Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Jun 21 2013

by Grace Mannon

Southern Recipe Posted by Grace Mannon.

Hand me a bottle of ice-cold root beer, and I’ll hand it right back to ya–it’s just not for me. Oddly enough, though, I found these root beer cupcakes to be absolutely delicious! Perhaps the presence of butter, cream, and sugar has a little something to do with that.

There’s absolutely no denying the root beer flavor in the cupcakes–it hits greets you immediately and lingers for a spell. To make the cupcakes more root-beer-float-like, I added a fluffy whipped cream to the center of each cupcake in an effort to bring in some vanilla flavor. It was no vanilla ice cream, to be sure, but it was an acceptable alternative.

The frosting was where the majority of the root beer flavor found its home, and that’s because I added plenty of root beer extract into the mix. As a side note, if you don’t have root beer extract, you can make your own root beer concentrate by boiling down a can or bottle until a thick, reduced liquid is formed. Don’t let it go too far and burn, though–that’s a mess you don’t want to clean!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Makes about 2 dozen



  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon root beer extract, or to taste

To make the root beer cupcakes, first preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.
In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. (This is an important step, for if you do not sift, you will have unattractive white clumps; I learned this the hard way.)
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined.
Fold the liquid and flour mixtures together in the large bowl. The batter will be slightly lumpy, but do not overbeat.
Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 to 3/4 full and bake cupcakes, rotating trays halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, beat the cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently beat in the vanilla extract.

To make the frosting, beat the butter with an electric mixer for a few minutes. Add the powdered sugar gradually until the frosting is thick enough to spread easily, then beat in the concentrate.

To fill the cupcakes, carve out a cone-shaped hole and squirt or spoon the whipped cream inside. Apply frosting generously to the cupcakes, after giving the components a few minutes to mingle, devour.

Enjoy this southern recipe in this collection of our southern cuisine – let’s gather the best southern food ideas for The Southern Coterie cookbook.


Grace Mannon View More Blog Posts from this Author

You've heard it before--American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. Prepare to laugh at me and with me as I make a mess in my kitchen.

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