Soda Fountain Cupcakes: Cakes on a Plane | Cupcake Project

Soda Fountain Cupcakes: Cakes on a Plane

These soda fountain cupcakes are actually root beer cupcakes topped with cream soda frosting and a chocolate malt ball. I found that just the smell of them made people smile.

Cupcakes on a Plane

I’ve been baking cupcakes for quite some time now, but since I live in St. Louis and my family lives in NY they have only gotten to see pictures of my little treats. Pictures of cupcakes are nice, but it’s just not the same as the taste test.

I spent the past week in NY and decided I would take some cupcakes along with me. I had doubts as to whether I would be allowed on the plane with them since I once had an incident where the TSA officer tried to confiscate a package of cream cheese from me (they called it a gel). I begged and got to take it on board.

As it turned out though, there was no need to worry in this case. The only comment from the TSA worker was, “Those look like some special cupcakes,” or something like that. I even have photographic evidence of my cupcake flying. No, that was not photoshopped.

My secondary concern was that I didn’t bring enough cupcakes. I actually restricted the number of cupcakes my husband and I ate so that there would be enough to bring. Well let me tell you a little something about these New Yorkers (or maybe just about my family), these people are far more health conscious than the average Midwesterner.

  • In sunny St. Louis, you present a crowd with some cupcakes and people come running. Fights may ensue. People get upset if they are left out of a particular week’s tasting.
  • In the big apple (perhaps the apple is in the name because they just eat fruit), it was like people were doing ME a favor to taste my fine wares. Three or more people would cut a single cupcake into small slices (kinda like an apple now that I think of it) and share. I admit I’ve been known to cut a cupcake in half, but really they are designed as a single serving item, your own personal cake. That is their beauty.

Any New Yorkers care to explain to me how cupcake shops thrive in the city? Do people eat the entire cupcake themselves?

That being said, props go to my Mom (gotta love Moms) for eating her whole cupcake because it was made with love by me. She also put one away in her freezer for her fiance who is on a no- sugar diet.

Root Beer Cupcake Recipe

The cake part of the recipe was a root beer cake. I found the recipe at the Bittersweet Blog. The cake was moist and had a strong root beer smell and flavor. Definitely a winner.

The Cream Soda Frosting Recipe

The frosting that was used on Bittersweet might be great, but it just didn’t seem like it would be what I was looking for. I wanted a rich vanilla and creamy frosting and the taste of vanilla soy just didn’t seem like it would do. Instead, I opted for a cream soda frosting. I used the cream cheese frosting recipe from my maple frosting as base, but made some changes.


Soda Fountain Cupcakes: Cakes on a Plane

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Soda Fountain Cupcakes: Cakes on a Plane


    Cupcake Ingredients
  • 1 C rootbeer soda
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/3 C canola oil
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t rootbeer extract
  • 1 1/3 C flour
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Cream Soda Frosting* Ingredients
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 4 C powdered sugar
  • 1.5 t cream soda extract


    Cupcake Instructions
  1. Combine the soda and vinegar and let stand for a few minutes.
  2. Add in the sugar and oil, whisking vigorously until slightly frothy.
  3. Integrate your extracts, and gently introduce the flour, along with the baking powder / soda, and salt, being careful not to over mix.
  4. Fill cupcake liners approximately 3/4 of the way to the top.
  5. Bake at 350 F for about 18 - 22 minutes.
  6. Cream Soda Frosting Instructions
  7. Beat cream cheese and butter.
  8. Add powdered sugar until the consistency is right.
  9. Add extract.
  10. Topping
  11. Top the whole thing with a chocolate malt ball just to complete the soda fountain experience.


*Cream soda extract isn't exactly a common household item. However, I was able to order some at a soda home brewing company, The Homemade Soda Company. This is also where I ordered my root beer extract from. The service there was fantastic! They shipped my stuff the same day and even called me to let me know they had found a cheaper shipping rate for me. I'd definitely recommend them, if you want to try making some cream soda frosting. I'd also highly recommend the frosting. It was a perfect match for the root beer cupcake.

Wedding Potential?

The groom seemed to like the fact that I used local Fitz’s Root Beer in the cupcake. Gives it a St. Louis feel for his out of town guests. It would be really cool if I could actually use Fitz’s extracts for the root beer extract part and cream soda extract part. Somehow I doubt they give that stuff away though. Anyone have any connections?


This cupcake was chosen for the wedding!

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41 Responses to Soda Fountain Cupcakes: Cakes on a Plane

  1. cheryl July 9, 2007 at 12:52 pm #

    I love this cupcake! It’s one of my favorites so far–no complaints.

  2. Hannah July 9, 2007 at 3:54 pm #

    Yours look so great, and it’s good to know that cupcakes are free to fly! I’m so happy that you liked the recipe, but it’s not actually from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, it’s my own creation.

  3. Stef July 9, 2007 at 7:38 pm #

    Oh no! I have no idea where I came up with the idea that they were from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. So sorry to not give you proper credit. You are clearly a cupcake genius! I’ll be sure to correct it.

  4. Kafka July 17, 2007 at 4:26 pm #

    This cupcake jumped immediately up there with one of the favorites. Both a great tasting cake with good texture and a good frosting. The idea was unique and fun and topped off with a candy, how can you complain?
    Cake Taste: A-
    Icing Taste: A
    Overall Taste: A-
    Appearance: A
    Overall: A

    This could easily end up at the wedding….

  5. Elims July 18, 2008 at 11:15 am #

    Does the cream soda extract give the frosting the brown color? Do you have any suggestions for a different extratct to use since I’m baking my cupcakes now and didn’t read far enough first to see that I also need the cream soda extract? Duh me!!

  6. Stef July 18, 2008 at 12:29 pm #

    Elims – Yes, it’s the extract that gives it the color. You can use vanilla extract instead. You’ll be fine!

  7. Elims July 18, 2008 at 12:35 pm #

    I actually ended up halving your frosting recipe and used 3/4 t vanilla and 1/8 t rootbeer extract. Very yummy!!! I could just finish off the frosting with a big spoon!! =) Thanks for your help!!

  8. ebidebby September 16, 2009 at 8:13 am #

    This sounds wonderful, especially the cream soda frosting! It will be next on my list of things to bake!

  9. Liz September 28, 2009 at 2:46 pm #

    I made these (as root beer float cupcakes) this weekend for some friends’ wedding and they were a hit. I’m at a high altitude, and thought I’d share that I cut the baking soda by a third (so to 1/2 tsp) and they worked perfectly a mile high. Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Patti Lekas May 15, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    We are having a Dairy Days celebration and I am making these. What fun

  11. Anonymous May 31, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Looks good, but no eggs?

  12. Stef June 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    Anon – Yup! No eggs. You won’t miss them.

  13. Anonymous September 19, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Hannah My grandmother has been making this same thing for 22 years now only cake form. She calls it her wacky root beer cake. Only she does not use a cream soda frosting. But they are great no matter what!

  14. staceysicurella25 January 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    I made these today & love them!! I am thinking though that it would be great to have a “scoop of vanilla” on top. Could we achieve that with whipped cream frosting & using an a mini-ice cream scoop to plop it on? I don’t know how fluffy whipped cream would hold up…has anyone tried this? Thinking that the super-whippy, clean vanilla flavor would be great & apprearence would be great…thoughts?

  15. Stef January 26, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Stacey – It might be hard to scoop the whipped cream and have it hold the shape. What about trying that with vanilla bean buttercream frosting?

  16. SuBee May 15, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    just a little note from NYC;
    We’ve learned to make a show of how well we can deprive ourselves. It’s seen as a sign of moral superiority. Also, I know it was a long time ago, but did you take a look around during your visit? If a New Yorkers BMI creeps above 15, they are either stoned to death in Central Park or forced to move to Ohio. Now you know our shameful secret.

    Oh, I almost forgot. The cupcake shops thrive as they give the size 1 population a chance to make a show of eating only one bite while exclaiming, “OH NO, now I’ve ruined my diet. Im already in my fat jeans (size 2) I must stop this insanity!!”
    Once again, moral superiority.

  17. Kristen June 6, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    These look delicious, I will give them a shot this weekend!

    SuBee, I am from Ohio and I resent that

  18. Anonymous June 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    I tried ordering soda extracts from the Homemade Soda Company and I haven’t gotten anything from them that was almost 4 weeks ago. We paid for priority shipping. Can you suggest another place where I might find soda extract? Are they out of business or…

  19. Dan June 28, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    I’m quite surprised with your post. Our company prides itself with great customer service; however, we do make mistakes. We haven’t received any emails concerning an order not sent. Please call us at 1-877-808-7632 and we will gladly help you with your order.
    Homemade Soda Company

  20. Anonymous June 28, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    Everything’s good, you sent an email to my boyfriend this morning saying it was on it’s way? Were looking forward to trying the Dr cherry thank you

  21. rosieposie April 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Is there something i can use to replace the root beer? (I know this is a stupid question since this is a root beer cupcake, but I dont have root beer at home and I really want to make it though. I do have root beer extract though, should I just add more of that? Can coke replace root beer?)

  22. Lisa Cronk August 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    My hubby would like this for his birthday, but would prefer it in a cake instead of cupcakes. Would you suggest any changes to the recipe to make it a cake?

  23. Anonymous September 8, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    I make soda cupcakes all the time, but haven’t tried the root beer one. Need to make it. For the extract, do you think it would work using the actual soda in place of it?

  24. Anonymous March 2, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    Why mix the vinegar and the soda first? The instructions then indicate to add the soda with the flour. Confused.

    • Anonymous March 2, 2013 at 11:57 am #

      You mix the ROOT BEER with the vinegar first and let it sit. The BAKING SODA goes in the with the flour.

      • Alyssa May 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

        Root Beer IS SODA. Welcome to the other half of the country. :)

  25. Deanna February 14, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

    I attempted this recipe tonight using a gluten free all purpose flour mix but it was a very watery batter. I then added more flour as I’ve had to do this with other recipes but they came out tough and tasting like flour :( is your batter using regular flour more watery than a regular batter?

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