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Shirley Temple Bundt Cake

Plus one crazy ingredient that makes the cake so light and moist…

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For me, eating out at a restaurant as a kid meant getting to order my beloved Shirley Temple. This is a simple but (to my kid eyes) super fancy drink, made from lemon-lime soda, grenadine (a non-alcoholic syrup that is both sweet and tart), and of course topped with a maraschino cherry. Add a straw and it was beverage bliss for my childhood self. Even today, I can’t deny the deliciousness of a Shirley Temple: the bubbles, the tart syrup, but it really is the cherry on top that is the most important garnish in all of food (slight hyperbole, but you catch my drift). If you can imagine anything better than this in a glass, imagine it now sliced onto a plate.

A Shirley Temple cake is just about as sweet, moist, and delicious as they come. It has the classic ingredients, right down to the cherry on top. The secret ingredient to making this cake so moist is the lemon-lime soda; the bubbles release air into the batter, resulting in a cake that is light and fluffy. Now for the color: we’ve recreated the grenadine by using reserved juices from the maraschino cherry jar, simply poured over the cake as it cools. We love how it dapples the cake, giving it that swirly grenadine look that we love in the beverage form. A sweet glaze adds a slightly sugary crunch and who can resist the cherry on top; that rich, bright maraschino cherry is absolutely everything.

I fell in love with this cake at first bite. Each forkful reminded me of taking sips from my beloved childhood drink, but now in such a cool new way. It’s almost too pretty to cut into, but boy-oh-boy this is just soooo good! Now it’s become one of our favorite cakes. We’ve pared down some of the sweetness and lemony flavor for something a little more subtle, but still just as delicious. If you can manage to make one and share it with others, then good for you! This cake is adorably irresistible and super easy to make. For a new twist on a nostalgic favorite, give this Shirley Temple cake a whirl!

Yield(s): Serves 10-12

1 hour 40 minutes

Rated 5.0 out of 5
Rated by 9 reviewers
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you're making mealtime meaningful.
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  • Cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¾ cup lemon-lime soda
  • 1 (10 oz) jar stemless Maraschino cherries; drained, juices reserved, ¼ cup cherries reserved for topping
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bundt pan with butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat to incorporate.
  4. Slowly mix in flour.
  5. Add lemon juice and lemon lime soda; beat until batter is smooth.
  6. Fold in cherries, then pour batter into bundt pan.
  7. Bake for 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly before transferring to serving platter. Place platter over top of bundt pan, then carefully flip. Tap bundt to release cake from pan.
  8. While cake is still slightly warm, poke holes into the top of cake, then pour reserved cherry juice over the holes. Let cake cool completely.
  9. Prepare glaze: whisk together confectioner’s sugar with vanilla extract. Slowly add milk until glaze reaches desired consistency. Pour glaze over cake.
  10. Top with reserved cherries.

Recipe adapted from Tastes Of Lizzy T