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Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Ice Cream Frosting

These Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Ice Cream Frosting are all summer! Using ice cream in the frosting is a perfect way to get the ice cream flavor but not worry about the melting!!

Overhead view of a Root Beer Float Cupcake with a straw

These are a two-fer.

They are Root Beer Float cupcakes, they are also “early-birthday” cupcakes…hence the straw AND the sprinkles.

Got it?

So yeah…my kid has a summer birthday, so he doesn’t get a special day designated to him at school…no goody bags to pass out to classmates, no friends making handmade cards to give him, no birthday crown…

The effect of parents letting their guard down in October as opposed to April.

Apparently, though…in the world we live in, where everything is always fair, everyone gets a trophy and there is no last place, my kiddo gets to celebrate his summer birthday during the school year…with a “Summer Birthday Celebration”.

The sweet teachers at the school didn’t factor in, however, that my child also expected presents on his early birthday, deciding that everyone ELSE in the WHOLE school got “Summer Birthday Celebration Presents”.

I let him pick his cupcake flavor instead.  Life is a compromise.

The choice du jour was Root Beer Float Cupcakes.  Cheaper than a new iPod.

Root beer float cupcakes drizzled with chocolate

These are an easy Root Beer Float Cupcake with Vanilla Ice Cream Frosting.

Look what I added in there…All Spice and Cinnamon.  Not enough to make it a spice cake, but enough to bump up the Root Beer flavor a bit.

Containers of Ground Allspice and Cinnamon

And I also added enough Root Beer to make them completely kid-friendly.

Root beer being poured into a liquid measuring cup

With the batter mixed, I baked them up…

Vanilla cupcake batter in a paper-lined muffin tin

And started on the frosting.

It began with some vanilla ice cream.

A pint container of vanilla ice cream

Honestly, the ice cream doesn’t make a HUGE taste difference, since I used vanilla, but the idea of throwing ice cream into the frosting made me happy.

You need to let the ice cream sit out for a bit so it isn’t frozen…if you make that mistake the frosting will seem perfect until the ice cream melts, and then you will have a melty frosting cupcake.

I know this because, well, I didn’t factor that in the first time.

Yes, melty cupcakes everywhere.

Learn from my mistakes.

After I got the frosting just right, I drizzled it with a little Root Beer syrup, but you could easily use chocolate.

Root beer float cupcakes with vanilla frosting and chocolate drizzle on a cooling rack

And since we couldn’t forget that they were for a “Summer Birthday Celebration” I added some sprinkles…to amp up the birthday-ness of it all.

Root beer float cupcakes decorated with chocolate drizzle, sprinkles, and a straw coming out the top

No presents, just cupcakes.

Feel sorry for my child.

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Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Ice Cream Frosting

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  • Author: Cookies & Cups


makes 24 cupcakes




  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp root beer extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp all spice
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups root beer

Ice Cream Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 8 cups powdered sugar



  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners
  3. Beat butter and sugar together for 2 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs and extracts and continue mixing for 1 more minute, scraping down sides as necessary.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, all spice and cinnamon.
  6. Turn mixer to low and add half the dry mixture and half the root beer, stirring until combined, repeat with remaining dry mixture and root beer until combined.
  7. Fill lined muffin tins about 2/3 full (approx 1/4 cup batter) and bake 15-17 minutes until centers are set.
  8. Cool on wire rack completely before frosting.


  1. In stand mixture cream butter and shortening together until smooth. Add in 1/2 cup softened ice cream and mix until combined. Slowly add in powdered sugar.
  2. When all powdered sugar is incorporated turn mixer up to medium and beat for 30 seconds.
  3. If necessary, add more ice cream 1 Tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. But remember not to add too much ice cream, as when it comes up to room temperature it could make your frosting too soft.
  4. *optional ~ drizzle cupcakes with root beer or chocolate syrup, if desired and decorate with a straw cut in half.

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57 comments on “Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Ice Cream Frosting”

  1. So, my sister in law has a birthday coming up, and she is a Diet Coke drinker extraordinaire. Do you think it’d be possible to make a diet coke version of this? If so, what spices would you use to ramp up the diet coke flavor?

  2. I find all of your cupcake ideas so very fascinating. I mean ice cream frosted cupcakes? Thats like totes awesome. They also look really delicious

  3. When making the frosting, how long do you wait for the ice cream to melt? Is it suppose to be all of the way melted until soup or just a little bit and then you have to keep them in the fridge? Thanks!!

  4. This recipe is perfect! Thank you so much. I’ve made root beer cookies before, but when my little guy requested a root beer cake for his 5th birthday, I was at a loss. Yours was the first recipe I tested, and I have no reason to try any others. It’s great! I used the root beer frosting from my favorite cookie recipe (from Lindsey Johnson at Cafe Johnsonia) and it made for an intense root beer experience. ๐Ÿ™‚ I may try doubling the root beer concentrate in the cake next time. We love root beer. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I love the idea of ice cream in the frosting but how does it hold up after they are frosted. Do they have to stay refrigerated after frosting the cakes?

    1. NO, the ice cream works a lot like milk or cream would in regular frosting…You certainly could refrigerate them, but if your house is air conditioned they will be fine on the counter ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Jackie@Just Add Milk

    I’m so happy I found this…. My boys LOVE root beer and their 13th birthday is next month. This is a perfect dessert for that day!!!! Thanks again!!!

  7. bridget {bake at 350}

    Super adorable cupcakes! Loved that you added in the spices, too. You are so smart! Mr. E would love these!

  8. Nikki @Pennies on a Platter

    oh lordy. We’ve been downing root beer floats during this whole vacay we’re on! I’m gonna have to take it a step further and make these now!

    (My boy has a December birthday, so I’ll have to figure out how to make sure I separate Christmas and his birthday…when he’s old enough to care. I think I’d rather he have a summer (not-in-school) birthday! lol!)

  9. Note to self…be wary of summer birthday doom when conceiving future children lest you feel compelled to celebrate your child’s birthday twice in one year.

    Although…getting to eat these twice doesn’t seem so bad to me!

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