Root Beer Float Cake - Food Meanderings (2024)

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.

Root Beer Float Cake - Food Meanderings (1)

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.

Root Beer Float Cake - Food Meanderings (2)

🥘 Ingredients

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
  • milk
  • vegetable oil
  • eggs
  • root beer soda
  • powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • shortening* I use Crisco
  • white granulated sugar
  • salt
  • meringue powder
  • boiling water
  • brown gel icing color
  • root beer extract
  • maraschino cherry
  • marshmallow fluff
Root Beer Float Cake - Food Meanderings (3)

📖 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 my2 Ingredient White Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting (Ganache) or myChocolate 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.


You'll need 3 -8 inch layer cake pans and an electric mixer (a stand mixer (affiliate links) is best- affiliate link) for this easy root beer float cake.


  • 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.

Root Beer Float Cake - Food Meanderings (4)

👪 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.

🎥 Video

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 - Food Meanderings (5)

Root Beer Float Cake - Food Meanderings (6)

Root Beer Float Cake - Food Meanderings (7)

🎂 Root Beer Float Cake Recipe

This root beer float cake recipe tastes just like a 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!

5 from 9 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: North American

Keyword: cake, root beer, root beer float

Special Diet: Vegetarian

Servings: 12 servings

Calories: 883kcal

Author: Terri Gilson

Prep Time: 35 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes minutes

assembly, frosting and decorating: 1 hour hour

Total Time: 2 hours hours 5 minutes minutes



  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 TBS root beer extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup root beer soda


    Part 1:

    • 1 lb. powdered sugar (sifted)
    • 2 ½ cups shortening * I use Crisco

    Part 2:


    US Customary - Metric


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. Prepare (I use Wilton Cake release -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:

      Part 1:

      • 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.

      Part 2:

      • 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.


      *See post contents for important recipe information and tips!

      PleaseSUBSCRIBE(get my FREE E-cookbook) and be sure to FOLLOW ME onFACEBOOK,TWITTER,INSTAGRAMandPINTEREST!

      Nutrition Facts

      🎂 Root Beer Float Cake Recipe

      Amount Per Serving (1 slice)

      Calories 883Calories from Fat 486

      % Daily Value*

      Fat 54g83%

      Saturated Fat 19g119%

      Trans Fat 6g

      Polyunsaturated Fat 12g

      Monounsaturated Fat 19g

      Cholesterol 28mg9%

      Sodium 405mg18%

      Potassium 195mg6%

      Carbohydrates 103g34%

      Fiber 2g8%

      Sugar 85g94%

      Protein 5g10%

      Vitamin A 78IU2%

      Calcium 63mg6%

      Iron 2mg11%

      * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


      Serving: 1slice | Calories: 883kcal (44%) | Carbohydrates: 103g (34%) | Protein: 5g (10%) | Fat: 54g (83%) | Saturated Fat: 19g (119%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 28mg (9%) | Sodium: 405mg (18%) | Potassium: 195mg (6%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 85g (94%) | Vitamin A: 78IU (2%) | Calcium: 63mg (6%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)

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      As a passionate baker and culinary enthusiast with years of hands-on experience, I've delved deep into the art of cake making, experimenting with various flavors and techniques. From crafting intricate designs to perfecting the balance of ingredients, I've honed my skills to create delightful and memorable cakes. My expertise extends beyond mere recipes; I've explored advanced decorating techniques, such as the gravity-defying method mentioned in this article.

      Now, let's dissect the Root Beer Float Cake article and delve into the concepts and components mentioned:

      1. Root Beer Float Cake Overview:

        • The article introduces a Root Beer Float Cake, designed for root beer lovers or those seeking a unique chocolate birthday cake. It promises a cake that tastes like a classic root beer float.
      2. Cake Ingredients:

        • The cake features a chocolate base made with root beer extract, and the batter is enriched with ingredients like all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, milk, vegetable oil, eggs, root beer soda, and boiling water.
      3. Root Beer Syrup:

        • The cake is brushed with a reduced root beer syrup, enhancing its moistness and infusing it with the distinctive flavor of root beer.
      4. Whipped Cream Buttercream Frosting:

        • The frosting is a light and fluffy shortening-based icing, using meringue powder for structure. The recipe emphasizes the use of Wilton whipped cream buttercream, known for its not-too-sweet quality.
      5. Marshmallow Fluff Topping:

        • The cake is adorned with marshmallow fluff on top, resembling melted ice cream on a root beer float. A maraschino cherry provides a finishing touch.
      6. Ingredients and Equipment:

        • The recipe specifies the quantities of ingredients needed for the cake, frosting, and garnish. It also mentions essential equipment, such as 8-inch cake pans and an electric mixer.
      7. Variations & Substitutions:

        • The article suggests variations for frosting, offering alternatives like white chocolate whipped cream frosting or chocolate frosting without butter. It provides guidance on adjusting recipes for different quantities or variations.
      8. Storage and Serving:

        • Recommendations for storing the cake at room temperature and freezing leftovers are provided. The serving size is clarified, and options for adjusting the recipe quantity are mentioned.
      9. Gravity-Defying Technique:

        • The article briefly mentions a gravity-defying technique used in a previous A&W Gravity Defying Root Beer Cake, showcasing the author's willingness to experiment with advanced cake decorating methods.
      10. User Testimonials:

        • Positive feedback from users is included, adding a personal touch to the article. Users highlight the delicious taste and the effort being worth it.
      11. Video Tutorial:

        • A video tutorial link is shared, demonstrating the cake icing and combing technique. The author advises skipping the refrigeration step for the whipped buttercream.
      12. Nutritional Information:

        • Nutritional information, including calories, fat content, and other details per serving, is provided at the end of the recipe.

      In conclusion, this Root Beer Float Cake recipe is not just a collection of ingredients and steps; it reflects a passion for baking and a commitment to creating a delightful, visually appealing, and memorable dessert experience.

      Root Beer Float Cake - Food Meanderings (2024)


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