Awhile back I did one of the darnedest things. You may recall.

Hot Fudge Root Beer Float Cupcakes I

I made this root beer float. And I’m still trying to decide if it was the best decision of my life, or the catalyst to having nightmares when I envision warm, sandy beaches and waves crashing along the shore. Along with bikinis. Root beer floats and bikinis don’t go together. Did you know that?


Let me rephrase that. Daily root beer floats and bikinis don’t go together. Unless you’re a freak of nature.

Hot Fudge Root Beer Float Cupcakes I

Even though root beer has never really tickled my fancy, I’ve developed something that some may call an… addiction. It hurts to say it out loud. For someone who has never found a thrill in drinking carbonated beverages, all I can think about is cold, bubbly root beer twenty four seven. It tastes so good when it hits your lips.

Hot Fudge Root Beer Float Cupcakes I

See that frosting up there? It’s a bit ridiculous. The vanilla frosting tastes like vanilla ice cream, and that little guy? That little bowl is filled with root beer frosting.

I’ll say it again in because I can’t really believe it either.

Root beer frosting.

Root. Beer. Frosting.

Hot Fudge Root Beer Float Cupcakes I

I don’t want to lead you astray, so I’m going to tell you a little secret.

We’re friends right? You’ll understand.

The root beer flavor doesn’t come from just root beer. I’m sorry… but it just isn’t possible. I tried. And tried again. And drank lots of half-poured bottles of root beer in between. And even added some ice cream down inside the bottle. Kind of like how you add a lime slice to a Corona. But better.

Then I tried some more. And well, I eventually could taste a little twinge of root beer, but it just wasn’t doing it for me. I don’t think it would do it for you either.

Hot Fudge Root Beer Float Cupcakes I

It was then that I caved. I flew to the store in a frenzy, with flour dusted on my sweatpants and a fresh vanilla extract moustache.

Contrary to what Mr. How Sweet may tell you, I did not fly there on my broom.


I made my way to the spice aisle and spied what I’ve longed to pick up in the past, but could never bring myself to shell out the $6 for: root beer concentrate. Don’t be scared, friends. It is a good thing. A very good thing.

However, perhaps now is when I should mention that one should not taste root beer concentrate on it’s own. Don’t do it. I am not sure that I have ever ingested something so foul, with the exception of the broccoli stalk I accidentally bit into on Friday afternoon.

But enough about me.

Hot Fudge Root Beer Float Cupcakes I

It’s time to talk cupcakes. There was a time in my life when I thought bacon and chocolate cupcakes reigned supreme. This was a very long time ago; almost two months to the day. Clearly I age in light years.

Then I made hot fudge peanut butter stuffed cupcakes. And let’s just say… they literally took the cake. Or so I thought.


But these beat them all. Silky, dark chocolate cake that crumbles when you take a bite, enveloping a spurt of fizzy root beer frosting. Yes, I said fizzy. I can not tell a lie. I don’t know if it’s the root beer concentrate or if my local grocery store started carrying hallucinogenic mushrooms, but we all agreed that this cupcake fizzes like your traditional root beer float. Top that off with a big cloud of fluffy vanilla ice cream frosting, and you’re good to go. Well, anywhere except for the beach I suppose.

Hot Fudge Root Beer Float Cupcakes I

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/8 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup dark cocoa powder

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons root beer concentrate

1/3 cup root beer

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk egg and sugar until smooth and no lumps remain. Add cream, butter and vanilla, and mix until combined. Stir in sour cream. Sift dry ingredients together and add to wet mixture. Add root beer concentrate and root beer. Mix until batter is smooth. Line a muffin tin with liners and using a heaping 1/4 cup measure, add batter to each cup. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool before frosting.


Vanilla and Root Beer Frosting

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon root beer concentrate

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth. On low speed, add powdered sugar one cup at a time, increasing speed to bring the frosting together. Add milk and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. Remove almost all of the vanilla frosting, leaving behind about 1/3-1/2 cup in the mixer. Set vanilla frosting aside. Add root beer concentrate to remaining frosting in the bowl and beat until it comes together.

Prep two pastry bags (or you can simply use spoons) and fill one with vanilla frosting and the other with root beer frosting. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, fill each one with root beer frosting (I simply plunge the pastry tip into the cupcake and squeeze), then top with vanilla frosting. Top with hot fudge or cocoa syrup.

Hot Fudge Root Beer Float Cupcakes I

I think this calls for an extra year hour on the treadmill.

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265 Responses to “Hot Fudge Root Beer Float Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    jessicaG — September 27, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

    Oh my goodness! Until today all my frosting have turned into sugary soup, this recipe is amazing. I think the only drawback is that there might not be enough of the rootbeer frosting once the cakes are cooled; I can’t stop tasting it! So yummy!


  2. #
    Theresa — September 30, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    I loved this recipe, I made a batch and took some around to my friends and we all loved it. My son, who doesn’t like to eat sweets, said it was really sweet, but really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t change a thing, easy to make and taste just like a root beer float, as a family we love root beer floats… Thank you for sharing this recipe.


  3. #
    Stephanie — October 14, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

    These look amazing! I’ve been searching for a root beer float cupcake recipe forever- there are so many different ones… I love the combination of your cupcake and the frosting… before I try, I was wondering a few things… Root beer concentrate is what I purchased, but most recipes/bloggers have said the concentrate is too strong, so if you are using it instead of the extract, to cut the amount in half? Have you ever had that issue? Do you have suggestions on where to find dark cocoa powder? I’ve looked at a few different stores and can only find regular?! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!


  4. #
    Ashley — December 7, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

    I love this idea, I’m planning on making it for a holiday party this weekend but was thinking of doing a mini cupcake instead of full size, any suggestions of how much batter per cupcake or baking time?


    • Jessica — December 7th, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

      Just fill them 2/3 of the way full – I would start with 8 minutes and watch them after that.


  5. #
    Liz — December 28, 2011 @ 7:27 am

    These are a lot of fun to bake in a root beer float glass instead of a cupcake paper in a muffin tin. I used a straw as embellishment and put them in a soda jerk basket to serve on a buffet table.


  6. #
    Angelina — January 19, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

    Is there a way to make a vanilla cupcake instead of chocolate? Could I just leave out the brown sugar and cocoa? I think I would rather try it that way, not being a fan of chocolate cake at all. Thanks, I cant wait to try these out, looks like the best recipe out there.


  7. #
    Mandy — March 3, 2012 @ 1:20 am

    These are amazing! I cook for a youth group of 50 kids. They used to get store bought cookies of they were lucky for dessert. When I started helping I figured out our budgets and discovered it is way cheaper for me to bake than but crappy store bought stuff. I love baking so this suits me just fine- drives my partner crazy though. Anyways back to the cupcakes. I made these for birthday night tonight. What better than a rootbeer float cupcake right?? I made approx 200 of these( I have to make lots and freeze them when I am baking). The bad part about these is not only did they eat the ones I frosted for them… They then took turns sneaking into my kitchen to grab more. They are already requesting more.


  8. #
    christine — March 5, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    The cake was a very moist chocolate cake. the buttercream frostingwas awsome,but, where’s the Rootbeer flavor? Did not taste like a rootbeer float at all to me. I’m trying a white cake recipe with the flavoring instead. The chocolate over took the flavor of any rootbeer taste to this recipe. I even broke-up rootbeer barrel candy to top this cupcake with flavor. Thumbs down on naming it a rootbeer float!


    • Jessica — March 5th, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

      Did you stuff the cupcakes as listed in the recipe? The cake is stuffed with root beer frosting, hence the name rootbeer float.


  9. #
    christine — March 5, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

    I did pipe the cupecakes with the rootbeer flavored frosting. I did use LorAnn flavored oils for the rootbeer instead of the concentrate because that’s what I use for my cakepops and frosting flavors.


    • Jessica — March 5th, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

      Ooooh I am unfamiliar with the LorAnn oil in that flavor. The root beer concentrate is very strong though, so that could be why. If you try again with the LorAnn I would probably add more. Also, please keep in mind that if you give my recipe (or part of) a “thumbs down” again, to state that you used an ingredient that was not listed in the original recipe (if that’s the case). I’d hate for someone to not make these cupcakes (that do have a lot of rootbeer flavor) based on your review, when there was an ingredient substitution. Thanks!


  10. #
    Sheena LaRose — March 22, 2012 @ 11:11 am

    Im throwing a mustache bash/little man birthday party and I would love to make this as a cake for the little man. I’m going to use one of those giant cupcake pans and was wondering if you could offer any suggestions? I found you off of pinterest :) thanks!!


  11. #
    Jenny — March 26, 2012 @ 11:48 am

    I want to make these for my family they look so yummy!! I am wondering though in your recipe you use root beer concentrate and extract. Can i use the concentrate for the frosting to? i live in a small town and i have found the root beer concentrate but i can not find the extract anywhere!!


    • Jessica — March 26th, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

      Ah totally a typo! Use the concentrate – yes!


  12. #
    Jessica — May 24, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

    My best friend is turning 21 tomorrow and he won’t drink, so I just made him these root “beer” cupcakes! I baked them in ice cream cones and used a frosting tip that looks just like swirled ice cream! I can’t wait to give them to him :) Thank you so much for sharing- oh and the frosting- I would kill for it. Soooooo yummy!


  13. #
    Ellie — June 16, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

    Mmm! My boyfriend has a total root beer addiction and he would love these! I can only find root beer extract though, where can you find the concentrate and what brands should I look out for?


  14. #
    hrd2baprincez — July 2, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    I made these cupcakes this weekend for my nephew’s 6th birthday! They were a hit!!! I added a bit more vanilla to the frosting…and was told it tasted just like vanilla ice cream! I will be making these again and again! THANK YOU!


  15. #
    Ashley — July 3, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

    I just made these (they are still cooling, not exactly finished yet) but I just couldn’t wait to try one and OMGGGG what just happened in my mouth?!!! I’m pretty sure it was the equivalent of an orgasm…I shall call it, the “mouthgasm”. Holy #%*+ !! I don’t usually care for chocolate and have drank root beer maybe one time in my life but these little babies totally do it for me. Thank you so much for sharing!!

    P.s. I live in Cali and could not find the root beer concentrate in any of the regular stores not even Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Guess where it was? Good ‘ol Wallymart (aka Walmart). If you go online they will tell you which store closest to you has a stock of it. Happy baking :)


    • Bobbie — July 18th, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

      I had the same issue with the concentrate, and I live in CA too! Walmart was the mentioned one and then I happened across it in my lovely little neighborhood, family-owned grocery store!


  16. #
    Bobbie — July 18, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

    I love, love, loved these cupcakes! I have made 2 batches in 3 days. One a regular batch of cupcakes with the vanilla frosting and one a batch of minimini’s (paper ketchup cup size) for a meeting. So tasty, and so fun to make. Thank you for sharing your recipe, which by the way was easy. And the lovely frosting recipe, my second batch was all about the root beer frosting!


  17. #
    Autumn — September 18, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

    I made these this weekend and they were a huge hit!!!!! I couldn’t believe how much I loved them too since I’m not a huge rootbeer fan but WHOA they are the best cupcakes I’ve ever had!!!! Can’t wait to try more of your unique cupcake recipes!


  18. #
    Laura — November 23, 2012 @ 12:35 am

    I tried making these cupcakes, but they turned out horrible and I don’t know what I did wrong! I’m thinking the root beer was flat, because the cake was too dense. However the frosting didn’t come out of the piping bag and I’m not really sure why. Would you be able to tell me what I’m doing wrong? Thanks!


    • Kara — December 6th, 2012 @ 2:01 am

      I would definitely try them again, and make sure you have fresh root beer. You can also over mix the batter, and that can make the cupcakes more dense. Maybe next time with the frosting try and add just a drop or two extra of milk to thin the frosting. Also, if you used a ziplock bag, maybe try cutting off a little bit more, for a slightly bigger tip. Sometimes I have the worst luck with frosting and just trying again does the trick. =) Please try again though, these have to be the best cupcakes I’ve ever made/eaten.


  19. #
    Kara — December 6, 2012 @ 1:48 am

    I know this is a pretty old post..but first of all let me say this is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE cupcake and frosting recipe. I’ve made the cupcakes quite a few times and I love them I could eat all twelve of them myself if it didn’t end up putting 15 pounds straight to my hips and gut! I have a question though. Do you think these cupcpakes would freeze ok? I wanted to make them for Christmas Eve (we have a pretty big party at my house that day) I want them to be fresh and I don’t have the option of making them on Crhsitmas Eve as we’re making alot of other things and need the oven. Your response would be greatly appreciated!


  20. #
    EL — June 20, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS!!! My friend shared your link on Facebook and I had to make these the moment I saw them. WOW!!! I can’t believe it, they actually fizz!! This will truly be my downfall! These were so unbelievably moist and delicious, and I am soo not a baker! I burn box brownies, but these turned out perfection! THANK YOU for sharing! I have to try the other cupcakes you’ve posted now!! Hahaha!


  21. #
    Judy — August 19, 2013 @ 11:44 am

    Wondering I’d you have ever tried this recipe as a Bundt cake? Please let me know. Need answer ASAP today. We have a barbecue this evening. Thank you.


    • Jessica — August 19th, 2013 @ 11:52 am

      unfortunately i have not… i don’t know much about converting cupcakes into cakes! it will definitely work as cupcakes though. :)


  22. #
    Judy — August 19, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

    Me again! Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. My other question is I only have Watkins root beer extract not the concentrate. Would I be able to use this for your recipe? Do I use the same amount with the extract? Thank you


    • Jessica — August 19th, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

      i haven’t tried the extract but i think it would work! i would probably use the same amount of maybe 1/4 teaspoon more?


      • Judy — August 19th, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

        Ok Jessica. Thank you so much for your quick response. Have a great day! If I try the Bundt cake I will let you know how it turns out.

    • Kat M — June 3rd, 2014 @ 9:26 am

      I used Watkins root beer extract when I made these (I got it at WalMart I think…Giant if not) and made them just as the recipe called for. They are DELICIOOOOUS. I’m making them again for a bachelorette party this weekend.


  23. #
    Karen S — September 4, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

    Just made these and ate the first one… Oh my! The cake is perfect, moist and light, just the way a cupcake should be. The filling and frosting – perfect combination of flavors! I used Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Paste in the frosting because I love the flavor and the little specks! :)


  24. #
    heather — October 26, 2013 @ 10:24 pm

    wow. i pinned a few different root beer float recipes to try for my son and my nephew’s birthday party tomorrow. I began by following a recipe that required me to create root beer syrup by boiling it down. The cupcakes that followed were nothing to write home about. :( I knew I needed a really good root beer buttercream to top them off; i found this, and, just, WOW.

    off to go lick the bowl now…


  25. #
    Danielle — May 5, 2015 @ 1:47 pm

    For the batter….do you use a mixer or a whisk?


  26. #
    Xombie Rainbow — October 8, 2015 @ 9:07 pm

    Looks like the next best thing to beer, bacon and bikinis!



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