My Favorite Valentine’s Day Cupcake

I think I like Valentine’s Day baking better than holiday/Christmas baking. All the desserts are pink and red and heart shaped…just so darn cutesy. I know Valentine’s Day can be slightly nauseating for some, but if you start focusing on the treats associated with that holiday, you won’t feel so queasy. I promise.

Take these cupcakes, which I’ve often baked in heart-shaped silicone liners (awwwwwww), for example. They really have nothing to do with all the love stuff on Valentine’s Day, but I associate them with the holiday because they’re pink and I often garnish them with sliced strawberries or hot pink sugar, which makes anything festive. So that helps. Some of my favorite techniques are used in this recipe too-doctoring a boxed cake mix, baking the cupcakes with a surprise filling, and using one of my favorite frostings-strawberry cream cheese. They’re perfect for anyone who adores vanilla or strawberry flavors, and you can even make them with chocolate cake mix for the chocolate lovers. They’re so fluffy and heavenly that even Cupid would be tempted. 😉

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Stuff You’ll Need

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes

For the Cupcakes

  • 1 box of French Vanilla or yellow cake mix with pudding in the mix
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 oz cream cheese (Philadelphia makes a small square package that’s perfect for this), cut into 24 small squares
  • 3 Tbsp strawberry jam or preserves
  • 2 cupcake/muffin pans and some cutesy Valentine’s Day liners with little hearts and Cupids all over them

For the Frosting

  • 2 8oz packages of strawberry cream cheese, softened
  • 10 Tbsp or 1 stick plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • Hot pink sugar or sliced strawberries

How to Do It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line cupcake/muffin pans with your cute little liners.
  2. Mix the cake mix, sour cream, canola oil, water, and eggs in a large mixing bowl until the lumps have smoothed. The batter will be thick. Fill the liners 2/3 of the way full.
  3. Lightly stir the strawberry jam with a fork until it’s smooth and free of large strawberry pieces.
  4. Gently press a small cream cheese square into each cupcake so that it’s just below the top of the batter. Put a small spoonful (approximately 1/4 to 1/2 tsp) of strawberry jam on top of the cream cheese.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes, and rotate the pan halfway through baking time. Remove from heat, and cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
  6. While the cupcakes are baking and cooling, cream together the butter and strawberry cream cheese using a paddle attachment of a stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract.
  7. If you’re using a stand mixer, switch to the whip attachment, and gradually add the confectioner’s sugar a cup at a time, whipping throughly between each addition. Continue to whip the frosting until it’s smooth and at desired consistency. Add more confectioner’s sugar 1/2 cup at a time if the frosting is too soft.
  8. After the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost them with a pastry bag and round tip or with a cake spatula. Garnish with hot pink sugar, pink sprinkles, sliced strawberries, or whatever pink and red decorations your little heart desires.

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker Just Cupcakes.

Tip: When you put the cream cheese into the cupcake batter, resist the urge to push it all the way down to the liner. You don’t need to. The batter will bake around the filling, and this goes for putting candy or other fillings in as well. Cupcake batter rises and will cover the filling, even when it’s close to the top of the batter.

Comments

  1. THESE are my all time favorite, I remeber eating at least 6 during one of my visits.

  2. These are my favorite to!!!Scrumptious and perfect for Sweethearts Day!

  3. Oooh yummy ! i like the look of these and some of your other recipes ! (Just a pity so many of them are chocolate based . . . I am a chocolate hating freak) 😉

    • No worries, I’ll try to branch out a bit more. I’m obsessed with chocolate so I’m not surprised that most of my recipes are chocolate! Thanks for checking out my blog. I’ll try to put up more anti-chocolate recipes!

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