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. #
    Shanna, Like Banana — April 5, 2011 @ 10:35 am

    Root beer extract? Think of the possibilities? Smoothies, shakes, oatmeal, cookies. I MUST find.


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 11:26 am

      Look near the vanilla. :)


  2. #
    Mansee — April 5, 2011 @ 10:35 am

    You are literally killing me. In the best way possible.


  3. #
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — April 5, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    I am making these as soon as possible!! We love root beer at our house!


  4. #
    Jen @ keepitsimplefoods — April 5, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    These look fantastic! I wonder if sassafras concentrate would work to replace the extract? I love putting a bit of sassafras concentrate in bubbly water to make homemade rootbeer. :)


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 11:26 am

      It might!! Never thought of that.


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

    Thank you- that was hilarious! I had been toying with purchasing that root beer extract- good to know it does the trick!


  6. #
    Jessica — April 5, 2011 @ 10:47 am

    this is seriously like food porn.
    And my bikini’s just got burried a little deeper in the corner of my closet…

    You make me laugh :)


  7. #
    Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen — April 5, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    Wow – just wow. These look awesome. Really good root beer is a guilty pleasure of mine.


  8. #
    Abby — April 5, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    when you die, donate your body to science so they can look at your brain. Einstein who? Girl, you’re a genius.


  9. #
    Joanna@ Drizzle of Sunshine — April 5, 2011 @ 11:05 am

    Wowza! That frosting looks so light you could pass it off as rootbeer foam! but one question…where’s the bacon?


  10. #
    Alicia — April 5, 2011 @ 11:12 am

    oh my goodnesss – no matter what cupcake you make, the actual cake part itself always looks so dense and fudgey and delicous!! I wish I could take a giant bite right now~!!


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 11:25 am

      Thanks! I think it’s the dark cocoa powder I’ve been using!


  11. #
    Ashley — April 5, 2011 @ 11:26 am

    Such a great post. Loved some of the words you used…”enveloping” + “spurt”!! I think I need to consult a thesaurus…awesome + delicious are becoming quite old. ;) I can’t believe they fizz! That is if only I liked root beer.


  12. #
    Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) — April 5, 2011 @ 11:36 am

    Wow these look amazing! :D


  13. #
    Justeen @ Blissful Baking — April 5, 2011 @ 11:37 am

    I don’t even like rootbeer floats and I want to eat this cupcake!!


  14. #
    Mrs. Jen B — April 5, 2011 @ 11:37 am

    Why have I never seen root beer extract before? WHY???


  15. #
    Moni'sMeals — April 5, 2011 @ 11:43 am

    what kid–er, I mean adult on earth would not want to try this!


  16. #
    Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete — April 5, 2011 @ 11:45 am

    Why, why, why must you torture me?? haha. I have been craving cupcakes lately, but I wasn’t sure what kind to make. Then, I found this in my google reader this morning. Lovely. These look amazingly good. My husband better help me eat these because I might just eat them all myself!


  17. #
    Jenn L @ Peas & Crayons — April 5, 2011 @ 11:55 am

    Omg If I was in the kitchen whipping those up with you and chugging rootbeer all the way…. It would be hard not to burp like a trucker! Rootbeer has that effect on me! bahahaha!

    They look flipping crack-tastic =)


  18. #
    A Bowl Of Mush — April 5, 2011 @ 11:57 am

    Yum! They look delicious! Really craving a root beer float now!!


  19. #
    Sana — April 5, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

    I am going to need to run like 3482904802394 miles just for reading this blog post ;)


  20. #
    Jess — April 5, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

    wow, i’m not even a huge fan of root beer but when you said fizz, i was indeed intrigued. p.s. i’ve also tried the extract straight from the bottle. it’s so repulsive right? i can still taste it. ew.


  21. #
    fajas colombianas — April 5, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    I’ve never seen a rootbeer concentrate before. I never knew such thing existed.


  22. #
    Miranda @ Living One Bite at a Time — April 5, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    Just letting you know that I tried out your recipe for Blueberry Crumble Bars and posted about it on my blog. I also linked to your blog and the specific post with the recipe :)


  23. #
    Jamie aka "Sometimes Healthy" Girl — April 5, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

    I just tweeted about this recipe and linked to your blog :-) And I’ll be dreaming of these babies all night!


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

      Thanks so much Jamie! :)


  24. #
    Kelly — April 5, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

    Every morning I look forward to reading your new posts not just because of your delicious food but your wit and humor keeps me actually laughing out loud. You say what most of us think but in a terribly hilarious way. That being said, when are you writing a book? I’ll be first in line at Barnes & Noble.

    On a side (an possibly more important) note, these cupcakes look fabulous! Perfect for summer. Can’t wait to try them!


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

      Thanks Kelly! Made my day. ;)


  25. #
    Natalia - a side of simple — April 5, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

    I don’t think there’s a way you can go wrong with a cupcake. And the single serve means you can have two to equal a piece of double layer cake… right? ;)


  26. #
    Katrina — April 5, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

    These just made my day! And reading your description of them. I need a treat, so I’m headed to the store!


  27. #
    Allison — April 5, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

    Oh my good gracious. You just totally made my day. I love me some root beer floats. And I’m with you, I’m not a soda fan, but there’s something about root beer that’s just so hard to resist! Especially in a float, perhaps it has something to do with the ice cream hmm? Anyways, these look ridiculous. Truly ridiculous. I must make these asap.


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

      I think it does! Carbonation actually burns my throat and ears and I think the ice cream helps smooth it out. ;)


  28. #
    Noelle — April 5, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

    WHAT the WHAT??? yummm


  29. #
    Maranda — April 5, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    I have NEVER liked soda…rootbeer included. But I may have to make an exception for these cupcakes. They look divine!


  30. #
    brittany — April 5, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

    Okay you have to try St. Arnold’s root beer. You. Will. Die. It’s so good… And I don’t even like soda!


  31. #
    Christina — April 5, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

    You are so awesome.


  32. #
    Katie — April 5, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    Holy yum. Meeker is obsessed with root beer – I am going to have to make this for his birthday in a few weeks. Thanks for being a yummy genius.


  33. #
    Tracy — April 5, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

    Gorgeous cupcakes! I love a good, cold root beer so I know I would fall in love with these instantly!


  34. #
    Katherine — April 5, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

    yum. this might be your best recipe I’ve seen, so far. Do you think they would ship rootbeer concentrate to Italy?


  35. #
    Jenn — April 5, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

    I thought I was hot snot on a silver platter for bringing three unique flavors of cupcakes and some hand-dipped chocolate-covered pretzels to work today. After reading this post, I’m hanging my head in shame. I have been out-cupcaked.


  36. #
    Miriam — April 5, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

    Ooohhhhh you are my kitchen heroine. Oh wait, you already were. I had a similar conversion from hating soda and especially root beer, to being obsessed with root beer, but still hating most other soda. If you drive through Dutch County PA you can find homemade root beer being sold at Amish family food stands. SO good, less sweet, less bubbly, extra tasty. These look just amazing though. What about adding root beer extract to homemade ice cream, with chocolate…The possibilities are endless. But you seem to find them all!


  37. #
    Vanie — April 5, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

    Hahaha…Jessica what a fun post!!!
    Love you…with the vanilla extract moustache and all!!!


  38. #
    peggy — April 5, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

    OH. MY. GOODNESS. These are being saved right now… they sound scrumptious!! Thank you for sharing!


  39. #
    Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie — April 5, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

    Mmmmmm root beer frosting! Genius!


  40. #
    Angela @ MyPinkyToes — April 5, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

    WOW! So creative and delicious looking! If I ever host a party or need to bring a dessert I am definitely going to try this!


  41. #
    Caelyn — April 5, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

    You described my feelings on root beer EXACTLY. it’s the only carbonated drink I crave. these look delicious as always.


  42. #
    Mama Pea — April 5, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

    Your blog is now off-limits from Pea Daddy. This is all I’m going to hear about until I make them.


  43. #
    janetha @ meals & moves — April 5, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

    OH YUM.


  44. #
    Serena — April 5, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

    In the name of sugar (and my family’s ever increasing sweet tooth) I vow to make a cake variation of this… right now ;)


  45. #
    Alexa @ Simple Eats — April 5, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

    Every time you make a cupcake I drool even more than the last time. I didn’t even know root beer concentrate existed!


  46. #
    Brooke @ bittersweetb — April 5, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

    Those look amazing! I totally have a craving for rootbeer now!


  47. #
    Amelia — April 5, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

    Um, yeah… extra hour? Do you think I could eat this after body pump as my post recovery meal? It would burn off faster, right? ;) j/k


  48. #
    Anne — April 5, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

    YUM! These look divine! I need to make gluten free!!


  49. #
    Colleen @MissPetiteSweets — April 5, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

    These look so delicious!


  50. #
    Katie — April 5, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    What is the difference between Root Beer Concentrate and Root Beer Extract? Can I use Root Beer Schnapps or the Extract instead of Concentrate?


    • Jessica — April 5th, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

      I honestly am not sure what the different is. My store did not have the extract. I would think you can definitely use the extract (probably in the same amounts) but I am not familiar with Schnapps, so I would possible use some then taste test and decide?



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