Instant Pot Shirley Temple Cherry Cake

I loved Shirley Temple drinks when I was a kid (secretly still do), and I was so excited to find a way to combine those Pinterest-favorite 7up cakes with grenadine and cherries to create this surprising confection. And in my Instant Pot (get yours here:, I can make them in a snap, all without heating up the kitchen!

Learn the Instant Pot and how to cook our favorite recipes in the new Instant Pot Master Class. [learn more]

Even better? Making these delicious cakes in this heart-shaped mold, resulting in single-serve cakes that are portable, and let’s face it…adorable! Don’t have these molds? No problem! You can use silicone muffin cups or even a bundt pan. Just keep in mind that the thicker the cake, the longer you have to cook it. A bundt pan may take 25-30 minutes cooking time, plus the 10 minute NPR. Experiment and enjoy!

There’s so many ways to make these cakes look pretty on a platter. Try filling half the cups before adding the chopped cherries (in which case cut the number of chopped cherries in half) for some visual interest, or add a bit of grenadine to some of the icing so some are filled with pink and some with white. So delicious and so cute!

The Shirley Temple drink is said to have been invented by a bartender at Chassen’s restaurant in Beverly Hills to celebrate child actress Shirley Temple’s 10th birthday. The original recipe was ginger ale topped with maraschino cherries, with a splash of grenadine syrup, a bright red, sweet syrup that has been a staple of bartending since the 1890s.

So delicious and so cute!


  • 7 oz white cake mix (about half a box)
  • 1/2 cup sprite or 7-up soda
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp grenadine syrup (or liquid from maraschino cherry jar)
  • 12 maraschino cherries, finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp milk
  • Additional maraschino cherries for garnish


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cake mix, soda, oil, eggs and syrup until well-blended and uniform. Fold in maraschino cherries.
  2. Coat the insides of 6 heart molds with nonstick spray (we got ours here: or you can use silicone baking cups).
  3. Divide batter evenly between molds and seal each with aluminum foil.
  4. Pour one cup of water in the Instant Pot and insert the steam rack. Carefully lower the molds on to the steam rack–3 on top, 3 on bottom, staggering the layers.
  5. Secure the lid, making sure the vent is closed.
  6. Using the display panel select the MANUAL function*. Use the +/- keys and program the Instant Pot for 15 minutes.
  7. When the time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure.
  8. Carefully remove the molds from the pot to a wire rack. Remove foil and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together powdered sugar and enough milk to form a thick but pourable icing
  10. Remove the cakes from the mold and drizzle icing into the heart-shaped depression in the top of the cakes. Top each cake with an additional cherry.

*The MANUAL and PRESSURE COOK buttons are interchangeable.