To give the cupcakes a robust root beer flavor, I used a high-quality root beer. But if you're in a pinch, the cheaper end soda will work, as well. The extract is what gives the cupcakes an extra boost of root beer flavor. So I would definitely try to add this ingredient, especially when using the cheaper end root beer. Otherwise you will have chocolate "root beer-ish" cupcakes.
But enough of the baking advice. I'll let you get started. Cheers! Here's to the good times in life! Hope they are a plenty.
Here's how we made these Root Beer Float Cupcakes:
Cupcakes: 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour; 2 cups granulated sugar; 3/4 cup cocoa powder; 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda; 1/4 tsp. salt; 1/2 cup oil; 3 eggs; 2 cups root beer; 1 tablespoon root beer extract
Whipping icing: 1 pint heavy whipping cream; 1/2 cup powdered sugar; 1/2 tsp. root beer extract
Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt. In a medium mixing bowl, add the oil, eggs, root beer, and root beer extract. Stir to combine. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fill cupcake lines 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Whipped icing: Chill mixer and whisk attachment in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. When cupcakes are cooled, whisk the heavy cream on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and root beer extract. Stir for one more minute on medium speed. Place icing into a piping bag and swirl onto cupcakes.