Not to sound too cheesy or anything, but I legitimately had dreams about making these Shirley Temple cupcakes. I loved Shirley Temples when I was a kid. I’d get so excited when my parents would take me to a “fancy” place like Olive Garden and I’d order a Shirley Temple every single time. It was such a treat for me and made me feel extra classy. I was 10 years old, so it was OK.
I was really excited to make these Shirley Temple cupcakes when I thought of the idea, and I found a way to make them extra easy by using boxed cake mix. I substituted soda for water, which significantly improved the cupcake. I’ve never tried baking with soda before, and it made the baked cupcakes extra soft. Like, really soft. Melt in your mouth soft. And the grenadine on the bottom and in the frosting added the perfect Shirley Temple flavor with a maraschino cherry on top for good measure!
Shirley Temple cupcake ingredients (about 24 cupcakes):
- 1 box of white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
- Sprite or 7-Up soda
- Vegetable oil
- Egg whites
- 1-2 tbs grenadine syrup
- Maraschino cherries (syrup + cherries for topping)
Mix together the box mix, soda, vegetable oil and egg whites according to the box’s instructions, substituting soda for whatever the suggested water measurements are. Separate about two cups of mix into a small bowl, and mix in 2 tablespoons of grenadine syrup.
Line a cupcake pan with liners – I used these cute party cups, which actually did not allow for a lot of mix because of their size, so I had a few muffin-top cupcakes in my first batch. Pour in a small amount of grenadine batter into each cup, filling it no more than 1/4 of the way. Fill the rest with regular batter until each cup is 3/4 full (or less). Play it safe with party cup proportions!
Bake on 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes, depending on what your cake mix box suggests.
- 1 cup butter, soft
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbs grenadine syrup
- 1 tbs maraschino cherry syrup
Cream together the butter and powdered sugar until fully mixed to the desired sweetness. Beat in the vanilla, grenadine and cherry syrup (from the jar of cherries). The grenadine will be the biggest flavor source! Mix to taste and move to a piping bag.
Pipe the frosting onto cooled cupcakes and top with a shiny maraschino cherry and serve. Cute, right? When you peel off the lining, you have a nice reddish surprise on the bottom of the cupcake from the grenadine!
My coworkers really liked them, but I think they would be so cute for a little girl’s birthday or a baby shower. I’ve gotta admit, they’re super girly, but even the boys liked them. Enjoy!