Shirley Temple Cupcakes

I like this picture. It makes me happy. It brings a smile to my face. As Martha says "It's a good thing".

Growing up, it was a big deal for my father to take us out to a "fancy" restaurant. Oh wait, correct that, it was a huge deal. A big-deal was The Sizzler... a huge-deal was a place that had booths (high backed leather ones), a dessert -cart-, and most impressively a lounge (just a fancy name for a bar, if you ask me!). My dad was a tee-totaler... always. On those huge-deal occasions when we'd go to a fancy restaurant he'd order a Shirley Temple. I thought it was a real honest-to-goodness cocktail and had no clue about it's mild-mannered reality. My dad ordered it so it must have been a very grown up thing, right? Eventually I was grown-up enough in his eyes that I was allowed to order one too.

What a let-down to discover it was just a lemon-lime soda with grenadine and a maraschino cherry. But hell, it tasted good and that was enough for me :)

A couple/three weeks ago I came across a post for Shirley Temple cupcakes on the Cupcake Project blog. The idea rolled around in my head as I mulled over ways to morph it into something that really rocked my world. Lemon-lime flavored cake... grenadine cream filling... maraschino cherry icing. Mr. DeMille, I think she's ready for her closeup!

Shirley Temple Cupcakes
For the cake...
1 c Sprite Zero
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 1/3 c flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

Combine dry ingredients and set aside
Combine sugar oil and soda... whisk vigorously
Add dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients and combine well, being careful not to overbeat.
Pour into muffin pans lined with cupcake papers... fill only 1/2 way as these will rise!!
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes and check for doneness

For the filling just combine a small amount of grenadine syrup to my favorite Buttercream Dream frosting. You don't want it too thin so add the grenadine in small amounts... you can always add more, right? =)

For the frosting, take a few maraschino cherries and dry them in the oven (I put them in an aluminum pie plate, set the oven for 350 and just "baked" them until dry). Put them into a small food grinder (I used our Magic Bullet) and pulse them into a coarse grind. Combine this with Buttercream Dream frosting and use it to frost your cakes.

Top with a maraschino cherry... and proudly take pictures of your handiwork =)
And speaking of pictures of my handiwork - yes, that is another picture of my Shirley Temple cupcakes being used as a background of my blog title. These lil cupcakes just rock my world... aw hell... let's be honest... pretty much any cupcake rocks my world. What can I say, I'm easy!