As far as I know, root beer float cupcakes came into being a few years ago. To be honest, I always thought this was a completely bizarre cupcake flavor and never had any desire at all to try them.
I have a 5 year old who is obsessed with all things root beer.
And he has these little. pug. stuffed animals.
They are family members. They go everywhere with us. They navigate in the car. I like to hide them in odd places and play #hidethepugshideyowife
Anyways. It turns out the pugs' birthday was a few weekends ago. Want to guess what flavor of cupcakes they requested?
And so I strapped my old lady panties on and sucked it up and tried my hand at root beer float cupcakes.
I adapted the frosting from a fluffy vanilla frosting recipe, and it. was. AWESOME.
Seriously amazing. It tasted just like root beer. And it was light like whipped cream and full of flavor.
I tried flavoring some cupcakes with root beer extract, but honestly you couldn't really taste it, and I think I would have been happier with French Vanilla cupcakes so the recipe below reflects that.
The conclusion is that these cupcakes are fantastic, and not just for pugs. It doesn't even have to be your birthday.
The frosting isn't the simplest recipe (yes, it does require you to put a pan on the stove), but it is one of my favorite frostings, because it is so light, and it is worth EVERY SECOND.
Please make these for your pugs.
Root Beer Float Cupcakes
-24 French Vanilla cupcakes, baked and cooled (I just use a box mix, substitute milk for the water, and add some sour cream and an extra tsp vanilla.)
Light & Airy Root Beer Frosting
Recipe adapted from Light & Airy Vanilla Cupcake Frosting
-6 Tbsp flour
-1 cup milk
-1 cup butter
-1 cup granulated sugar (yes, granulated)
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tsp McCormick Root Beer Extract
In a small pan over medium heat, whisk together the flour and milk. Whisk continuously until it begins to thicken. Keep cooking, and stirring with a spatula, until you start to see the bottom of the pan. Keep cooking until it has the consistency of pudding.
Put mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely. You don't want it warm at all when you add it to the frosting. You can even put it in the freezer if you're impatient.
Using the whisk attachment of your mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Continue to beat while adding thickened milk mixture, vanilla, and root beer extract. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides. Continue to beat for 7 or 8 minutes or until frosting comes together and is light and fluffy. Sugar granules should be completely dissolved. (Test by rubbing some frosting between your fingers and checking for grittiness.)
Scoop frosting into a piping bag and pipe it on top of baked cupcakes using a large round tip. Garnish with straws and root beer barrels.