Root Beer Float Cupcakes

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There are just some things that are the epitome of summer:

Grilling hamburgers and hot dogs outdoors

Lemonade in tall glasses with lots of ice cubes

Squeals of joy as children run through sprinklers

Popsicles and sticky hands and mouths

Long days of soaking up the sunshine

Getting splashed in the pool by loved ones

and root beer floats.

These are pretty much perfect to serve at any summer picnic. Heck these are great to be served ANYTIME! You can dress them up, dress them down, keep them plain, either way… they are delicious!! Unbelievably moist and chocolatey!

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And there’s no bothering with glasses and spoons and straws and hosing down children covered in root beer scented sticky goo. Its a win-win all around!

I must warn you: the root beer flavor doesn’t intensify until the next day, so I suggest to wrap it up nice and tight and pull it out the next day to frost, cover in ice cream or drench in ganache. Do what you will!

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Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

2 cups root beer (don’t use diet)
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs

Preheat even to 325 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake tins with paper liners.

In a medium saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder and butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Add sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a small bowl whisk the eggs until just beaten. Then whisk into the cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy. You can give it a quick whisk if you like, but don’t over beat the batter or it could cause the cake to be tough. Don’t worry, the batter is very loose.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 to 3/4 full (a 1/4 cup scoop or measuring cup should fill them perfectly) and bake cupcakes, rotating trays back to front and top to bottom halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center of each comes out with moist crumbs, about 17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Top with ice cream or dust with confectioners sugar or glop on the optional frosting!

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Chocolate Root Beer Frosting

2 ounces 60% cocoa, melted
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt (you may want to use less… maybe just 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 cup root beer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using an electric hand mixer, beat softened butter and cocoa powder. Once combined add the melted chocolate, salt, powdered sugar and root beer. Beat together until smooth. Spread on top of cooled cupcakes. Smash into face.