – photo tutorial

If you love Root Beer Floats, you’ll love these Root Beer Float Cupcakes.

These cupcakes have a wonderful root beer flavor.  I tried just reducing down the root beer, but that didn’t give me enough root beer flavor in the cupcakes, so I added Watkin’s Root Beer Concentrate (not extract), which gave these cupcakes that wonderful root beer flavor.

Because these are Root Beer FLOAT Cupcakes, I made a Vanilla Ice Cream Buttercream Frosting, which I piped on top of the cupcakes to look like soft serve ice cream.

To give these cupcakes an extra boost of root beer flavor, and to make them look more like a float, I topped these cupcakes with a delicious Root Beer Drizzle.

Let’s BAKE!


2 cups root beer (to be divided after reduction)


1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon root beer concentrate


10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (150 grams)
12 ounces sifted powdered sugar (340 grams)
1/3 cup vanilla ice cream, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/4 teaspoon root beer concentrate
1 cup sifted powdered sugar


In a small saucepan on medium heat, simmer until mixture reduces to 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (about 25-30 minutes) stirring occasionally.  Divide reduction (3/4 cup for the cupcakes and 2 Tbsp. for the root beer drizzle); set aside to cool completely.


Preheat oven to 350º F.  Prepare muffin tin with paper liners.  Whisk together both flours, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar for 3 minutes; add eggs, one at a time on low speed until incorporated.  Mix in root beer concentrate (I tried these without the root beer concentrate, but they didn’t have enough root beer flavor.  I prefer root beer concentrate over root beer extract).

On slow speed add flour mixture and 3/4 cup of reduced root beer, alternating 1/2 each at a time.  Beat on slow speed until just combined.  Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand. (Do not overmix)  Divide batter evenly (using a #12 scoop) among prepared muffin cups (2/3rds full).  Using a scooper makes getting the batter into the cupcake liners easier.

Bake at 350º F., 18 to 22 minutes, until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean (internal temp approx. 205 degrees F.). Cool completely.


In a large mixing bowl, beat unsalted butter until light and fluffy (5 minutes).  Add sifted powdered sugar 1/2 at a time (beating 5 minutes each time, which helps the buttercream get really light and fluffy).

In a small bowl whisk together vanilla ice cream and vanilla extract; add 1/2 to buttercream, beating for 5 minutes; add more as needed to get piping consistency (you may not use all of the ice cream mixture).  Fit a 16″ pastry bag with a #1M piping tip.  Fill pastry bag with Vanilla Ice Cream Buttercream, set aside.


Once cupcakes are cooled, whisk together 2 Tbsp. root beer reduction, 1/4 tsp. root beer concentrate, and 1 cup sifted powdered sugar until smooth.  Put icing into a ziplock bag, cut a hole in the corner.

Pipe Vanilla Ice Cream Buttercream on the tops of the cupcakes.  Then add the Root Beer Drizzle on the buttercream (the extra drizzle can be used as a topping on ice cream, root beer floats, etc.).  Top each frosted cupcake with 1 Root Beer Barrel candy and a straw (cut to fit).

Serve and enjoy!

(If you are not serving the cupcakes right away, store in refrigerator.).

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