Monday, May 30, 2011

Rootbeer Float Cupcakes

I do adore anything that qualifies as "retro," from neon signage, to clothes, to cupcake flavors. When I saw BrownEyedBaker's Rootbeer Float Bundt cake, it reminded me that I still had to try my own cupcake version of this flavor combo. It has been on the (ridiculously long) list of things to try baking ever since I made Dr. Pepper cupcakes, but hadn't got around to it yet.

So, I really did follow the bundt cake recipe verbatim, but only made half the amount of batter. (Quick tip for approximating quantities: each 1 cup of flour per cupcake recipe will typically turn out approximately 12 cupcakes). (though in this case I managed 14).  (Hey, I said approximately!) Instead of making the fudgey rootbeer frosting, I made a malted vanilla buttercream, hoping to mimic the somewhat malty flavor that happens when you pour rootbeer onto vanilla ice cream, without the need for ice cream (sorry, nothing agains ice cream, but when it comes to cupcakes, I prefer to keep my options open by not requiring a fridge/freezer).

I brought these to a friend's Memorial Day get together, and am pretty sure they went over well considering the call for "who wants another cupcake?" was met with a chorus of takers (and none leftover). Overall, the flavor was rich and chocolatey, texture was spongy and moist, and the frosting was reviewed as having "something" about it that was delectable (yay malt powder!). I do have to say though, it wasn't very rootbeer-y, which I think I could counter with a nice rootbeer flavored filling of some kind. But for now, I still recommend it as an almost perfect chocolate cupcake worthy of baking again.

Bundt cake recipe here, cut in half to accommodate a dozen +/- cupcakes.

Malty rootbeer frosting:

  • 3/4 c butter, room temperature
  • 2-1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c malt powder (at first, I thought this was too much and panicked, but it turned out to be just fine)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbs rootbeer syrup, cooled (from the 1 bottle of Virgil's I had, after using 1 cup for the cupcakes, what was left I let boil down slightly until it was de-carbonated and a thicker viscosity)

Whip butter until creamy. Add in malt powder and powdered sugar until crumbly. Add in vanilla extract and continue to whip (scraping down sides of bowl as needed) and then add in rootbeer syrup until frosting has smoothed out.

I though it would be cute to dollop a "scoop" of frosting on top of each cupcake so it would look like ice cream. I think it worked out all right, but if you didn't know that was what I was going for, I think they kind of just looked sloppy. If I ever think to do a "scoop" of frosting again, I will chill it completely before scooping. I didn't have enough time before heading out the door to let it fully set, which is why I think it had some issues.

Enough of my rattling on about it - go bake some cupcakes already!

Happy Memorial Day!