March 23, 2010

Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Back when I was living in Los Angeles, the Ipod took me home to Chicago for a long weekend to visit her parents & see the city.  It was an INCREDIBLE trip.  I got to sleep in a real bed, in a clean gorgeous house and her parents really spoiled us.  Her mom even took us out for mani/pedis- my first one ever!  I remember feeling soooo warm & cozy and after struggling in LA for a couple of years, having my parents far away, that trip was truly a gift.  I'll never forget it.  It was like being hugged for an entire weekend.  And hellooo, I was introduced to Garrett's Popcorn that trip!!!??  ENOUGH SAID.

When my boyfriend Sarah asked to come stay with me for the weekend while she auditioned for Steppenwolf Theater Company (YAY!!!), I wanted her to have exactly that same kind of weekend!

***************Secret insider MandiCrocker information:  Sarah & I worked together for years.  Neither of us had boyfriends at the time which bummed us out a bit and we really missed having a boyfriend/outlet to lavish our creativity & affections on.  So we decided one day to be each other's boyfriends and we'd bring goofy 'Have a great day, BF!' notes, flowers, chocolate, etc.  to work.  And for that reason, she will always be my 'boyfriend Sarah.'  WHO CARES IF IT'S WEIRD,  I got daffodils.  :)  *****************************

I wanted her to feel relaxed & rested, to feel spoiled and have treats! And since my BF is a vegan, I thought I'd try something new:  Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes.

I was very scared about the root beer aspect, though.  What happens if she doesn't like root beer?  I don't remember my BF ever even drinking the stuff... I was concerned that I opted for a less-traditional flavor but hey, they're cupcakes... how bad could they be?


*hee hee hee, snort snort, swoon swoon*  

I was happy.  

So in the BF's honor, here's the recipe for some d*mn good cupcakes!  The Sweet Lovin' Man thought they were pretty out of this world.  AND VEGAN, PEOPLE!!!!  :)  :)  :)

adapted from: My Sweet Vegan, by Hannah Kaminsky


1 Cup Root Beer Soda
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
⅓ Cup Canola or Vegetable Oil
½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Teaspoons Root Beer Extract
1⅓ Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
¾ Teaspoon Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
Chocolate Ganache:
5 Ounces Dark Chocolate, Chopped
¼ Cup Plain Soymilk
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
Vanilla Frosting:
1 Cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter
4 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
2 Tablespoons Plain Soymilk
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Bean Paste (vanilla extract works too!)  
sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
chunks of chocolate (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a large bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar.  It has to stand for a few minutes so in the meantime...
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In the large bowl, add in the sugar and oil.  Whisk vigorously until slightly frothy.  Add your root beer soda and extracts.
  • Gently add the flour mixture to the sugar oil mixture.  Mix until just combined.
  • Fill up 12 muffin tins and bake for 18-22 minutes.  Keep them in the pan for 10 minutes and then let them cool on a wire rack completely before adding the ganache.

  • In a medium size saucepan, heat the soymilk until almost boiling.  
  • Add the dark chocolate and immediately remove from heat.  Let the chocolate & soy milk sit for 2-3 minutes.
  • Mix them them together until smooth.  Add the maple syrup.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature or you can put the saucepan in the fridge for a bit.
  • Frost cupcakes with ganache.


  • Beat the two sticks of vegan butter until light and fluffy.  
  • Add soymilk and vanilla bean paste.
  • Add the powdered sugar & beat well.  If the frosting is too runny, add more sugar.  If it is too dry, feel free to add a tablespoon or two more of soymilk.
  • Frost, decorate & DEVOUR.


Dairy-free smooches,


Family of Food said...

Those look awesome! I may have to make these, too. Thanks for posting your seeeeecret recipes.

If only I could afford (both financially and calorically) a big batch of Mandicakes.... Miss You.

MandiCrocker said...

Miss you toooo, Candy!!! :(

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm de-lurking bc this sounds like an amazing recipe. I ust have a question though:

Do you combine the baking soda and vinergar and let stand?

You have us adding the baking soda the vinegar and also in with the flour?


MandiCrocker said...

That's so funny, 'Anonymous'-- I just screwed it up last night. You're suppooooosed to mix the root beer with the vinegar-- which I know is weird because typically you add vinegar & baking soda together to act as a leavening agent.

BUT! For this, you mix the root beer & vinegar, sugar and oil together. Add your extracts & later add the baking soda in with the other dry ingredients.

However! I just made these the other night & did, in fact, mix baking soda with vinegar & then added the rest when I realized the root beer wasn't in yet & they still turned out great.

So it's not too big a deal. But I'm going to go ahead & change that in my blog now! Excellent question! :)

MandiCrocker said...

And here's the link to the post where I got the recipe just so you can check it out there, too! :)

♥ Vanessa said...

These look delicious. How unique! Thank you for posting!

Alisha said...

Where did you get root beer extract?