The Sweetest Crumb

Shirley Temple Cupcakes

Hi friends!

Lately I’ve been feeling that this year has been crazy for big changes. It seems like everyone around me has something big going on in their life – they’re either getting married, buying houses, changing careers or popping out babies. I guess it’s natural since most of the people I know are in their mid twenties. But sometimes I just don’t want to feel like an adult, with adult responsibilities and these expected major life changes. Sometimes all I really want to do is pencil roll down a grassy hill and blow some soap bubbles. And you know what else goes great with being a care-free kid rolling down a hill? These Shirley Temple inspired cupcakes!

For those who might not know what a Shirley Temple is (I only discovered them as an adult and usually end up adding a little vodka to mine), they are a traditional children’s drink (when made without the vodka of course) made with either ginger ale or a citrusy soda, grenadine and topped with a maraschino cherry.

These cupcakes are made with two different batters. The yellow batter is flavoured with lemon soda, lemon extract and lime zest to mimick the 7-Up or other citrusy carbonated beverage used in a Shirley Temple. The red batter on the bottom is flavoured with grenadine. While you can easily acquire store bought grenadine, making your own is super easy and results in a much tastier, healthier product – the first two ingredients in your homemade grenadine won’t be high fructose corn syrup and red dye #40! (I’ll post the grenadine recipe I used next time.) The frosting was a swiss meringue buttercream, flavoured with cherry syrup and topped with a cherry of course.

To be honest, the cupcakes did not taste especially like Shirley Temples. However, they were super cute, would definitely satisfy your sweet tooth and would be great for a birthday party or really anytime you want to feel more like a kid!

Hope you guys like the cupcakes and if anyone is with me on escaping adulthood once in a while, we should arrange a pencil-rolling play date. I’ll bring the cupcakes!

Shirley Temple Cupcakes


By Genia Rodnyansky Published: May 7, 2013

  • Yield: about 12 cupcakes

Hi friends! Lately I've been feeling that this year has been crazy for big changes. It seems like everyone around me has something …


  • 1 1/2 cups, plus 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup citrusy soda such as limonada or 7-Up
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • 2 tbsp grenadine syrup
  • red food colouring
  • 12 maraschino cherries


  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. In a medium bowl combine 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar. Mix until fluffy on medium high speed.
  3. Add eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time, mixing until combined.
  4. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Alternate with the citrus soda, adding one half of soda at a time. End by adding the remaining third of flour and mix until combined.
  5. Add the vanilla, lemon extract and lime zest to the batter. Mix until combined.
  6. Remove about 3/4 cup of the batter and place into a medium bowl. Add the 2 tbsp of grenadine syrup and the remaining flour to this batter, mixing until uniform. Tint with food colouring until the desired shade of red is achieved.
  7. Line your muffin tins with paper liners and spread the red batter on the bottom of each liner. I used a piping bag to make this step easier and less messy.
  8. Top the red batter with the remaining yellow batter - being careful not to mix the two colours.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Once cupcakes are cooled, frost with cherry swiss meringue buttercream and top with a maraschino cherry.

    To make the cherry swiss meringue buttercream, I made the usual swiss meringue buttercream and added about 3 tbsp of cherry syrup along with the vanilla in step 3. I used a Monin cherry syrup but found that the cherry flavour could have been stronger. Next time, I might look for a flavour extract or try reducing the syrup before adding it into the buttercream.

    Leave a reply