Day: August 22, 2011

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

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So in all the hub-bub of National Mustard Day, folks may have forgotten that August 6th is also National Root Beer Float Day.  So how to celebrate?  Why not make a cake or some cupcakes?  Seems simple enough, right?  Sort of an obvious choice for me, but you stick with what you know.  But things get a little tricky — I don’t really know root beer floats.  Luckily I know a couple so I can get their take on it.

Again, not the best pictures I’ve taken.  I am not a professional photographer.  Hell, I don’t even know what the symbols are on your regular point-and-shoot!  What does the “mountain” setting mean anyway?  Is it for high altitude pictures?  Which sounds dumb because it’s a digital camera.  But I digress. . . here’s what you need:

For the cake:

  • 2 sticks  butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 vegetable oil
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 2 1/2  c. root beer

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line your pans with cupcake papers and set aside.  I ran out of some papers, so I just sprayed the pans with some cooking spray.  Put the root beer in a saucepan on medium and reduce by half.  Cool and set aside.

2.  Alright, no surprises here!  In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter for about 5 minutes.  Gradually add the sugars and mix on medium for anther 5 minutes.  Add your eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Then add the oil and the vanilla.  Mix well.

2.  Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the root beer.

4.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes.  Cool on racks before glazing.

For the glaze:

  • 1 c. confectioners sugar
  • 3 T. root beer
  • 1 T. bourbon (completely optional!  but I like booze!)

Sift the confectioners sugar if it is lumpy.  Otherwise just mix the ingredients until smooth.  Depending on the humidity, you may have to adjust the ratios to get the right consistency.  Drizzle the amount desired over your cupcakes.

Notes — I had some leftover Seven-Minute Frosting that I used to top off the cupcakes (if you don’t bake, you will probably never say this sentence in your entire life!).  I then put some of the glaze over the top of that.  Sure looks like a mini root beer float to me!. . . but the glaze does have a tendency to dissolve the frosting. . . of course, traditionally floats are done with vanilla ice cream, so by all means use that instead of the frosting. . . I really liked these cupcakes, but I was hoping for a more pronounced flavor, but if the cupcakes sit for a day, the root beer taste becomes more pronounced. . .