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Monday, July 29, 2013

Root Beer Float Cupcakes ♥ Dedicated to Grandmas Everywhere.

One of my favorite memories from my childhood was with my grandparents.
I'd ride four hours in the backseat of my parents' minivan to visit my grandparents' lake house in Northern Wisconsin for a weekend.  Four hours of travel time is a long time for an 8 year old girl, especially sitting next to my naughty teasing brother in the backseat.

But you know what made those four hours worth it?
My grandma, cheering me on when I arrived.
Hugging me, telling me how pretty I was becoming.
And after a long ride, she'd serve my brother and I a Root Beer Float in a tall glass.

Over 20 years later..
I made Root Beer Float Cupcakes:
Of course I used real A&W Root Beer in the batter.
I swirled the buttercream frosting on so it looked like the foam that "floats" on top of a Root Beer Float. (This frosting look achieved with a piping bag and a 1A Round Tip!)


Last week my friend Hillary who volunteers at New Curative (an assisted living Home in Green Bay) asked me to teach a cupcake class to her friends there. ♥  I could make any cupcakes I wanted with the residents!  So I thought of my grandma's Root Beer Floats right away.
The experience teaching the ladies (who are also all grandmas) to turn Root Beer Floats into cupcakes sent me on a trip down memory lane.

 My grandma should have been one of those fairy godmothers in a fairy tale book.  Her favorite thing to do was to feed me.  She had never ending buckets of ice cream in her freezer. It was like she could wave a magic wand and anything I wanted to snack on would be there.  I watched her scoop the ice cream into a tall glass, and as she poured the Root Beer over the top of the ice cream, the whole inside of the glass popped, bubbled, and fizzed.♥ My little hands wrapped around the thick glass.  The Root Beer Float was mine now, and I didn't mind my fizzy bubble mustache at all.  

I showed all of the grandmas how to scoop the buttercream frosting so it looked just like ice cream on top of a root beer float!  (Inspired by my grandma)  Yes, all of that is frosting.  Nostalgia + Lots of Frosting=LOVE


I even came equipped with a delivery of Chef Hats made by my friend "Grandma Lala" (another fabulous grandma).


And we each wrote our name in chocolate on top of our Root Beer Float Cupcakes:
I think that this may have made my grandma proud. (She's in Heaven cheering for me on her own cloud of frosting I am sure, but I'd like to think she visits me once in awhile and approves that I've taken on her role of feeding people now).

  Now it's my house that is filled with endless buckets of frosting and edible glitter.   Just writing this blog makes me realize that perhaps some of my experiences with my grandma is where my love for magical baking began! 

And what you are seeing in front of my tiffany blue glitter wall at my Cupcake Mansion are Root Beer Float Cake Pops ♥  Recipe for both the cupcakes and cake pops....are below!


Recipe for Root Beer Float Cupcake Nostalgia:
Makes 12 Cupcakes.

Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup A&W Root Beer
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3/4 Cup Fine Baking Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon Root Beer Concentrate (this may make the colors of your cupcakes light or dark depending on the brand used).
  • 1 1/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt


Method:
1.  Preheat Oven to 325 and line your cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.
2.  In stand mixer bowl, combine root beer & apple cider vinegar.  Let this stand and "fizz" for a few minutes.
3.  After your mixture has "fizzed" for a little while, whisk sugar and oil in until mixture is frothy like a real root beer float.  
4.  Whisk in vanilla extract & root beer concentrate until combined.
5.  In a medium bowl on the side, mix your dry ingredients together:  Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Ground Ginger, and Salt.  
6.  Whisk dry ingredients into your stand mixer mixture until creamy. Scrape down bowl to make sure all ingredients are mixed together evenly.
7.  Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake at 325 for 15-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean.

The Frosting ♥
13 oz Marshmallow Cream
1 Lb of Unsalted Butter
5 Tablespoons Dry White Cake Mix (this gives your frosting a vanilla flavor that combines well with the root beer flavor!)
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
6-8 Cups of Powdered Sugar 

Optional: 2-3 Tablespoons of Heavy Whipping Cream
For decorating: Paper Straws, Americolor Food Gel (if you want to color your frosting, Ice Cream Scoop, or 1A Round Decorating Tip)
1.  Using the paddle attachment, whip Marshmallow Cream and Butter together (both at room temperature) in a stand mixer.  
2.  Next add White Cake Mix and Vanilla Extract.
3.  Gradually add Powdered Sugar until frosting is the thickness desired. (Less Powdered Sugar=light and dreamy fluffy frosting, good for swirling.  More Powdered Sugar=thick stiff frosting good for scooping to look like ice cream)

Tip:   If you add too much powdered sugar and want a fluffy, lighter frosting.you  use the heavy whipping cream in your frosting recipe.

If you want to make root beer float cake pops: Crumble up your cupcakes in a medium bowl, mix with 2 Tablespoons of Frosting until consistency is like play-dough, and roll into 1 1/2" cake balls.  Refrigerate cake balls on a parchment paper lined baking pan until cake pops are firm enough to dip into white chocolate.

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