Root Beer Cupcakes Dessert Recipe from Family Vegetarian Cookbook

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)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a 12-well cupcake pan with paper baking cups.
  2. To prepare the cupcakes, in a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. 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.
  4. Add liquid ingredients to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Spoon batter into the lined cupcake pan and bake 18 to 23 minutes, or until cupcakes are golden and have set.
  6. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan.
  7. 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.
  8. When cupcakes are cool, frost generously. Drizzle with chocolate syrup, if desired.


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