These 2-Ingredient Dr. Pepper Cupcakes Are Going Viral (and for Good Reason)

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Soda and cake mix are all you need to make these delicious cupcakes. Don't knock it til you've tried it!

Dr Pepper Cupcakes made by Jason WilsonJason Wilson for Taste of Home

Who doesn’t love a shortcut? Plenty of us who don’t happen to be expert bakers, it turns out. One of the hottest recipes making the rounds right now is for Dr. Pepper Chocolate Cupcakes. They’re made with just two ingredients: Dr. Pepper and chocolate cake mix.

Popularized by a TikToker named Zoe (@bandnamegenerator), experienced bakers may turn up their noses at the technique of using soda in cake making, but this is a solid—and delicious—culinary technique. Once you taste the cupcakes, though, you’ll be sold.

Besides, this isn’t even the strangest place Dr. Pepper has turned up recently. The soda has been in Dr. Pepper Pot Roast, Dr. Pepper Drumsticks, and even in Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce.

Why Use Soda In Baking?

The idea of using soda in cakes is nothing new. We’ve seen several recipes for 7-Up pound cake, root beer float cakes, orange-cola cakes and cherry cola cakes. According to Food + Wine, using soda in baking dates back to at least the Depression, “when cooks had to MacGyver new solutions to make up for a lack of baking staples.”

It was most often used in the South, where there was more of a pushback from churches not to use alcoholic beverages like rum in making cakes. As time went on, it was used as a novelty as much as a substitute for scarce ingredients.

Sodas bring surprising elements to baking, according to Food + Wine, and not just as a sweetener. The fizz can be a leavening agent, and sodas bring acidity, acting almost like buttermilk in a batter. Cola has natural caramelization and flavoring agents that mimic spices.

@bandnamegenerator The loml is this cupcake #drpepper #foodtiktok #foodtok #drpeppercake ♬ original sound – familyguy.xuxu

How to Make Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

Ingredients to make Dr Pepper Cupcakes by Jason WilsonJason Wilson for Taste of Home

The cupcakes themselves require only two ingredients. The frosting requires four. This is super easy baking. You can duplicate this recipe using any soda and any cake mix. Orange soda and vanilla cake? Cola and strawberry cake? Go for it! Experiment!

Ingredients

Instructions

Step 1: Mix the two ingredients together

Heat oven to 350F. Pour the entire box of cake mix into a bowl and combine with 2 cups of Dr. Pepper “til it’s thicker than pancake batter but runnier than brownie batter.”

Step 2: Bake cupcakes

Pour batter into the cupcake tin, and place in oven. Bake for about 15-17 minutes, checking with a toothpick inserted into the center that comes out clean. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before removing it from the tin. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Step 3: Make the frosting

While the cupcakes are baking, combine butter, cocoa and Dr. Pepper together, using a mixer. Add in powdered sugar and continue to mix until the frosting is smooth and holds soft peaks. Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost them.

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