It’s been about five years since I’ve had any soda floats. (No joke!) I’ve got a painful stomach condition that flares up anytime I have carbonated drinks, so I just decided one day to stop drinking them and that was that. But sometimes I do see someone enjoying an especially good-looking classic rootbeer float and I feel a little nostalgic. Rootbeer floats are the best kind of soda floats in my opinion.
What makes soda floats interesting is I guess the mixture of sweet bubbly drink with cool creamy ice cream. It reaffirms my theory that just like chocolate, ice cream pretty much goes with everything. (Have you guys tried dipping your fries in vanilla ice cream? That works for me too.) Through the years I have seen a bunch of different types of soda floats. There have been ones in white and pink and electric blue or green, but regardless of the soda used it seems to work thanks to the ice cream, which just kind of pulls the drink together.
The most sought after soda float here is still arguably the Coke Float, for the simple reason that Coke is amazingly popular here in the Philippines. They have this local gimmick where you can have your name printed on the bottle label for fun. The more adventurous souls tend to scour supermarket shelves for their names. It was a good move, and I mention this because as someone who graduated with an advertising degree I’ve learned to appreciate how Coke does its marketing. But I digress.
Since it has been such a while since I’ve gotten so much as a glimpse of any Coke around here I thought it would be nice to use it for something other than drinking– say, a cupcake. Today I wanted to share this recipe I found of a Cherry Coke Float Cupcake, which frankly would’ve been awesome had I not forgotten to place a cherry on top of my frosted cuppycakes. My initial photography session involved no cherry topping, but the next day I did remember and decided to snap some pictures for the heck of it. Ain’t it so much prettier with that round ruby of a maraschino on top?
Lesson for the day: Lack of sleep makes one a scatterbrain.
So let’s talk more about the cupcakes and less about my state of mind. The base is a light chocolate cake with an essence of Cola. I am a sucker for cupcakes with surprise fillings to be honest, so just with the idea of this cupcake I was already sold. But because it is filled with cherries, which is one of my favourite fruits, this feels a bit more special. The frosting is a simple whipped cream concoction that isn’t sweet at all, but it does give that creamy quality that is typical in a Coke float. I think it rather balances the whole cupcake out.
Speaking of the frosting, in case you couldn’t tell, the straw on there is a prop. You cannot sip the frosting through the straw unless it’s all melted. I think from this top view the cupcakes look like real soda floats. These cupcakes are so cute.
I love eating this straight out of the fridge. The frosting feels kind of like ice cream, and the cake base stays soft thanks to the buttermilk in it. The cherry adds a really nice surprise in the center, though the Coke taste isn’t as strong as I would like it to be. However you can smell it on the cupcake.
Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¾ cup regular Coke, wait for the foam to go down to get an accurate measurement
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 21-ounce can cherry pie filling (will not use all)
For the glaze
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Coke
For the icing
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- Maraschino Cherries, for garnish
Make the cupcakes
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a standard muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
- 2. In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- 3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat the sugar and butter on medium-high until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat for one minute more.
- 4. In a large measuring cup or small bowl, combine the buttermilk, Coke, and vanilla extract. Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled.
- 5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in four parts, alternating with the Coke mixture in three parts. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Beat each addition just until incorporated. Give the final mixture a good mix with a rubber spatula to make sure it is thoroughly combined. Make sure you mix from the bottom of the bowl.
- 6. Divide the batter evenly between the muffins tins. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, place mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the fridge.
Make the glaze and frosting
- 7. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and Coke. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes to thicken. It's ready when it drips off of a spoon very slowly.
- 8. Meanwhile place cold heavy whipping cream in the chilled bowl. Using the cold whisk attachment, beginning beating the heavy whipping cream on low speed. Once the cream gets frothy begin adding the powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time, increasing speed as the cream comes together until you reach medium-high speed.
- 9. Whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks. To test the frosting, dip a spoon in it and see if the cream stays on the spoon when you turn it upside down. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- 10. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a spoon or paring knife to scoop out a cone shape in the middle of each cupcake. Add a spoonful of cherry-pie filling to the well, making sure to include at least three cherries.
- 11. Drizzle a little of the glaze onto the tops of each cupcake, gently spreading as necessary.
- 12. Pipe the whipped cream onto cupcakes as desired and top with maraschino cherries for garnish.
By the way, I just got myself the 1M tip. WHAT???!!! I don’t know what I was thinking either waiting so long. But oh my gosh does it pipe the prettiest frosting! I’m never parting with this thing. NEVER.