Root Beer Float Cupcakes


Growing up my dad was always the big sweet eater in the family, remember my story about how he encouraged my love of doughnuts?

Well, my  mom always enjoys a good dessert like the rest of us, but there is one treat she always LOVES…… Ice Cream Floats.    A big tall glass with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream,  pour root beer or cream soda over the top, stick in a straw…….. THAT is mom’s idea of heaven!!

This moist nostalgic  cupcake will take you to decades past, when ice cream floats (and sodas) were once so popular at the local soda fountain.

I saw this recipe on Cupcake Project months ago, and have been promising my family I would make them………so this weekend the time had come!

The Vanilla Bean Frosting makes this Root Beer Cupcake tast just like a Root Beer Float!  Recipe at

These cupcakes were slightly crumbly yet moist and a strong root beer flavor.  After baking them I think I discovered my “error”.  I purchased Root Beer Concentrate at a local baking supply store, but the recipe calls for Root Beer EXTRACT.  My little bottle looks just like a bottle of extract…even the Root Beer flavoring at the grocery store says CONCENTRATE.  But I’m pretty sure CONCENTRATE must be MUCH stronger.  So if you make this recipe, I would either be sure to purchase root beer EXTRACT or reduce the amount of concentrate to about 1/4-1/2 of what is called for in EXTRACT.

Other than that, they’re really VERY yummy…….just VERY strong because of my mistake………I’m anxious to try them again, and next time I may leave off the frosting (it is yummy) but may just try the cupcake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…….. because, really, anything served with ice cream is wonderful.

Vanilla Bean Frosting makes this Root Beer Cupcake tast just like a Root Beer Float!  Recipe at

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Yield: 12

Root Beer Float Cupcakes


  • 1 Cup Rootbeer Soda (non-diet)
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Teaspoons Root Beer Extract *(if you use root beer concentrate then only use 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 1/3 Cups Flour
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • 1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


  1. Preheat your oven to 350
  2. Combine root beer soda and vinegar and let stand for a few minutes.
  3. Add in the sugar and oil, whisking until slightly frothy.
  4. Mix in your extracts, and slowly add the flour, along with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Careful not to over mix.
  5. Fill cupcake liners approximately 3/4 full. (At first I thought I had a lot more batter than 12 cupcakes, but then I noticed the batter would settle, so I went back and added a little batter to each liner, which made 12 cupcakes)
  6. Bake for about 18 – 22 minutes.
  7. Vanilla Frosting
  8. Beat cream cheese and butter until well blended.
  9. Add powdered sugar and mix until nice a creamy
  10. Add vanilla (you could use vanilla extract, I just like the look of the vanilla bean flecks in my frosting)
  11. Frost with piping bag and jumbo 3/4" round open tip.


The vanilla frosting gave the flavor of the “ice cream”, though like I mentioned, these might even be good unfrosted and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead.

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Transport your self back to “the good ol’ days”

I purchased my brown stripe cupcake papers and jumbo tip from Sweet Baking Supply.  They also sell a Root Beer flavoring that I think would be the same as the concentrate that I used.

cupcake tip

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Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog,, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+

48 Responses to “Root Beer Float Cupcakes”

  1. Cookbook Queen posted on October 4, 2010 at 8:20 am (#)

    I made Root Beer cupcakes once, I just used regular Root Beer though. I do have Root Beer Concentrate, and it’s very strong!! Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the extract, although I have seen it called for in recipes.

    It might be one of those elusive mysteries. Like the Loch Ness Monster.

    Anyways, these look great. Love the frosting!!

    Happy Monday!!

  2. bridget {bake at 350} posted on October 4, 2010 at 11:27 am (#)

    Cheryl….those are so CUTE!!! I love the little straws! Wouldn’t those be darling for a party?!? Mr. E loves Root Beer….I’ll have to try these!

  3. teresa posted on October 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm (#)

    Well now!
    How cute are YOU with those little straws in those yummy cupcakes!
    My Mom also LOVES Coke Floats!
    We grew up on Coke Floats!
    When I was in college there was a A&W Root Beer joint near the college!
    We would always pop in there and they served us up Diet Root Beer Floats in a frozen mug!
    Sooooo yummy!
    Your family is so lucky Cheryl!
    You’ve always got something going on in the kitchen!
    Poor Greg…all he gets is VEGAN cookies!
    That’s what I made yesterday!
    But I will say…they were yummy!

  4. Suz posted on October 4, 2010 at 12:05 pm (#)

    Yummy….. looks delish! I will have to try them on NFL Sunday.

  5. Michelle V posted on October 4, 2010 at 12:13 pm (#)

    My friend told me she makes root beer cake, and I have been waiting for weeks for the recipe! THANKS SO MUCH!!! I LOOOOVE root beer. My kids too, this should be fun!

  6. Heather Larsen posted on October 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm (#)

    My youngest is allergic to eggs and it seems this doesn’t have any – yeah! I can’t wait to try these. Root beer floats are my weakness…

  7. Lauren @ Crave. Indulge. Satisfy. posted on October 4, 2010 at 4:12 pm (#)

    These look amazing! I loved drinking root beer floats when I was a kid!

  8. Stacie posted on October 4, 2010 at 10:16 pm (#)

    Those look AMAZING!!!

    I found you on Mingle Monday at Add A Pinch! Beautiful blog you have here! I definitely need help in the tidy department, so I can’t wait to follow you!

  9. Paula posted on October 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm (#)

    These are so cute, beautifully frosted and the little straws are a perfect compliment. I’ve never seen Root Beer concentrate or extract. Will have to look for it. If they turn out as good as your donuts muffins I made last week….look out!

  10. Lisa posted on October 5, 2010 at 12:30 am (#)

    Aww…the straws!! :) These are SO creative and adorable. You always have the most delicious looking food and it is so CUTE too. 😉

  11. Melinda posted on October 5, 2010 at 6:15 am (#)

    I have some root beer float lovers here as well – these would be really fun to try!

  12. Nikki posted on October 5, 2010 at 6:25 am (#)

    I LOVE these. You are so creative. Thanks for sharing such a cute idea. I will definitely have to try to make these. Have a great day!

  13. Julie@comehaveapeace posted on October 5, 2010 at 8:10 am (#)

    I LOVE root beer floats, so I’ll be keeping this one to try out! What a fun recipe.

  14. Liz@HoosierHomemade posted on October 5, 2010 at 8:29 am (#)

    Love them! I’ve never used Root Beer extract or concentrate, I bet it’s good though.
    Thanks so much for sharing on Cupcake Tuesday!

  15. April @ The 21st Century Housewife posted on October 5, 2010 at 8:46 am (#)

    You had me at Root Beer!! They sound amazing. And I can testify that using an ice cream scoop with a release lever for muffins and cupcakes really works!!

  16. Danelle posted on October 5, 2010 at 8:47 am (#)

    We have a favorite teacher at school who loves root beer. Going to have to make these for her.

  17. Jerri posted on October 5, 2010 at 8:48 am (#)

    Cute cupcakes! And very interesting recipe!

  18. Kristen posted on October 5, 2010 at 10:25 am (#)

    I think I just figured out what kind of cake I want for my birthday! Care to drop them by? :)

  19. posted on October 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm (#)

    Wow, this reminds me of all those 7 up cakes my Grandmother use to make.(Coca Cola Cakes are good ,too) Thanks for bringing back a warm memory

  20. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates posted on October 5, 2010 at 11:27 pm (#)

    These sound so yummy! I’ve got to try them. I bet my son would just love them!

  21. Heather - Dollar Store Crafts posted on October 6, 2010 at 12:04 am (#)

    These look yummy, and I LOVE the straws! So cute!

  22. Michelle posted on October 6, 2010 at 8:00 am (#)

    These look awesome, and it’s a great idea to make them again to serve with vanilla ice cream. You can’t get much closer to a root beer float than that!

  23. Stephanie @ The Blue Zoo posted on October 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm (#)

    I saw these at One2One and just had to come get the recipe!! They look delicious!

  24. ButterYum posted on October 8, 2010 at 6:27 am (#)

    What a fun recipe. I love the way you decorated the cupcakes with bendy straws!!!

    My father visits once a year and it’s his tradition to make rootbeer floats for the family each time he comes. After hearing from the kids how much they liked my father’s floats, my MIL decided she was going to make them too… well, my kiddos politely thanked her and then said they just weren’t the same as grandpas (despite using exactly the same ingredients). Those memories have a strong hold on a child’s mind!


  25. Jacqueline posted on October 8, 2010 at 9:43 am (#)

    We can buy extract in our grocery stores right by the flavorings. I love rootbeer and I am going to try this for Sunday. These sound fantastic. Wish I had one or two right now!

  26. ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~ posted on October 8, 2010 at 10:45 am (#)

    Hi Sweetie~ ~ ~Thanks for the recipe. I saw this once before but then lost the recipe before I could make them. . .and didn’t remember where I saw them. So sad. but now you have made me Happy. Have a fun weekend.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  27. Jenn from posted on October 8, 2010 at 7:17 pm (#)

    These are so so cute! What a fun idea! Visiting from Just a Girl. I’ll certainly be back :-) Jenn from

  28. Emily @ LaForce Be With You posted on October 9, 2010 at 5:19 am (#)

    These look so cute! My husband loves root beer so I may have to try these out!

  29. Melissa posted on October 9, 2010 at 9:23 am (#)

    These Root beer cupcakes look great! Thanks for sharing!

  30. envy my cooking posted on October 9, 2010 at 11:41 pm (#)

    We would love to feature you. Come on over to our site and check us out..

    Also we have a free beadboard giveaway going on now

  31. Q @ JAQS posted on October 10, 2010 at 12:50 am (#)

    That is a very nice looking cupcake. Looks delicious :).

  32. Miz Helen posted on October 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm (#)

    Your Root Beer Float Cupcake recipe looks so good. I can’t wait to try it.
    Thank you for sharing.

  33. Ej posted on April 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm (#)

    The root beer cupcakes looked so good i just had to try the recipe i can’t wait to try them. I always have loved root beer now I can enjoy it in a cupcake. <3 yum


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