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Root Beer Float Cupcakes Recipe

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Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Root Beer Buttercream Frosting take cupcakes to a whole new level. Easy to make and packed with flavor this recipe will have you and your guests grabbing seconds!


Root beer Float Cupcakes


Cupcake season is right around the corner so it’s about time I get a new cupcake up on Num’s the Word!

By cupcake season I mean the summer months.  My children run a cupcake and lemonade stand in our front yard every Wednesday night during the summer.

This goes on for 12 weeks and every week they offer a new flavor of cupcake.  All the money they earn goes into a college fund and they do not get to spend any of it.

At first the concept was really hard for my daughter.  However, now that we’ve been doing it for a few years, she doesn’t think twice about asking to keep some of it.  Instead she knows that it is all going into an account and that one day she’ll be able to use it for her education.


Root beer Float Cupcakes


Our goal every year is to come up with new and exciting flavors that our customers will love.  This easy root beer float cupcake was featured last year and a huge hit.  It was such a hit that my son has requested these cupcakes for his birthday party today.

Yep, you read that right. Today.  Meaning I’m making a batch of these cupcakes with frosting and can’t wait to sink my teeth into them.  

I’m not sure what the other 5 year olds will think of root beer flavored cupcakes, but fingers crossed they are a hit.

When it comes to the cupcakes we sell, we always try to do homemade gourmet. We do our best to make sure our presentation is just as great as our flavors.  

So for this easy Root Beer Float Cupcake Recipe, we top our cupcakes with root beer barrels.  Do you remember those candies from when you were a child?  We love them.  However they are a little hard to find.  I can only find them at our local grocery store or online.  


Root beer Float Cupcakes


They are worth the search though.  I’ve seen where others use Maraschino cherries.  To me this seems like such an odd topping as I don’t add a cherry on top of my root beer float, so why would I on my root beer float cupcake?

Instead we choose the root beer barrel.  However you can use whatever you have on hand. If that is maraschino cherries, then go for it.  Perhaps you use sprinkles or maybe you’ll be lucky enough to find the root beer barrels.

These Easy Root Beer Float Cupcakes are a must have for any party or gathering.  Root Beer lovers will be excited to see, taste and smell their cupcakes.  

To top off these Root Beer Float Cupcakes, I pipe on a creamy smooth Root Beer Buttercream Frosting.  My buttercream frosting is top notch and all the variations I’ve created over the years really gives variety to any cake or cupcake you make. The root beer frosting on these cupcakes will have you licking the bowl.


Root beer Float Cupcakes


My favorite part to these cupcake is that they start with a cake mix. Yep these are root beer float cupcakes with cake mix.  Why?  Because cake mix makes for a great, cheap and easy base.  Then we add additional flour, sugar, salt, oil, sour cream and eggs to create a bakery style cupcake.

I have been asked by many people how I get my cupcakes to taste either just like a bakery or better than a bakery cupcake.  The secret is I start with a cake mix and add to it!  GASP!  Meaning this is not the root beer cupcake from scratch recipe.  I call them semi-scratch. 

Trust me, these cupcakes will taste 100% better than the standard cake mix cupcakes you’re used to.  

Root Beer Cupcakes aren’t a new invention.  However, this recipe is unlike any other out there.  When it comes to cupcakes, I am very confident in my recipes.  They’ve been made multiple times and each recipe has been tested on over 100 people before it makes it onto this website. 

So when it comes to this Root Beer Cupcake Recipe, I’m going to just have to tell you to trust me.  If you love root beer, then these cupcakes are about to rock your world!


Root beer Float Cupcakes



  • white cake mix
  • flour
  • sugar
  • salt
  • root beer
  • vegetable oil
  • root beer extract
  • sour cream
  • eggs
  • heavy whipping cream
  • powdered sugar


Root beer Float Cupcakes



Of course.  If you do not have root beer pop on hand, then use 1 1/3 cup water.  Then adjust your extract to 1 1/4 teaspoon extract, instead of 1 teaspoon.  


Root beer Float Cupcakes



Most fancy pants bloggers out there will tell you yes.  And it’s true.  Some are better than others.  However my cupboard is full of several bottles of both McCormick brand root beer extract and Watkins root beer extract.

And I use both of them for various recipes.  

The McCormick brand adds a caramel coloring to their extract.  Watkins keeps theirs clear.  

I have a recipe for Root Beer Float Whoopie Pies on Num’s and for that recipe I use the clear Watkins extract.  

For this delicious Root Beer Float Cupcakes recipe, I prefer to use the McCormick’s brand as I want that extra coloring in both my cupcake and my frosting.  


Root beer Float Cupcakes


Imagine if these cupcakes were white with white frosting.  You’d never be able to tell that they were Root Beer.  Well, aside from the smell.  The frosting SMELLS like root beer.  However this isn’t April Fools and I really wanted my customers to know these weren’t a typical white cupcake and white buttercream frosting.

So for this recipe I prefer the McCormick’s brand root beer flavor for the extra caramel coloring.

If all you have is clear extract, then add a drop or two of brown food coloring to your cupcakes and frosting.



Yield: 30 Cupcakes

Root Beer Float Cupcakes & Frosting

Root beer Float Cupcakes - cupcakes with can or root beer in background

Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Root Beer Buttercream Frosting take cupcakes to a whole new level. Easy to make and packed with flavor this recipe will have you and your guests grabbing seconds!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes


  • 1 (16 - 18 ounce) box white cake mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups root beer
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Root Beer extract
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon root beer extract
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream


  1. Preheat oven to 325*F
  2. Prepare cupcake pans with paper liners.
  3. In a bowl mix cake mix, flour, sugar and salt.
  4. Slowly add root beer and blend.
  5. Add vegetable oil and root beer extract and blend well.
  6. Add sour cream and eggs. Blend. Scrape sides of the bowl and blend again.
  7. Scoop batter into cupcake liners, filling them 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for 16 - 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then move to a cooling rack.
  10. Once cupcakes are cool, whip heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar together.
  11. Place whipped cream into a piping bag with a metal tip.
  12. Holding the metal tip with one hand, and the top of the piping bag with the other hand, stick the tip into the center of a cupcake and squeeze. Cupcake will expand slightly. Remove tip and repeat for all cupcakes.
  13. Once all cupcakes are filled, top with Root Beer Buttercream Frosting.
  14. To make frosting, beat butter until silky smooth.
  15. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at at time blending well between each addition (total of 3 cups).
  16. Add extract and heavy whipping cream and mix well. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
  17. If root beer buttercream is too thick, add additional heavy whipping cream (1 Tablespoon at a time) until desired consistency.
  18. Pipe onto cupcakes and top with a root beer barrel candy.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 208mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 0gSugar: 28gProtein: 3g

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Tuesday 24th of October 2023

Are these regular size or mini cupcakes ? Looks awesome ! Can’t wait to try them !


Saturday 9th of October 2021

I’m so looking forward to trying this recipe!! I see that it makes 30 cupcakes, but If I wanted to use 2 9-in rounds, how would you suggest I alter the recipe? I would appreciate your advice!! Thank you!!


Monday 11th of October 2021

The recipe would stay the same, however the baking time would change. 9 inch round baking pans usually require 30-35 minutes baking time. Watch it and always test the center with a toothpick. Otherwise, it should work out great!

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