Staff Recipe Favorites: Root Beer Float Cupcakes

One of the big perks of working at BenBella is getting to check out all of the scrumptious new cookbooks. With so many talented authors on our roster, it’s easy to end up experimenting a lot in the kitchen and developing fresh culinary favorites. In the Staff Recipe Favorites column, we’ll be sharing some of the best-loved employee eats. We hope you enjoy as much as we do! See previous posts here.

Staff Recommender

Brittney Martinez, Administrative Associate


Root Beer Float Cupcakes from Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings, by Lindsay S. Nixon

Thoughts from Brittney

Holidays are the hardest time for me to stick to a plant-based diet, especially when my family doesn’t want to eat my “weird rabbit food.” I wanted to find a fun and delicious recipe from Lindsay Nixon’s Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings that I could introduce to my family to try to wow them with the versatility of a plant-based diet. When I saw the recipe for Root Beer Float Cupcakes, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try them!


What I liked the most about this recipe is that the ingredients were easy to find. Sometimes, especially with vegan baking recipes, the ingredients can be hard to locate. That was not the case with this recipe. I was able to find everything I needed in one grocery store without having to go to any specialty food stores.

2I don’t bake very often, but this recipe was easy to follow. Even someone with very limited experience with baking could make delicious cupcakes. Here’s what the batter looked like after I mixed everything together.

The batter looks a little weird, but no worries! I guarantee it will taste delicious. I doubled the recipe so I could bring the cupcakes to share with all my coworkers at BenBella. With the recipe doubled, here’s how many cupcakes I was able to make:


It turned out to be the perfect amount. Note: please ignore how messy they look. They still came out delicious!

I baked the cupcakes for about 17 minutes. I sprinkled a bit of cinnamon on top for flavor and decoration, and VOILA!


The cupcakes are a little denser than what I’m used to, but still very good. The only change I would make is using a different flour. The wheat flour has a flavor that can be a bit overpowering. Other than that, these will definitely be made again in my home.

Make it Yourself


Makes 12


¼ c unsweetened applesauce
¼ c raw sugar
1 c root beer or diet root beer (see note)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ c whole-wheat pastry flour
1¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine salt
pinch of ground anise seed (optional)
Suzanne’s Ricemellow Creme or Vanilla Icing (see below)
ground cinnamon or fresh nutmeg, ground, for sprinkling

For the Vanilla Icing
1 c powdered sugar
1 tbsp nondairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
food coloring (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line muffin tin with parchment paper liners or use nonstick, and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk applesauce, sugar, root beer, and vanilla together.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and anise, if using, until well combined.
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture in 3–4 batches, stirring until just combined and using as few strokes as possible.
  6. Spoon batter into muffin cups to 3⁄4 full and bake for 15–25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove cupcakes from oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
  8. If using vanilla icing, make by stirring ingredients together to combine. Add more sugar to thicken the icing or more nondairy milk to thin it out.


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May 2024

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