Each year, I struggle to get Nick to pick a dessert for his birthday. He always claims to not really like sweets (which is a total lie - I've seen him snatch 4 cookies off the cooling rack before they are even cool!) and it makes it pretty difficult to make him something. This past year, I chose to make dark chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream. I think he likes the idea of cupcakes as much as I do, they are single serving, easy to clean up and store, etc. However, my raspberry buttercream did NOT turn out. I'm not sure where I went wrong, but it was a hot mess that I couldn't fix.
I ended up only frosting 4 cupcakes - just enough for each of us to eat one on Nick's birthday. He seemed to like the frosting just fine, but it was not pretty. I don't think I even got a picture...destroyed THAT evidence. I froze the remainder of the cupcakes - which by themselves were pretty darn fantastic.
At this point, I had no clue what to do with them. I really wanted a rum buttercream frosting, but at the same time, I was craving root beer like no other! Root beer is about the only soda I drink and it's on rare occasions I have it. For example, I had it on New Year's Eve (out of a bottle - yum!) but hadn't had it for months prior to that.
So I thought that I would go with a root beer buttercream based off my go-to vanilla buttercream frosting. I had had some root beer concentrate in my cabinet for quite a while and I thought I oughta use it. The buttercream turned out perfectly and it paired with cupcakes perfectly as well. It made me such a happy camper!
What you need:
For the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup special dark cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup brewed strong coffee, hot
- 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 tsp. root beer concentrate, plus some
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. Cool Whip
- For the cake: Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt using the paddle attachment. If you don't have a stand mixer, use a whisk to lightly sift the ingredients together in a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl, mix together buttermilk, coffee, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. If not in a stand mixer, mix by hand with the whisk for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour batter into cupcake liners in a muffin pan. You'll want to get them about 2/3 full.
- Bake at 350* for 15 to 17 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and put onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting: Cream together butter with the sugar on low speed until mostly smooth. I like to cream my butter first and add the sugar gradually. Then increase to medium speed and mix for 3 more minutes. Add root beer concentrate to your desired taste. Honestly, I cannot remember how much I added. I like root beer :) Then add Cool Whip until you get a spreading consistency.
Cupcakes Recipe from Sweetapolita with Original Fantastical Recipe for Frosting
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