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+ servings

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Deliciously moist root beer butter cupcakes with a rich flavor.  These Root Beer Float Cupcakes are made with root beer cream cheese buttercream frosting and pack plenty of root beer flavor. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 27 minutes
Total Time 57 minutes
Servings 34


  • 2 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening, packed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup root beer soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons root beer extract or concentrate
  • 2 teaspoons butter flavoring

For the Root Beer Frosting

  • 18 tablespoons (that's 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered confectioners' sugar
  • 3 teaspoons root beer extract or root beer concentrate
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shortening, packed
  • 1/8 teaspoon brown gel food coloring ( I used Wilton )
  • 34 maraschino cherries, to garnish
  • 34 paper straws, to garnish


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a muffin tin pan with paper cups; set aside.
    2. In a bowl fit with paddle attachment, whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
    3. With the mixer on low, slowly beat in chunks of shortening and butter. Turn mixer to medium and beat until mixture has small crumbs.
    4. In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, root beer, eggs, root beer extract/concentrate, and butter extract.
    5. With the mixer on low, slowly pour mixture into dry ingredients. Turn mixer to medium and beat until incorporated; about 1 minute. Whip down sides of bowl with a spatula and stir to mix.
    6. Spoon 2 1/2 tablespoons cake batter into each cupcake. Carefully drop muffin tin pan against counter top to rid batter of air bubbles. Bake in oven for 27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool.
    To make the frosting
    1. Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a bowl fit with a mixer, beat butter, powdered confectioner's sugar, salt, and root beer flavoring. Once smooth, turn mixer up to medium and beat in chunks of cream cheese and shortening. Mix frosting until smooth.  Beat in brown gel food coloring.  More coloring can be used to achieve a darker brown color. 
    2. Fill pastry bag with a cupcake tip and frost each cupcake. Frosting may need to be chilled in pastry bag to create same design as photos. Also, I used a Russian Ball Tip to frost each cupcake. See notes on where to buy, otherwise, any cupcake tip will do.
    3. Chill frosted cupcakes then top with cherry and paper straw.
    4. Cupcakes need to be chilled until 30 minutes before serving.