Are you guys doing the Pinterest thing? I am. I’m obsessed. It’s the worst thing that ever could have happened to my productivity. Once I’m sucked in, I just can’t seem to walk away. Someone will repin one of my pins, or a friend will tag me in some perfectly me Harry Potter post, or tell me abut some new, easy way to style long hair, and I’m drawn in…then Pinterest just won’t. let. go.
I love it.
I hate it.
I have a problem.
The worst part about pinterest, though…seriously, the worst part…is how often I see something I love and want, and one of two things happens. Either I follow a trail of pins and repins all over the Pinterestverse that then eventually leads to a tumblr trail that only ends in a sad little image page on google, never actually leading to the item I so truly love and desperately need (yes, need). Or. The thing that I’ve fallen for is sold out at whatever retailer I finally manage to track it to. Of course, there’s the occasional time when I actually do track it down and it actually is still available, but then it ends up costing an arm, a leg, and at least three toes. Blerg.
On the brightside, unlike my other obsessions (TeeFury, ModCloth, Bake It Pretty…ETSY…to name a few), at least Pinterest will apparently never cost me any money…because it never actually leads to anything.
When I finally do break away from Pinterest, I go bake my you-can’t-have-your-love-cause-it’s-sold-out depression away. The latest NON-buyer’s remorse could only be cured with cupcakes. Really. Yummy. Cupcakes.
These cupcakes, people, are a-flippin-mazing! There are lots of root beer float cupcake recipes out there, and they’re good, trust me, but I still needed to make my own. I love root beer floats and I love cupcakes, so why not put them together? Mostly, though, I had to make my own because I bought these adorable little spoons that I was dying to use and I just couldn’t picture them in any other kind of cupcake. That’s a good reason, right? Well, even if it isn’t, the cupcakes turned out so delicious that it didn’t matter why I made them anymore!
These cupcakes have a mild root beer flavor, but the filling gives a little more root beer punch to them, and the frosting is the perfect faux vanilla ice cream.
These are a really tasty chocolate cake recipe that I just added root beer too, in place of milk. All you need is all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, root beer, unsalted butter (melted), eggs, baking soda, salt, sugar, brown sugar, and root beer concentrate.
Alright, honestly, you can’t just take milk out and put root beer in and expect everything to be ok. And I didn’t expect that, but my other tweaks still weren’t sufficient. My first batch of root beer cupcakes had too much sugar. They tasted fantastic, and they had a nice texture inside, but the outside were very, very sticky (I could hardly remove the papers). Plus, as you can see, they had very little structure and collapsed in the centers. Some of the cupcakes actually came out with a perfect shape, but they were still way too sticky, so I knew I was close to the right ratios…back to the drawing board. I reduced the sugar and increased the flour on these and ended up with perfectly domed, perfectly textured cupcakes.
Before I had even started on the cupcake recipe, I know that wanted to top the cupcakes with swiss meringue frosting. I just felt like it would be the closest thing to ice cream, while still holding up to being a cupcake topping. Whipped cream would be good too, but it’s not as stable, and I felt buttercream would be too heavy and sweet. On a whim, I decided to divide out about one quarter of the frosting and add a little root beer concentrate to it and use it as a filling. I’m really happy that I did!
To fill the cupcakes, core the centers with a paring knife or apple corer. Fill the cupcakes almost full with filling, then replace the bit of cupcake you removed. I decided I wanted mine to look like they had a melty, foamy scoop of ice cream on top, so I filled a decorating bag (zip top works great too) with the frosting and snipped the end off. Next, I just swirled the frosting around the outer edges of the cupcakes. There’s no technique here, just go with what you want. Finally, I used a 1 tablespoon scoop to place a little scoop of frosting on top. Admittedly, I’d go with a smaller scoop, if you can, but that was my smallest scoop. They were absolutely delicious, but I like a tad less frosting.
Some cute stripey straws and sweet little float spoons from Bake It Pretty were the perfect finishing touches for these.
If you’re a root beer float fan, then you should definitely try these. The cakes are dense, but light, with a rich chocolatey flavor that is perfectly complimented by the subtle root beer taste. The filling and frosting are light, airy, and mild, and give the perfect illusion of vanilla ice cream in frosting form. Plus, they’re fast and easy…you can have them from mixed to decorated in under 90 minutes. They’re the perfect summer drink in the perfect summer cupcake! Enjoy!
Root Beer Cupcakes [Printable Version]
Makes 20 cupcakes
2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (60 g) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar (50 g), packed
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon root beer concentrate
1 cup (8 oz./250 ml) root beer
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Line a muffin pan with paper liners; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the butter and sugars and mix until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Thoroughly stir in the root beer concentrate.
Sprinkle about 1/3 of the flour mixture into the bowl, mixing on low speed. Add half of the root beer. Once incorporated, repeat with another third of the flour mixture and the remaining root beer. Stir in the rest of the flour, mixing until just combined. Do not over mix; batter will be a little lumpy.
Place 3 level tablespoons of batter into each lined cup and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted int he center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before filling or frosting.
5 large egg whites
1 cup (200 g) sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups (4 sticks or 1 lb.) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 2 tablespoon chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon root beer concentrate
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, set over a pot of simmering water, combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt. Heat the mixture, whisking often, until it reaches 160 degrees and the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and whisk on medium high speed until stiff peaks form, about 8-10 minutes. The mixture should also be room temperature, at this point.
With the mixer on medium speed, add the butter, 1 piece at a time, and beat until incorporated before adding another piece. Continue to beat until thick and smooth (if it looks curdled or soupy, just keep beating it until smooth again, another 3 minutes or so). Stir in the vanilla until incorporated.
Separate out 1/4 of the frosting into a medium bowl. Stir in the root beer concentrate and use this as filling for cupcakes.
Cupcake recipe by Darla, Frosting/filling recipe adapted from Martha Stewart