Heart In A Cupcake – A Cupcake With A Surprise Inside

Do you love to share your love through baking? Well, this is a special treat. Perfect for Valentine’s Day or any other day to show your love. The outside is cute, but there’s a heart in this cupcake!

These are chocolate cupcakes with a pink vanilla heart inside, topped with raspberry buttercream frosting and decorated with a Royal iced mini-sugar cookie. Okay, I admit this is a bit over the top. This will take two to three days to complete all the steps. (Not two complete days – that would be crazy.) You can always decorate with something than the sugar cookie. Pink or white pearlized nonpareils would be just beautiful.

However, since I made them, I’m going to give you the complete instructions and you can decide which direction to take your treat.

The first step is to make the sugar cookies:

Since Royal icing takes at least a day to dry, make and decorate the cookies the day before. OR, even better, make them days ahead of time and store them in an airtight container in the freezer.

If you’ve never used Royal icing before, check out  Sweetopia. She has great tutorials about using Royal icing and I always follow her guidelines.

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Sugar Cookies With Royal Icing
Ingredients
Cookies
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifte
Royal Icing
  • 1 Tbls. Meringue powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Meringue powder
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 3 Tbls. warm water and add more water to desired consistency
  • Pink Gel Color
Instructions
Cookies
  1. Cream together the butter and sugar.

  2. Beat in the add and vanilla.

  3. Slowly add the sifted all-purpose flour until well combined.

  4. Chill the dough 3-4 hours.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4" thickness and cut with cookie cutters.

  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes and cool completely before icing.

Royal Icing
  1. Beat all ingredients on low speed for a few minutes until incorporated. The icing should be thin enough to "flow".

  2. Add small amount of gel color and mix until blended. Continue to add gel color and mix until desired color.

  3. Using a piping bag fitted with a #2 tip, outline the cookie. In a zig-zag manner, fill in the outline with the frosting. Shake the cookie gently so the frosting flows. Tap down any points in the frosting with a toothpick.

Next, make a vanilla cake to cut the hearts out of:

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Pink Vanilla Cake
Ingredients
  • 6 Tbls. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 large eggs (crack 3 - mix up, measure 1/2 and save the other 1/2 for another purpose
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbls. + 2 Tsp. whole milk
  • red food color
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Sift all dry ingredients and set aside.

  3. Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until fluffy.

  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix completely.

  5. Add a bit of the dry ingredients at a time, alternating with the milk. Mix until each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically during this process.

  6. Mix in the red food coloring 2-3 drops at a time until desired shade of color is reached. The color will lighten while baking, so keep that in mind.


  7. Continue beating the batter on medium-high for another 30 seconds.

  8. Pour about 1 1/2 cups of the batter into a nonstick or lightly greased 9-inch square baking pan. (Yes, there will be batter left over.) Bake for about 20 minutes or until tester comes out with a few crumbs. Allow the cake to cool completely.

After the cake is cooled, loosen the cake from the pan by running a knife around the edges and carefully invert the pan onto a cutting board. Use a 2-inch heart shaped cookie cutter to cut hears from the cake. Set the hearts aside while mixing up the chocolate cake batter.

On to the chocolate cupcake batter and adding the pink vanilla cake hearts: I tried using my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, but it didn’t work well for this project. The mixture is too liquid and the heart cakes ended up floating, and, well, just don’t use that recipe. I tried this one from Taste of Home and it worked great.

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Chocolate Batter And Making A Heart In A Cupcake
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a non-toxic marker, make a small dot on the edge of 12 paper liners and place in a standard muffin tin with all dots facing the same direction.

  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well incorporated.

  3. Combine and sift the dry ingredients. Gradually add to the creamed mixture alternating with buttermilk and coffee. Beat well after each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl often.

  4. Spoon in 1 1/2 Tbls. of batter into the prepared tins. Place a heart in each cup - the bottom of the heart pointing down and the front of the heart facing the dot on the cupcake paper. Press the heart gently into the batter. Carefully, cover the heart with another teaspoon (or a little more) with more batter. Make sure the batter covers the heart - but do not overfill as the goal is to crown nicely and not go over the edge of the tin when baked. (You will NOT use all of the cupcake batter.

  5. Bake for about 20 minutes until toothpick inserted (not in the center as that's where the heart is and already baked!) comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cool completely.

Are you still with me because we still have to make frosting!

Finally, we’re going to make Raspberry Buttercream Frosting: I like tons of frosting, so this recipe will generously cover 12 cupcakes with some left over.

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Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
Ingredients
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 or more tsp. liquid from frozen raspberries
Instructions
  1. In an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium-high speed.

  2. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the sugar until all is incorporated.

  3. Add vanilla and raspberry liquid and beat for another few minutes until light and fluffy. Do not add too much liquid or the frosting will not be stiff enough to pipe.

Finish: Frost the cupcakes using a piping bag fitted with a #6B tip. Add a mini-sugar cookie.

To see the heart inside, look for the dot on the cupcake liner and cut the cupcake in half parallel to the dot.

What to do with the left over batter and frosting? Add some of each into lined muffin tins and bake for 18-20 minutes. Pip on a dollop of frosting and add a mini-sugar cookie. Go with the theme, “Mixed Up Over You.”

Happy baking!

 

 

Did you try this recipe?

Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #wistfullywarped.

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I *Heart* You – Cupcakes of Love

Okay, I’m a tad late with the Valentine themed cupcakes, but look at is this way – you have 12 months to prepare them or to order them from me!

These are chocolate cupcakes topped with raspberry buttercream frosting,  iced mini-sugar cookie decoration and a *surprise* pink vanilla heart cake filling. (Perhaps I should call the blog “compositions, COMPLICATED cupcakes and chaos”?)  Bake It In A Cake was my reference as to how to bake a heart into a cake, and the vanilla cake recipe is an adaptation of hers.

The first step is to make the sugar cookies (this is the BEST sugar cookie recipe I’ve ever made – but it’s from my archives and don’t know to whom credit is due!) Goes like this:

  • Cream together 1 cup butter and 2/3 cup sugar
  • Beat in 1 room temperature egg
  • Combine and add 1 tsp. vanilla and 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • Mix until ingredients are well combined. Chill dough 3-4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.  Roll out dough (onto floured surface) about 1/4″ thick and cut.  Bake 8-10 minutes and cool completely before icing.

The icing is a thinned Royal Icing. If you’ve never used Royal Icing before, the best tutorial I have ever seen is posted by  Sweetopia and I generally follow her guidelines.  (Her blog is a wonderland and worth a trip!) I used the following recipe and frosted almost all of the cookies with it:

  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoon Meringue powder
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons warm water and add water to desired consistency

Beat all ingredients at low speed for a few minutes until incorporated. The icing should be thin enough to “flow” (this is where watching the above mentioned tutorial explains it all.)

The next step is to make the pink vanilla hearts: Preheat oven to 350F

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 large eggs (crack 3 – mix up, measure 1/2 and save the other 1/2 for another purpose)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I like LOTS of flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons whole milk
  • red food coloring
  1. Combine the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, and vanilla and mix completely.
  3. Sift all the dry ingredients and then add a bit at a time, alternating with the milk, mixing until each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically during this process.
  4. Mix in the red food coloring 2 or 3 drops at a time until desired shade of color is reached. The color will lighten while baking, so keep that in mind.
  5. Continue beating the batter on medium-high another 30 seconds.
  6. Pour about 1 1/2 cups of the batter into a nonstick or lightly greased 9-inch square baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes (yes, there will be some batter left over).  Allow the cake to cool completely.
  7. Once the cake is cooled, loosen the cake from the pan by running a knife around the edges and carefully invert the pan onto a cutting board.  Use a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out hearts from the cake. (I did this twice and had to slice a bit off the heart cakes as they ended up a tad too thick for this project – or maybe a thicker cake would have been better?)
  8. Set aside while mixing up the chocolate cake batter.

On to the chocolate cake step: (I tried using my favorite chocolate cake recipe – the one on this blog – but it didn’t work as that mixture is very liquidy and the heart cakes ended up floating and, and, and – just use this recipe.  I tried this one I found on Taste of Home and it worked well.)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Using a non-toxic marker, make a small dot on the edge of 12 paper liners and place in a standard muffin tin with all dots facing the same direction.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla until well incorporated.
  3. Combine and sift the dry ingredients and gradually add to creamed mixture alternating with buttermilk and coffee.  Beat well after each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl often.
  4. Spoon in 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into the prepared tins.  Place a heart in each cup – the bottom of the heart pointing down and the front of the heart facing the dot on the cupcake paper.  Press the heart gently into the batter.  Carefully cover the heart with another teaspoon (or a little more) with more batter.  Make sure the batter covers the heart – but do not overfill as the goal is to crown nicely and not go over the edge of the tin. You will NOT use all of the chocolate batter.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes until toothpick inserted (not in the center as that’s where the heart is!) comes out clean. DO NOT OVERBAKE!  Cool completely before moving on to the frosting.

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting time!  I like TONS of frosting, so this is the recipe I created – it will make a large quantity.  It other words, this will generously cover 12 cupcakes with some left over.

  • 3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (or whatever it takes to get the desired consistency) teaspoons of liquid from frozen raspberries
  1. Mix together butter and sugar until blended and creamy.
  2. Add vanilla and raspberry liquid and beat for another few minutes until light and fluffy. Be careful with the liquid as the frosting needs to be stiff to pipe.  (I added too much the first time and it was too runny – I couldn’t add enough powdered sugar to correct it!  I was told the taste was pure awesomeness – but it looked like a mess!)

Now, we’ll finish it off by adding a mini-sugar cookie.  To see the heart inside, look for the dot and cut the cupcake in half parallel to the dot.

What to do with left-over batter and frosting?  Add some of each into prepared muffin tins – bake for about 18-20 minutes.  Pipe on a dollop of frosting and add a mini-sugar cookie. Go with the theme, “Mixed Up Over You!”

 

 

 

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