Root Beer Float Cupcakes

I just wanted to show you that, because I think it’s funny. And cute.

Sitting at a restaurant last weekend, we had little Isla in her car seat next to us, quietly sleeping for the first ten minutes after we arrived. We then realized why she was so quiet…oh Hello Kitty, what will you think of next?

This picture reminded me that you can’t always take everything so seriously. Sometimes you just have to sit back and look at life with different eyes (hopefully eyes that aren’t covered by giant Hello Kitty heads on a frilly lace band). It’s important to realize that life is what you make it and if you take it too seriously, you’ll never be happy. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be serious about work, or health, or family, etc., but that you take things as they come and laugh when you have the chance.

I always try to be optimistic in everything I do. Is there a chance I might win the lottery? Yes! Of course there is, although it is a slight chance, there is still a chance at winning. Will I be the next great celebrity chef? I will if I work for it and never stop keeping that dream alive. It’s all about what you make life to be. If you want to be a race car driver, don’t just say it, get out there and practice, go to the track and find a car, ask around to the other drivers about how they got started. It pains me when people look at life as half empty, because in reality it is always half full. No matter what storms happen to travel your way, there is always a patch of sun peeking around the next cloud. You may not notice it, but it’s there.

What is all this ranting and what does it have to do with food you ask?

Well, I was asked by my advertising company to come up with a recipe that I thought was fun and creative. They had some suggestions on flavour combinations and root beer float was one of them. I couldn’t pass it up the chance to hone my baking skills with such an odd concoction now could I?

I had no idea what I was in for….

I am not a baker, nor am I a chemist. Baking, it turns out, is some serious chemistry and I just so happened to take biology in school, damnit! I was a teen who would much rather cut into little piggies (is that gross?) to see what’s inside them, then to find out why acids react with neutrals…oh wait, is that right? See, I’m no good.

What transpired after the initial e-mail asking for recipes was three batches of root beer float cupcakes in a house with two adults and one child eating solid foods. I tell ya, that’s a lot of cupcakes! I did manage, in my third attempt, to come up with something that has a cake-like consistency and a good crumb. The frosting makes it a “float” and together they really do taste like an authentic root beer float. So the moral of the story is, even though you fail once or twice (or three or four…), you can still pull up your panties and pick up where you left off.

Sadly the whole process of making these cupcakes has made me mad with root beer float withdrawal. Every time we’ve passed an ice cream store or soda shop, I’ve had a hankering for a float so bad…one of these days I’ll stop in for one. In the mean time, I’ve got a whole lot of cupcakes to eat! Want not, waste not!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Yield: 10 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time 25 minutes

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 eggs + 1 egg yolk
2 tsp rootbeer extract (available at most U-Brew stores)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk

1. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and egg yolk and beat.
2. Stir in extracts. Set aside.
3. In separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
4. Add dry ingredients to wet in two parts, alternating with buttermilk and completely combining between additions. Pour into lined baking tins.
5. Bake in a 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Frost with Brown Sugar and Rootbeer Frosting when completely cooled.

Brown Sugar and Rootbeer Frosting

1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 tsp root beer extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 package Dr. Oetker’s “Whip-It” or other whipped cream stabilizer

1. Whip all ingredients on high until stiff peaks form.
2. Frost cupcakes and store in refrigerator.

Similarly delicious recipe from other blogs:

Root Beer Float Cupcakes on Cupcake Project
Root Beer Float Cupcakes on Smitten Kitchen
Coca Cola Cupcakes on Not Quite Nigella
Chocolate Cherry Dr.Pepper Cupcakes on …So Sinful It’s Sweet
Mountain Dew Cupcakes on All Things Cupcake

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