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. #
    VeggieGirl — April 5, 2011 @ 7:01 am

    “Hallelujah” is playing very loudly right now in my head, at the sight of those cupcakes :)


  2. #
    The Teenage Taste — April 5, 2011 @ 7:07 am

    How do you think of these things?! Root beer-flavored cupcakes is amazing! Thanks for the recipe! :-D


  3. #
    Hannah (Hannah Lives) — April 5, 2011 @ 7:11 am

    I. Mean. Stop. In the words of Uncle Joey, “Cut. It. Out.” (hand gestures, and all).

    I’m hungry. Specifically for these cupcakes, and sushi. And a root beer float. Is it summer yet?


    • Lucy @ The Sweet Touch — April 5th, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

      Love the Uncle Joey reference!

      Jessica, you have outdone yourself again! How cute would it be to garnish with those fancy paper straws for a birthday party…FUN!


  4. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — April 5, 2011 @ 7:13 am

    This is why I love you – for realz (the “z” makes it more authentic). And you’re right – I can’t eat a cupcake every day without adding extra time to the ‘mill. I just wasn’t that blessed. Its a tragedy.


  5. #
    Ashli A — April 5, 2011 @ 7:14 am

    I have to make these for the hub! He will love them!


  6. #
    The Blue-Eyed Bakers — April 5, 2011 @ 7:19 am

    Um, yes. Yes please. These things are totally worth the 5 miles on the treadmill.


  7. #
    Erica — April 5, 2011 @ 7:22 am

    Those cupcakes are gorgeous! And the idea of root beer frosting sounds so super good. I have never heard of root beer concentrate. Such a creative lady


  8. #
    Blog is the New Black — April 5, 2011 @ 7:23 am

    Holy moly… I love you. This sounds WONDERFUL!


  9. #
    Estela @ Weekly Bite — April 5, 2011 @ 7:23 am

    Amazing Jessica!!!! I LOVE rootbeer floats :)


  10. #
    Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) — April 5, 2011 @ 7:23 am

    Seriously, what’s not to love here? Tony would love this! Absolutely beautiful!


  11. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — April 5, 2011 @ 7:23 am

    Oh, you outdid yourself. The recipe, the frosting, the photography…wow. I wish I lived closer to help you taste test!


  12. #
    Becca — April 5, 2011 @ 7:23 am

    adorable perfection on a plate! BRAVO! Only one thing missing… a straw for me to plunge deep inside of that lovely cuppie and slurp out the insides with!


  13. #
    Kathy @ The Sugar Queen — April 5, 2011 @ 7:25 am

    These look amazing!


  14. #
    laura — April 5, 2011 @ 7:26 am

    Wow, I had no idea they actually made root beer extract! Are there any other random extracts out there? I’ll have to scope it out next time I’m at the store!

    By the way, I read your site everyday and I love your spin on things and sense of humor! Keep it up!


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 7:43 am

      Thanks so much Laura!


  15. #
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — April 5, 2011 @ 7:29 am

    Looks awesome Jessica! You are a master cupcake chef and a great writer.


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 7:43 am

      Thank you!!


  16. #
    Heather — April 5, 2011 @ 7:31 am

    i love that you went to the store with flour-dusted sweatpants and a vanilla extract mustache…been there many times myself ;)


  17. #
    Gen — April 5, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    AAAAH I wish I could make these….root beer is one of my favs!!! Guess what? It’s not sold here. boo. :(


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 7:43 am

      Guess you just have to make a trip here!


  18. #
    Holly @ The Runny Egg — April 5, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    Root Beer Concentrate — I never knew such a thing existed!

    I love root beer and root beer floats and root beer schnapps!


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 7:42 am

      Root beer schnapps? Me thinks I need that.


      • Katie — April 16th, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

        You should try root beer with butterscotch schnapps. It’s excellent!

  19. #
    Alexis @ There She Goes — April 5, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    Root beer floats have been my dessert of choice since I was six years old. Every time I stop at Sonic on the way to the beach I get one…these cupcakes must be made this weekend!!!


  20. #
    Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine — April 5, 2011 @ 7:57 am

    Have you ever thought of opening your own bakery? Seriously. Your ideas are always so creative! I saw a recipe for champagne frosting online the other day and you’re the first person who came to mind :)


  21. #
    Clare — April 5, 2011 @ 8:01 am

    Oh my. This is pure genius.


  22. #
    Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food — April 5, 2011 @ 8:06 am

    oh my heavens, you photography (and recipes) just get better and better! :)


  23. #
    Kelly — April 5, 2011 @ 8:08 am

    Smitten Kitchen has a recipe for root beer float cupcakes too, and they are awesome! Great flavor… not too overpowering, but different from just plain chocolate cupcakes. Your recipe seems easier, but I’ve never seen root bear concentrate anywhere.


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 8:11 am

      You may be able to find it in your grocery store where the extracts are – it’s much more common than I originally thought!


    • Stacia — April 18th, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

      You can definitely buy it online, though then you have to pay for shipping. But I found it a local farmer’s market that sells a ton of candies and honeys, etc. A lot of local groceries don’t have it, but keep looking cause it’s out there.


  24. #
    Elizabeth@The Sweet Life — April 5, 2011 @ 8:09 am

    Holy cow–that looks amazing!


  25. #
    Susan — April 5, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    this looks SO decadent! I will be passing this on to my favorite cupcake maker to make for me!


  26. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — April 5, 2011 @ 8:11 am

    Oh lordy….. I think I’d be happy with a bowl of the frosting!! These sound divine!


  27. #
    jenna laughs — April 5, 2011 @ 8:13 am

    You are so creative! I love the thick layer of frosting on top. I am not a root beer fan, but I trust you. My sister is a HUGE root beer fan and is preggo. I’m thinking these for her baby shower. Brilliant :)


  28. #
    Elena — April 5, 2011 @ 8:18 am

    Holy crap. You have me salivating already at 8 in the morning!


  29. #
    Andrea — April 5, 2011 @ 8:19 am

    WOW. That’s all I can say.


  30. #
    mary (sisters running the kitchen) — April 5, 2011 @ 8:36 am

    the icing looks divine!!!! i love your writing style. you could make root beer float haters converts through this post alone.


  31. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — April 5, 2011 @ 8:38 am

    Those cupcakes look amazing. I kind of feel like food blogging and bikinis don’t go together… shouldn’t our bodies give us some extra metabolism speed for the hard work we are doing?


  32. #
    Laura @FoodSnobSTL — April 5, 2011 @ 8:44 am

    WOW. Such a great idea. I really think you need to open a bakery. There is no place else that would sell this kind of amazing stuff!


  33. #
    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — April 5, 2011 @ 8:52 am

    I’ve never SEEN root beer concentrate!! But maybe I’ve never been looking?! I’m going to have to keep my eyes open for it now!


  34. #
    Jihane @Sinful Sundays — April 5, 2011 @ 8:59 am

    Those look divine! Your frosting does look like ice cream.


  35. #
    Evan Thomas — April 5, 2011 @ 9:10 am

    Yes, please. I’ve never cared for rootbeer floats(is that a crime?) but never met a cupcake I didn’t like. Well, except an unfrosted one.


  36. #
    Salah (My Healthiest Lifestyle) — April 5, 2011 @ 9:14 am

    how do you come up with these recipes? You are seriously so creative! These look great@


  37. #
    Presley — April 5, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    I swear if someone was going to grant me one wish I would ask to hang out in your kitchen for a day. YUM.


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 11:28 am

      I’d gladly take you. ;)


  38. #
    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food — April 5, 2011 @ 9:20 am

    Root beer is one of my favorite things! These sound sooo good!


  39. #
    Melissa — April 5, 2011 @ 9:23 am

    Be still my chafing thighs! As usual, you have outdone yourself!

    BTW, I enjoy your writing so much! Your voice is so clear and witty. I look forward to your blog everyday! XO


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 11:28 am

      Thank you so much! This means so much to me.


  40. #
    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — April 5, 2011 @ 9:25 am

    You are an evil genius! I just found myself ordering root beer extract from…help!


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 11:28 am

      Welcome to the dark side.


  41. #
    Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life — April 5, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    You never cease to amaze me Ms. Jessica!! I wish they made a cream soda extract…I always favored cream soda just a tid bit over root beer. ;)


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 11:27 am

      Oh my gosh… me too!!


  42. #
    Julie @ Shining From Within — April 5, 2011 @ 9:28 am

    I feel my pants getting tighter just looking at this. I love it.


  43. #
    brandi — April 5, 2011 @ 9:30 am

    what a fun idea! I’ve seen root beer concentrate but haven’t bought it either. I think it would be worth it for these!


  44. #
    Kelly — April 5, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    Girl…you are too much! :)


  45. #
    DessertForTwo — April 5, 2011 @ 9:53 am

    Fizzy cupcakes?! Oh my lands! I’m so in! I don’t even care how much that bottle of root beer extract costs! Thanks for sharing :)


  46. #
    Kristin — April 5, 2011 @ 10:02 am

    Unreal!!! Just added to my favorites… I can’t wait to make these!


  47. #
    Jennifer S E — April 5, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    This may be one of the funniest posts I’ve read! The cupcakes are over the top but I can just hear you telling the story of how they came to be! Very funny (and I am sure you did not use a broom when flying….good witches fly inside bubbles!) :-)


  48. #
    kate@ahealthypassion — April 5, 2011 @ 10:15 am

    I loved root beer floats as a child and these look to die for~!


  49. #
    EatLiveRun — April 5, 2011 @ 10:21 am

    yum! love it.


  50. #
    stephchows — April 5, 2011 @ 10:32 am

    wow wow wow!! now I want a root beer float AND a cupcake version… would it be wrong to eat them together? I think not! *drool*


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