Easy and Delicious Root Beer Float Cake

Root Beer Float Cake – Root beer cake layers with root beer buttercream, root beer drip, fresh whipped cream and a cherry on top.

I often get asked how I come up with my cake flavors, and the answer is never the same. Sometimes the ideas come to me at the most random times: on an airplane, in the shower, on a run, or even while I’m making another cake. Other times, I’m giving it more thought and trying to come up with new and interesting flavors by researching other cakes. And then there’s the moments when I’m eating a dessert and think to myself, “I need to recreate this” or “these flavors would be awesome in a cake.” No matter how it happens, I love when a good cake idea hits me. And when it does, I hit the kitchen as fast as I can.

Top view of Root Beer Float Cake with whipped cream.

Root Beer Float Cake

For this cake, the idea came when I was at Orson Gygi (a local bakery/kitchen supply store), looking at their candy flavorings. My eye was drawn to the LorAnn Oils Root Beer Flavor and I knew it had to be a cake, especially with Summer knocking on the door!

I looked online to see what root beer cakes have already been done. To my surprise, there weren’t many. Well, there are actually a lot of recipes out there that used a box mix and root beer, but there are hardly any that are completely from scratch. And the from-scratch recipes I did see were chocolate root beer cakes. Nope. Not what I was going for.

For my cake, I decided to use my own white cake as a base and make a few changes. The base of this cake is tender and light. It also doesn’t have any strong flavors that would take away from the root beer flavor. I just swapped the buttermilk for root beer and added the LorAnn Oils Root Beer Flavor.

Slice of cake on a vintage plate.

Buttercream and Drip

I then paired the cake with root beer buttercream and a root beer drip. For the drip, there are two ways to make it. I originally made it with white chocolate chips and root beer flavoring. However, before I poured it on my cake, I learned that Orson Gygi carries root beer baking chips (which, unfortunately are no longer manufactured).) and had to get my hands on them to test them out. I loved them! The flavor is fantastic. Using the root beer chips in the drip would be my first choice for the cake. If you can’t get your hands on them, I’ve given you an alternative option in the recipe below.

Slice of Root

I added a little whipped cream and other garnishes on the cake before serving it I’m so happy with how this cake turned out. The root beer flavor truly shines in this cake without being too overwhelming. It’s the perfect cake to kick off summer with and I can’t wait for you to make it!

For the Cake

  • 3 cups (345 g) cake flour
  • 1 respond (13 g) baking powder
  • 3/4 test (3 g) salt
  • 1 whole egg, room temperature
  • 3 egg white room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 oz) root beer, room temperature
  • 1 test (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tests (8.4 g) LorAnn Oils Root Beer Flavor
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 12 s tablespoon (169.5 g) unsalted butter, room temperature

For the Buttercream

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 test (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tests (8.4 g) LorAnn Oils Root Beer Flavor
  • 2 s tablespoon (28.87 g) heavy cream
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping you’ll want to make an extra ½ batch.

For Drip (2 options)

  • 1 cup (150 g) Root Beer Baking Chips
  • 1/3 cup (77 g) heavy cream
  • or
  • 1 cup (150 g) white chocolate chips
  • 3 tests (12.6 g) LorAnn Oils Root Beer Flavor
  • 1/4 cup (57.75 g) heavy cream

For the Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups (462 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (125 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 test (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract

Garnish

  • SmashMallows root beer float marshmallows
  • Root beer baking chips
  • Shaved chocolate or chocolate sprinkles
  • Cherry

For the Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans by spraying each pan with non-stick spray, covering the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spraying the parchment paper with the non-stick spray as well. Set aside.

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the whole egg, egg whites, vanilla extract and root beer flavor. Set aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds.

  • With the mixer on low speed, add the butter and root beer. Continue to mix on low until just combined and then increase to medium speed and mix for 1 minute.

  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg mixture in two additions, beating on medium speed after each addition until just combined and all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

  • Divide the batter into the three prepared cake pans, using a kitchen scale to measure equal parts in each pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes (my cakes took 25 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

  • Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then invert onto wire racks until completely cool.

For the Buttercream

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffiy.

  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar, followed by the heavy cream, vanilla extract and root beer flavor.

  • Continue to beat the frosting on medium speed for an additional 5-7 minutes, until the mixture has lightened in color and texture.

  • Before frosting your cake, make sure to use a wooden spoon to beat the frosting by hand to push out any air pockets.

For the Drip

  • If you use the root beer baking chips, heat your cream in the microwave for about 30-40 seconds. Pour the cream over the baking chips and let sit for about 5 minutes. Stir the mixture until smooth. If there are still chunks of baking chips, microwave the mixture for 10 seconds and stir again. Let cool slightly before pouring on your cake.

  • If you use white chocolate chips, heat your cream in the microwave for about 30-40 seconds. Pour the cream over the baking chips and let sit for about 5 minutes. Stir the mixture until smooth. If there are still chunks of baking chips, microwave the mixture for 10 seconds and stir again. Add the root beer flavor and stir again. Let cool slightly before pouring on your cake.

Assembly

  • Level each of your cake layers with a cake leveler or serrated knife. Slather a small amount of frosting on your cake board to hold your cake in place.

  • Place the first cake layer, top side up, on the cake board and spread about 1 cup of frosting on top. Drizzle about 1-2 tablespoons of the drip on top of the frosting and spread evenly.

  • Repeat step 2 with the second cake layer.

  • Place the final cake layer, top side down, on top of the frosting and drip. Cover the entire cake with a thin coat of frosting to lock in the crumbs. Freeze the cake for about 10 minutes to set the crumb coat.

  • Apply the rest of the frosting and top with the root beer drip, whipped cream, and garnishes.

  • If you don’t plan to eat the cake right away, hold off on adding the whipped cream, and freeze the cake in an airtight container. Allow to thaw for about 6 hours before serving. Add the whipped cream and garnishes before serving.

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