Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Root Beer Float Cupcake

The Youth Group at my church hosted a Mother/Daughter 50's night in our Coffee Shop and asked me to cater the event. I stayed with the 50's food theme and decided to create a Root Beer Float cupcake.  Cupcakes seem to be EVERYWHERE these days, so I figured I'd be all trendy and current since that's how I roll for once.  I figured I wasn't the first person in the world to come up with the idea and after a quick Google search discovered I was about the millionth person.  Almost every single recipe I read (close to 30) involved using root beer in the cake batter and going with a vanilla butter cream frosting.  That just wasn't for me, so I went in another direction and came up with this recipe.
I used the Wilton Muffin pan to make the "jumbo" size cupcake.  These tins were about 1/3" deeper than other jumbo pans in the baking pan aisle.  I found these at my local Super Center in the cake decorating section.  Since they were bigger than usual, it used more batter.  I think I was able to get around 22 cupcakes from one box.  I did not line the tins, opting to use Baker's Joy with great results. 

About 8 years ago I saw at trick on TV for kicking up cake mixes and have been doing this trick ever since and have not been disappointed.  I use a Super Moist cake mix, add an extra egg, vanilla, and use milk instead of water.  Of course you don't have to make this in a muffin tin, and could use 9x13 or cake rounds, I just like the idea of cupcakes.

The frosting was my favorite cream cheese butter cream into which I added root beer concentrate.  I've always seen Root Beer concentrate by the extracts in the baking aisle and pondered who in the world would use that and for what?  Now. I. Know.  I had never used this concentrate and was a little afraid of the word "concentrate" so I went the, "it's easier to add to than take away" rule for cooking.  What I discovered was that it took a considerable amount more than I thought to achieve the root beer flavor.  I would guess it was triple what my expectations were, so much for being afraid of a word.

I piped the frosting on using a pastry bag with no tip, because I wanted the wide stream of frosting that, again is super popular in the baking world.  I was going to add a bendy straw, but decided that coffee stir sticks would look more elegant.  I couldn't find root beer barrel hard candy to save my life, that was my first choice in garnishing this cup cake, so I went with cola jellies instead. 

All in all I think the end result was visually appealing and, if I do say so myself, tasted really good.  It truly tasted like a root beer float.

White Cake:

1 box White Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (Duncan Hines is my favorite)
1 1/4 cups Milk
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil (or vegetable)

In a stand mixer, add the cake mix and remaining ingredients.  Mix on low speed until combined, then on high for two minutes.  Bake according to package directions for the pan you are using.

Root Beer Butter Cream:

1 stick Butter (room temp)
8 oz Cream Cheese (room temp)
1 Tablespoon Root Beer Concentrate
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
2 lbs. Confection Sugar

In a stand mixer add first two ingredients and Cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth, adding both extracts, blending together completely.  Slowly add the confectioners sugar, blending to incorporate until desired consistency is achieved.  Pipe or frost onto cooled cupcakes.

Note: Taste your frosting and keep adding concentrate until you reach the flavor level you want.  Like I said, earlier, I used more than I thought I would.

Oh, one more thing.  I took the picture of the cupcake with my camera phone, in an empty cabinet.  Not too shappy, huh?


1 comment:

Tony said...

Hey will, love your website. My sister Saundra Tenison told me about
it last year, enjoy reading and getting new recipes. did you try cracker barrel for the root beer barrels. i have seen them somewhere lately but can't remember for sure. when i do i will let you know.
connie linton