The McGrady Family: Tyler, Cara, Hudson & Sadie

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Root Beer Float Cakes!

Lately, I've been on a bit of a root beer float kick.  I love 'em.  I'm rather picky about my floats, however... .  don't think I put just any kinda ice cream in my root beer.  First off, it must be vanilla.  Must.  No soft serve will do.  My preference is Hagan 'Homemade Vanilla."  Trust me--it's the best by far.  Once, I got some Target brand vanilla, thinking "This will do."  Nope.  Not at all. 
I've also been on a bit of a cupcake kick lately.  I attribute most of it to all the cake reality shows on TV this summer.  Cake Boss (saw Buddy at a bridal show a few months back), Ace of Cakes (I ♥ the employees at Charm City Cakes, but my husband says they're a bunch of pot-smoking-hippies) , DC Cupcakes (don't even get me started on how obviously scripted this show is....) & my absolute favorite, Cupcake Wars. 
From the Food Network website:
It’s cupcake vs. cupcake in Food Network’s tastiest competition yet! Each week on Cupcake Wars, four of the country’s top cupcake bakers face off in three elimination challenges until only one decorator remains. The sweet prize: $10,000 and the opportunity to showcase their cupcakes at the winning gig. Whether a special Ace of Cakes anniversary celebration, a star-studded magazine party or an A-list celebrity golf tournament, these Cupcakes Wars really heat up. Candace Nelson (owner of Sprinkles Cupcakes) and Florian Bellanger (chef and co-owner of online macaroon company MadMac) serve as permanent judges with a third rotating judge each week, and Justin Willman hosts.
Basically, the competetors must come up with recipes that go along with the theme & then build a presentation table to showcase the cupcakes.  Being a complete sucker for thematic schemes & cupcakes (of course!), I asked Tyler to present me with a cupcake challenge.  He suggested "Octoberfest."  Fantastic.  I had my cupcake idea all set.  Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg... I was ready.  Until I realized there was a pumpkin shortage.  Who knew?  So, I decided to just do something fun.... which just happened to be combining root beer floats... and cupcakes!

Here's what you need to make these little sweeties:
1 box of white cake mix

root beer concentrate

vanilla extract

1 can/bottle of your favorite root beer (Tyler is an A&W fan)

1 container of vanilla icing (or use your favorite recipe)

1 box of Golden Oreo Fun Stix

1 bag of gum balls

cute cupcake liners

1 FREEZER Ziploc bag-- quart size or larger

An adorable little assistant who doesn't say much

Set your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, dump in your box of cake mix. *Do not add eggs or oil as shown on box directions!*  In a glass measuring cup, pour in one TBSP of root beer concentrate.  After that, fill the measuring cup up to 1.5 cups with your favorite root beer (can or bottle... either one!).  Dump your root beer mixture right into the cake mix.  Add 1.5 TSP of vanilla extract.  Blend well.  (You can use a mixer, but I just used a rubber spatula.)
It will look a little something like this...

I dunno about this, Mom....

Reassure your adorable little assistant {and perhaps yourself} that even though it might not look good now {even though it might look downright awful now}, it will surely taste good later.  Continue on by placing cupcake liners in your cupcake pan & adding 1/4 cup of batter to each cup.

Place your pan in the pre-heated oven for 18-22 minutes.  Enjoy the fact that your kitchen smells like a soda shop while the cupcakes bake!
While you're waiting {& sniffing the root-beer-scented air}, start unwrapping the Oreo Fun Stix.  Cut each stick in half with a serrated knife.

Hope & pray that one of the little suckers breaks so you can perform a taste test. 
{I hate to break it to ya, but these do not taste one bit like a golden oreo.  They're more along the lines of those little icing filled wafer cookies.  Still good, nonetheless!}

When the cupcakes are done baking, remove them from the oven  & let them cool down {super important!} before you begin icing them.  Fold the top of a freezer ziploc bag down & fill the bag with vanilla icing.  Snip off the end & use it as a pastry bag to ice the cupcakes.  Do those little fun swirly-things if you must.  :o)
Next, place one Oreo Fun Stick into each iced cupcake {insert at a slight angle for a better "straw" effect}.

Pick out all of the red gum balls from the bag & place one gum ball in the center of each cupcake.

Sit back, relax & enjoy a root beer float cupcake! No glass or spoon required!


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