Deep Fried Root Beer Floats

Welcome to #IceCreamWeek! Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina have teamed up with more than 20 of their blog friends to bring you a week full of ice cream treats, including a special ice cream giveaway! Prepare to have your taste buds tempted with some of the best ice cream treats around! Make sure you enter the giveaway for a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and two fabulous ice cream cookbooks so that you can join in on the ice cream fun!

Deep Fried Root Beer Floats |

[Editor’s Note: The following is a “guest post” mostly written by my husband Jason, who has read enough of these that he thinks he knows how to write one. Bless his heart. He found me dozing off while working on this post–it’s been a really long week–and started rattling off blog ideas to help me out. When I smiled and nodded noncommittally, he said, “Why aren’t you writing this down? It’s gold!” So I put him to work  writing this post while I grabbed a cat nap. In very related news, this is exactly how the introduction to my candy book got written. He definitely deserves ghost writing credit. And I definitely need a little more sleep on a regular basis. Here we go…]

So it’s Fry Day, which means we pull out the deep fryer and pull on our comfy sweatpants. This week’s fried gluttony is Deep Fried Root Beer Floats.

The most common response I get when I tell people I’m deep frying root beer goes like this:

1) Turn head slightly to side.
2) Narrow eyes quizzically.
3) Continue quizzical look until it becomes a quizzical stare.
4) “Huh?”

And then the questions start coming in. First, “How do you fry a liquid?

Well, of course, you don’t actually fry a liquid. The root beer is a flavoring in a fried funnel cake. I took a cue from Deep Fried Coke, which I’ve seen sold at the fair grounds, and made a funnel cake batter with root beer instead of milk or water. So if we’re being really, technically precise about this, it’s a root beer flavored funnel cake.

Deep Fried Root Beer |

The finished cake is the brushed with lots of root beer syrup, to give it a good strong root beer flavor and a moist (but still crunchy on the outside!) texture.

Deep Fried Root Beer Floats |

Is the cake baked inside a funnel?

No! The funnel is just used to control the flow of the batter into the oil. Except I actually found that method kind of complicated. I just use a piping bag with the tip cut. But “piping bag cake” doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?

Deep Fried Root Beer Floats |

“Okay, so I’ve fried up this really delicious funnel cake and prepared my root beer sauce, but I still feel like it needs a little something more. Do you recommend any additional toppings?

I’m so glad you asked. Did I mention this was Ice Cream Week? And do you also know that my husband loves vanilla ice cream? You see where this is going, don’t you? [Details about ice cream] <–yes, he actually wrote that. That is the LAZY GHOST WRITER’S SOLUTION right there. Fortunately, he works for free, so I’ll let it slide, and just tell you that I made homemade vanilla bean ice cream to top these crispy, root beery marvels. It adds the perfect richness and flavor and really drives home the root beer float comparison.

Deep Fried Root Beer Floats |

So, to conclude: it is late, and I am tired. My husband is going to be the next big blogging superstar. I fried up some funnel cake batter made with root beer, soaked it with root beer syrup, topped it with homemade vanilla bean ice cream, and drizzled it with more root beer syrup, and it was good. No, scratch that, it was gooooooood. It was lets-deep-fry-every-day-because-this-is-freaking-awesome good. I haven’t tried it with other sodas, but I strongly suspect it would work with just about anything. What about black cherry soda? Or Coke with lime? See where I’m going with this?

 And finally, if you’re new to Fry Days, here’s a little trip down memory lane to see what you’ve missed:

Deep Fried Chocolate Covered Strawberries |

Deep Fried Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Deep Fried Cheesecake |

Deep Fried Cheesecake

Deep Fried Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough |

 Deep Fried Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough


If you’d like to check out today’s #IceCreamWeek recipes, drool over the blogs below:

Deep Fried Root Beer Floats (Root Beer Funnel Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream)

 Root Beer Funnel Cakes with Root Beer Syrup
Click Here to Print the Root Beer Funnel Cake Recipe!
yield: six 6-7″ funnel cakes

1 egg
3/4 cup root beer (not diet–I used the type with sugar, not corn syrup)
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 quart oil, for frying
Candy Thermometer

Whisk together the egg, root beer, and oil. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and whisk until everything is incorporated and all of the lumps are gone. Transfer the batter to a piping bag with a round tip, or a zip-top plastic bag. If using a plastic bag, cut a hole in the corner no larger than 1/2-inch.  To prevent the batter from spilling out, clamp the hole closed with a clothespin or binder clip when you’re not piping the cakes.

Pour the frying oil into a medium saucepan so that it’s 2 inches deep, and insert the candy thermometer. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 370 F (188 C). Hold the bag of batter directly above the oil, and remove the clamp. Pipe the batter into the oil, holding it close to the surface, and quickly move it in a wiggly, circular pattern to create an irregularly shaped blob of dough about 6″ across.  To ensure that your funnel cakes  hold together, make sure that the tip of your bag is close to the surface of the oil, and that you criss-cross over the dough several times when piping the cake.

The cake will cook quickly–a minute or less for the first side, and closer to 30 seconds for the second side. Once the cake is puffed, crispy, and golden brown, remove it from the oil using a frying skimmer or slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the rest of the batter, making about 6 cakes total. Watch the temperature of the oil and keep it between 370 -380 F. Remove it from the heat if it gets too hot, or let it warm up in between batches if the temperature drops too much. Before serving, brush with the cakes root beer syrup and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and more root beer syrup drizzled on top.

For the Root Beer Syrup:
12 oz root beer (not diet–I used the type with sugar, not corn syrup)

Pour root beer into a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the syrup reduces down to about 1/3-1/2 cup (the measurement doesn’t have to be precise). This might take up to 30 minutes. Cool the syrup completely before using. It will thicken a bit as it cools, but will still be more of a liquid than a viscous syrup.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Click Here to Print the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe!
yield: 1 quart

1 large vanilla bean
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar
pinch salt
5 egg yolks
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Use a sharp paring knife to cut a slit lengthwise down the front of the vanilla bean. Press the sides open so that the bean lays flat. Run the back of the knife blade (the not-sharp side) down the bean, scraping out all of the seeds.

Combine the vanilla seeds, cream, milk, sugars, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl nearby and whisk them gently. Bring the milk/cream mixture to a simmer, then when it just starts to come to a boil, remove the pan from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks while you slowly pour in about a third of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs heat up but don’t cook during the process.

Now return the saucepan to the heat and start whisking the cream while you pour in the hot egg mixture. Continue to whisk as the custard cooks, and cook it until it thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. If you want to use a candy thermometer, you’re shooting for 175 F (80C).

Take the pan from the heat and strain the ice cream custard through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then continue to whisk occasionally as it cools. Once at room temperature, press a layer of cling wrap on top of the custard and refrigerate it until it’s completely chilled. (To speed up the process, you can place the bowl over an ice bath and whisk it as it cools down.)

Once the custard is fully chilled, churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

48 Responses to Deep Fried Root Beer Floats
  1. Kristen says:

    I think I am in love. Fried root beer floats; even the name sounds amazing. I can definitely see funnel cakes in my near future.

  2. Liz says:

    So cute…you two are quite the team! And your fried root beer floats would be a hit at our house!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Haha thanks Liz! I usually think I get the better end of the bargain, since he never makes me do his work…although he DOES get to eat a lot of desserts since he’s married to me, so maybe it balances out!

  3. Your fried root beer floats look so decadent. My family will love this.

  4. Holy cow!!!! This is crazy genius right here. Wow!! I absolutely love this. And love that your husband helped you get some zzz’s ;)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Haha thanks Kate! He has saved my bacon many a time. (Metaphorically…mostly I save his literal bacon. We’re a team that way.)

  5. Haha fry day, I like it. And what a great way to use rootbeer, I love fried dough but never imagined it with rootbeer (which btw is my favorite beverage).

  6. […] Deep Fried Root Beer Floats by SugarHero! […]

  7. Amy Tong says:

    Oh my! Your Deep Fried Root Beer Floats is one of the most inventive and decadent treat I’ve ever seen! May I place an order? :P I was at the Fair and had some funnel cake…but I bet these are 100 times better with the root beer flavor and the ice cream on top. I’m drooling! Can’t wait to head to the kitchen to make some.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks so much Amy! It had been ages since I’d had funnel cake, but I have very fond memories of them from when I was a child. I might be biased but I do think these are better than the typical ones at the fair…please let me know what you think if you give them a try!

  8. […] Deep Fried Root Beer Floats by SugarHero! […]

  9. Seth says:

    Wow. I’m there.

  10. […] Deep Fried Root Beer Floats by SugarHero! […]

  11. This may be the best thing I’ve ever seen.

  12. Theresa says:

    A very creative dessert treat! My husband will love this for sure.

  13. Oh my gorsh, I have never had a funnel cake!! This looks like the funnel cake of my dreamzz. Also, does your husband do free work for other food bloggers, in Australia?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Sarah, you must move here immediately! Between your love of NYC, fondness for pies and pumpkin, and not having tasted funnel cake, you need a USA intervention stat! I will ask my husband about his rates–he is very easy going and I suspect that he will happily hook you up with a blog post in exchange for a taste of what’s being blogged about. No quality guarantees, no refunds.

  14. Sara says:

    Wow…. So, we play around with funnel cakes occasionally around our house…. But I’ve never heard of Coke, let alone RB, funnel cakes… And to do it with ice cream? It’s like you know every male in my blood line. They sniff out RB floats like it’s their biz-ness. This needs to go on our list of funnel cake experiments.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hahah your dudes sound like my dudes…and like me, come to think of it! Let me know what you think if you give it a try–it’s definitely my favorite funnel cake to date!

  15. I want to come live with you. Will you adopt me?

  16. kita says:

    OMG. This would be right up my boyfriends ally! :D (who would also doze off if trying to write a post… but would eat every spoonful)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Haha, writing blog posts late at night is HARD! One day I swear I’ll write one during daylight hours…one day…

  17. Liz says:

    My son would love these! My husband thinks he’s pretty smart too and could write his own blog. That’s pretty much all he would do too….he doesn’t think about all the baking, pictures, editing, etc… I think he just likes to talk and throw his two cents in! :)

    • Elizabeth says:

      See, I think that’s the perfect combination! I find it so easy to bake and take pictures, but it’s the actual writing that I always put off–I think because I save it for the end and I’m always way too tired! Tell your husband to call me if he wants to be a blog-writing intern. I will pay in cookies.

  18. Danguole says:

    Mmm, piping bag cake! Hope you got some quality sleep–there’s seriously no better nightcap than something fried and sugary.

    Love the teamwork here, mad props to you both!

    • Elizabeth says:

      It just doesn’t have the same ring to it, right? Someone knew what they were doing when they named it funnel cake!

  19. You and your husband are quite the team! I am loving these deep fried root beer floats. You always have the most creative recipes.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Nicole! I can’t gush about him enough–he does dishes, indulges my obsessive prop-buying, AND writes blog posts when I’m too tired…oh, and he manages to eat all the dessert leftovers too. Whadda guy. :)

  20. WOW! I have a good friend who’s crazy about funnel cake. I gotta send this link to her. I know she will ask me to make it together! :D Looks so yummy!

    • Elizabeth says:

      The only think that could have made these better would have been to make them with a friend! That sounds so fun. Thanks, Nami, and let me know what you think if you guys give it a try!

  21. Very intriguing, indeed. Root beer floats were a big thrill upon landing in the US from Japan for summer vacation.

    P.s. Do the two of you have a cookbook in the works together?…Seems like it’s your destiny =)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Ha! Sort of. I do the official writing and he does the behind-the-scenes hand-holding, anxiety attack-calming and recipe-testing. It’s a good partnership. :)

  22. Awesome job, Jason!! Start a spin-off blog… “Sugar Sidekick”. You have my support!

    As for the deep fried root beer float… You had me at hello. It sounds so good and perfect for me, a root beer lover. I wish I could make this tonight.

  23. Emily says:

    Ummmm… why was this not at the county fair! You should be a fair food advisor (do they have those?) for them asap!

  24. This is the best idea ever. Wow. So pinned and so buying some comfy pants:)

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