Shirley Temple Mini Cupcakes

Hola friends! 🙂 A few weeks ago I came across Shirley Temple cupcakes from The Curvy Carrot and I knew I haaaaad to make them!  I decided to go the mini route, just because they’re so cute, especially with a little cherry on top, but either way-they’ll be a big hit!

Seriously, tell me these aren’t the cutest things you’ve ever seen!? They totally look like a shirley temple.  And honestly, who doesn’t love a shirley temple!? They’re so fun and cute and oh yeah. Did I say fun?  They remind me of being a little girl and being able to order something “fancy” at a restaurant.

Just a few notes…

  • Don’t be afraid of the marischino cherry juice and/or the red food coloring… I used a few drops and the bottom layer still turned out a little bit lighter than I was anticipating.
  •  I cut down the almond extract in the buttercream to 1/8 teaspoon, because while it was still delicious, the almond flavor was a little bit more intense than I wanted it to be.  (oddly enough, the almond flavor sort of tastes like cherries)
  • I drained my cherries on a paper towel and very *gently* squeezed out some of the excess juice so that they didn’t mess up the pretty frosting.
  •  Please don’t skip out on the Cherry 7-Up, I think it adds great flavor and it’s just sort of fun!
  • I made these the night before I needed them and they kept well a sealed container in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before serving.
Shirley Temple Cupcakes (The Curvy Carrot)
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Cherry 7-Up, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
  • Red food coloring (2-3 teaspoons, more if desired)
Yield: 1 dozen (12) or 2 mini dozen (24)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line cupcake pan with liners (I would suggest using white liners if you’re planning on making the bottom layer of batter pink/red).
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour (1 1/2 cups), baking powder and sea salt.
  3. In a standing bowl mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter and cream until light and fluffy at least 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  5. Reduce speed to low, alternate adding half of  flour mixture and half of the Cherry 7-Up, beginning and ending with the flour.  Mix until combined.
  6. Add the vanilla & almond extract and mix until combined.
  7. Reserve 3/4 cup of batter in small bowl and combine with 1 tablespoon of flour, maraschino cherry juice and red food coloring.
  8. Evenly distribute pink/red batter in each cupcake liner and smooth out before adding the regular batter to each liner.
  9. Try not to mix the 2 batters.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes (for regular sized cupcakes) and 8-1o minutes (in my oven, for mini sized cupcakes) or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
  • 12-24 maraschino cherries with stem, for garnish
  1. In a standing bowl mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy at least 2-3 minutes.
  2. With the mixer on low, add the pinch of salt, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon juice and mix until combined.
  3. Whip the buttercream until smooth and add the maraschino cherry juice to the buttercream and mix until combined.  The maraschino cherry juice gives it a nice subtle flavor and the prettiest light pink color.
  4. Pipe with a star tip and garnish each cupcake with a cherry.
I decided to make a few that were all pink batter, just for funsies… I didn’t like them as much as the 2 toned cupcakes, but they still tasted great 🙂 If you’re short on time, or you don’t have red food coloring in your kitchen, you can skip that step all together (but, it was my favorite part of this recipe).
Ps. The original source for this recipe is a gluten-free version if you’re interested, check it out!

13 thoughts on “Shirley Temple Mini Cupcakes

  1. I love doing cupcakes and these sound great. I even have Cherry 7-Up at home, but it is diet. Do you think that would matter? Thanks for sharing!

  2. Just tried these! Couldn’t find Cherry 7-Up anywhere in this goshforsaken little town so we ended up just adding cherry juice to regular 7-up so it tasted like cherry 7-up. The cupcakes came out totally soft and fluffy. The only complaint we had was that it didn’t taste enough like cherry. One tiny little question, though. Where does the vanilla and almond extract come into the recipe? I added it to the base mixture but I could have been wrong. :/

    1. Hi Jeni! Sorry about that… I just fixed the post, so that it includes the vanilla & almond extract but what you did was totally the right way! I know what you mean about the cherry taste, I think it was a little bit more subtle… I think the next time I make them I’ll add more maraschino cherry juice to the batter, but like I said in the post, I think the almond extract is actually supposed to mimic the flavor of the maraschino cherries 🙂 I hope you liked them & thank so much for stopping by! xo-Jenn

  3. Wow these look absolutely amazing! I ended up buying way too many cherries for my Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes so I think I may just have to give these a try soon!!! Shirley Temples were my absolute favorite when I was a kid…=)

  4. I’m making these for a family reunion (I’m the baker in my family, got it from my mom!!) and they were a hit thank you!! Ps, I served cherry 7-Up with the cupcakes!!

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