Shirley Temple Cupcakes

Graduation CupcakesMy husband is who convinced me to try this fun Pinterest find, but he didn’t need much convincing. I have fond memories of my grandma ordering me a Shirley Temple with dinner when she would order a glass of wine when I was little. It was so fun and I felt so fancy. When I looked up the recipe though, I was a little worried because it was gluten free. Now, I have a handful of friends who do the gluten free thing from time to time but, I really have no interest. One of them had asked me if I had ever made gluten free cupcakes before though and these friends of mine were going to be a the graduation party the cupcakes were being made for though, so I decided to give it a try. It actually didn’t turn out too bad.

I had to go on a hunt for gluten free flour, but with the diet being so popular it really wasn’t hard to find. Most of the other ingredients were normal though (except for the red food coloring – which I couldn’t find, so I used normal). The cupcakes tasted great too. The texture was a little different, not as smooth, but they were fine. They were very popular at the party too; my husband complained that he didn’t even get to try one. I think its because of the maraschino cherries, everything is better with a cherry on top!


  • 1½ cups plus 1 tablespoon all purpose gluten free flour blend – use divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup 7-Up, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
  • Several drops of gluten-free red food coloring gel
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large pinch of Kosher or fine sea salt
  • 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
  • 12 maraschino cherries, patted dry with paper toweling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together 1½ cups of the gluten-free flour blend, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium high speed for two minutes or until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Turn the mixer to low and add half of the flour mixture, then the 7-Up and finally the rest of the flour mixture.  Add the vanilla extract and mix.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl well to ensure all the ingredients are fully incorporated.  Do not be concerned if the batter looks a little curdled.
  4. Take a ½ cup of the batter and put in a small bowl.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, the maraschino cherry juice and enough red food coloring to turn the batter red. Stir well.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (about 1 big teaspoon per cup).  Gently spoon the remaining batter on top of the red batter trying not to mix the two colors but to keep in layers.
  5. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes are slightly springy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. (The cupcakes will puff up a bit while cooking because of the 7-Up.)
  6. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepared the frosting.
  1. In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and salt on high speed until creamy.  Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low until fully combined.  Add the vanilla, lemon juice and maraschino cherry juice.  Mix to combine.
  2. Pipe on or frost the cupcakes with the frosting and top each cupcake with a maraschino cherry.