When I found out my friend Whitney was moving to Madison I knew I had to make her something stupid delicious to say good bye. Whitney and I met when Ian’s Pizza decided to get involved in SugarSlam last year and we’ve been sending each other politically incorrect text messages ever since. I really struggled with this one – what do you make the girl who works somewhere that serves such creative gems as Green Bean Casserole Pizza and the G.T.S. Pizza named after CM Punk?

Suddenly I remembered two things – one, I just went on a major Bake It Pretty shopping and acquired, among other things, a bottle of root beer extract. And two, Ian’s serves the world’s greatest root beer, Gale’s Root Beer by famed pastry chef Gale Gand. So I got out my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (Julie Hasson’s The Best Chocolate Cupcake from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes) and got to tweaking. What I ended up with was a root beer, ginger, and cinnamon-inflused chocolate cake with a root beer and vanilla buttercream. If you want to find out what Whitney thought, follow her on Twitter – I’m bringing them to her tonight!

For the cupcakes you’ll need:

  • Whitney & CM Punk

    1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp root beer flavoring
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I actually used kefir)

Then you:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg and root beer flavoring until smooth. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk until smooth. Scoop batter into pan and bake 22-27 minutes until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire rack.

I frosted these with a basic vanilla buttercream, and added a splash of root beer to the portion that I colored red and blue. I frosted little Chicago flags on there to remind Whitney what city she was in when she met the coolest and most modest girl in the entire world – me. Good bye, Whitney! I’ll miss you!