Soda Cupcakes with Malted Milk Buttercream

A friend asked for this recipe today, and I just realized it’s been sitting in my drafts. I hope they turn out perfectly for her Thanksgiving dinner. For some reason I can’t find a picture in my cooking folder, but if I whip up a batch in the near future, I’ll be sure to post it.

As for the soda – I recommend either Dr. Pepper or Root Beer – although a girlfriend tried this recipe with Vanilla Cherry Coke, and said it was amazing.

Soda Cupcakes with Malted Milk Frosting – 12 cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup extra fine sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup root beer + more for brushing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to fully incorporate and set aside.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle, cream together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, vegetable oil and extract, mixing until combined. Then add flour mixture, alternating with root beer, mixing until smooth.

Spoon batter into prepared tin, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Once completely cooled, brush top of cupcakes lightly with root beer, and let dry while preparing the buttercream.

Malted Milk Buttercream
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons malt powder, such as Ovaltine
1/4 cup half & half
2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup malted milk balls, such as Whoppers, crushed or left whole, for decoration

Combine butter and milk chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, stir together the malt powder and half & half until malt powder is dissolved. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and milk mixture to saucepan and whisk until smooth and blended. If you prefer a thicker frosting, add an additional 1/2 cup powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Spread frosting over top of cupcake, and decorate as desired with whole or crushed malted milk balls.

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Cooking!

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