I love any excuse to make cupcakes and with Valentine’s Day coming up, these pretty Sweetheart Cupcakes are perfect! The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it as simple or as fancy as you want. You can use any recipe for white cake that you like. If you are in a hurry, a box of Betty Crocker mix and frosting will do the trick! I chose to make lemon buttermilk cupcakes (my favorite cupcake flavor) for this project.
Recipe adapted from Cheese and Chocolate
Makes 18-21 cupcakes
• Cake batter (If using a store bought mix, follow the directions on the box to make your batter. I used this recipe for Lemon Buttermilk cake batter)
• Red food coloring
• Vanilla or other white or pink frosting (I used buttercream frosting)
• Red and pink sprinkles (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or as instructed on the box). Line 2 muffin tins with about 20 cupcake liners.
Prepare your cake batter per your chosen recipe’s instructions. Fill each cupcake liner about 1/3 full with white batter. Then set aside. Add a few drops of red food coloring to the remaining batter (I added in about 3 drops to make a light pink color). Pour 1/3 of the pink batter into a pastry or ziploc bag and set aside.
Add more red food coloring drops to the remainder of the pink batter until you get a nice dark pink or red color. Pour the red batter into another pastry or ziploc bag.
Cut the tip of the red bag batter off and stick the open tip into the middle of each cup of white batter. Squeeze a few tablespoons of the red batter into each cup. Repeat this process with the pink batter- cut the tip of the bag off and stick the tip into the middle of the red batter, squeezing in a few tablespoons of batter into each cup.
Bake cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to cooling racks and let cool completely.
Next make your frosting. If you want to make your own frosting, use your favorite recipe for vanilla or buttercream frosting. If you’re like me and lost steam after making all the cupcakes, you can use a store bought jar of frosting. Add in a few drops of red food coloring to make your frosting pretty n’ pink. Frost each cupcake and top with red and pink sprinkles.
For an added touch, I created my own Valentine toppers using heart-shaped hang tags from My Own Labels. I used the whole punched in each heart tag (usually reserved for tying onto a gift or favor) to tie a tiny pink bow for a little extra flair. Instead of attaching my little hearts to toothpicks, I poked them directly into each cupcake. I loved the way they turned out! They look festively pink and my friends were surprised to find the pink layers of cake inside when they took their first bite!
- Small Heart Hang Tags • I chose the “Sweetheart” style in Bright Pink.