I was a little hesitant about trying these. I'm usually pretty excited about new flavors but when we start changing the texture of a classic...like turning a root beer float into a cupcake, I am always leery. I have a hard time getting past the fact that root beer is supposed to be a drink and I can't imagine eating eat. I don't even eat the root beer candies. I know...I have issues. But I really wanted to try these! So I sucked it up, went grocery shopping and whipped up a batch of these. And I don't regret it!
I looked up several different recipes and they all were basically the same thing. White cake mix mixed with a can/bottle of soda. So I tried it. Again...another doctored cake mix recipe. I really need to find a made from scratch recipe that can be subbed for a cake mix.
The first batch of cupcakes I made, I followed the directions: 1 box of white cake mix + 1 bottle of root beer. They smelled good before being baked and you could definitely taste the root beer. But once it was baked the root beer flavor was much less intense. And the cakes came out with an odd texture. So I altered the altered cake mix recipe :-)
You know the saying "Third time is a charm"? Well, I didn't need a third time! These were amazing and I couldn't keep my family from eating them. Considering that I run a home bakery, that was a bit problematic. I even had a few customers come back for seconds and thirds (And when my customers order, it's by the 6-pk!).
Root Beer Float Cupcakes:
1 box Pillsbury white cake mix
1 cup root beer
1/3 cup oil
2 Tbsp. root beer extract
Prepare cake mix using the ingredients listed (if you can't tell, I followed the directions on the box subbing root beer for water and adding root beer extract). You may be able to get away with using less root beer extract (it wound up being about 1/2 the bottle). I just used 2 Tbsp to make sure I got a good root beer flavor. Bake as directed and let cool. Top with an ice cream buttercream.
Ice Cream Buttercream
Vanilla Ice Cream, melted (the premium brands taste better than the store bought)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening
2# powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
Cream together the butter, shortening, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Slowly add in half of the powdered sugar. At this point I like to mix in half of my liquid, in this case the melted ice cream. The amount that you mix in will depend on the brand of ice cream you are using. Some thicker than others. I usually start with 1/3 cup and go from there. Once the melted ice cream is blended in (be sure to scrape sides and bottom of bowl!) add the other half of the powdered sugar. Blend until creamy and smooth. Mix in more melted ice cream until you reach the consistency you would like. It should be another 1/3 cup but again, it will depend on the brand of ice cream you used.