Note: Photo and recipe reprinted with permission of Harlequin Nonfiction.
Nothing like a bit of fizzy soda pop blended with a classic cake mix for a yummy family snack, eh? When Sarah Matheny, the blogger behind Peas and Thank You, was pregnant with her oldest, 7-year-old daughter Gigi, mom-to-be had "a big root beer float from a chilled frosty glass every night." She's since retired that beverage – but her husband, who she affectionately calls "Pea Daddy" in her book More Peas, Thank You: 85+ Vegetarian Recipes for Delicious & Healthy Meals, – is totally in love with the stuff, from on-tap specials to organic brands. Inspired, Matheny swiped some for this delicious "recipea." It's so tasty, kids won't realize they're eating healthier (who says vegetarian has to be "sneaky"?). Makes a dozen.
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup root beer (try a stevia-sweetened root beer, like Virgil's Diet Root Beer or Zevia ginger root beer, for a lighter version
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave
- 1⁄3 cup vegan margarine (i.e., Earth Balance) or coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tsp. root beer extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 12 paper baking cups, to line cupcake pan
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp. root beer extract
- 1 Tbsp. nondairy milk or organic milk
- Organic chocolate syrup (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a 12-well cupcake pan with paper baking cups.
- To prepare the cupcakes, in a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a medium bowl, combine root beer, maple syrup or agave, melted margarine or coconut oil, applesauce, root beer extract and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Add liquid ingredients to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Spoon batter into the lined cupcake pan and bake 18 to 23 minutes, or until cupcakes are golden and have set.
- Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan.
- For the frosting, using a handheld mixer, combine margarine, powdered sugar, salt and root beer extract and mix well. Add milk to reach the desired consistency.
- When cupcakes are cool, frost generously. Drizzle with chocolate syrup, if desired.