Readers of my blog are probably familiar with my friend Mike and his culinary ingenuity (he’s made home made White Castles, churros donuts, a Momofuku menu, and Oktoberfest pretzels in the past) but at work, he’s somehow never won a prestigious bake off… until now! This creative Root Beer Float cupcake comes from a modified Food Network recipe below. I was lucky enough to try one before they went to the office and fond it much like a nice gingerbread cake with home made frosting, yum!
Root Beer Cake:
1 cup butter
1 2/4 cups granulated sugar
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground sassafras root
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 teaspoons root beer (I used Virgil’s or Manhattan Special’s Sarsaparilla, skip the fake sugar low grade sodas)
1 tablespoon root beer extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Vanilla Cream Frosting:
3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/4 cups butter
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two cupcake trays (this makes about 24 cupcakes). I flour the bottoms with cocoa powder since this is a brown cake, so not only does it not show the white flour spots, but it also adds a toasted chocolate taste).
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter; then add the sugar and molasses, and continue mixing until light and fluffy.
Meanwhile, sift together together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, sassafras root and cloves.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the eggs one at a time, and then the bottled root beer to the butter mixture until blended. Mix in the root beer and vanilla extracts. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to form a smooth batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until just set, about 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, and then invert onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting.
In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the confectioners’ sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended; then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the cream and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed to reach spreading consistency.
Place the frosting into a pastry bag or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off. Then pipe the icing like a soft serve ice cream on top of each of the cup cakes. I then chilled the cupcakes for 30 minutes to let the icing set and finished them off with a 1/3 of a cut drinking straw and a 1/2 of a mini pretzel rod on top of each.