Easy Soda Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Icing

Last Updated: April 3, 2024

These soda cupcakes with cream cheese icing combine your choice of cake mix with a complementary soda for an easy dessert that can be whipped up in no time. And their fluffy texture and unique taste is perfect for any occasion.
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soda cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Why I love this recipe

This soda cupcakes recipe is one of my go-to favorite desserts for parties, and it’s not hard to see why!

Using a cake mix means they are incredibly easy and foolproof to make.

You can make all kinds of different flavors just by changing out the type of cake mix and soda that you use.

As with all cupcakes, they are so much easier to serve than a regular cake.

But the real magic happens as the soda reacts with the cake mix, creating a light and fluffy texture that’s a dream to bite into.

And including eggs and butter with the cake mix makes a moister cake than a typical 2-ingredient soda cupcake recipe does.

Ingredients

soda cupcakes and frosting ingredients - cake mix, Dr. Pepper soda, butter, eggs, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, strawberry jam

This recipe will make 24 cupcakes.

Here is your shopping list:

For the cupcakes

  • cake mix: 1 16.5 ounce box of cake mix – for this recipe I used strawberry.
  • soda: 1 cup (8 ounces) of soda – Brand name sodas seem to work better than store brand. I used Dr Pepper Strawberries and Cream for this version.
  • dairy: ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • eggs: 3 large ones

For the cream cheese frosting

  • dairy: 8 oz of cream cheese, 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, ¼ cup of milk
  • sugar: 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • flavoring: 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 3 tablespoons of strawberry jam (optional) – I wanted to make strawberry cream cheese frosting to go with the strawberry cake mix so I added strawberry jam. You can leave this out if you want vanilla icing.

Substitutions and variations

  • For even less work you can make a 2-ingredient version. Just use 12 ounces of soda and omit the eggs and butter. However the cake won’t be as moist.
  • Gluten-free cake mix and diet soda will work if that’s what you prefer.
  • To save yourself even more time, you can use store-bought frosting.
  • This can be baked in a 9″ x 13″ sheet pan to make it into a cake. You will need to increase the bake time by 5 to 10 minutes. I find that the cake texture doesn’t work well for layer cakes or 3-D pans with designs in them so I would avoid using those.

Soda and cake mix combinations

Here are some ideas for different flavor combinations you cake try:

SodaCake mixSuggested frosting
Dr Pepperred velvetcream cheese frosting
Coke (or Pepsi)chocolatechocolate frosting
Mountain Dewlemonlemon frosting
Cream Sodawhitecream cheese frosting
Dr Pepper Strawberries and Cream or Fanta Strawberrystrawberrystrawberry cream cheese frosting (see below)
Root beerchocolatechocolate frosting
Grape sodawhitecream cheese frosting
Cheerwinechocolatechocolate cocoa frosting
7up or spritelemonlemon frosting
Orange sodawhite cake mixcream cheese frosting
Cherry Cokechocolate cakeCool whip

How to make soda cupcakes

strawberry soda cupcakes in front of a basket of fresh strawberries, and a bottle of Dr Pepper

1 | Prep work

Take the butter and cream cheese (if you’re using it) out of the refrigerator a couple of hours ahead of time so they can soften. This will make them much easier to mix.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Line 2 12-count muffin tins with cupcake liners.

2 | Mix the batter

soda cupcakes batter in a bowl before adding soda

Melt ½ cup (1 stick) of butter. You can do this by microwaving it for 30 to 60 seconds in a glass bowl in the microwave. Or by cooking it over low heat on the stove.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the strawberry cake mix, eggs, and melted butter.

Mix using an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

soda cupcakes batter in a bowl after adding soda

Remove the bowl from the mixer.

Add in the soda and mix by hand just until combined.

Don’t do this with the mixer. Too much mixing can cause the soda to lose its fizz and the cake won’t rise.

3 | Bake

soda cupcakes in a cupcake tin before baking

Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners until they are 2/3 full. An ice cream scoop works well for this.

Place the tin in the oven and bake the cupcakes for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

soda cupcakes in a cupcake tin after baking

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes.

4 | Make cream cheese frosting

strawberry cream cheese frosting in a bowl beside strawberry soda cupcakes

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the powdered sugar, room temperature cream cheese, and softened butter until smooth and fluffy.

Mix in the vanilla and strawberry jam (if using) until well blended.

Add the milk, a little at a time, until you reach your desired frosting consistency.

Be careful not to over whip the frosting as this will result in a thinner consistency.

5 | Decorate

frosted soda cupcakes on a wire cooling rack beside a piping bag filled with cream cheese frosting

Once the cupcakes are cool, spoon the icing into a piping bag with a star tip and add the icing in a swirl pattern.

To make them look like little milkshakes, I like to cut straws into 2-inch long pieces and stick them in the frosting for each cupcake.

Storage

strawberry soda cupcakes with cream cheese frosting decorated with a red and white striped straw
  • With Cream Cheese Frosting: Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. The cream cheese in the frosting requires refrigeration.
  • With Plain Buttercream Frosting: If you use plain buttercream frosting, they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for one week.
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Frequently asked questions

What happens if I add too much soda?

Adding too much soda can result in cupcakes that are overly moist and might not set properly so it’s best to stick to the recommended amount in the recipe.

Can I use any type of soda in my cupcakes?

Yes, you can experiment with any type of soda, though the flavor of the soda will influence the flavor of the cupcakes. Some popular choices are Dr. Pepper, cream soda, and Coca Cola or Pepsi.

Why did my soda cupcakes not rise?

This usually happens if the batter is mixed too much after the soda has been added. The soda loses its fizz so it doesn’t have enough bubbles left to help with the rising process during baking.

soda cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting and a red and white striped straw

Easy Soda Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Icing

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Servings: 24 Cupcakes
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Cooling 30 minutes
Total 55 minutes

Ingredients
  

For the cupcakes

  • 1 16.5 oz box cake mix
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • ½ cup (or 1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup soda

For the frosting

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 cup (or 2 sticks) butter (softened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons strawberry jam (optional – only required if you want strawberry-flavored frosting)
  • ¼ cup milk

Equipment

  • measuring cups
  • mixer with mixing bowl
  • 2 12-count muffin tins
  • 24 cupcake liners
  • piping bag with large star-shaped tip (such as Wilton 1M tip)

Instructions
 

Make the cupcakes

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line 2 12-count muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the strawberry cake mix, eggs, and melted butter using an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
    1 16.5 oz box cake mix, 3 large eggs, 1/2 cup (or 1 stick) butter, melted
  • Add the soda to the batter and stir by hand just until combined.
    1 cup soda
  • Carefully pour or spoon the batter into the cupcake liners until they are ⅔ full.
  • Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes.

Make the frosting

  • Use an electric mixer to cream together the powdered sugar, room temperature cream cheese, and softened butter until smooth.
    8 ounces cream cheese, 4 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup (or 2 sticks) butter
  • Mix in the vanilla and strawberry jam (if using) until well blended.
    1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 Tablespoons strawberry jam
  • Add the milk, a little at a time, until you reach your desired frosting consistency. Be careful not to over-mix.
    ¼ cup milk
  • Once the cupcakes are cool, spoon the icing into a piping bag with a star tip and swirl it onto the top of each cupcake. For extra decoration, stick a 2-inch section of a straw into the frosting of each cupcake.

Notes

  • Don’t use the mixer to mix in the soda. It will lose too much of its fizz which can cause the cake not to rise.
  • Be mindful not to over-whip the frosting, as it will result in a thinner consistency icing.
  • If your cupcakes have cream cheese frosting, they will need to be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator (for up to a week) until serving.
 
Suggested soda and cake mix combinations:
    • Dr Pepper cupcakes: Dr. Pepper with chocolate cake mix
    • Coca Cola or Pepsi cupcakes: Coke (or Pepsi) with chocolate cake mix
    • Mountain Dew cupcakes: Mountain Dew and lemon cake mix
    • Cream soda cupcakes: Cream soda and white cake mix
    • Grape soda cupcakes: Grape soda with white cake mix
    • Cheerwine cupcakes: Cheerwine with chocolate cake mix
    • 7up cupcakes: 7up (or sprite) with lemon cake mix
    • Orange creamsicle cupcakes: white cake mix with orange soda.
    • Strawberry soda cupcakes: Dr Pepper Strawberries and Cream (or Fanta strawberry) with strawberry cake mix
Nutrition Facts
Easy Soda Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Icing
Serving Size
 
1 cupcake
Amount per Serving
Calories
296
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
16
g
25
%
Saturated Fat
 
10
g
63
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Cholesterol
 
40
mg
13
%
Sodium
 
267
mg
12
%
Potassium
 
41
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
38
g
13
%
Fiber
 
0.2
g
1
%
Sugar
 
30
g
33
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
Vitamin A
 
486
IU
10
%
Vitamin C
 
0.2
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
60
mg
6
%
Iron
 
0.4
mg
2
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

authorWanda Simone
courseDessert
cuisineAmerican
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