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The non-alcoholic Shirley Temple cocktail has a reputation for being super sweet, so it's no surprise that it translates well into cupcake form. I also really like the grown-up Shirley Temple Black cocktail, which has all the ingredients of the original version, but with a shot of Kahlua (or Campari. Or dark rum, some would argue). So, I decided to make these cupcakes both ways.

The cute little bows on top of the cupcakes are plastic ring birthday party favors. I think they make adorable toppers for Shirley Temple cupcakes. To differentiate the two cupcake flavors, I gave the non-alcoholic cupcakes a pink bow and the Kahlua-flavored cupcakes a black bow.

Original Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple Black
Honestly, I'm not sure which version I like better. Both are distinctly different and delicious. Grenadine plays a huge role in the flavor of the beautiful pink icing that goes on both types of cupcakes. Most grenadine is flavored with pomegranate or black currant juice, so you can expect a fruity-slash-berry sweet-tart flavor. I used Sprite soda in the cupcake batter, which gives the baked cakes a really subtle flavor that's hard to put a finger on, but it all works together so very well flavor-wise. If you prefer using ginger-ale in your Shirley Temples, then you can certainly substitute it for the Sprite in the cake batter.


I hope by now you are all well acquainted with the condiment known as Sriracha, but for those who aren't familiar, it's a delicious chili sauce that is sweet, hot and boasts a showy bright red-orange color. If you don't have a bottle in your fridge, you should probably go out and buy some right now. It's that good!

I've used it on everything from sushi to burgers, but never considered using it in sweets until I saw lollipops flavored with Sriracha. I decided to make my own. They were good; sweet at first and then -surprise! a little heat from the peppers made my tongue tingle. 


Sriracha has a bit of garlic in the ingredients, which doesn't exactly play nice in dessert. At first, the garlic flavor was almost non-existent in the lollipops but over the course of a few days it became more developed. For this recipe, I wanted to find a way to temper this element so it didn't show up unexpectedly. Turns out, a good dose of acidity will do the trick. Lemon juice along with sweet Seville orange marmalade neutralizes the garlic but still retains that recognizable sweet-hot flavor that is Sriracha. I really like the fruity orange flavor the marmalade brings to the party, too. 


How often do you get to make a 90th birthday cake? Not often enough, I'm sure. When I found out this milestone was on the horizon for our own sweet grand-lady, I didn't wait around for anyone to ask me - I offered my cake bakery services immediately! March 9th was the special day we honored Ms. Ruby - our friend, teacher, aunt, mother, and grandmother. I could never make a cake as special as she is, but it was my great honor to try.

My sissy-lou, Megan, themed the party Country Chic and decorated with Mason jars filled with happy daisies and quilt-square pennants.We both put our hands and hearts together for this cake. She came over to my house one day and we made fondant daisies together, nonstop!


The timing of this cake was right in sync with a new partnership I've entered into with Wilton. I've used Wilton cake decorating products for as long as I can remember, so being a brand ambassador for them is a natural fit. It's my strict rule to only promote products that I personally use (and love!), and that will add value to the baking endeavors of my readers. The products they sent me recently were enormously helpful with the creation of this cake, so I'm going to tell you all about them. And I'm going to take you through all the steps for this chocolate cake for 100. A cake this size is a good notch to have on the ol' baking belt, and it's totally doable for thrifty DIY'ers. I mean, with just a couple of tweaks (a cute couple's cake topper?) this could be a DIY wedding cake.

Today is the opening of Wes Anderson's new film The Grand Budapest Hotel, and I am SO excited to go see it! I've always loved his work - the strong visuals and nostalgia - it's like seeing fairytale illustrations come to life on the big screen. This new movie holds an extra ounce of delight for me because one of the main characters is a baker, and she's employed at a beautiful patisserie called Mendl's.

This past Valentine's Day I received a gorgeous box of macarons from the fictional Mendl's bakery (courtesy of Fox Searchlight - I think. No note or explanation was enclosed.) This is a genius way to promote a movie, if you ask me. But seriously. How did I get on that mailing list? And do they know I have Moonrise Kingdom artwork all over my living room walls? Whatever the case, I appreciated the gift and it made me feel like I was part of the story in some small way. The macarons were yummy, too!


Inside Mendl's Patisserie 
Now, apparently Mendl's sells some of the fanciest, tastiest pastries in all the land. One particular of note is a choux tower stacked three puffs high - you can see them balanced on the candelabra-esque display in the picture above. They remind me of a confection (mostly stacked two high) known as Religieuse. I was thisclose to trying my hand at the choux towers, but without having seen the movie yet, I didn't want to assume anything regarding flavor. Instead, I went with a cut-out cookie all decorated up to look like the Mendl's delivery truck. The adorable wood paneling on the sides of the truck completely sold me on the idea of cookie-ifying it, and as you may know,  I'll take any opportunity I can to create Bavarian detail in chocolate fondant.

UPDATE! 3/29/14: The recipe for Courtesan au Chocolate has been released, so I had to try it, of course. (And thanks to the reader who pointed me in the right direction!) Below are my results. Despite the tooth-achingly frilly appearance of the pastry, it's not overly sweet. The choux puffs hold an  intense chocolate pastry cream that is so silky and smooth. The recipe calls for a garnish of one cocoa bean on top of each tower, and all I could find locally was a chocolate covered coffee bean - but it was a delicious addition, nonetheless. We really loved this dessert and it's something I'll keep in rotation! You can find the recipe for Courtesan au Chocolat  here, though I used the choux puff recipe from the SprinkleBakes book.



Today I'm so excited to share a whole new line of coffees from Dunkin' Donuts called the Bakery Series. Each coffee flavor is inspired by a bakery confection: Jelly Donut, Old Fashioned Donut, Chocolate Glazed Donut, Caramel Coffee Cake and Blueberry Muffin. I think coffee always tastes better over conversation, so I invited my friend Christen to help sample the goodies. As soon as I tasted the Chocolate Glazed Donut coffee, I knew it was destined for a batch of truffles.

What's better than truffles? Dunkin' Donuts is generously giving one Sprinkle Bakes reader a "Bakery Flavor Dunked In" kit, worth $350, which includes:
  • The complete Bakery Series coffees (1 each): Chocolate Glazed Donut, Jelly Donut, Old Fashioned Donut, Blueberry Muffin and Caramel Coffee Cake flavors.
  • Dunkin' Donuts coffee mug (the one Christen is holding in the above picture!)
  • Turtle Donut blended coffee recipe
  • $250 Visa Gift Card
  • Mr. Coffee Pot Coffee Maker
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