Cooking With Katie: Root Beer Float Cake

This first recipe is perfect for hot weather, or anytime that you wish to make it. It's called, "Root Beer Float Cake". It's a great cake and I've baked it several times for the newsroom.

I first made this cake a few years ago as a "Thank You" for the Indianapolis News Station that I interned at. Needless to say it was a hit.  I've seen several different kinds of cakes featuring a Soda as an ingredient, including Mountain Dew.  I figured Root Beer would be a safe flavor to work with and who doesn't love a Root Beer Float.

I did experiment a bit with the ingredients to make sure the right flavor was achieved and what worked best. I learned quickly that trying to mix cream with Root Beer was not tasty and that cold Root Beer works better than warm.

Once I achieved the flavor I wanted, the cake had the great Root Beer taste and was moist. The icing was light, delicate, and also had the Root Beer flavor. This cake tastes best if served cold.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do here at 14.

Ingredients: "Root Beer Float Cake"

  • 1 Box of White Cake Mix (I use Super Moist Pillsbury Brand)
  • 2 & 1/2 Cups of Cold Root Beer, divided (A&W is what I use but other brands will work too.)
  • ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Eggs at room temperature
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • Drops of Root Beer Extract (Trust me, a little goes a long way with this extract)


-Preheat oven to 350°

-In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 & ¼ cup of cold Root Beer, oil, eggs, vanilla, and 3 drops of Root Beer Extract. You can stir by hand for 3 and half minutes or beat on low speed for 2 and half minutes.

-Pour into a greased 13x9 baking pan.

**Tip: Since you'll take the cake out of the pan after baking this tip will help you get it out easier. Take a piece of wax paper, long enough for the pan that comes up about halfway or just a bit over to the edges. I then pour a little bit of vegetable oil on top of the paper taking a paper towel to spread it and coat the wax paper. Then pour the batter over the wax paper shaking lightly to distribute.

-Bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick or small paring knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

-When it's done let the cake rest for 5 Minutes.

-After letting it rest take a sheet pan and place it on top of the cake pan.  Slide one hand that's covered with a pot holder underneath the cake pan, lifting up and with the other hand on top of the sheet pan flip over, placing it back down on the counter.  Slowly pull cake pan off of the cake using potholders to avoid burning your hands.

Now, if you used the waxed paper tip, find a corner and slowly pull it off the cake.

-Let it finish cooling on the sheet pan before icing.

Root Beer Float Cake Icing

  • 2 Packages of Dream Whip
  • 1 ¼  Cup of Cold Root Beer (reserved from Cake)
  • 2 Drops of Root Beer Extract
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

In a cold bowl (throw it into the freezer for 5 minutes), mix all the ingredients until soft peaks form. This will take about 4 minutes.  Start mixing on low and work up the speed to medium-high. Spoon the icing on to the cake and spread around the top and sides.

Place in refrigerator at least one hour before serving.

Prep Time for Both (includes refrigeration): 1 Hour &20 Minutes

Bake Time: 30-35 Minutes

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