From the Kitchen

Root Beer Cookies

One of my favorite recipes from when I was a little kid was Root Beer Cookies. My mom’s good friend gave her a recipe for Root Beer Cookies over twenty years ago and we still use it. (I’ve made a few slight adjustments.) While they may sound strange, they are really quite delicious. And kids love them!

Rootbeer Cookies

Root beer extract can be hard to find. See the bottom of the post for a few sources. The one most readily available at supermarkets is the McCormick brand.

Root Beer Extract

Root Beer Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. root beer extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup water (optional–only use if dough is too dry)
  • Root Beer frosting (recipe below)

Butter Sugar


Cream butter and dark brown sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the root beer extract. Whisk dry ingredients together. Add a little at a time to the creamed mixture. The dough should be slightly sticky, like this:

dough texture

Chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease several baking sheets, or line them with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  Roll into small balls (about 1″ diameter). I like to use a mini-ice cream scoop so that the cookies end up evenly sized.

scooping dough

Place them on the pan, leaving a bit of space between the cookies. Gently press the tops of the dough.  (If you leave out the water, sometimes the cookies don’t spread very much.) Bake for 6-8 minutes, rotating cookie sheet halfway through.

baked rootbeer cookie

Let cookies cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting Recipe:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. root beer extract
  • a few tablespoons hot water

Beat butter on high with an electric mixer until it is fluffy.  Add a little powdered sugar and the root beer extract.  Beat until smooth.  Add remaining powdered sugar alternately with a little hot water until a nice spreading consistency has been reached.

Frost the cooled cookies and let stand for a few minutes to let the frosting set up.  (It should dry a bit on the top.) You can leave out the root beer extract and you’ll have a tasty, soft brown sugar cookie.  I have substituted maple extract, added pecans, and even made chocolate chip cookies out of this recipe.  It’s a keeper.

Root Beer Cookies

Extract Sources I recommend:

Other cookie recipes our family likes:


  1. I have made these cookies for my neighborhood cookie exchange for about 5 or 6 years now. This is the first year I rolled dough into logs and it made ALL THE DIFFERENCE! The dough is so stiff & sticky, it’s really hard to use a little baller thingy. My cookies tasted great but frankly looked a little poopish using the baller. Making, chilling, slicing logs of dough made much more uniform & attractive cookies! Also, I live where McCormick is headquartered & root beer concentrate is no longer sold in any store near me. I called McCormick & was told there were no retail stores that sold root beer concentrate within 50 miles of my zip! So I ordered an off brand extract from Amazon. I think it tastes almost the same!

  2. I made these and they were very good! I don’t know why mine turned out light and the frosting was white–they didn’t look at all like the photo posted but they were delish! I wondered how the ones in the picture turned out to look so different! Great recipe!

  3. The easiest way to get the BEST ROOT BEER EXTRACT out there is through Watkins. Plus while there you can get the best Vanilla on the market. Not like Mexican Vanilla which isnt even made from a Vanilla bean and is banned in the USA by the FDA because it causes liver cancer. Watkins also offers a wide variey of other ALL NATURAL products. Theve been in business since 1868 so they know what they are doing. Visit my page at to order or request a catalog.

  4. Anybody tried substituting extract with the real deal? Cant find root beer extract at any grocery stores

  5. I added a little more flavoring in than called for, after tasting the first batch, also for the frosting. They are delicious, but why is my frosting cream colored and yours is brown?

  6. OMGosh,just love these.This recipe makes alot.So I made half the batch (for kiddos and family)and refrig.the rest and made a fresh batch for my husband’s poker group.They all loved it.i think the trick is refrig the dough in a Makes it easy to slice and refrig frosting as well.I added white sprinkles gives it a rootbeer float feel:)LOVE,LOVE THESE!!Thanks!!!

  7. I’m SO making these! We love cola cake and there is not Root Beer in Poland but I have some of the extract.

    I can’t wait to try them. I’ll come back and tell how they turned out (unless I hate them, which I won’t. Neither will the kids.)

  8. I’m excited to try out the Malt Chocolate chip cookies. I think they’ll be great for my neighborhood block party this weekend.

  9. Just finished frosting the last Root Beer Cookie at our house. :) Oh so yummy! Thanks a million!

  10. I’ve never heard of such a thing! They sound delicious. Never 100% happy with what’s presented to me, I’d like to turn these into brownies, but really only because it would be easier to frost them ;-).

  11. Looks like fun. My husband would love this with the rootbeer flavor, too. He’s taking my birthday week off this week so it may be on the to-do list of ‘fun things to bake’. Another fun thing I’m going to try this week is mini banana splits using those tiny bananas. Have you seen those? Really cute.


  12. Forget the kids. I love root beer! I’ve tried recipes using bottled root beer, but never thought to use the extract. (duh). Can’t wait to try these! Thank you for sharing your recipe & great photos. ;o}

  13. yum! I have a list of things I want to make with the kids; we try to cook one thing together each week; next week’s it baked doughnuts; we will definitely be putting this on for the week after; I’ve never heard of them til now.

  14. These sound interesting -I’m trying to picture what a root beer cookie would taste like (besides root beer . . I don’t think I can picture this beverage in cookie form). We actually have root beer extract kicking around since that was one of my husband’s Christmas gifts – the stuff needed for making homemade rootbeer. He’s having fun with it and enjoys it immensely, but it’s a bit yeasty for my tastes.

    My friend, the Casual Baker, posted about my favourite cookies here: Caramel Cream Sandwich Cookies:

    And here’s a link to a blog entry (I don’t know this person – just googled a recipe title and this was the first one that came up!) that includes a recipe to the best cookies I’ve made recently: Dorie Greenspan’s Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. – so good!

  15. Oh my! These look different and wonderful! I’ll need to try them. Our current favorite is peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips…

  16. Thanks Lindsey! I will have to try these. My root beer float loving dad might really love them! He likes to put crushed skor bar in his floats. Might add some of those on top.

  17. Man, these look so neat! I always see the RB flavoring and always think to get it to add to my extract collection. Next time, I am gonna buy it and make these! Nice job, Lindsey!

  18. I think I’m going to make these for our next family party – we have one every month and I think all my nieces and nephews will really like these cookies – they’re so fun and yummy!

  19. I love trying new foods and asking my boys to try new foods. Won’t they love it when the new food is a COOKIE?!? Thank you for the awesome recipe.

  20. Those do look good! I hate to admit it but I never make cookies for my children so I have no idea what kind of cookies they like. :-( I usually make bars and their fave is snickerdoodle blondies.

    I’m going to hop over and check out your brownie cookies.

  21. Wow! Those sound wonderful! My son is addicted to root beer so I am going to have to make these for him today!

  22. These look delicious and not too hard to make! I’m trying them as soon as I can pick-up some Root Beer extract (who’d of thought?) at the store! My kids really love my peanut butter cookies and of course, Chocolate chip. Maybe we’ll add a new favorite to our list after we try these!

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