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Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Welcome to the Virtual Vegan Potluck! By now I’m sure you’ve enjoyed several delightful appetizers, amazing soups, crunchy salads, delicious main dishes and incredible side dishes. You’ve probably washed homemade breads down with heavenly drinks. Now you’ve finally arrived at the best part of the meal, dessert! Time to unbutton your pants, sit back and enjoy my luscious, mouth-watering root beer float cupcakes with vanilla frosting.

Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

There’s something very nostalgic about root beer floats for me. The name alone brings back fond memories of my teen years. My first job as a teenager was at a local burger joint whose claim to fame included homemade root beer served in a frosty mug.

Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

There was a special freezer just for the mugs, to ensure customers received their homemade root beer as cold as possible.

Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

I remember grabbing one of those thick heavy glass mugs, pouring in fresh homemade root beer and adding vanilla soft serve. It was heaven!

Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Whenever we visit my hometown, my kids always ask to go to Tom Wahl’s for a frosty mug of root beer. While there is no comparison to a root beer float made with homemade root beer, these cupcakes come pretty darn close. I wanted to capture that lip smacking flavor in an easy to make and fun to eat cupcake while also keeping it vegan. I feel that I have done so with these root beer float cupcakes with vanilla frosting.

They’ve  become a favorite with my family for special occasions like birthdays or for no occasion at all!

Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes


  • 1 cup root beer soda
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons root beer extract
  • 1 and 1/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 and 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a dozen cupcake tins with papers.
  2. Combine the root beer soda and apple cider vinegar and let stand for a few minutes.
  3. Add in the sugar and applesauce, whisking vigorously until slightly frothy.
  4. Integrate your extracts, gently add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Be careful not to over mix!
  5. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way to the top.
  6. Bake for 18-22 minutes.
  7. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  8. For the frosting:
  9. Put room temperature shortening into your mixer and beat thoroughly until creamed.
  10. Add sugar and start on a low speed to avoid spraying powder everywhere!
  11. Add milk and vanilla extract, making sure to combine completely.
  12. Frost the cupcakes as desired.


Store cupcakes in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

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Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting


Yearning for more gratifying desserts? To continue your plant-based journey with this delightful Classic Chocolate Cupcake from BlissfulBritt  click the forward button.

Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

To return to the mouth watering Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake from The Almost Vegan click the back button.
Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting


Go back to the beginning of Virtual Vegan Potluck!

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Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla FrostingVegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla FrostingVegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

{ 48 comments… add one }

  • veganmiam May 11, 2013, 2:00 am

    Rootbeer Float cupcakes…… WOW!!!! Lovely concept!

    Happy Virtual Vegan Potluck 3.0 Day x

    ♡ rika, vegan miam
    ★ we travel + eat vegan blog ★

    • Anna May 11, 2013, 8:32 am

      Thank you! Happy VVP to you as well.

  • Livvy May 11, 2013, 8:30 am

    Nice work, Anna. I’ve never seen a recipe for a root beer cupcake, let alone a vegan one. Very original!

    • Anna May 11, 2013, 8:33 am

      Thanks Livvy! Your appetizer looks incredible too.

  • luminousvegans May 11, 2013, 8:56 am

    Oooh, one of my favorite drinks in cupcake form! How clever!

    • Anna May 11, 2013, 9:16 am

      I’m so glad you like it!

  • Poppy May 11, 2013, 9:35 am

    I love the sounds of these cupcakes!

    • Anna May 11, 2013, 5:47 pm

      I’m sure you would love the taste of them too!

  • Sarina @ Earthgiven Kitchen May 11, 2013, 3:45 pm

    These look like an adorable treat! Don’t think I’ve had root beer since I was a kid. Your blog is so inspiring! We’re the same age, and I’ve been wondering about ways to step up my fitness/weight loss, so your tips were very helpful. I’ll look at the app you suggest. Thanks!

    • Anna May 11, 2013, 5:48 pm

      Aw thanks, that means a lot to me. I hope you will stop by again, maybe we can inspire each other! ;-)

  • Samantha May 11, 2013, 4:55 pm

    These look delicious! What a creative idea :)

    • Anna May 11, 2013, 5:49 pm

      Thank you, they are one of my favorite kinds of cupcakes.

  • Annie May 11, 2013, 5:58 pm

    Anna – I finally made it to your dessert!! And I love it – great idea! BTW, I’ve asked The Almost Vegan to correct their link. Thanks for your patience!

    • Anna May 11, 2013, 6:15 pm

      No problem, thank YOU for all your hard work putting this amazing Virtual Vegan Potluck together. It’s incredible.

  • Annie May 11, 2013, 6:01 pm

    And you can delete your Herbivorous Geek link…

    • Anna May 11, 2013, 6:14 pm

      Ha ha, oops! Will do that now, thanks Annie.

  • Shannon @ moveeatcreate.com May 11, 2013, 8:28 pm

    I can always count on you to make my mouth water!!

  • sugarcoatedvegan May 11, 2013, 11:21 pm

    Yummy!! Happy VVP~

    - alexis

  • Anne May 12, 2013, 12:28 am

    Wow so delicious :-)

  • Richa May 12, 2013, 1:26 am

    woah woah.. awesomeness!!

  • Sophie33 May 13, 2013, 10:02 am

    What great & truly appetizing rootbeer cupcakes! I love them,…MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

    • Anna May 13, 2013, 11:15 am

      Thank you! Hope you make them and enjoy them.

  • Treesa May 13, 2013, 5:23 pm

    The title alone puts a smile on your face. :)

    • Anna May 13, 2013, 8:38 pm

      Yes it certainly does! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Megan May 15, 2013, 10:31 am

    While I was reading about your frozen mugs I was thinking oh how weird I thought Tom Wahl’s was the only place that did that. Little did I know you were about to name drop! I grew up a hop, skip, and jump away on from the Bushnell’s Basin location. Gosh I loved that place. Those burgers were awesome too AND then they got an ice cream Sunday bar? Swoon.

    BTW your cupcakes look rad too : )

    • Anna May 15, 2013, 3:42 pm

      Seriously?!?! Bushnell’s Basin is where I worked!! Small world. I worked there pre-ice cream bar though.

  • Somer May 15, 2013, 12:02 pm

    Oh girl, those are like my dream cupcakes. Going through this dessert section is killing me, but when I opened your page, my jaw literally dropped! Pure love! xx

    • Anna May 15, 2013, 3:43 pm

      Thanks Somer! I haven’t made it to desserts yet, but I am definitely looking forward to that section.

  • Maggie Muggins May 16, 2013, 12:25 pm

    I love root beer float cupcakes! Yours are super cute and tasty looking. Super noms!

  • Katie @ The Almost Vegan May 17, 2013, 9:07 pm

    Yum! These sound so delish! Happy VVP!

    • Anna May 18, 2013, 5:45 pm

      Thanks, happy VVP to you!

  • spinachrevolution May 18, 2013, 5:02 pm

    These cupcakes look sooo good. Now, if only I could eat the cupcakes… and look as fit and healthy as you… that would make them the best ever :)
    Thank you for the recipe.

  • spinachrevolution May 18, 2013, 5:03 pm

    These cupcakes look sooo good. Now, if only I could eat the cupcakes… and look as fit and healthy as you… that would make them the best ever :) Great recipe, thanks.

  • Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) May 18, 2013, 6:30 pm

    Yum! This is such a cute idea and I bet your cupcakes are delicious. (I didn’t even know there was such a thing as root beer extract before!)

  • Jennifer Manriquez May 27, 2013, 6:19 pm

    These look so yum!! I have everything I need to make them except for the root beer extract. Do you think they would still be okay without it??

    • Anna May 27, 2013, 7:23 pm

      I think the cupcakes would turn out fine but you would probably lose some of the root beer flavor.

      • Jennifer Manriquez May 27, 2013, 10:49 pm

        I think I’m gonna go for it! By the way, where might one procure some root beer extract? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before. Is it with the regular extracts, like vanilla? Thanks!

        • Anna May 28, 2013, 10:26 am

          Yes, I bought mine at Wal-Mart and it was with all the other extracts! Let me know how it turns out.

  • Jennifer May 31, 2013, 1:52 pm

    Wowee! How did I miss these in the VVP? This is a recipe I’m making this summer for sure. Awesome idea!

    • Anna May 31, 2013, 4:11 pm

      Thanks Jennifer! Hope you enjoy them as much as my family does.

  • Elissa June 30, 2013, 2:51 pm

    This recipe is awesome! Instead of using rootbeer I used apple shock top and used wheat flour. They turned out great! Thanks.

    • Anna July 1, 2013, 9:00 am

      Thank you so much! What a great idea to use something other than rootbeer. I am glad you liked them.

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