Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

When my son Eli first saw me looking at a Dr. Pepper cake on Pinterest, he begged me to make him one.

I like Dr. Pepper, but I thought it sounded kind of weird. So I told him that I’d try it one day. Maybe.

Well, he didn’t forget, and requested it for his birthday. So I made a batch of cupcakes to take to our homeschool group, and I think they turned out quite nice. Everyone seemed to enjoy them. The Dr. Pepper flavor is subtle, but definitely there. Eli said he wished I’d made them more red in color, but I didn’t think they needed it.

Anyhow, a few people asked for the recipe, so here it is. I tweaked the one I was given, combining tips from a couple of different recipes in an attempt to pull off the cherry-spice flavor of the soda.


  • 1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Dr. Pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. each: ground ginger, ground nutmeg, finely ground black pepper

Mix together as directed on package (but use these ingredients–you won’t add water). Line 24 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners. Divide batter evenly into cups then bake at 350* for approximately 18-20 minutes or until done.

Let cool thoroughly before frosting.

While cake is baking and cooling, take one 12-oz. can of Dr. Pepper and boil it in a small saucepan, until it is reduced by half. Let this soda reduction cool.

Dr. Pepper Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. dry cherry jello powder (or more to taste)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. each: ground ginger, ground nutmeg, finely ground black pepper
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Dr. Pepper reduction (made above)

Beat butter, vanilla, jello powder and spices together with mixer. Gradually beat in sugar, alternating with Dr. Pepper reduction, until desired frosting consistency is reached. Adjust spices if needed. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Decorate with a cherry on top and/or sprinkles.

Makes 24.