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Dr Pepper Cupcakes

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Chocolate buttermilk cupcakes with luscious Dr Pepper frosting are an absolute favorite. They’re fluff, moist, and have just a hint of the delicious bubbly soda.

Close up of Dr Pepper Cupcakes

Dr Pepper cupcakes made from scratch

I have seen numerous recipes for soda cakes/coke cakes in every corner of the Internet. Honestly, I was never impressed by soda cake until I decided to experiment with my own recreation of it.

I am in love with this recipe. I went with Dr Pepper because it happens to be my most favorite soda. These cupcakes turned out unbelievably moist, buttery, and chocolatey with just a hint of Dr Pepper.

I actually think this recipe might outdo these Andes mint cupcakes! It’s a close call.

I topped them with Dr Pepper infused frosting which turned out to be the perfect complement to these sweet, delicate cupcakes. And the color mimics the fizz on top of a freshly poured glass of soda.

Trust me when I say that these Dr Pepper cupcakes will become your very favorite.

Whip up a batch today! You won’t regret it!

Dr Pepper cupcake cut in half

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make these fun cupcakes.

  • Butter: All great cakes start with butter! Make sure it is at room temperature so it creams easily with the sugars.
  • Sugar: Regular granulated sugar and light brown sugar are used. I adore the warm molasses flavor the brown sugar imparts. Powdered sugar is needed for the frosting.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is what I chose.
  • Eggs: You need 2 large eggs. These need to be at room temperature so set them out 30-45 minutes before you begin making the recipe.
  • Soda: Dr Pepper is the soda of choice here. But honestly, you can use any dark soda you wish.
  • Buttermilk: A little buttermilk makes the cupcakes so tender.
  • Vanilla: A splash of vanilla for added flavor.
  • Salt: A dash of salt rounds out all that’s going on here.
  • Leavening: Baking powder and baking soda are used to give the cupcake rise.

Can I use another soda?

Yes! You can use any dark soda you prefer. I bet these would taste great with Root Beer or Cheerwine!

Do I have to use buttermilk?

Buttermilk is required for this recipe. Regular milk or milk alternatives will not work the same. Buttermilk reacts with the baking soda to give the cupcakes a light and airy texture.

Dr Pepper cupcakes from scratch

Tools needed


How to make Dr Pepper cucpakes

This is just like making your favorite vanilla cupcakes! Mix the wet ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients. Then combine the two, dived in a muffin pan and bake.

You can bake this as is in a muffin pan or you can turn the recipe into a cake and bake it in two 9-inch round cake pans. The cakes will take a little longer than cupcakes to bake.

process shots showing how to make Dr Pepper cupcakes

Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost them with Dr Pepper cupcake frosting.

It’s made just like my basic vanilla frosting, only with less sugar and the additions of soda.

process shots showing how to make Dr Pepper cupcake frosting
Frosting piped on Dr Pepper cupcakes

Storage tips

Just like with most cupcakes, these Dr Pepper cupcakes will keep for up to 3 days stored in the refrigerator. Keep them tightly covered to prevent them from drying out.

The cupcakes can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

You can make the cupcakes a day in advance before frosting. Keep them covered tightly and store them in the refrigerator. Frost the cupcakes the next day.

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Close up of Dr Pepper Cupcakes

Dr Pepper Cupcakes

Yield: 22 cupcakes
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Tender, moist, and rich chocolate buttermilk cupcakes, spiked with Dr. Pepper for a unique flavor. The cupcakes are topped with a silky, smooth frosting that is also infused with this incredibly bubbly soda.

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (110 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (22 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) Dr Pepper, room temperature - SEE NOTE 1
  • ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk, room temperature

For the frosting

  • 1 ½ cups (341 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ½ cups (420 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons Dr Pepper, room temperature - SEE NOTE 1

Instructions

Make the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 12-count muffin pans with cupcake liners. This recipe makes about 22 cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
  3. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk and add half to the butter mixture. Beat on medium-low speed just until combined.
  4. In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine the Dr Pepper and buttermilk. Add it to the batter and mix on medium-low speed until almost fully combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and continue to mix until just combined.
  5. Fill the prepared muffin cups ⅔ full with batter. Use a 3-tablespoon ice cream scoop for easy measuring. Bake in batches for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Allow the cupcake to cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl with a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy and pale in color, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the salt and half the confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed just until the sugar has fully moistened, then turn the speed up to medium-high and beat until well incorporated, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed just until the sugar has fully moistened, then turn the speed up to medium-high and beat until well incorporated, about 3-5 minutes
  4. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly add 1-2 tablespoons of the Dr Pepper. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until the cream is well incorporated, about 3-5 minutes. (After 2 minutes stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl then continue mixing.)
  5. Check the consistency of the frosting and add more Dr Pepper, ½ tablespoon at a time, if needed. The frosting should be soft and spreadable but not so loose that it doesn't hold its shape.

Notes

  1. You can make this recipe with any dark soda you prefer.

Make ahead tip

  1. The cupcakes can be made 1 day in advance before frosting. Cover and refrigerate each overnight. Frost the cupcakes the next day.
  2. Or the cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and frost as desired.
  3. Keep frosted cupcakes covered and store in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bring it to room temperature just before serving.
  4. Frosting will keep for up to 2 weeks stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You must let the buttercream come to room temperature by setting it out on the counter for a couple of hours, then beat it with an electric mixer if needed.
  5. Or the frosting can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, place in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. Let stand at room temperature to soften before use.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 22 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 122mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 1gSugar: 34gProtein: 2g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate.

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Adapted from My Recipes

Originally published May 2015. Post updated May 2020 with new photos and a video. The cupcake recipe was adjusted to include baking powder and salt. The frosting was changed to a Dr Pepper frosting. You can still the brown butter frosting that was included in the original recipe if you wish.

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