This is my second time making Shirley Temple cupcakes. I first made Shirley Temple cupcakes in 2008. Bride 4.0 recalled them as one of her favorites so she requested that I make them again for consideration as a wedding cupcake. There was just one problem with that plan – I didn’t like them. Most of you know my rule: I refuse to make cupcakes that I don’t like.
The key problem with the original Shirley Temple cupcakes was that they were a sloppy mess. They derived their Shirley Temple flavor from being drenched in a grenadine syrup – you almost needed a spoon to eat them. I had scary visions of Bride 4.0’s white dress covered in red sticky syrup:
No, no. This would not do. But, since Bride 4.0 liked the idea of a Shirley Temple cupcake, I decided to create an alternate version.
I liked my new version of Shirley Temple cupcakes better than the first one (the jury is still out on Bride 4.0’s opinion; she’s going to try them tonight). The cake is sweet and moist and because of the high sugar content, the top is slightly caramelized. I opted to leave the lemon out of the cake entirely so that it wouldn’t overpower the grenadine flavor. Instead, I put a touch of lemon extract alongside some grenadine in the glaze. I topped the cupcakes with the iconic maraschino cherry.
About the Cherry
When Groom 2.0 saw the cherry on top, he paused, looked up at me quizzically, and inquired, “Is that a maraschino cherry – like from the store?” Somewhat embarrassed, I had to say yes; and in the name of honesty, I had to admit that I had also used food coloring in these cupcakes. I explained that while in the past I had made homemade maraschino cherries, I felt that store-bought ones would be easier and look better for a wedding. The same applied to the food coloring; before adding the food coloring, the glaze was the color of chicken skin – totally unappealing for a wedding cupcake display.
Shirley Temple Cupcake Recipe
Shirley Temple Cupcakes
- 2 C flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 C unsalted butter room temperature
- 2/3 C sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 C milk
- 1 1/2 C grenadine I recommend using homemade grenadine.
Shirley Temple Glaze Ingredients
- 1/2 C powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp grenadine I recommend using homemade grenadine.
- 1/4 tsp lemon extract
- red food coloring optional
- maraschino cherries optional
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In another medium-sized bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat eggs, milk, and grenadine into the butter/sugar mixture until blended.
Fold in flour mixture.
Fill cupcake liners all the way to the top.
Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cupcake clean.
Shirley Temple Glaze Instructions
Mix powdered sugar, grenadine, and lemon extract.
Optionally add red food coloring a few drops at a time until you love the color.
Spread on cooled cupcakes.
Optionally, just before serving, top cupcakes with maraschino cherries.