You may recall that I previously confessed to disliking Coca-Cola. Here's another beverage we can add to that list--root beer. I don't care for it; in fact, it offends my senses.
Oddly enough, just as I didn't mind those Coke cupcakes, I thought these root beer cupcakes were pretty delicious, too. Perhaps the butter, cream, and sugar have a little something to do with that.
There's absolutely no denying the root beer flavor in the cupcakes--it
The frosting was where the majority of the root beer flavor found its home, and that's because I added way too much root beer extract into the mix. I knew it was too much the second it happened, but there was no turning back. Interestingly, what I was sure was too much ended up being just enough, even for those of use who aren't that fond of the root beer flavor.
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
adapted from Smitten Kitchen, makes about 2 dozen
- 2 cups root beer
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 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.