gluten free Shirley Temple Cupcakes

Gluten Free Shirley Temple Cupcakes Recipe

As children, my sisters and I were not allowed to drink soda with two exceptions; tummy aches and nights out with our parents when they ordered cocktails before dinner. On the latter occasion, we girls always ordered Shirley Temples, ginger ale or 7-Up with grenadine topped with a maraschino cherry. We felt so sophisticated sipping our pretty little drinks.

A few months ago my baby sister Karen was visiting and when we went out for dinner she ordered a Shirley Temple.  This made me smile.

Karen is all grown up, well past the legal drinking age in this country, has a three year old child and her own business but in a part of my mind she remains an adorable little girl with huge ginger colored eyes, red hair and a smattering of freckles across her nose, who I helped raise after our mother passed away when she was 8.

Karen has gotten short changed a lot over the years.  When other children had mothers making them Halloween costumes, Karen had me struggling with a sewing machine that I didn’t know how to use, trying to fashion a trick-or-treat outfit for her.  While my older sister and I grew up eating dinners prepared by my mother, Karen had to suffer through the three meals I sort of had down at the time.  When her son was born it was slightly overshadowed by my father’s illness and just recently her birthday was almost ignored because of the marriage of my son.

So with Karen in mind I developed these gluten-free cupcakes after her favorite “cocktail” the Shirley Temple.

These Gluten Free Shirley Temple Cupcakes, which are basically a doctored up, gluten-free version of 7-Up cupcakes, are so pretty and whimsical I can easily see them served at Bridal and Baby Showers, little girl’s Birthday Parties and for Afternoon Tea.  And of course for Karen’s next birthday.

Gluten Free Shirley Temple Cupcakes

I used my own all purpose gluten-free flour blend but feel free to use what ever gluten-free flour blend you prefer. If the blend does not contain xanthan gum, add 1 teaspoon in with the flour mixture.

Gluten Free Shirley Temple Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote
gluten free Shirley Temple Cupcakes
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Shirley Temple Cupcakes Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Chill time5 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 410kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More



  • 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
  • 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 towel



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper or silicone cupcake liners .
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together cups of the gluten-free flour blend, baking powder and salt.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.


  • 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.
  • Pipe on or frost the cupcakes with the frosting and top each cupcake with a maraschino cherry.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Shirley Temple Cupcakes Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 410 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 67mg22%
Sodium 49mg2%
Potassium 10mg0%
Carbohydrates 64g21%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 45g50%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 510IU10%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: 7-Up Cherries Maraschino Cherries Non-Alcoholic Shirley Temple Sweet
  1. Kim-Cook It Allergy Free
    August 29, 2010

    Wow! These look awesome, Carol. I think that you have already mastered the art of "creating pictures" and telling a story. Yours are no longer just photos. Beautifully done, my dear!

  2. GF Gidget
    August 29, 2010

    So pretty!

  3. Deanna
    August 30, 2010

    My son LOVES Shirley Temples. He would flip for these cupcakes. Think they'd still be tasty with coconut oil or shortening instead of butter?

  4. The InTolerant Chef
    August 30, 2010

    I think making something like this for your sister shows how much you love her. That is a very special thing. I'm sure she knows how much you care.

  5. Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul
    August 30, 2010

    A lovely tribute to your sister Carol! Love the cupcakes..they look so cute!

  6. Stephanie
    August 30, 2010

    OMG these are gorgeous! I can't wait to try them. What a sweet sister you are :)

  7. withoutadornment
    September 1, 2010

    My sister and I used to order Shirley Temples every time we went out for dinner as kids as well! Sometimes we order them just for fun (or when I'm DD.)
    I'm definitely going to have to try these! The Shirley Temples we would have also had orange juice in them, so I wonder how these would taste with half orange juice/half 7-up.

  8. Cheriss
    September 1, 2010

    SO Cute! I'm making these for sure for the next shower I go to…

  9. glutenfreeforgood
    September 1, 2010

    Wow, those are some gorgeous looking cupcakes. Your photography is so beautiful!

    I never had soda pop growing up either. =) I didn't have much of that around when my kids were growing up either. "Ginger colored eyes." I love that and it fits my daughter, too.

    Shirley Temple cupcakes. Perfect!

  10. Nicole Lavella
    September 2, 2010

    For being gluten-free, these cupcakes look incredible! I especially love the way the frosting is colored using the cherry juice. I always feel like gluten-free desserts are so plain looking.

    Every time I've tried making cupcakes, I can never get them to rise and/or look as fluffy as yours! I know you said that the 7-Up makes these rise a bit, but is there any other way to get gluten-free cupcakes to rise?

    withoutadorment–Based on the recipe, it sounds like the orange juice would give it just an extra kick. If you make those you have to let us know how they turn out!

  11. Angie's Recipes
    September 2, 2010

    wow This looks gorgeous! Your first picture looks so good that I want to grab the cake off from the screen!

  12. Simply Life
    September 2, 2010

    what a creative cupcake idea – I love it!

  13. Simply...Gluten-free
    September 2, 2010

    Hi Nicole,

    I sent you an email with this response but thought I should post it for others.

    Gluten free cakes and cupcakes need to start with a flour blend that is not too heavy, must have either xanthan gum or guar gum and needs leavening just like regular cakes and cupcakes.

    I find using superfine flours helps not only with the texture and taste but with the rising as well. As a note my flour blend is milled super super fine so it has no gritty texture and is a pastry quality gluten free flour. (Sorry don't mean for this to be a commercial for my flour)

    This recipe has a couple of things that help it rise. First, creaming the sugar and butter helps get air into the batter as does adding the eggs one at a time. Secondly it uses baking powder for leavening and the 7-Up helps but they would rise anyway.

    Technique is as important in gluten free baking as ingredients.

    Good Luck and let me know if you have any questions!


  14. Simply...Gluten-free
    September 2, 2010

    Hi Bean (WithoutAdornment)

    I think orange juice would be great, let me know if you make them out it turns out.


  15. Bren
    September 2, 2010

    These are beautiful and the plating is just luscious. Nice work. I'll eat those every day! :)

  16. Alayssa
    September 5, 2010

    it looks so yyuummyy and so colorful. I could even imagine how nice the taste is.. I would definitely try one of those..

  17. Britt
    September 8, 2010

    Wow Carol, these are super cute and what a thoughtful gift for your sister!

  18. Tia
    October 28, 2010

    I just made these! Mine were layered when the batter was wet but once they baked up the colours blended together :( How did you get yours to stay layered? Do you know why this happened? The flavour reminds me of Philipino "puto" steamed rice cakes. They're still pretty with the mixed colours but what the heck!?

  19. Simply...Gluten-free
    November 3, 2010

    Hi Tia, Did you add the extra tablespoon of flour blend to the red batter? If you don't do this, they will blend while baking.

  20. Pingback: Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger: Simply Gluten-Free : EasyDietHome

  21. Pingback: Survived My EGD! | A New Kind of Normal

  22. Lemon diet
    May 30, 2011

    This post Shirley Temple Cupcakes is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined and look forward to more. I have shared your website!

  23. Pingback: The Curvy Carrot » Shirley Temple Cupcakes

  24. cupcake mistress
    August 14, 2011

    my first gluten-free recipe…taste is very good but not enough frosting. i would double the amount of frosting ingredients for 12 cupcakes.
    thanks for the recipe:)

  25. Pingback: Shirley Temple Mini Cupcakes

  26. Pingback: Chickabug » Blog Archive » Pink Shirley Temple cupcakes

  27. November 12, 2011

    Wow! Can’t wait to try these! I smiled the whole way through your opening paragraph because my sister and I very rarely drank soda, and when we did, we chose the sophisticated Shirley Temple! :)

    1. November 12, 2011

      Thanks Sandra, isn’t it fun to recall what it was like with your sister when you were young?

  28. Pingback: Gluten-Free Valentine's Cupcakes to Make Your Day Even Sweeter!

  29. Pingback: Shirley Temple Cupcakes | The Whimsical Cupcake

  30. Pingback: 20 Spring Cupcakes!

  31. Nadia
    April 26, 2012

    What a beautiful website. Thank you for this gorgeous looking recipe. Can’t wait to try it!
    Please could you tell me what nozzle size/type you used to decorate them?
    Many thanks

  32. Pingback: Gluten Free Shirley Temple Cupcakes Recipe

  33. Pingback: Gluten Free Shirley Temple Cupcakes | Cupcake Recipes

  34. Pingback: Gluten-Free Shirley Temple Cupcakes (Mupcakes) | B Sizzle's Recipes to Please

  35. Pingback: myHealthyOC » Recipe of the Week: Gluten-free Shirley Temple cupcakes

  36. Pingback: Gluten Free Shirley Temple Cupcake | Best Friends For Frosting

  37. mamabear144
    July 13, 2013

    Just made the cutest little Shirley Temple cupcakes – tender, delicious, beautiful. Didn’t use the maraschino cherry juice (too many chemicals,) and they still came out very colorful.

  38. CarolKicinski
    July 16, 2013

    I now use the natural maraschinos – no chemicals, artificial flavors or dyes :)

  39. Victoria
    September 4, 2013

    I want to make these for a cocktail party I’m having at the end of the week, but I’m wondering how far in advance I can make them and still have them be cute and tasty? Maybe if I make the cupcakes and the frosting, but don’t frost them until the day of?

  40. CarolKicinski
    September 10, 2013

    You can bake the cupcakes and make the frosting a couple days ahead but I would not put them together until the day of. Decorate in the morning and put in the fridge, they should be great! Have fun.

  41. Pingback: Gluten Free Shirley Temple Cupcakes Recipe | Home

  42. Pingback: このバレンタインデーを作る19の美しいカップケーキ | 可愛い・綺麗な動物集合ブログ!

  43. Pingback: Gluten Free Manhattan Cupcakes Recipe | Simply Gluten Free

  44. Pingback: Gluten-Free Birthday Cakes: 20 Recipes & Cool Tips | Boulder Locavore

  45. Pingback: Saturday Shout-Outs | Waldorf Salad and Cottage Fries

  46. Pingback: Shirley Temple Cupcakes | Kristen's Cupcakes

  47. Pingback: Gluten Free Shirley Temple Cupcakes

  48. Pingback: Banana Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting + 5 Unique Cupcake Links! | cups + spoonfuls

  49. Pingback: Shirley Temple Cupcakes | DigiWidgy

  50. Susan Lange
    July 5, 2015

    I have made this recipes with different color combinations for Easter and 4th if July and they were hits both times. Easter I divided the dough in fourths and colored them yellow, pink, blue, and green and put a small spoonful in each muffin cup. 4th of July I layered it with red, white, and blue. So much fun!

    1. Gluten Free & More
      July 6, 2015

      Wow Susan! That sounds beautiful!

  51. November 22, 2015

    I have made these twice now and have loved them both times! It always takes longer to actually cook (probably 25-27 minutes) but turns out great! Thanks so much for this!

  52. Pingback: 5 Cupcake Recipes that will WOW your partygoers – GameTruck Blog

  53. Pingback: Gluten Free Shirley Temple Cupcakes Recipe -

  54. Pingback: Cherry Lime Spritzer | Recipe | Simply Gluten Free

  55. Pingback: Gluten Free Roy Rogers Cupcakes | Recipe | Simply Gluten Free

  56. Pingback: Shirley Temple Popsicles | Recipe

  57. Pingback: Amazing Spring Cupcake Designs - DIYCraftsGuru

  58. Pingback: Gluten Free Manhattan Cupcakes Recipe - Simply Gluten Free

  59. Pingback: Springtime Cupcakes That are Perfect for Welcoming Warmer Weather - Dinnerideas.Site

  60. Pingback: Cherry Limeade Cupcakes - delectabilities

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Sept/Oct 2023 Cover



Get recipes delivered to your door with a subscription to

Gluten Free & More!

Use code MAG5OFF for $5 off any print or digital subscription!