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I know, Root Beer Float Cupcakes? Think back to childhood and the simplicity of a great root beer float. I remember being barefoot, sitting on the concrete steps in the back yard with my feet reaching the actual patio, and holding my Tupperware harvest gold tumbler that had a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it as my mom poured the can of Jolly Good root beer between my cup and my brothers.
Yes, we always watched carefully to make sure it was even – heaven forbid if one of us got more than the other, LOL! We also had those quick sips in between that alternating root beer stream as we tried to keep our treats from foaming up and over the top of the cups.
My Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Do you have any memories like that? I swear everything was just so much simpler when we were kids.
That is what these Root Beer Float Cupcakes are – is a nod to that simple time of childhood – and a treat for hot summer days. I know, I have done Orange Crush Cupcakes, and even Dr Pepper Cupcakes, but these Root Beer Float Cupcakes are a treat in their own right.
Who made root beer float?
The story goes that in 1848, the first soda fond in Chicago was opened by druggist Josiah H. Reed. Soda fountains were popular until the 1960s and have become kind of a kitschy thing to hunt out yet today. I seem to find them in the least expected places.
The actual creation of the root beer float came years after that first Chicago soda fountain, supposedly invented in 1893 by Colorado gold mine owner Frank J. Wisner, according to CNN.
Just think: 128 years ago! That was before refrigeration – or at least as we know it today. Many areas didn’t even have electricity yet! Ice houses were still in common use.
Boy times have changed!
Root beer is still the same though – in a cold frosty mug and with absolutely no ice. A & W restaurants still serve it this way, to this day.
Why is root beer served without ice?
Why is it so important that root beer is served in a frosted glass without ice? When cold root beer meets frosted glass, the drink starts to foam, and this amazingly thin layer of icy slushy root beer forms along the surface of the glass.
If you added ice, you would have a lot more foam and it would kill the mild carbonation aspect not to mention making a huge mess.
Great Root Beer Float Cupcakes Spell Summer Fun
Root beer, root beer floats, it all adds up to good stuff whether you were like us in the back yard or sitting at a soda fountain or drive in restaurant.
Why are root beer floats so good?
What is there not to like? A root beer float is made of vanilla ice cream and root beer. The reason it gets so foamy is that when carbonated root beer comes in contact with the vanilla ice cream, carbon dioxide bubbles are released. That means that the root beer helps to free air bubbles trapped inside the ice cream.
That is what makes it so wonderfully creamy.
Of course, being from Wisconsin, I have to mention use ICE CREAM, not frozen custard. (Sorry Culver’s, I still love you)
Do you put the ice cream or root beer first?
The great debate: which goes in the glass first? Well, here is the answer:
Gently pour the root beer over the ice cream. You’ll notice that, after just a few minutes or after a good stir, the ice cream will start to float—hence the name of this glorious drinkable treat!
Now, if you want to make a Brown Cow — all you have to do is to switch out the vanilla ice cream for some chocolate. Maybe that is just a Wisconsin thing?
Which root beer is best?
We Tried 9 Brands and Found the Best Root Beer
- Barq’s. – I believe this is the only root beer that has caffeine.
- Baumeister. – it is regional to Wisconsin, and a hands-down favorite!
- IBC. – this is what I used for this recipe
- Sioux City.
Which is YOUR favorite on that list?
Now, let’s make those Root beer Float Cupcakes!
Best Root Beer Float Cupcake Recipe
- 3/4 C unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 2 1/2 C Flour
- 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 C Sugar
- 1 tbsp Root Beer Extract
- 1 cup IBC Root Beer
How to make Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cupcake pan with liners.
Using a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.
In another large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add your root beer extract and mix until well combined.
Add in flour and root beer slowly, 1/3 by 1/3, and mix until just combined.
Fill each cupcake pan cup about 2/3 full. Bake for 21 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit till cool.
Root beer Float Cupcake Frosting:
- 2 C unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
- 4 C Powdered Sugar
- 3 tbsp IBC Root Beer
- 1 tbsp Root Beer Extract
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3-5 tbsp heavy whipping cream
Using a standing mixer beat the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy whipping cream until combined, smooth, and slightly stiff.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop a mound of frosting onto the top of the cupcakes. Use a butter knife to smooth out the frosting.
Using the remaining frosting in the bowl, beat in the rootbeer and rootbeer extract. If you need to, add in 1 C of powdered sugar. Once the frosting is fully mixed, scoop the frosting into the piping bag.
Pipe dollops of frosting onto the vanilla frosting. Top them with a cherry for the perfect finishing touch.