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Learn how to create these nostalgic root beer float recipes with our tips and printable recipe card below!
Growing up most of my childhood in Southern California and Houston, Texas, I became accustomed to SUPER warm summer months! To keep cool, we had to be creative at times. Some of my fondest summertime memories growing up includes simple joys; splashing in the pool, sprinkler time on the driveway and when my dad would crank homemade ice cream the old fashioned way. He had, and still has, the wooden barrel, hand crank ice cream maker. We would grab a lawn chair, sit on the driveway while we played, and make delicious ice cream flavors. My sister and I LOVED taking turns cranking the ice cream, and then of course, enjoying the fruits of our labor when it was ready to eat!
Vanilla bean has always been my favorite flavor of ice cream! It is wonderful on its own, but even more delicious when combined with A&W® Root Beer to make root beer floats. Now, with 4 kids of my own and living in Houston, I hope to recreate many of my fondest childhood memories with them throughout their summer breaks. This year, I whipped up a batch of A&W Root Beer cupcakes, that we enjoyed picnic style in our backyard. Keep scrolling for more photos, how-to tips, and the full recipe.
The first, and most important ingredient for root beer float cupcakes is A&W Root Beer! A&W is celebrating its 100th anniversary! Anything that has been around this long, must be good! We picked up a sleeve of A&W Root Beer, plus all of the other ingredients needed to make our cupcakes at Walmart. As a busy mom to 4, I love how convenient shipping at Walmart is; I can grab everything I need in just one shopping trip.
How many of you went right for the maraschino cherries sitting atop Root Beer Floats, before even taking a sip!? What is it about these bright red cherries that are so enticing? Maraschino cherries are preserved, sweetened cherries that are often seen as a garnish for root beer floats, or ice cream floats of any kind. Be sure to add a jar of maraschino cherries when shopping for your A&W Root Beer float ingredients at Walmart.
A&W Root Beer Float Cupcakes
- 3/4 cup softened Butter
- 3 Eggs
- 2 1/2 cup Flour
- 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1 tbsp Root Beer Extract or 1 tsp Root Beer Concentrate
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 1 cup A&W Root Beer
- 1 cup softened Butter
- 3 cup Powdered Sugar
- 3 tbsp A&W Root Beer
- 1 tsp Root Beer Extract or 1/4 tsp Root Beer Concentrate
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare your muffin pan by either greasing the pan, or using cupcake liners.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add the eggs, root beer extract and vanilla to the wet ingredients.
- Gradually add in the flour mixture and A&W root beer to the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Fill each muffin cup about ⅔ full.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
- As the cupcakes cool, prepare your icing. Whip the butter, root beer extract together until it becomes fluffy.
- Gradually add in powdered sugar.
- Slowly add in A&W Root Beer until you reach your desired icing consistency.
- Transfer the icing mixture into a piping bag, then frost each cupcake.
- Garnish your root beer float cupcakes with a maraschino cherry and paper straw before serving.
Cheers to recreating childhood memories with our own families! I just loved sharing one of my favorite flavors, A&W Root Beer floats, in this adorable cupcake form with my 4 kids. As you can see below, everyone LOVED the experience. Now that I know they enjoyed the flavor of these cupcakes, we will have to make A&W Root Beer floats with homemade vanilla bean ice cream this summer!! It’s time to ask Papa to bring over the same hand crank ice cream maker we had when I was growing up for the kids to experience. I know they will love it.
For all of the ingredients listed above in our A&W Root Beer float cupcake recipe, head to your local Walmart. I cannot wait to hear how your loved ones enjoy this nostalgic flavor profile!!