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.
4.64 from 11 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

    • Cathy

    These cupcakes look mouthwatering amazing!! They are this week’s fan favorite over at Making Memories Mondays which goes live Sunday night 9PM EST!
    Cathy

    • Lou Lou Girls

    Oh Yum! I get so excited each week to see what you have been working on because it’s always AMAZING! Thank you for sharing this with us. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm, so we can party!!!! Lou Lou Girls

    • Amy @ItsAMindfulLife

    This looks and sounds amazing! I Love Dr Pepper! Thank for this fun recipe! Stopping by from The Creative Exchange Linkup Party.

    • Linda

    These cupcakes sound awesome. And you game nights sound like a fun time. Thanks for sharing this with What’d You Do This Weekend. You cupcakes will be featured next week. Hope to see you then.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,

    Linda

    • Jerri

    These look great! I have to try these sometime. I love Dr. Pepper! I’d love for you to share with us at our Friday Favorites link party!

    • Miz Helen

    These are awesome cupcakes. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome recipe with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

    • Christine

    Even though I almost never drink soda, I still consider myself a “pepper.” Growing up in the 70s just gives you lifetime membership, I think. These sound crazy good. Visiting from #TryABiteTuesday.

    • Angela

    These look great, I love Dr Pepper. #TryABiteTuesday

    • Cathy

    Another great recipe! I would love for you to share this sweet creation over at my link party Making Memories Mondays going on now! 🙂
    Cathy

    • Jane @Sustain My Craft Habit

    These sounds so yummy! I would never think of adding Dr. Pepper to cupcakes. So fun for a game night, or any night really ;). Definitely going on my must-try Pinterest board! Thank you for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty! Looking forward to seeing you back next week.

    • Lucy @ Bake Play Smile

    Oh my goodness – I remember when we used to drink Dr Pepper (you can’t buy it in the supermarkets in Australia anymore – at least I don’t think you can!!). These look so gorgeous! Thanks for linking up with our Fabulous Foodie Fridays party! xx

    • Anna Hettick

    My dad is a Dr. Pepper fanatic so these would be perfect to make him!!!

    Visiting from Crafty and Delicious Daily!

    • Jen | Baked by an Introvert

    These look great! I made exactly the same cupcake recipe about a month ago!

      • Jen | Baked by an Introvert

      Thanks for the link back! 🙂

      • No problem! It’s a great recipe 😀

    • Sara

    These look great, I love Dr. Pepper and I can see how it would pair well with chocolate!

    • Thank you Sara! I almost went with white chocolate on these – might have to try that next time.

    • Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert

    I am such a sucker for Dr. Pepper, these look adorable!! I love the little straw on top too 🙂

    • Des @ Life’s Ambrosia

    I posted a Dr. Pepper recipe today too! I made a popsicle with it but I am totally loving the idea of Dr. Pepper cupcakes. So scrumptious!

    • I saw the popsicles! Dr Pepper always seemed like the perfect summer soda to me.

    • allie @ Through Her Looking Glass

    These look great Chrisy! We love Dr. Pepper at our house. Super pictures, love those cute little cupcake straws! 🙂

    • Kate @ Diethood

    Truth: I have never had dr. pepper!! Another truth: I want these cupcakes, stat!! They look so good! Also? Game nights are soooo fun!

    • Wow, never had Dr Pepper?! I was just trying to think of what other soda it tastes like… and there are none. It’s a flavor all it’s own. Maybe it’d be something to try on your next game night? 😀

        • Debby D. Tresner

        SURE!! Dr. Pepper tastes like prune juice, because the main “food” ingredient IS prunes. Not too bad, just different. So-I can see why some people wouldn’t have tried it. Just found this site tonight and am certain I will be spending much time on board. I’m a 45+ year florist/floral designer, so if you have questions I MIGHT be able to help you. For now—carry on! Deb T.

    • Kacey @ The Cookie Writer

    I love unique cupcake flavours such as this one! We are nerds, too, and whenever my an old friend of mine goes to D&D night I am always prepared with food items for him 🙂

    • That’s awesome! Gaming nights are definitely better now than they were when we were kids – much better food!