Root Beer Float Donuts

You won’t mind getting a little messy for these Root Beer Float Donuts! They’re a playful take on two classic American treats- homemade donuts with a root beer glaze topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Root Beer Float DonutsI’m currently sitting in bed in a rustic cabin in Northern California with my fiance’s family who are all still asleep, listening to the sound of a rushing river outside the window. Supes calming, right?

Root Beer Float DonutsIt’s supposed to be a long weekend to unplug and relax, but here I am jimmy-rigging an internet hotspot to my laptop through my phone (did you even know you could do that? Coolest thing ever!) I feel like I’m totally cheating, but it’s all to bring you this epic recipe for Root Beer Float Donuts, so I feel totally justified.

Root Beer Float DonutsAnd then I promise to unplug and relax.

But first, I’m going to tell you how you need these Root Beer Float Donuts in your life. Yes, they are messy, but SO worth it. 

Root Beer Float DonutsHave you ever made yeast donuts from scratch? There is absolutely no comparison to the store bought kind. They are soft, warm, and SO fresh.

Root Beer Float DonutsThis recipe walks you through a basic yeast raised donut. Trust me, it’s not hard, but there are a good amount of steps, and patience is required for the two proofs that yeast donuts must go through. If you want to use your favorite baked cake donut recipe because it’s quicker/easier/healthier, go right ahead! Who am I to stop you?

Root Beer Float DonutsOnce your donuts are fried, then it’s all about the root beer glaze, which is made with real root beer soda (I recommend a good quality one like Virgil’s that uses no preservatives or artificial ingredients) AND root beer extract for that unmistakeable herbaceous/licorice flavor.

Then top your donuts with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream (or whipped cream if melting is of any concern) and BOOM, you’ve got yourself a certified mashup of two classic american treats.

Root Beer Float Donuts


5 from 1 vote

Root Beer Float Donuts

You won’t mind getting a little messy for these Root Beer Float Donuts! They’re a playful take on two classic American treats- homemade donuts with a root beer glaze topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword desserts with root beer, homemade donuts
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 1 dozen
Calories 400 kcal
Author Denisse


For the donuts:

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk heated to 110°F
  • 2 tablespoons 30 grams superfine sugar
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups 320 to 400 grams bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons 2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 teaspoon root beer extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons root beer plus more as needed
  • 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream


  1. Add warmed milk, sugar and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand until yeast starts to foam, about 10 minutes. Attach paddle hook to stand mixer while yeast is activating.

  2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add flour mixture, butter and egg yolks to the yeast mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined, then switch to the dough hook and continue to mix until dough forms a ball and cleanly pulls away from the bowl, about 7-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a greased bowl, cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

  3. Spray a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray and set aside. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll out to a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut donuts using a 3 inch donut cutter and gently transfer the donuts (and holes) to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Spray the tops of the donuts and holes with nonstick cooking spray and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until they have almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

  4. Using a deep fryer or dutch oven, heat oil to 350º. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack and set aside. Working in batches, fry the donuts and donut holes until lightly golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to the wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before glazing.

  5. To make the glaze, whisk together root beer extract, root beer and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add more root beer if needed to thin out the glaze.

  6. Dip the donuts, one at a time, into the warm glaze, covering the top half of each donut with glaze. Allow glaze to set for a few minutes, then top with a large scoop of ice cream in the center of each donut and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

This recipe works with any other fizzy drink. 

Products I recommend for this recipe:

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    1. Denisse Post author

      Thanks so much! We were up at Pyramid Creek near south Lake Tahoe…still need to get up to Yosemite!

  1. Scott Williams

    Ive been to lake tahoe in the past and absolutely loved it. … The way you present these donuts is so creative by the way. What kind of camera did you for these awesome photos?

    1. Denisse Post author

      Thanks! I use a Canon Rebel t4i with a 50mm f/1.8 lens- I’m looking into upgrading to a new lens soon, but these are both pretty budget friendly options (perfect for those just starting out) and work great together to produce quality images!


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