I have been in a cupcake mood lately. All kinds of cupcakes. My Pinterest board with desserts is full of recent pins of cupcakes all over it. Paul and I have even picked up a few funky cupcake holders lately. When I saw these Root Beer Float Cupcakes, I couldn’t resist. My parents actually sell Watkins (which is a fantastic company with some amazing extracts), and for Christmas last year (two years ago? I can’t remember now…) my parents gave us a HUGE order of Watkins products. Soup bases, vanilla, baking powder, cooking spray, and, my favourite, a couple of extracts. One of the extracts was actually a small bottle of Root Beer Concentrate.
I’ve been searching for a fun way to use some of this Root Beer Concentrate, and when I came across these cupcakes, I knew it was the perfect solution. Root Beer Floats are classic. The tang of the root beer paired with the creaminess of the ice cream, this cupcake emulates that. I found the original recipe here, and I couldn’t wait to make it.
The recipe was extremely simple, and mixed up in one bowl in less than 10 minutes. I had all the ingredients on hand, and all together, it was about a 30 minute recipe from the start to the finish of the baking time. Super simple, with big rewards. A dozen Root Beer Float cupcakes to remind us all of summer days. What could be better?
I added a little extra of the concentrate because in my opinion, the cupcake should have a strong Root Beer flavour. A Root Beer float is essentially those two flavours, and I wanted to make sure that there was a nice punch of Root Beer flavour. For the frosting, I wanted something that emulated that perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream. Homemade whipped cream really helps with that light, creamy texture. I found a recipe for stabilized whipped cream frosting, where it holds up to days in the fridge, and on baked goods, which is perfect for me, because we don’t often eat all of my baking experiments in one day. I wanted something a little more stable because homemade whipped cream, when just the cream, can melt quite easily, and then how would that look on a cupcake? No, I wanted something that could stand up to a little tough love, and some piping.
Yield: 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1 c. Root Beer (not diet)
1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
¾ c. sugar
1/3 c. Canola Oil
½ tsp. vanilla
1½ tsp. Root Beer concentrate, or 3 tsp. Root Beer extract
1 1/3 c. flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
For the stabilized whipped cream frosting:
½ tsp. unflavoured gelatin powder
2 tbsp. cold water
1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp. icing sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, combine the root beer and the vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes. Add the sugar and the oil, and whisk until frothy. Add in the vanilla and the concentrate, and slowly mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Be careful not to overmix.
Fill the cupcake liners ¾ full, and bake in the preheated oven for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Let cool in pan about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, place the cold water in a small bowl, and sprinkle gelatin over to soften. Scald 2 tablespoons of cream, and pour over gelatin, and stir until dissolved. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, until the consistency of an unbeaten egg white, then whisk until smooth.
In the cold bowl of a mixer, or in a regular cold bowl, whip the remaining cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Whip in the gelatin mixture, stopping to scrape down the bowl at least twice. Whip until stiff peaks form, about 10-20 seconds longer.