Sep 042011
 

I have been wanting to make these cupcakes for a long time. Last summer when I was pregnant I could not get enough root beer floats. I loved them. And I’m pretty sure the number I had BEFORE last year could be counted on one hand. Naturally I wanted to do a cupcake version! I saw this picture on flickr and the photographer was nice enough to link me to the recipe she used.

I had trouble finding several ingredients that I needed. The root beer syrup (or dessert topper) my brother had at his house and I asked where he got it. He found it at this weird they-have-everything close out type store in Windsor, VT. It’s called Mr. G’s. Sometimes they have perfectly find stuff, sometimes they have expired mustard. I didn’t get a chance to go there when I was in Vermont in July so I asked my father to stop by for me and sure enough they still had some. And it’s not expired! My mom brought it to me in August. The root beer concentrate I finally found at Walmart per several people’s suggestions. My fancy pants grocery store carries tons of extracts and whatnot but not root beer. The natural foods store in my area had sarsaparilla but not root beer. Finally hit Walmart and sure enough, they had it. The other ingredient I had trouble finding was affordable vanilla beans. I was not about to spend $10 on two vanilla beans but finally I found some in an international aisle!

 

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t blown away by the flavor of the vanilla bean buttercream. Maybe it was an issue of quality. But it didn’t taste very vanilla-y. I used a lot of just regular vanilla extract. However it definitely gives an ice cream appearance to the buttercream! I made two different buttercreams; a root beer buttercream where instead of using vanilla I used a combination of root beer syrup and root beer extract and then the vanilla bean butter cream. Root beer buttercream goes on first and then a scoop of the vanilla bean buttercream.

 

By the time I got to frosting the cupcakes my 8 month old was crying from pinching his fingers in the garbage can so I have no pictures of me frosting them. But I used a 3TB cookie scoop to scoop the vanilla bean butter cream “ice cream” on top. Then I used a Pepperidge Farm pirouette as an edible straw.

 

Cupcakes:

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup root beer syrup
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Add in one third of the flour mixture, followed by the root beer syrup. Mix in another 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by the milk. Stir in all remaining flour and mix just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack.

Source.

Root beer buttercream

1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (add more until it reaches your preferred consistency)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
Root beer concentrate and/or syrup to taste
1 tablespoon milk

Beat together sugar and butter until they are blended and creamy. Add root beer concentrate and milk and continue to beat until blended.

Vanilla bean buttercream

1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (add more until it reaches your preferred consistency)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, halved length wise with the insides scraped out (the seeds)
1 tablespoon milk

Beat together sugar and butter until they are blended and creamy. Add vanilla bean seeds and milk and continue to beat until blended.