I could NOT find root beer extract anywhere, so I attempted to make root beer reduction as a substitute.
While, the cake wasn't very rootbeery the cupcakes were still delicious and the vanilla bean added to the frosting along with the crushed root beer candies definitely helped salvage the root beer float idea.
So, the verdict is that this is a delicious cupcake BUT if you are looking to replicate the rich flavor of a root beer float this probably isn't your ideal recipe; this recipe was more subtly root beer float.
3/4C butter, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
2.5C all purpose flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2C root beer, room temperature
1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
2 tbs cold water
1C heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 of a vanilla bean
10 root beer hard candies, crushed (I ran mine through the vitamix on low for a few minutes until it was slightly more than root beer powder)
- for cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners (or grease the cups if you aren't using liners).
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, boil 3/4C of root beer for 15 minutes until reduced to a syrupy texture. Stir occassionally to prevent burning.
- Remove root beer reduction from heat until ready to use.
- In a larger mixing bowl (I used my KitchenAid), beat butter on high for 30 seconds.
- Lower speed to medium and gradually add sugar.
- Beat butter and sugar until combined.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and then beat on medium speed for 2 more minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add vanilla and reduced root beer.
- Alternatively add flour mixture and root beer to butter mixture, mixing on low speed until just combined.
- Fill prepared cupcake liners (or greased muffin cups) 2/3 full with batter.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow cupcakes to cool complete before frosting.
- for frosting: In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water to soften.
- Scald 2 tablespoons of cream; pour over gelatin, stirring until dissolved.
- Refrigerate mixture for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, beat mixture with a whisk until smooth.
- Take the half of a vanilla bean, slice it open and scrape out the inside.
- In a large bowl (I used my KitchenAid), whip remaining cream and sugar until soft peaks form.
- Whip in smooth gelatin mixture and what you scraped out of the vanilla bean (are they seeds? I have no idea), stopping twice to scrape down the bowl.
- Pipe (or spread) frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
- Heavy handedly sprinkle crushed root beer candies onto the frosted cupcakes.
- Keep cupcakes in the refrigerator until ~1 hour before serving.