I have been looking for an excuse to use some of the Root Beer Concentrate I have in the pantry, and my son’s teacher’s birthday provided me with an opportunity to experiment with some cupcakes.
The Root Beer Float Cookies were awesome, but I went with something different and tossed in some maraschino cherries (complete with the syrup) for a nice pink hue for Valentine’s Day. Then topped them with sprinkles and some heart shaped cherry jelly beans. Adorable and delicious!
The flavor is not overpowering root beer. The vanilla and spices in the concentrate gave them a great spice cake taste that we loved. But if you can’t find it with the other extracts in your grocery store you can ask them to order it. Or if the thought of root beer flavored cupcakes doesn’t thrill you, just use vanilla or almond extract instead.
Since the cupcakes were for his teacher, I forced J to help. And by forced I mean I said “Do you want to make cupcakes?” then quickly got out of the way as he ran to get his apron and toque.
We pulled out the Cake Boss: Recipes from Mia Famiglia cookbook and used the Vanilla Cake recipe as our starting point. I only wanted 12 cupcakes so we had to cut the recipe in half.
J read the ingredients to me, then we worked on our “doubles facts” to figure out how much would be one half.
He had no problem understanding that 1 cup plus 1 cup is 2 cups, so we only need to use 1 cup. Maybe Common Core isn’t evil after all. I did the fractions for him, because first graders are not quite ready to understand that half of 3/4 is 3/8.
He measured and poured in the ingredients which left me two hands free for photos. Yeah.
Then we hit a snag. The bowl full of batter is a little heavy and I wanted to make them nice since they were for a gift. I wanted to pour the batter in to the cupcake liners. I agreed to let him do the last few, figuring those would be for us.
Then he took off to play with his Dad! Not wanting to wait, I finished. He was annoyed when he came back in the room as I was finishing. So, to get even he added a little something of his own to the top of the batter when my back was turned.
A pinch of brown sugar… nice choice. I left it on top. It was so minimal it didn’t effect the taste.
I frosted them while he was playing outside, then let him add the decorations.
I hope his teacher enjoyed them as much as I did.
Until next time, happy eating.