Today is my birthday and these adorable Chocolate Sundae birthday cupcakes were part of the soda fountain theme for my recent party. We had the most amazing grilled cheese and mini root beer floats and a special Autumn cocktail.
One might wonder why a soda fountain theme, but soda fountains are what I remember growing up. I know that’s showing my age, because there are at least two whole generations that have never been to a real soda fountain.
Many of them used to be in independent drug stores, which rarely exist like this one does in Cross Plains, Tennessee.
Typical soda fountain pharmacies were mainstays of small town America and even in bigger cities. The pharmacy would be in the back and the there would a long counter that served sandwiches, ice cream sodas, sundaes, floats and cool things like cherry cokes or vanilla sodas.
My grandfather would take us to the drug store for ice cream sodas, which were made with the hand dipped ice cream, carbonation and chocolate or vanilla syrup.
Chocolate Sundae Cupcakes Bring Back Memories of the Old Fashioned Soda Fountain
Soda fountains were meeting places, lunch places, and everyone in the neighborhood knew each other. Coffee shops have replaced soda fountains, but that leaves an entire age group of tweens with no real meet up place, like I had, which added a whole level of teen crush experiences to my diary.
My first dates at the age of 13 1/2 were at the soda fountain counter that was close to our home. I was the strangest girl. I would pretend to drink my coke with my straw, but it was fake. I never swallowed because I was self-conscious and I thought the boy sitting next to me could hear it, and as silly as this sounds, it’s a peak into my not yet fully developed brain. Hard to believe this person I am now had so many insecurities. But that’s how a tween/young teen thinks.
There is probably no limit to the fear inside of a teenage girl’s head for ways someone might reject her. To make matters worse, my fears turned to reality. Not for the sound I made drinking a coke, but for refusing to kiss a boy outside of that drug store.
As we left the parking lot, I knew what he was thinking, and I simply said, “I don’t want to.” We both went our own ways. My heart was pounding because I didn’t want that boy to be my first kiss and I was clear in my heart about that, but I knew he thought I must be quite the dork for speaking out like that.
When I got to school the next day, all the boys surrounded me, repeating over and over “I don’t want to, I don’t want to.” This probably makes you think I was unpopular, and even bullied, but that wasn’t the reality either. Here is an even larger glimpse into the irrational mind of 14 year old, 8th grade boys.
After the “I don’t want to” incident, I was asked out again, by a second boy to that same drug store. Surprised that another boy admitted his affection for me, I agreed to meet him at the drug store. Teeny bopper girls are silly and fickle, and when I saw that he had gotten a a buzz cut, and no longer seemed to have any hair, any small amount of crush on him completely faded and swung the other way.
To this day, I remember my discomfort and my disappointment, thinking he better not even try to hold my hand. Teenage girls are no smarter or better than teen age boys.
No one said a word at school the next day, and I thought it was all over with until boy number 3 (by the way they were all best friends) asked me to meet him at the drug store. Shocked beyond belief, as this was the boy who had made the most fun of me and had ridiculed me on the school bus for my weight that he called out for everyone to hear.
Of course, I had a serious crush on him for a long time and jumped at the chance to meet him at the drug store. I did, however, question him about the bus scene; his response was infuriating. “I did that because I liked you.” More proof of that not fully developed brain.
He waited five days to kiss me (my first kiss ever). I did not swallow my vanilla coke for several weeks until I was sure we were a thing. We lived happily ever after for six months. It got complicated when he read a magazine article that a man should “test” his girlfriend, so he did. I was supposed to try to get him back to prove I cared. I never tried. It was not a good year. But then the craziest thing happened.
He came back on many different occasions professing his deep love all along. He lost me from his foolishness and while I cried teenage tears for a while, I moved on to someone better. Teen age boys are irrational and not to be trusted. He told me about the magazine article and that he was testing me, waiting for me to beg him back. He sure guessed that one wrong! There is much more to this story.
There are the 5 year and 20 year reunions where I had the opportunity to push him away, but reflect that something deeper must have happened for him in the 8th grade than I had ever realized. The love I thought I had wasn’ t very long lasting, and the love he thought he could brush off easily was not so easy.
There is a whole camp that doesn’t believe teens should even date for these very reasons. Teen age love can be brutal and teens don’t have the confidence to bounce back easily. It took me a long time to recover from what ended up being a fake rejection.
It took him a long time to recover from the realization that I was over him. My father tried to warn me that boys that age didn’t have any brains, but I was too young to trust his wisdom.
Today is my birthday. Now it’s all these years later, and I look back laughing at the different decades and seasons of my life. I hear people say 30 is the new 18 and that’s probably not a good thing as far as romantic success goes.
Did you date as a teenager? Do you remember awkward moments and were you hurt by foolishness?
If so, sweeten up, with a fun cupcake. I saw similar images on Pinterest, and google images and took my best cupcake recipe found here and whipped up the vanilla buttercream and chocolate ganache to make it look like a hot fudge sundae. I used these chocolate cupcakes, which are so popular here and and with my family and friends.
The cups are from Wilton and I ordered the straws here.
- 1 dozen chocolate cup cakes
- Buttercream frosting (see below)
- whipped cream
- marachino cherries
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 5 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla (or vanilla bean flecks)
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream
- 3 ounces chopped dark chocolate
- 3 ounces heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- Cupcake Tools
- Red Wave Cupcake Liners
- Pastry Bags
- Pastry Tips
- Whip butter until softened and fluffy in mixer.
- Add confectioner's sugar ½ cup at a time, until incorporated.
- Add vanilla.
- Add in cream or milk until you get consistency you want.
- Refrigerate until ready for use. Take out about 20 minutes ahead and pipe on top of cupcakes. I use a 1M jumbo tip to make the frosting look like ice cream. Don't pile too high because the ganache is rich.
- Chop chocolate, place in small bowl.
- Heat cream in sauce pan just until boiling.
- Pour over chocolate. Allow to sit for 2 minutes.
- Stir from center until chocolate is melted.
- Add in light corn syrup. Set aside to cool.
- Frost cupcakes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Prepare ganache and allow to cool, but not so much it hardens. If it does harden, soften by placing in microwave 10 seconds at a time. It should soften right up.
- Pour ganache over frosted cakes to resemble a hot fudge.
- Top with a sprinkles and a cherry.