The Best Dr Pepper Cupcakes From Scratch

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Dr Pepper is a popular soda with many people. It has just the right amount of sweetness and fizz to be great for any occasion! Dr Pepper cupcakes are even more amazing because they capture all the flavors that make Dr Pepper so much fun.

The Best Dr Pepper Cupcakes From Scratch

The best part about these cupcakes? They’re from scratch, so you know their ingredients are fresh and wholesome. If you want to try something new, or if you love Dr pepper then this recipe is perfect for you!

The Best Dr Pepper Cupcakes From Scratch

These Dr Pepper cupcakes have a light, fluffy texture and are perfect for any occasion. But it gets even better! The frosting is even made with Dr pepper so you can enjoy the flavor of your favorite soda all day long!

History of Dr Pepper

The Dr Pepper Company was originally founded by a pharmacist, Charles Alderton. In 1885 in Waco Texas he invented the drink we know and love today! He called it “Waco”. It wasn’t until years later that it became known as Dr. Pepper after its main ingredient – pepsin powder which is used to help break down food in the stomach.

vintage dr pepper bottles

What does Dr Pepper Taste Like?

Dr Pepper is a unique tasting soda that’s hard to describe. It has hints of both sweetness and spiciness with a citrus flavor as well! Many people also notice some cinnamon notes when they drink Dr pepper for the first time.

Others? Think it is a close comparison to a Cherry Coke or Cherry Pepsi.

Regardless, I love the catchy jingle that rocked my childhood:

Vintage Dr. Pepper commercial circa 1979 featuring David Naughton (“Makin’ It”) & Popeye The Sailor.

Pretty cool for the special effects of the time — and yes, you are welcome for that “I’m a pepper, you’re a pepper, he’s a pepper, she’s a pepper – wouldn’t you like to be a pepper too jingle that is now stuck in your head…

Other favorite ways to use Dr Pepper

Some people just love it chilled and ready to drink. A few (I think slightly odd) souls like to heat it up to drink. We love to grill with it in this recipe from Operation $40K: Dr Pepper Glazed Salmon on A Cedar Plank.

Then, you can bake with it.

Obviously, we are making cupcakes with it today, but it has been used as everything from a glaze on Strawberry Lemonade Bars to being added to the frosting on a decadent chocolate cake.

This recipe of ours will make 24 cupcakes. From scratch. And it really doesn’t take as much time as you might think it would. The citrus zest in the frosting plays off the citrus notes we talked about in the drink.

How to make Dr Pepper Cupcakes

Our recipe for Dr Pepper cupcakes doesn’t use a cake mix – like so many of the recipes out there – and I really think it makes a difference. We could call these Cherry Dr Pepper cupcakes as we use a cup of dried cherries in them – but that plays on the cherry correlation to its soda competitors.

Dr Pepper cupcake Ingredients:

what is needed to make dr pepper cupcakes

For best results, have as many of these ingredients at room temperature as you can. If you don’t have buttermilk you simply have to add an acid to your milk. Whole milk or 2% work best and the rule of thumb is: for every 1 cup of milk, stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar.

  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup Dr Pepper
  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ⅓ cups sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Dr Pepper Cupcakes Instructions:

Preparation Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line the muffin tins with cupcake liners.

How to make dr pepper cupcakes

In a small pot stir together the cherries and the soda over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, set aside to cool.

dr pepper cupcakes from cake mix

In a small bowl whisk together melted butter, cocoa, and boiling water, set aside to cool. (bowl 1)

dr pepper cake mix

In a separate larger bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla extract. (bowl 2)

Add in flour, sugar, and spices.

making dr pepper cupcakes

Drizzle in the butter-cocoa mix, then stir it into the buttermilk mixture, and finally add in the soda cherry mixture and stir until well combined

Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake for about 18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool completely before frosting.

Dr Pepper Cupcakes Frosting:

Yes, this recipe even uses Dr Pepper in the frosting for an additional layer of flavor!

You will need:

  • 4 cups Dr Pepper
  • 3 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Boil the soda over medium-high heat until reduced to about ½ cup, set aside to cool completely. Using a mixer cream together butter, sugar, zests, and vanilla extract. Drizzle in cooled soda and mix until smooth.

how to make dr pepper frosting

Add your frosting to your pastry bag – for easier decorating

In this Cupcakes 101 Video, I show you some quick, easy tips & tricks for how to fill your piping bag with frosting, fillings, or decorators icing easily and without the mess!

Frost cooled cupcakes with spatula or from a piping bag – I LOVE the piping bag when I am going to do a lot of cupcakes.

Now be nice – the 14-year-old did these. We are building her skills. Next time, I would use a star tip and probably a fun sprinkle pack. Because yeah – sprinkles! Ohh – even those waxed soda bottle candies – one on top would be perfect!!

Dr Pepper Cupcakes from scratch

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