I wouldn’t necessarily say that Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that I get all pumped up about. It’s kind of a lot of effort to get all jazzed up over candy I don’t need to eat, stuffed animals I don’t need in my house and loooonnnggg wait times at restaurants. I can kind of get on board with flowers, but honestly they’re great any time of year, right?
Occasionally we’ll do cards just to take a moment to be all lovely and gushy and puke our love all over each other. 😉 But since we’re expecting two little bundles of love just before Valentine’s Day, we are basically ignoring it this year. If anything, I will get a couple cute onesies for their first Valentine’s Day and be done with it. Milestones, my friends. I’m on it.
Plus, I’m thinking holidays will be cuter with kids. What do you think? Am I wrong? It’s totally possible. But take these cupcakes for example. Totally adult appropriate, but also super fun for kids. I mean, sprinkles and edible toppers? Too fun. I’m hoping the kid thing is all sprinkles and chocolate. 😉
Well, at least if I’m wrong I can still make these cupcakes and pretend.
And as far as making these cupcakes goes, they may look fancy but they are easy to make! The cupcakes themselves are made by combining the dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients (minus the water) and then combining them together. Then you add the water and you’re done! You really wouldn’t even need a mixer, if you didn’t want to bother. A big whisk would do the job just fine. A thin batter makes mixing easy.
The frosting is a chocolate cream cheese. You could totally leave out the cocoa and add in a bit more powdered sugar for a regular cream cheese frosting if you like. I just decided to change things up and add some chocolate. It pairs well with the red velvet and chocolate is yummy, so I went for it. But either would be delicious.
Once the frosting is added, the sides of the frosting are dipped into sprinkles and the cupcakes are topped with cute little hearts. I made the hearts with red candy melts, which are super easy to work with and dry nice and firm. You could even make other shapes, or little words like I did with the “love” on these strawberry cupcakes. So many options! No matter what though, these cupcakes are super moist, fluffy and totally delicious! A great treat to share – or keep to yourself!
yield: 12-14 CUPCAKES
1 1/4 cup (163g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (207g) sugar
1 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp natural unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp red food coloring
1/2 cup hot water
8 oz (226g) cream cheese, room temperature
6 tbsp (86g) butter, room temperature
4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
1/2 cup (57g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 oz red candy melts
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking powder, cocoa and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
3. Add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, eggs, vinegar and red food coloring to a medium sized bowl and combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
5. Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
6. Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
7. Remove the cupcakes oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
8. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth.
9. Add about half of the powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla extract and mix until smooth and well combined.
10. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
11. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. I used Ateco tip 808 to create the swirl.
12. Press some sprinkles onto the sides of the frosting. I used a small bowl for the sprinkles and lightly pressed the cupcake into the sprinkles.
13. To create the cupcake toppers, add the red candy melts to a small sized bowl and melt according to package instructions.
14. Using a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 4 tip, pipe the melted candy into hearts of varying sizes. I mostly went with two sizes – one a little bigger than the other. Allow them to dry and harden, then add a couple hearts to the top of each cupcake.
15. Refrigerate cupcakes until ready to serve. Cupcakes are best when kept in an air tight container for 3-4 days.