You can choose to use any cupcake recipe or frosting recipe you would like. This can be as easy or difficult a project as you choose. Make both the cupcakes and frosting from scratch, purchase a mix and a container of frosting, or maybe make one and purchase the other. It's up to you.
Cake Mixes were on sale for just one buck a while back so I stalked up on them. I chose one of the Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate cake mixes for the cupcakes, and then I made my own bright pink and delicious Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting.
My advise? Make your own frosting. It is well worth it. Especially my Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting!! It leaves the perfect amount of cinnamon on your tongue. Cake? I use my fair share of mixes. They are just so darn easy and delicious. I know all the generations before me in my family would grumble about this, but it is just so much easier! Here is a little secret. I spoke with a woman once who taught cake decorating classes and she said that many people who decorate cakes for a living actually use cake mix. No kidding.
This February, make these Valentine Cupcakes for all the special people in your life. I included a few step by step pictures and also a brief video to help explain the steps. It really isn't that hard, but could get confusing trying to follow strictly written instructions.
Valentine Heart Cupcakes
Dark Chocolate Cake Mix
Eggs - As directed on box
Oil - As directed on box
Water - As directed on box
Baking spray - optional
-Mix cupcakes as directed on the back of the box
-Line cupcake tins with papers
-If you desire, spritz baking spray in the papers
-Spoon batter in cupcake papers, filling them up 2/3 of the way
-Bake as directed on the box
-Remove from oven and let cool
-Continue to next step or store in an airtight container until ready to use
Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar
3 TB butter room temperature
4 oz cream cheese room temperature
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon - (for the spice and after taste)
4 tsp Goldschlager Cinnamon Schnapps Liqueur (for the heat and after bite)
Red food coloring
Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Instructions
-In a mixer on medium speed mix the butter and cream cheese until just blended
-Then 1/2 a cup at a time add the powdered sugar - at this point add only the 2 1/2 cups
-Still beating at medium speed, sprinkle in the ground cinnamon
-Continue beating and pour in the Goldschlager and desired amount of red food coloring. It doesn't take much! This is fun. You can decide if you want your frosting light pink, bright pink, red, etc.
-Turn the speed up to medium fast or fast and whip it up a bit. At this point you can decide if you want your frosting a little thicker or not. If so, add the other 1/2 a cup of powdered sugar in. See pictures below. If you like hearts with texture you want thicker frosting. If you like smoother ones, then leave it a bit thinner.
-Once everything is whipped up nice and the frosting is as thick or thin as you like, it is ready! Put in a piping bag, or cut off the tip of a strong Ziploc to serve the same purpose as a decorating bag.
-If you are not using it right away, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Remove an hour before use so that it may soften up.
Assembly of the Valentine Heart Cupcakes!
Set up your work station with a clean surface, clean hands, small sharp knife, frosting filled decorating bag, cupcakes, extra frosting, and 3 plates for heart cut outs, finished cupcakes, and frosting bag resting place.
One at a time carefully use your small knife to cut a heart shape into the center of each cupcake top. Be sure it is at least as deep as the top of the cupcake paper. Also if the heart gets too close to the edge you will have a flimsy top and it will be hard to keep in one piece.
Next set your cupcake on it's side and cut the top off. Cut it off as close to the cupcake paper as you can. Let the top lay.
Set your knife down and grab the frosting bag. With one hand holding the cupcake sturdy and one hand squeezing the bag, swirl a bit of frosting in the middle of the cupcake about the size of your heart. Keep it away from the edges. When the cupcake top is put on later, it will spread out some. You just don't want it gushing out of the edges because that looks sloppy.
Now carefully transfer the cupcake top from your hand to the cupcake, letting the swirl of pink frosting show through the heart. Press down gently on cupcake top to secure. Frosting acts as glue to the top piece.
Here is a video to recap and help clarify.