Saturday, April 12, 2008

Root Beer Floatie Cupcakes Revisited!

I've gotten some great reactions to the Root Beer Float Cupcake that I posted last week both from folks online--Cilantro and Lime even made her own version of the cupcakes!--and friends and colleagues offline. But I'm always trying to improve and streamline my recipes and I've come up with some revisions to make your prep smoother and an alternate way to do them sans ice cream. Check it out after the

Here's the recipe:

Cake Recipe:
1 boxed white cake mix
3 egg whites
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups root beer
Brown food coloring (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line 24 muffin cups with paper liners

In a large bowl or kitchen stand mixer, combine cake mix, vegetable oil, egg whites and root beer until ingredients are moistened. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add brown food coloring, if desired, to enhance the root beer-y color.

*NOTE FROM BROWNIE: I used Dr. Brown's Draft Style Root Beer which is "blended for a full bodied flavor" and I would recommend using a strong bold root beer so you get a nice flavor zing that carries over to the cupcakes. If you want to add extra bite you can also add a touch of root beer extract--but to keep things simple I suggest a strong root beer.

Pour batter evenly into lined cups and bake for 18-20 minutes or until done.

Cool cupcakes and frost.

For frosting:
1 4oz stick unsalted butter (room temp)
4 oz cream cheese (room temp)
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

For Topping
4 cups of good quality vanilla ice cream
24 red coffee stirrer straws

Mix butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer until light and fluffy.

NOTE FROM BROWNIE: While waiting for cupcakes to cool, using a melon baller scoop 48 mini-scoops of ice cream. If ice cream sticks to the melon baller, dunk in hot water between scoops. Place scoops on a parchment lined baking sheet and put baking sheet in a very cold freezer so scoops will harden. Take 24 red coffee stirrer straws and cut each in half.

Frost the cupcakes with a layer of fluffy icing. Immediately before serving, remove ice cream scoops from freezer and place 2 small scoops of ice cream on top of each cupcake. Add two little straws to each cupcake for decoration.

(Makes 24 cupcakes)
*To lighten up the recipe: substitute diet root beer for root beer in the cake recipe, low fat or fat-free cream cheese in the frosting, and use low fat or fat free ice cream for the topping.

YET ANOTHER NOTE FROM BROWNIE: I usually don't like fussing with recipes that require me to empty out my freezer or to put things on parchment paper to chill and while the ice cream topping is totally delicious and totally worth it, it can be a challenge to pull off. You can still make cute root beer float cupcakes sans ice cream just by adding two fluffy dollops of frosting (the easiest way) or make a double batch of frosting. Put one batch in the fridge to chill. When the first batch is suitably chilly and hardened, use your melon baller make little frosting scoops to top the cupcakes.

Voila! Root Beer Float Cupcakes without the Ice Cream topping!

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