The Pioneer Woman Uses This Surprising Soda To Make Cupcakes

When tasked with baking cupcakes, the first thing you might reach for is the box of Funfetti cake mix that's been in your pantry for who knows how long. But if you're feeling a little more ambitious — i.e., you've been watching one too many episodes of Cupcake Wars on Food Network — you might put in a little extra effort and attempt to make them from scratch. It's less intimidating than it may seem, and there are plenty of Instagram-worthy cupcake recipes on Pinterest, from the basics (like vanilla and chocolate) to the more creative (ones filled with cream, for instance, or even copycat Hostess cupcakes).

The Pioneer Woman also has a few cupcake-baking tricks up her sleeve. One of her most popular recipes for the mini desserts has a surprising ingredient — and it's one you won't find in the baking aisle, but rather in the beverage aisle. Here's what Ree Drummond adds to her made-from-scratch cupcakes.

Ree Drummond adds Dr Pepper to her cupcakes

The secret to Drummond's perfectly moist, perfectly delicious cupcakes? Dr Pepper. In her recipe, the celebrity cook says she adds one cup of Dr Pepper to the batter before baking (and she even whips it into the frosting). The popular soda has been a staple in Drummond's diet ever since she was 7 years old and fell in love with Bonne Bell Dr Pepper Lip Smacker, she told Country Living. Admitting that Dr Pepper is the one thing that helped her morning sickness when she was pregnant, she also confessed that her husband drinks four cans of the soda per day.

These days, Drummond told the magazine that she only drinks Diet Dr Pepper — but that she uses the real thing in her recipes. "When it's cooked down, it's just a perfect mix of flavors," she explained. "Man, does it make a mean pulled pork, and I love adding it to desserts."