Root Beer Spice Cupcakes

by Sarah on October 29, 2012

I like New York in June, how about you?  I like a Gershwin tune, how about you?  I love cupcakes when a storm is due…. I like potato chips, root beer and motor trips, how about you?

Sorry, I had that song stuck in my head.

Dudes, I made this recipe so long ago.  Seriously.  I meant to post this while the kitchen was under construction, but ALAS–I didn’t.  But hey, that’s okay, root beer spice cakes seem to be more Fall-like anyway.

By the way, this is another cupcake hack.  I totally used a box mix and played with it.  I am just that lazy.  I know some of you are with me.  A shortcut is sometimes essential.  Well, for me a shortcut is nearly always essential.

I liked using a spice cake box mix with this because the root beer really brings out all those spice-y notes.  You could totally use a yellow cake if you want to get more pure root beer flavor out of it.

Anyway, I boiled down a whole bottle of Thomas Kemper root beer to make a syrup.  I would recommend using a root beer that is made with sugar and not with corn syrup for this purpose.  I don’t know why, it just seems right.

Then, when you put together the cake batter, use root beer instead of the water that the mix calls for.  Add in a few spoonfuls of the root beer syrup and mix through.

The rest of the root beer syrup goes into the frosting.

Making frosting is messy business.

If you want a little more root beer oomph, you can reserve a little of the syrup and drizzle some on the top.  I didn’t do that, but I might next time.

Welcome in Autumn with these cupcakes!  They are mighty tasty.

Root Beer Spice Cupcakes


  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • eggs (however many the box mix calls for)
  • vegetable oil (whatever the box mix calls for)
  • 2 bottles good quality root beer
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 stick (1/4 cup) butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Boil one bottle of root beer in a small pan until it is syrupy.
  • Mix together the cake mix, oil, eggs and root beer (in place of water in whatever amount the box calls for). Add in a full large spoonful of the root beer syrup.
  • Fill cupcake pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, or as directed on the box.
  • With a mixer, beat cream cheese and butter. Add in the sugar and beat. Add the remaining root beer syrup. You can add more powdered sugar if necessary.
  • Frost cupcakes when cool.



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