I should’ve known better… but I did it anyway. Or rather, didn’t do it. I didn’t take photographs of these cupcakes, I planned to make them again for my son’s birthday (except, go figure, he’s just like me in that he’s not much of a cake/cupcake eater and he asked me to make something). Plus, he ate the rest of the bag of “cola” gummies (he loves candy just like his mommy!) Anyway, I’ve been working on this cupcake for several months. I was NOT satisfied with merely a root beer flavored cupcake w/root beer flavored buttercream. I
wanted a cupcake that tasted like a cupcake, but at the same time had a similar texture & flavor of a root beer float. I TOTALLY succeeded with these!!
The day after I made these, I was running late & hungry so I shoved half of an unfrosted cupcake in my mouth. I was totally shocked to discover that the root beer gooeyness had developed into perfection over-night! Finally the cupcake I was searching for I used my favorite go to vanilla cake/cupcake recipe ~ and modified it by adding root beer extract (I know, duh!) BUT – the secret ingredient, the ingredient that sent these cupcakes to a whole new level… smashed root beer barrel candies. I was curious what would happen if added the candies to the cupcake batter. The result is: they melted and mixed with the batter creating a moist, bursts of extra root beer flavoring with each bite. YUM!! -Then I wanted to top the cupcakes with a frosting that both tasted like & had a similar texture as the root beer infused vanilla ice cream foam that billows up & floats down the sides of a root beer float. I used a version of a 7-minute/boiled/marshmallow frosting. The interesting part is – that when the frosting is first applied, it is very sticking and pretty much resembles the marshmallow creme in a jar (yummy, but not quite the airy/foamy texture) – however, after sitting for a few hours – the outside of the frosting forms a thin shell & the inside transforms into the perfect root beer float airy/foamy texture.
I’ll be making these again one day… and take better photos, that’s for sure. BUT I didn’t want to wait for that day to share the recipe ~
Root Beer Cupcakes (I used Heavenly White Cake)
- 2 1/3 c cake flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 egg whites
- 1 1/2 c sugar, divided (1 cup & 1/2 cup)
- 3/4 c unsalted butter
- 1 c milk
- 2 tsp root beer extract
- 12-15+ Root Beer Barrel Candies (smashed into fine pieces)
Line cupcake pans with 24 liners.
Sift the flour, baking powder and the salt together ~ Set Aside.
Beat egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the 1/2 cup of sugar. Continue to beat until soft peaks form ~ Set Aside.
Beat butter and remaining 1 cup of sugar until light & fluffy. Then, alternating between the two~ beat in the flour mixture & the milk until fully incorporated & smooth. Add the root beer extract. Fold in the egg whites & the crushed root beer candies.
Fill cups 2/3 full. Bake at 325 for 16-18 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks before frosting. – If you want to make a day ahead of time, the cupcakes taste great the next day, too!!
Source: Slightly adapted from Baker’s Easy Cut-Up Party Cakes circa 1993 Kraft General Foods, Inc.
Root Beer Frosting
- 1 c sugar
- 3 Tbl water
- 2 egg whites (room temperature)
- 1 tsp root beer extract
- pinch cream of tartar
- pinch salt
- (fyi – a pinch is about 1/8 tsp)
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the sugar and water. Boil and stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved (2 or 3 minutes). Remove from heat.
- Beat the egg whites with the root beer extract, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form.
- Continue mixing the eggs mixture on medium speed and carefully pour the hot sugar syrup down the sides of the bowl into the egg whites. Continue beating the frosting until cool and billowy, about 5 minutes.
- Fill a pastry bag with the marshmallowy/root bear frosting (it will be sticky/gooey) and pipe onto the tops of the cooled cupcakes.
- If adding “garnishing” to the tops of the cupcakes, do it now, before it dries. I broke toothpicks in half – stuck one side into the cola candy and the other into the cupcake, so it wouldn’t tip over. I cut the top of the bendable drinking straws & trimmed the top a little then stuck it into the frosting as well.
- Let dry for a couple hours & the frosting will transform from sticky to a foamy texture ~ Cheers!!
The left-over “yolks” would be perfect for homemade vanilla ice cream!!
This recipe was shared with The Frugal Girls – Chic ‘n Crafty Party