It’s always a challenge to think of a fun birthday dessert for someone who doesn’t go nuts over desserts the way I do. What can I create to make him excited about dessert? It has to contain one of his favorite things, and no I don’t mean steak cupcakes. Although, maybe that’s not a bad idea.
But no, this year for my Mr.’s birthday dessert number 1 I decided to use his favorite soda: root beer.
One of my favorite lazy Sunday morning activities is to search Pinterest for inspiration. I searched for root beer cupcakes, and found these root beer float cupcakes. I actually found the same recipe posted in a few different places so I felt confident the cupcakes would taste as delicious as they looked.
Of course, I made a few changes to the recipe. Some changes were by choice, and some by necessity. My Mr.’s birthday always seems to fall during a busy work week and this year was no exception. To have cupcakes ready to share on Friday, I new I had to bake and frost on separate nights. Due to the busy week, I had one chance to go grocery shopping for ingredients. The night I went to the store I stood in the baking aisle for a good 15 minutes searching for root beer extract, hoping it would magically appear in front of me next to all of the other extracts if I looked one more time. That’s about how long it took for me to realize I had root beer Soda Stream syrup at home. Duhh, it’s his favorite soda! Of course we have it at home! I also couldn’t find a single serving bottle of root beer in the store, so I decided to use the Soda Stream syrup for the root beet extract, and make some soda to use for the root beer.
Based on our family’s review, I think Soda Stream was a good substitute for root beer extract. I used about 5x as much as the recipe called for to get the root beer flavor in the frosting, but in the end the frosting used to fill the cupcakes did taste like root beer. I also added more milk than the recipe called for because it just wasn’t that smooth and since I knew I wouldn’t be serving the cupcakes until the following night I wanted to make sure the frosting wouldn’t harden. I also used vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract in the frosting. I just thought it’d be fun to see those vanilla bean specks.
Decorating with a straw felt appropriate for a root beer float cupcake.
If you can bake, frost, and eat these cupcakes all in the same day, I highly recommend them! They still taste good two days later but the cake is the most moist within 2 days of baking.
Root beer float birthday cupcakes were a success at my family table. Stay tuned for birthday dessert number 2 later this week!
Do you have any dessert recipes that work well to make ahead?