Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shirley Temple Cupcakes

Why, you ask, did I choose Shirley Temple cupcakes out of all the cupcake recipes that are on my to-do list? Well, I had a half left-over jar of maraschino cherries from the Cherry Chip cupcakes I made as favours for the bridal shower 2 weeks ago. As they sat in the fridge, I wondered what use I could put them towards, as they surely would end up hiding at the back of the fridge for ages until it was decided they would be thrown out, unless I made something specifically for them. So, as I was browsing Pinterest not too long ago I saw a picture of the cutest cupcakes ever with cherries on top and I figured, most likely regardless of the recipe itself, the cuteness factor alone determined that I would be making those cupcakes.

And can I just say, I am quite impressed how my photos came out this time, and I can't even tell you why that is because I honestly don't know. The cupcakes were a little on the denser side, but still quite moist. Make sure you eat them when they're at room temp, as this softens them up a bit. Also, I found the icing a bit sweet for my taste. Often American Buttercream can do this for me (which is why I MUCH prefer IMB, but I didn't have the time, and figured the sweetness factor was more in line with Shirley Temples). I was browsing Pinterest again last night and saw an icing that has caught my eye more than once; icing made with flour and regular sugar. I'm curious about this and am thinking about trying it in the future!

Yield: 12 cupcakes
1 and 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 (or regular 7-up with maraschino cherry juice added)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
Red food coloring
maraschino cherries (if you would like to hide one in the middle of the cupcake)
Buttercream Frosting:
3/4 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch salt
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice

12 maraschino cherries for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a cupcake pan with your desired paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 and 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or just a regular bowl if you don't have a stand mixer and are using a hand beater), combine the butter and sugar together and beat, on medium-high speed, until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add half of the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Add the 7-up, mixing mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add the extracts and mix thoroughly, but not too much! You don't want to over beat it.

If you're going for the Shirley Temple look, where grenadine sits in the bottom of the glass, place about 1 cup of the cupcake batter in a separate small bowl and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, maraschino cherry juice, and red food coloring (to your desired tint). Then evenly distribute the dyed batter among your liners, smoothing out the batter as you go.

Once the red batter is in place, evenly distribute the remaining cupcake batter among the cupcake liners, making sure not to mix the two batters. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the frosting:
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the pinch of salt, sifted powdered (confectioners’) sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon juice, and maraschino cherry juice, adding more powdered sugar as necessary for your desired piping consistency.

Pipe as desired onto your cooled cupcakes and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Source: slightly adapted from Simply-Gluten Free

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