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Shirley Temple cupcakes with a cherry on top

My name is Meagan and I am the author, cook, baker, and photographer for A Zesty Bite. I absolutely love food of all kinds... You can’t go wrong with bacon, bread, chocolate, a few veggies and desserts! I am definitely a southern girl wh...

Classic kid drink reimagined as a dessert

Go back to your childhood with these Shirley Temple cupcakes. Each one is loaded with cherry and ginger ale flavors.

Classic kid drink reimagined as a dessert

Whenever I would travel as a little kid, we would always stay at an Embassy Suites hotel. They had the swans swimming in the indoor pond, glass elevators so you could look at the atrium, an indoor pool, a breakfast buffet and a daily happy hour.

Classic kid drink reimagined as a dessert

I think my parents chose to stay there more for the daily happy hour than for anything else. I would walk up to the bar and always ask for a Shirley Temple drink with an extra cherry. It's been a while since I've had a Shirley Temple, but I thought, what would it be like in a cupcake form? You get the same classic flavors but in a dessert.

Shirley Temple cupcakes recipe

Yields 20-22


For the cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup ginger ale
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
For the cupcake filling
  • 1/2 cup grenadine
For the icing
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons grenadine
  • 1/4 cup ginger ale
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 20 maraschino cherries


For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. To a large mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar, and beat until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs, sour cream, ginger ale, vanilla and salt, and beat for 30 seconds.
  4. Slowly add in the baking powder, baking soda, cake flour, whole milk and grenadine, and mix until well blended.
  5. Add the mixture to cupcake liners, filling them to about 1/2 full. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cupcakes from the pan, and place them on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Using a cupcake syringe or by removing a top piece of the cupcakes with a spoon, fill each cupcake with 1 teaspoon of grenadine.

For the icing

  1. To a bowl, add all the ingredients, and mix with a handheld mixer. Spoon the icing into a ziplock or piping bag.
  2. Cut the tip of the bag, and pipe the icing onto the top of each cupcake.
  3. Top with a maraschino cherry.

More cupcake recipes

Lavender cupcakes with Earl Grey icing
Very vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting
Milk and cookies cupcake

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