Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Baked In

Are you sitting down? Grab the edge of something sturdy and steady yourself – because this post contains neither apples nor squash. I know, it’s crazy. But I think we need a little break from the autumnal explosion, and probably some sugar, too. Fear not – we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled fall programming in no time. I promise you won’t be thinking about gourds once you try these cupcakes.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Baked In

It’s getting a little too chilly out for ice cream, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy everything that’s great about a root beer float – we’ll just do it in cupcake form. These are the perfect handheld embodiment of a real root beer float, with chocolaty root beer cake, a sweet root beer filling/glaze, and vanilla-root beer flavored frosting. And, obviously, a cherry on top. These were a big hit with the friend I sent them home with and his family, and pretty popular in the office, too.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Baked In

I cut up paper straws to make them look even more like a float, but a great edible alternative would be those pirouline cookie straws – I just didn’t have any. Either way, they’re delicious. I’m hoping someone requests them again soon so I have a good excuse to make them again. In the meantime, back to squash and apples!

3.5 from 4 reviews
Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Root beer floats in cupcake form - chocolate root beer cake, root beer glaze, and root beer/vanilla frosting.
Category: Dessert
Yield: ~24 cupcakes
  • 2 cups root beer (NOT diet)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp root beer extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp root beer extract
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1½ cups shortening or butter, room temperature (I prefer shortening for this)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp root beer extract
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Cut paper straws or pirouline cookies
Make the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Combine root beer, cocoa powder and butter in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently, until butter is melted and there are no lumps. Add the sugar and brown sugar and whisk until completely dissolved. Set aside or place in refrigerator to cool to room temperature.
  3. While the root beer mixture cools, combine flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Combine eggs and root beer extract in a small bowl and beat to combine. Pour eggs into the room temperature root beer/cocoa mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Add flour mixture to the root beer mixture and fold together to combine. The batter may be slightly lumpy.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared cupcake liners, filling each ⅔-3/4 full. Bake 20-22 minutes, until tops spring back lightly when touched. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely.
Make the Filling
  1. While the cupcakes are cooling, place the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Combine root beer extract and milk and stir to combine. Pour into the powdered sugar and whisk until mixture is smooth. If it's too thick, add more milk to thin it out. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  2. When cupcakes have completely cooled, use a paring knife to remove a 1-inch circle from the middle of each cupcake. Fill the hole with 1-2 tsp of filling. If you wish to skip this part, you can simply spread the filling on top of each cupcake as a glaze.
Make the Frosting
  1. Place butter/shortening in a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
  2. Sift in powdered sugar a few tablespoons at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla and root beer extract and continue beating for 1-2 minutes. Frost cupcakes and top with cherries. Stick a paper straw or pirouline cookie into each cupcake. Serve.

Source: adapted from Instructables

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15 Responses to Root Beer Float Cupcakes

  1. An American recipe that I can make tomorrow. Rarely does this happen in my Australian pantry but I have root beer from Costco sitting in the pantry.

    These cupcakes will be a treat and yours are beautiful!

  2. Lovely recipe 🙂
    Root beer float cakes for my birthday…YAY!!
    Had to make my own extract by the reducing method. Baking now, mmmmmm….

  3. I can not find root beer extract but found root beer concentrate. What is the difference and can I use the concentrate instead?

  4. Disappointed. Didn’t taste like root beer and I added much more extract. Nothing more but great tasting chocolate cupcakes.

  5. This post was posted on my daughter’s 11th birthday, So I found this recipe last minute And the recipe was a hit

  6. WAY too much chocolate in the cupcake. It overpowered the root beer flavor even though I doubled the extract amount.

  7. I didn’t care for these at all. No root beer flavor and I also added more than the recipe called for. Cupcakes came out with a hard-like shell. Greasy frosting also. Doubt I will attempt these again.

  8. Tried these cupcakes yesterday for the first time. I’m not usually a fan of drinking Root Beer, but found these cupcakes very yummy….light & moist!! My family has been gobbling them up! My son thought they could use a little more Root Beer flavor, but that’s his personal taste. Just wondering if I could add a little more extract, in the batter or glaze? I don’t want to ruin the texture or taste etc. Thanks for sharing the fun idea,my daughter will be making these for her 4H fair project.

    • Hi Kimberly! I think you could definitely add more root beer extract. If you add more to the glaze, just up the sugar a little bit to make sure it doesn’t get too runny.