These cupcakes are so simple to make, and prove so popular. You don’t have to use a heart shape, your centre can be anything you wish!
I recommend using a night light cupcake batter, to make the centre more striking.
180g unsalted butter
180g caster sugar
180g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp cocoa powder
Red Food Colouring (I find the paste works easier)
125g unsalted butter at room temerature
250g icing sugar (plain or flavoured)
1-2 tbsp milk
Turn your oven to 180 degrees c (160 fan, Gas Mark 4), and line a square or rectangular baking tray (just a small one, mine was 9 inches by 9 inches) with baking parchment.
Now, cream together your butter and sugar. I am very fortunate and I have a freestanding mixer, but this can be done by hand just as easy. Mix this until very pale in colour and fluffy and light. Now add the eggs and mix, followed by the flour and baking powder. To loosen this mixture add your milk, and add this bit by bit as you may find you do not need as much as this recipe states.
At this point, you need to put 1/3 of your cake mix into a seperate bowl. With the remaining 2/3rds cover with cling film, and put out of the way, you will be needing it later.
With the smaller quanitity of cake mix, you need to add to this your cocoa powder, and then your red food colouring. You want a good deep colour, and a paste is great for this as it will not effect the texture of the cake mixture, and they give great results. I add the cocoa, 1 for taste, and 2 because this helps the red become a deep red. Depending on the food colouring you use will depend on how much you use. Add this little by little until you are happy with it. (You can find a great red food colour paste in the shop).
When you are happy with your colour, pour and spread evenly into the tin and bake for approx 15 minutes (or until it springs back when touched).
When your red cake is cooked, this needs to be cooled completely. The sooner you can safely get it out of the tin the better, and onto a cool surface to cool down.
While this is cooling, either line a muffin tin with cake cases, or a baking tray with baking cups.
Once your red cake is completely cooled, you need to cut out your heart shapes. I used a cookie cutter, but you can use a knife.
Now put 1 spoonful of cake mix in the bottom of your cake cases, then stand your heart up in them. Put the hearts all facing the same direction, and remember which direction this is; if you cut into the finished cake sideways you will not see the heart. SImply top upyour cases with the rest of the cake mix ( I find using a piping bag helps with this, as you can get around the heart easier). These will need to be 2/3rds full, and I put a little cake mix on top of the hearts to ensure coverage.
Now bake for 15-20 mins in the same temperature oven. Try to remember again which way you have put these in the oven!
Once cooked, leave on a wire rack to cool while you make your icing.
For your icing, simply whisk (either by hand, or with an electric or freestanding whisk) your butter until it is as pale as you can get it (I whisk mine for a good few minutes) and then add bit by bit your icing sugar, and loosen with the milk. You can make a plain buttercream, or add some vanilla, or indeed do as I did and use the Salted Caramel flavoured icing sugar in my shop. I used 150g of this and 100g of plain icing sugar and the flavour was still super intense and worked perfectly with the little hint of chocolate this cupcake gives you!
Now sprinkle with some beautiful sprinkles and serve!