If you have a root beer lover in your house or are looking for a great chocolate cake birthday cake for a birthday, then you'll love this Root Beer Float Cake! This root beer cake tastes just like a classic root beer float, but even better because it's a cake! And it's the ultimate happy birthday cake.
Chocolate cake, flavored with root beer extract, then painted in root beer syrup, making it super moist, with a light, fluffy and not too sweet shortening (Crisco) based icing. The root beer cake is topped with marshmallow fluff to look like melted ice cream, with a cherry on top! If you are looking for birthday cake recipes, this is your cake!
I spend a lot of time making birthday cakes. At one point in my life, making and decorating a cake could take me 20+ hours. Now-a-days my focus is on the inside of the cake, rather than decorations. And this homemade Root beer float birthday cake has the BEST tasting insides! Whether you are a kid or an adult, if you like root beer, and you are looking for birthday cake recipes, you will LOVE this cake!
I wanted to try a new technique (gravity defying), so I made this A&W Gravity Defying Root Beer Cake for my husband's birthday a couple of years ago. It soon became his favorite birthday cake and he requested it again this year. It's the ultimate happy birthday cake.
This cake is a chocolate cake made with root beer extract (You can buy the root beer extract HERE (affiliate link) through Amazon, because it's not easy to find), then it's painted with a reduced root beer syrup for the ultimate in moistness. This Wilton whipped cream buttercream is a light and fluffy shortening-based icing that uses meringue powder (you can purchase Wilton Meringue Powder HERE - affiliate link) that isn't too sweet and is the best icing I have ever had - I use it for everything!
I added the marshmallow fluff on top to make it look like the melting ice cream on a root beer float. Although this root beer float birthday cake won't take you 20 hours, it will take you a couple of hours. But trust me, the extra time is worth it.
For this root beer cake, you'll need:
- all-purpose flour
- unsweetened cocoa
- baking powder
- baking soda
- vegetable oil
- root beer soda
- powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
- shortening* I use Crisco
- white granulated sugar
- meringue powder
- boiling water
- brown gel icing color
- root beer extract
- maraschino cherry
- marshmallow fluff
📖 Variations & Substitutions
- Frosting: I use my Whipped Cream Buttercream Frosting for this cake, adjusting the liquids to accommodate the liquid from the addition of the root beer extract. This frosting is a PERFECT pairing with this cake. *You will likely have some leftovers, so you can make additional cupcakes. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 months. When you go to use it again, it will need to be 'fluffed up/whipped with a spatula. *However, if you wanted to try using another frosting, just be sure you compensate for adding the root beer extract, by reducing the same amount of liquid from the recipe.
- Other frosting options: if you prefer more chocolate and less root beer in the frosting, you could use a different frosting such as my 2 Ingredient White Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting (Ganache) or my Chocolate Frosting (without butter).
- Cupcakes: ONLY brush the tops of the cupcakes with the root beer coating and bake for half the amount of time (about 15 minutes) or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Bundt cake: Pour batter into bundt cake pan and bake for 50 -60 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Storing: Store cake in a sealed container for up to 2 days at room temperature. Beyond that, it's best to freeze the leftovers.
- Freezing: Freeze leftovers in a sealed container for up to 3 months. You can also freeze this cake FULLY DECORATED, in a sealed extra large cake carrier (affiliate link) for up to 1 month.
👪 Serving Size.
This root beer float cake recipe makes 1 - 8 inch -3 layer cake. However, you can half, double, or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust.
Combing a cake is a very simple decorating technique and it works very well on this root beer cake. If you've never done it, then check out this video: How to ice and comb a cake *skip the refrigeration part, as this whipped buttercream should NOT be refrigerated!
If you are looking for the ultimate happy birthday cake, this Root Beer Float Cake is it!
Did you make this recipe? Please RATE THE RECIPE below!
What others are saying: "Made this today for my son's birthday and his first response was that it tasted like a tootsie roll - it was delicious! Lots of work but well worth the effort when all is said and done. We went with the icing recipe on this blog and it was exactly what the cake needed- a light and delicate frosting to counter the richness of the cake. Definitely a file for other parties for sure. Thanks for sharing this one!"⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
And if you LOVE root beer, give my Root Beer Float Fudge a try!
🎂 Root Beer Float Cake Recipe
WHIPPED CREAM BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
- 1 lb. powdered sugar (sifted)
- 2 ½ cups shortening * I use Crisco
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. Prepare (I use Wilton Cake release https://amzn.to/3mh24FK -affiliate link) three 8 inch cake pans and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (with paddle attachment), combine flour, white granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add eggs, milk, oil and root beer extract to the flour mixture. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in boiling water and continue mixing for another minute or until combined.
- Pour cake batter evenly into 3- 8 inch prepared cake pans until each cake pan is ⅔ full. **Batter will be runny
- Bake cake for about 30 minutes or until center of tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to finish cooling onto a wire rack
- While cakes cool, boil root beer in a heavy sauce pan until reduced by half. It will form a syrupy liquid. Brush warm cakes with this root beer concentrate and let finish cooling. Once cool, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. **this is not critical, but you do get the best results if you do this
Whipped Cream Buttercream:
- Put shortening in bowl of stand mixer and gradually add powdered sugar. Beat about 5 minutes until mixture is very creamy and fluffy. Set this aside.
- In a very clean large bowl mix dry ingredients. Add BOILING water and immediately mix on high speed. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. When mixture begins to get stiff add root beer extract.
- Combine both mixtures and beat together for another 8 minutes. When finished, use a rubber spatula to down beat a little to remove some of the air bubbles. Frosting will be very light and creamy. Cover. DO NOT REFRIGERATE.
- The frosting may be kept at room temperature for 1 month. Whip with a spoon each time you use it to restore fluffiness. * Makes enough to ice this 3 layer 8 inch cake
Assembly & Garnish:
- Transfer cakes to a cake plate. Fill and frost the cake layers then run a comb along the sides of the cake. (see sample method in video)
- Add the marshmallow fluff, then a maraschino cherry in the centre and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
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