Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Shirley Temple Cupcakes

leaves and flours vegan shirley temple cupcakes

I have always loved Shirley Temples. They were not only something I looked forward to when our family went out to dinner as a child, but something I still get excited about. I don’t drink alcohol, so these are my standby drink when I somehow end up at a bar. I had seen a picture of a Shirley Temple cupcake a few months ago on a baking blog and desperately wanted to veganize it. As you can see, they are pretty darn cute.

Shirley Temple Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from My Sweet Vegan’s RootBeer Float Cupcakes

3/4 Cup Lemon Lime Soda

1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 Cup Maraschino Cherry Juice
3/4 Cup Sugar

1/3 Cup Canola Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/3 Cups Flour

3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Pinch of Salt
Red dye (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine the soda and vinegar. Add the cherry juice, sugar and oil. The mixture will be a little frothy. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing gently. If you want the cupcake to have a look reminiscent of the drink, add 1/4 to 1/3 of the batter to a small bowl and dye with a no-taste red dye. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of this mixture into the cupcake liners. Gently add un-dyed batter, until liners are 3/4 full. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes.

Cherry Buttercream

1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons cherry juice

Cream shortening and butter. Add 1 cup powdered sugar. Beat until incorporated. Add 2 tablespoons cherry juice and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Add additional juice or sugar until desired consistency.
This is a half batch of frosting, which was just enough to pipe small mounds on a dozen cupcakes. If you like large amounts of frosting, I suggest doubling the recipe.

leaves and flours vegan shirley temple cupcakesleaves and flours vegan shirley temple cupcakes

These cupcakes sold faster than anything I have ever made at a bake sale before, which really boosted my self esteem. I think this will become a frequently made recipe in my kitchen. The cherry flavor is very subtle, so if you want more bang I suggest adding a bit of a natural cherry extract. I have seen a few recipes also use Cherry 7-up, which might additional flavor too.
Do you have a favorite drink that you think should be turned into a dessert? If you haven't picked up on it already, I really like taking sweets and turning them into a different dessert medium. Prime examples are the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes and speculoos snickerdoodles!

These are also headed to Sweets for a Saturday. There aren't many vegan things on the list, but tons of great ideas for things you can veganize!


  1. This cupcake really is cute! I also love making the bottoms interesting - the red in these are such a great idea. Shirley Temples are the best. And now in cupcake form? Swoon.

  2. I remember when I was a kid and my grandma used to watch me and we would always hang out in her hot tub listening to music and drinking shirley temples all afternoon. It was the best. These cupcakes are really cute:)

  3. Beautiful colored cupcakes. very inviting

  4. delicious looking cupcakes nice to meet you

  5. oh man i've got to try these for sure. i'm addicted to shirley temples. i had to tell my husband to stop buying me grenadine because i would make a whole 2 liter worth of them in one day! so delicious.

    1. I didn't have any grenadine around, and I've never baked with it before. If you attempt it, you will have to let me know how it works!

  6. my gosh! super cute cupcakes.. hmm i dont think i have a fave drink.. maybe just night cap.. but that just baileys and chocolate liquer.. will yield a chocolatey brown cupcake:)

  7. Those look so good! My mom made me Shirley Temples when I was little. Should have know there would be a cup cake for them. :) Dropping by from Sweets for a Saturday.

  8. these are so cute! The piping is perfect. I am thinking about getting into bake sales. Any advice?

    1. Know how much things cost you to bake, always have too much change, and start as early as possible. I think people generally buy things they think look really attractive. Just make sure you have fun!

  9. Great advice for bake sales. Those cupcakes are absolutely beautiful! Thank you for the recipe!