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. #
    Amanda Marie — April 5, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

    Jessica, you are hilarious and I adore the majority of the food you show on your blog (I’m a vegetarian, so that’s why I can’t say that I adore ALL of it!) I love coming to your site everyday, and I especially love the signature last photo of the half-eaten dish. Yum!


  2. #
    Zoe — April 5, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    These look absolutely decadent. I love that the cupcakes actually fizzed. I am going to be on the lookout for root beer extract now!


    • Donna — August 25th, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

      I sell Watkins products and we have an excellent root beer flavoring. If anyone is interested please order through me by going to use associate ID # 370671.
      Also for the holidays there are some seasonal flavorings coming, such as anise, black walnut..
      Check it out.


  3. #
    Zoe — April 5, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

    Or should I be looking for root beer concentrate? Hmmmmmmm.


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

      Either should work!


  4. #
    Dishes of Mrs. Fish — April 5, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

    You’re such a genius.
    My root beer loving hubby is going to love these.


  5. #
    Emily — April 5, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

    First time commenter, long time reader. You have out done yourself. My husband is going to flip for these. I am going to save this recipe, literally in my back pocket, and use it as amunition when I need to pull out the big guns. Thank you and good night.


  6. #
    Blond Duck — April 5, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    I bet Gisele could eat these and still wear a bikini. Snarl.


  7. #
    Melissa @ Delectable Living — April 5, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

    These look amazing! The cupcake bakery where I used to work makes a root beer float cupcake as their ‘cupcake of the month’ in August but with root beer-flavored cake, crazy!


  8. #
    Lee Hock — April 5, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

    Whoa! Those look amazing.
    I hope I can find root beer extract to make them. They would be great with a ice cold glass of root beer.


  9. #
    Jolene ( — April 6, 2011 @ 12:06 am

    Goal for the month: Find rootbeer extract!


    • Miranda — April 6th, 2011 @ 9:21 am

      Yes, I didn’t even know this stuff existed!


  10. #
    Rachel — April 6, 2011 @ 12:23 am

    I just absolutely LOVE your writing(and of course your food). It ALWAYS makes me want to jump right on into making whatever it is you have come up with! Even the ones that have nothing in it I would eat! You have an amazing talent. Simply amazing.


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 6:42 am

      Thank you so much Rachel!


  11. #
    Addie — April 6, 2011 @ 2:12 am

    I absolutely salivated at the sight of all those yummy pictures of yours!

    I intend to try making cupcakes soon, and if I succeed, I would try this Root Bear recipe too. :)

    The Cat Hag


  12. #
    Debby — April 6, 2011 @ 8:31 am

    It just so happens I have root beer concentrate in my pantry. Guess what I’m making today???


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 9:21 am

      Let me know if you make them!


  13. #
    Miranda — April 6, 2011 @ 9:20 am

    Amazing! That is something that I never would have thought of- you have the IT factor! This is a must try!


  14. #
    Rachel Wilkerson — April 6, 2011 @ 9:25 am

    Eric doesn’t like root beer.

    Guess that means I’m going to have to eat them myself.


  15. #
    Lynda — April 6, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    Where do you get the dark cocoa? I’ve never seen that in my grocery store, do you need to special order it?


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 9:54 am

      I find it at my local grocery store! I have been using Hershey’s Special Dark, and it is right next to the regular cocoa. I think it is fairly new, maybe in the last few months?


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 9:54 am

      I also think using regular cocoa would work fine!


  16. #
    Lynda — April 6, 2011 @ 9:57 am

    Thanks, I’ll look for it to come to my store soon! Love your recipes!


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 10:06 am

      Thanks Lynda!


  17. #
    Diane V — April 6, 2011 @ 10:18 am

    Look for the rootbeer extract at your local Super Walmart – thats where I found mine after failing to find it at the major grocery stores in my area.


  18. #
    Courtney @ Love, Thoughts and Prayers — April 6, 2011 @ 10:50 am

    Holy Goodness Batman! I have GOT to make these for my twin brother. He has always been a root-beer addict. You know those little root-beer barrel candy? Yup, guess who never got one when she was little because her twin hogged them all…you guessed it. Me. Such a sob story, perhaps I should eat my feelings in a batch or two of these!?!?!


  19. #
    CC — April 6, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    My group is on a big root beer float kick these days!!! We buy have kept the house stocked with mini cans of root beer and mini cups of blue bell for this reason. And did pour some Hershey’s over mine which caused my daughter’s mouth to drop wide open as if I was doing something unthinkable. Lol!!! After reading this post I must say great minds think alike ;)


  20. #
    Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife — April 6, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    oh my awesomeness!!! Heading to the store to get that concentrate :)


  21. #
    Stephanie — April 6, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

    Looks divine! Why do some of your posts have a link to print and some don’t? It just make life easy for those of us that want to be you :)


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

      My print plugin has stopped working! It is driving me BONKERS. I can’t get it to work. But I’m unveiling a new design for the site very shortly so it shouldn’t be an issue anymore. So sorry – I know it’s a pain!


      • Stephanie — April 6th, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

        Thanks for the uber prompt reply! Can’t wait to see the new site! Good luck – I know upgrades and design issues can be overwhelming :)

        • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

          Thanks for reading! :)

  22. #
    Jess — April 6, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

    Oh my gosh!! This looks AWESOME! I saw rootbeer extract the other day at the grocery store and I was baffled, what on earth do you use rootbeer extract for??? These cupcakes. hahaha! They look delicious!!


  23. #
    Nastassia (LetMeEatCake) — April 6, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

    oh man yum! why do you tease me like this now i’m going to have to run to the store and make these. thanks! :)


  24. #
    Kelli H — April 6, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

    that looks like the best thing i’ve ever seen…


  25. #
    Debby — April 6, 2011 @ 11:42 pm

    I made the cupcakes today and my husband and I each enjoyed one after supper tonight. They are SO good that I’m taking some to share with friends tomorrow and he’s taking the rest to work. I certainly don’t need them in the house. I’d could finish them all off all by myself! Thanks for a wonderful recipe. It’s definitely in my ‘keeper’ file.


  26. #
    Christy Nutter — April 7, 2011 @ 12:30 pm


    Thank you for sharing your cooking and baking passion! I am new to your blog and get your Facebook updates and they seriously make my day! My husband thanks you too, because I am cooking and baking all of the time now! You are such an inspiration to me and I’m pretty sure if we lived in the same town we would be friends. :) I love your writing style and find myself laughing out loud. You are one creative genius with words and with food! Hands down my favorite blog ever so please don’t ever stop! I have shared your blog with all of my friends and family!
    p.s. I made the root beer float cupcakes last night – ah.mazing.


    • Jessica — April 7th, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

      Thanks so, so much! Glad you liked the cupcakes. :)


  27. #
    megan — April 8, 2011 @ 10:02 am

    You crack me up! I made rootbeer cupcakes before and you are right. There was no root beer flavor. I need to make them your way! I know they would be way better then the recipe I used! Have a great weekend!


  28. #
    Amanda — April 8, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    You. Rock.
    I am done now.


  29. #
    Elia Karamatic — April 8, 2011 @ 6:16 pm


    ever since I read this post I fell in love with it. I’ve run to a store to buy all I need to make this but I encountered on one big problem which is IN MY COUNTRY YOU CAN’T FIND ROOT BEER!! Can you believet?! No, well neither can. What do you thing, with what I can replace root beer???? Please help me

    P.S.: I love your blog.


    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

      Hi Elia! I would do milk or even water if you need to. They should be fine. :) Could you find the root beer concentrate?


  30. #
    Dannie — April 9, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

    Good root beer is delicious and the IBC I spied in the pictures (yes I knew from the bottle no I don’t see hat as a sign of a larger problem) is the BEST out there with Barq’s a close second. I will eat these and love them and…yeah maybe best to stop there…


  31. #
    Rose Gold — April 10, 2011 @ 4:21 am

    Wonderful! I love the title of the recipe. It surely make people mouth watering while looking at those pictures. I will surely try this one. Thanks for sharing.


  32. #
    Lynzi Montemayor — April 10, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    Oh my goodness! This cupcakes were so intense. With each bite, I fell in love even more.

    But…I do have one question. The cake didn’t want to stick to the cupcake liners. Could I have done something wrong…mixed it too long? Or could it be the root beer that caused the batter not to stick?


  33. #
    Christina — April 10, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

    Yum! Made these last night and they were really good, first time I’ve ever made a filled cupcake, so easy to do with the pastry bag!
    We ate them right after I finished them and then I had one with breakfast this morning (for research purposes of course) and I think they were actually better the second day, more root beer-y if that makes sense.


  34. #
    Sam — April 10, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

    Bahhhh, I realized I forgot the cocoa powder when the cupcakes were already in the oven :( Hopefully they still turn out ok… They seem to be falling apart easier than a normal cupcake but I’m hoping the frosting will hold them together or something.

    Besides that, they are yummy!


    • Sam — April 10th, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

      Yeahhhhh the 2nd batch was an epic fail… Thankfully, I have enough stuff to try again. So this time I’m going to remember the cocoa. :P


      • Jessica — April 10th, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

        Aw man! Keep me posted… the cocoa is a must because it is one of the dry ingredients!

        • Sam — April 10th, 2011 @ 10:32 pm

          So now I can see why cocoa powder is such a big deal while cooking! They came out great this time. :) The fiance’ approves, and has been loving all the recipes I get from your website!

  35. #
    Trinity — April 11, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    I can’t wait to try these!! I made some plain ones the other day, with a different recipe, and was sooo disappointed. No root beer flavor at all!!! the next day tehy smelled like root beer, but didnt’ taste it. I think these are going to be wonderful, especially since my hubby loves root beer =)


  36. #
    margie — April 12, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    omg im so trying these i cant waitt :)


  37. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — April 13, 2011 @ 9:03 am

    My kiddos would LOVE these!
    I am so backed up on my reader that I am just seeing this yumminess for the first time!


  38. #
    brittany — April 14, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

    These look DE.LI.CIOUS.
    i just have one question? The recipe makes 12, if I wanted to make 24 is it safe to just double everything?


    • Jessica — April 14th, 2011 @ 11:39 pm

      I haven’t tried that yet, but I don’t see why not!


  39. #
    Emily — April 18, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

    I made these over the weekend and they were FABULOUS!!!

    I doubled the recipe with no ill effects.

    I have only one question. For the root beer frosting you say to use “root beer extract” which is different than “root beer concentrate.” I happened to have the extract (from making homemade candy, so I used the extract which was a delightful blend!! I debated on tossing the cupcake batter and sitting with the bowl frosting and a spoon and just eating the root beer frosting straight… i’m glad I didn’t.

    After reading the description a little closer, you mention using the concentrate in the frosting. Did you mean “root beer concentrate” for the frosting? Because if you did, I’m going to have to make them again, just to taste the difference. Although I cant imagine they could taste any better?

    Thanks for posting. Super YUMMY!


    • Jessica — April 18th, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

      Oh yes – sorry about that! I meant concentrate. I got confused since I also used vanilla extract, I apologize. Going to fix it now. :) Glad they were a hit!


  40. #
    Carly — April 21, 2011 @ 3:15 am



  41. #
    Tabitha — May 11, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    Hey! I just made these this afternoon and they’re so yummy! I’m definitely blogging this. The post will be up tomorrow morning at 8 EST if you want to check it out. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! :-D


  42. #
    Ann Claire — June 3, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

    So I’ve been wanting to make these since I first saw you post about them. Trouble is I can’t seem to locate any root beer concentrate. Do most grocery stores carry it? What section is it in? (I’ve been looking by the vanilla and other extracts).


    • Jessica — June 3rd, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

      I found mine at my local grocery store… I’ve heard you can it them at Walmart?? I did find it near the extracts!


  43. #
    Lindsey — June 29, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

    My little brother (well, he’s not really little, he’s 20 and taller than I am) had his fourth (and LAST) open heart surgery yesterday and I have been racking my brain and the blogosphere to find something I know he’ll love. I’m going to bet a million bucks that this, is it. He loves rootbeer and is a bit of a rootbeer “snob” :p I can’t wait to make these for him once he can come home, thank you thank you thank you for posting this recipe!


    • Jessica — June 29th, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

      Oh my gosh! I am glad he is okay and that was his last. Please let me know how they turn out!


      • Lindsey — July 5th, 2011 @ 8:40 am

        The cupcakes came out really well! My brother loved the rootbeer part of it, like I had thought he would :)

        Also, my husband had no shame in stealing any utensil with the frosting on it and licking them, and I’m not judging – I’m jealous! :p

  44. #
    Claire Challenger — July 4, 2011 @ 2:52 am

    Does drizzling hot fudge melt the frosting? Cause the hot fudge I have needs to be pretty warm to become that silky oozy texture.


  45. #
    Christi — July 25, 2011 @ 1:30 am

    I tried out this recipe and I was pretty impressed. :) It was pretty yummy. The cupcake itself isn’t all that sweet but the frosting deff makes up for it. Made them for my hub’s birthday and he loved them.


  46. #
    Dianna — August 12, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

    I have never known anyone who adds chocolate to a “regular” root beer float (the drink)… is this widely done?.
    These cupcakes looks absolutely delish! and I cannot wait to try them out ..on my boyfriend, umm, yeah, that’s why I am making them !! Chocolate, or no chocolate…


    • Dianna — August 12th, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

      Also- National Cupcake Day is 8-18 with National Root Beer Float Day (NO! I am not kidding here…) is 8-19. What a way to combine to favorite Holidays! I still havent made them yet, it was only 5 minutes ago…


  47. #
    Lyndy — August 14, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

    Thank you for the great root beer icing recipe. We used it with our experiments and we gave you full credit on our website at with pictures of your incredible root beer icing. You and your site got full credit for your awesomeness. Thank you so much. Hope you get lots of visitors from our site and we heartily recommend your invention.


  48. #
    Chrissa — August 17, 2011 @ 6:31 am

    Question: Could you make these without the chocolate flavor? That is putting me off a bit. Is there a strong chocolate flavor? We aren’t big on chocolate cake around here, so just curious. Thanks!


    • Jessica — August 17th, 2011 @ 7:29 am

      You could maybe try it in a vanilla cupcake? I haven’t tried it before though so I’m not sure how it would taste.


  49. #
    Kerry — August 24, 2011 @ 1:26 am

    The frosting sounds absolutely spectacular! I’ve been on a huge root beer kick all summer, mostly thanks to my job in fast food. I think I’m going to give it a try on top of some vanilla cupcakes (with a hint of root beer, of course). And I’ll be sure to provide a link back to you when I post the results on my site!


  50. #
    JessicaG — September 27, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

    Quick question..

    I want to make these for when my sister returns from deployment on friday. Frosting is my archenemy, so I want to try the frosting tonight just in case I can’t get it right. If by the grace of God I can get the frosting to come out, will it last in the refrigerator until Friday?


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

      Yes, definitely! I would just set it out a few hours before mixing so it softens and make sure to continue mixing it with a spoon. It should be fine. Let me know how they turn out and thanks to your sister for all she does!



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