Stacked root beer float trifles

Elegant desserts that taste like root beer floats!

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Growing up, root beer floats were a summer tradition for us. We'd go to grandma's, and she’d whip up these giant floats, filled with homemade vanilla ice cream and crisp, refreshing root beer. To update these for a dinner party or adult barbecue, turn your favorite floats into decadent trifles.

These delicious trifles are elegant, decadent and taste just like the floats you had growing up. Although the straw completes the look of these beautiful desserts, you definitely need a spoon or fork to enjoy!

Stacked root beer float trifles

Serves 8

Root beer float triffle


For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons root beer extract
  • 2 ounces fresh root beer
  • 1 tablespoon applesauce

For the topping:

  • 4 cups vanilla ice cream
  • Straws
  • Root beer candies


  1. To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  2. In another bowl, beat the egg and sugar until smooth. Add in milk, butter and root beer extract. Whisk in the applesauce.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full with batter. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool.
  4. To make the trifles, crumble the cupcakes. Layer the cupcake crumbles and the ice cream, ending with the remaining 1/4 cup ice cream in a medium-size Mason jar. Top with a few additional crumbs and root beer candies. Place a straw in each trifle.

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Claire is an aspiring nutritionist (and soon to be culinary student) with a serious addiction to bacon, goat cheese and online shopping. She is recently married to a social media guru who loves *almost* everything she conjures up. In addition to writing for the Food section of SheKnows, she is a full-time recipe creator (and taste tester), a writer for and a contributing writer for the Home and Gardening section of SheKnows. You can also follow her musings and find delicious healthy recipes on her food blog, The Realistic Nutritionist.