Have a Dr Pepper fan in your life? Then they’re going to love these! Rich and moist chocolate buttermilk cupcakes with a hint of their favorite fizzy soda.

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One prepared Dr Pepper cupcake decorated with a striped straw beside a can of Dr Pepper.

About Dr Pepper Cupcakes

If you’ve been searching for a new flavor to add to your cupcake game, then look no further than iconic Dr Pepper.

With a deep, bold flavor and hints of allspice, mint, and faint licorice, it’s no wonder that Dr Pepper has a devoted fanbase. And with these Dr Pepper cupcakes, now they can have a dessert infused with their favorite beverage, too.

These cupcakes have a mild Dr Pepper taste, but still very much there – and it’s all wrapped up in delicious chocolate. It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate buttermilk cupcakes, so it’s hard not to like them even if you’re not a Dr Pepper fan.

How much Dr Pepper should you add to the frosting?

In my recipe testing, I could safely add up to 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of Dr Pepper and still have rich, creamy buttercream frosting. When I got close to 3/4 cup, the frosting began to separate due to too much liquid.

Multiple decorated Dr Pepper cupcakes with red and black striped straws on a red cake stand.

The frosting split! What should I do?

In recipe testing, there were some instances where adding too much Dr Pepper caused the frosting to appear separated or split.

But fear not! The frosting isn’t ruined. There are a couple of things you can do to save it:

  • Option 1: Since buttercream frosting is a balanced emulsion of fats and liquids, it could be that the Dr Pepper introduced too much liquid for the frosting to handle. Blending in a tablespoon or two of vegetable shortening should help the frosting firm up again.
  • Option 2: Refrigerate the frosting for 15-20 minutes, then try mixing again.
  • Option 3: If you haven’t been already, use a whisk attachment and whip the frosting on high for a few minutes. Keep in mind that this will force more air into the frosting (which is typically not the goal with buttercream) but it should cause the frosting to fluff up and smooth out. However, using this could also impact how long the frosting keeps its shape, as it may deflate over time. It’s best to only use this method only if you plan to serve the cupcakes within the next few hours.

If none of the above options helped whip life back into your frosting, please check out this article for more suggestions: How to fix separated buttercream.

Top down view of a Dr Pepper cupcake, showing off the frosting and straw decoration.

Can you make these cupcakes in advance?

Certainly! For best results, I recommend making them no further than 24 hours in advance. The longer the cupcakes sit the more the Oreo thin cookie will absorb moisture from the frosting, so keep that in mind.

How should these cupcakes be stored?

These cupcakes have buttercream frosting, and this is what determines the best way to store them.

If you plan on eating the cupcakes within 24-48 hours, it’s perfectly okay to store them at room temperature. However, keep in mind that the frosting may “settle” some during this time due to the liquid from the Dr pepper.

If you’d like to keep the cupcakes fresh for longer than two days, store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that the frosting will firm up once chilled, so if you’d prefer a softer texture, allow time for the frosting to soften at room temperature (typically one hour will do).

How long do Dr pepper cupakes last?

When stored in a sealed container on the counter, cupcakes will remain good for one or two days. If stored in the refrigerator, cupcakes can last anywhere from four to six days.

Close up side view of a Dr Pepper cupcake with the red wrapper pulled down.

Can you freeze Dr Pepper cupcakes?

Yes, you totally can! However, it’s best to freeze these cupcakes before they have been decorated. If you’ve already decorated the cupcakes, I highly recommend enjoying them while they’re still freshly made.

To freeze these cupcakes:

  • Bake cupcakes per recipe instructions, then allow to cool completely.
  • Wrap cupcakes in plastic wrap. You can either wrap them individually or arrange the cupcakes in a group (single layer) and wrap them together. Note: If you have already decorated the cupcakes and really want to freeze them, chill the cupcakes in the refrigerator until the frosting feels solid to a gentle touch (doesn’t smear) and gently wrap the cupcakes in plastic.
  • Place wrapped cupcakes in a freezer bag or a storage container with a sealable lid.
  • Cupcakes can be frozen for up to three months.

Notes & tips for Dr Pepper cupcakes

  • Make sure you have enough muffin tins to make 22 cupcakes (total yield of this recipe, unless serving size adjusted in the recipe card below).
  • Need cupcake liners? I used these: Foil Cupcake Liners.
Close up view of a Dr Pepper cupcake with a bite taken out of it, showing off the texture of the chocolate cupcake.

More delicious cupcake recipes

How to make Dr Pepper cupcakes

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – Kick things off by whisking together the flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Set this bowl aside for now.

Step 2 – Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl) whip together the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

Step 3 – Mix in the dry ingredients, Dr Pepper, and buttermilk until a thick and fluffy batter forms.

Step 4 – Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, then fill each cavity about 2/3 of the way full with batter.

Step 5 – Bake!

Step 6 – While the cupcakes bake and cool, prepare the frosting by using a mixer to whip together the butter, salt, and powdered sugar. Slowly blend in the Dr Pepper, making sure the consistency of the frosting stays nice and fluffy.

Step 7 – Place the Dr Pepper buttercream frosting in a pastry bag with a piping tip of your choice and decorate the cooled cupcakes. Top each cupcake with a straw, if desired.

Step 8 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Multiple decorated Dr Pepper cupcakes with red and black striped straws on a red cake stand.
4.7 from 10 votes

Dr Pepper Cupcakes

30 mins prep + 18 mins cook
383 kcal
Yields: 22 cupcakes
Have a Dr Pepper fan in your life? Then they're going to love these! Rich and moist chocolate buttermilk cupcakes with a hint of their favorite fizzy soda.

Ingredients 

Chocolate Dr Pepper Cupcakes
Dr Pepper Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup Dr Pepper

Instructions

For the Chocolate Dr Pepper Cupcakes
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare muffin tin(s) with cupcake liners. Set pan(s) aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Set bowl aside.
    2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl), add in butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on low until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
    1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Keeping mixer speed on low, add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then mix for 10-20 seconds. Pour in Dr Pepper, then mix for 10-20 seconds more. Add the other half of the dry ingredients, mix another 10-20 seconds, then pour in the buttermilk. Mix all ingredients until just combined. Batter should be thick and fluffy; be careful not to overmix.
    1 cup Dr Pepper, 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Pour cupcake batter into prepared muffin tin, filling cavities about 2/3 of the way full.
  • Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.
  • Let cupcakes cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Dr Pepper Buttercream Frosting
  • Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip butter and vanilla extract on high speed until fluffy.
    1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Drop mixer speed to medium and slowly add sugar to butter, mixing thoroughly in between.
    4 cups powdered sugar
  • Keeping speed on low, slowly mix in the Dr Pepper, adding one tablespoon at a time. Be sure to watch the consistency so that the frosting does not spit. You should be able to add anywhere from 4 to 8 tablespoons of Dr Pepper.
    1/4 cup Dr Pepper
Putting it all together
  • When ready to decorate, fill a pastry bag with prepared Dr Pepper buttercream frosting and a piping tip of your choice.
  • Frost each cupcake in a decorative pattern, then add a straw or fizzy sprinkles of your choice (optional).
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 675IU | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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39 comments

    • Sharon

    I love Dr.Pepper and chocolate so I know this will be great. I would like to make this in a bundit pan so would the mix make enough for it or would I have to double the recipe?

    • Karen Favero

    Can I use Diet Dr Pepper?

    • Pamela
    • 5 stars

    These are the best. Made these for father’s day and they taste so good. Not too sweet and the cake alone is the best. I am freezing some for another day!!

    • Peggy

    My boyfriend can’t have chocolate, can I leave it out?

    • Melanie

    I stumbled upon this recipe when a random cupcake hit me last week. I was intrigued, and ended up loving the taste! They’re not too Dr. Pepper-y, which I was scared about, the taste is subtle. It’s more of a “There’s something tasty in here, but can’t quite put my finger on it” kind of taste (if that makes sense). I did make the frosting recipe my own, though, because the original recipe sounded like it would be too sweet. My frosting was more of a subtly sweet cream cheese frosting, and still have enough frosting for another dozen or so cupcakes.

    My frosting –
    2-2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    8 oz cream cheese
    1/2 cup butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    4 “splashes” of Dr. Pepper

    As the butter, powder sugar, and cream cheese mixture started sticking to my mixer’s blade, I added the liquids (1st time clumping – vanilla, 2nd time – 1 “splash” of Dr. Pepper, etc.). Taste as you go! You may want more/less sugar.

    • Kylie

    Hi, I’m also a gamer and your recipe for Guinness cupcakes may have saved my chaotic neutral pixie with evil tendencies. I think I scored major points with the DM by bringing those. I was just wondering what the texture was of the Dr. Pepper cupcakes because I believe I really screwed them up big time. We just came home from putting one of our dogs to sleep, and I was a little too upset to function when I decided to bake. They were really dense and didn’t rise at all. I’m sure it was an error on my part in following directions, but I just want to make sure before I decide whether or not to go for a second attempt making them again.

    • Hey Kylie! So sorry for the late response! And very sorry about your dog 🙁 I know just how hard that is.
      For the cupcakes deflating or not rising… hrm, could be a few things. Did you check the age of your baking soda? It does lose it’s potency after a while. Another culprit could be overmixing – some say it’s best to stop mixing as soon as you no longer see any dry ingredients, but even that can vary a little. I’ll have to make this recipe again soon and see if I can pin down anything else that might be the cause.

    • Jamie

    YUM – that looks amazing!! I wonder if I would have to change anything being at a high altitude. Pinning it to try!

    • Thank you Jamie! I think I remember reading that high altitudes usually means more heat but less on ingredients like baking powder, sugar, and liquids(?) I’d be interested to hear what changes you make and how it turns out!

    • Cathycathy

    YUm, these look unbelievably yummy! This is this week’s fan favorite at Making Memories Mondays! 🙂
    Cathy