Hidden Heart Valentine’s Cupcakes

Delicious vanilla cupcakes with creamy frosting and a surprise hidden inside. Who needs roses for Valentine’s Day when you can make someone tasty Hidden Heart Valentine’s Cupcakes to share the love?!                

If you have been following my blog for a few years, you may recognise these cupcakes. I originally made them back in 2015 but not only did the recipe need new photos, it needed a complete re-write. So voilà!

Valentine’s Day is not something Mr Curly and I have ever really celebrated. We definitely don’t go out to a restaurant, but I am quite lucky and do often receive flowers. Whether you like to go all out or take a far more casual approach to Valentine’s Day, these Hidden Heart Valentine’s Cupcakes are a great way to show your special person some love. 

I saw the idea for these cupcakes in Pinterest years ago so they aren’t a new idea. However I wanted to adapt them to use my favourite cupcake recipe to make them super tasty. This is because a lot of the recipes I did find used ‘cake flour’ or box cake mixes. Firstly I’m still confused what cake flour is – even after googling it; and also I will never use a cake mix to make cupcakes!

These cupcakes look so simple and elegant on the outside and then when you bite into them you find a brilliant bright red heart. These Hidden Heart Valentine’s Cupcakes do take a little longer than a standard cupcake but they are very straightforward to make.  The finished look is really worth the extra little effort! 

When making the red sponge for the hearts, I recommend using gel food colouring. Wilton and Sugarflair are good brands to use as they provide really vibrant colours. You can use supermarket bought food colour but you will need to use a lot. I made these cupcakes using the supermarket colouring before and I had to use two tubes!  

I wanted to keep the decoration quite elegant and simple so I decided to use a large star tipped nozzle (Wilton 1M) to create a rose effect. I did this by starting in the centre of the cupcake and piping in a circular motion until I reached the edge of the cupcake. As you reach the edge if you release pressure from your piping bag and then quickly move the bag away you should get a nice clean finish. if you wanted to, you could roll out some red fondant and cut a small heart out to add to the end of your piped rose. Alternatively if you aren’t confident piping a rose pattern, pipe in whichever pattern you like. 

 You can also use flavoured frosting if you would like. I’ve made these with cherry and raspberry flavoured frosting which went really well with the vanilla in the cupcakes. You could also use vanilla bean paste in the cupcake mix if you wanted. I chose to use vanilla extract because I didn’t want to see the black specks of vanilla bean on this occasion. 

These would obviously be a lovely gift for Valentine’s Day but I think anyone would be chuffed to receive these at any time of year. You could change up the colour of the heart too if you wanted to make them less Valtentine’s orientated! 

Makes 18

For the red heart sheet cake
75g margarine
75g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g self raising flour
Red food colouring (appox ½ tsp)

For the vanilla cupcakes
250g softened butter
250g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract 
4 eggs
250g self-raising flour

For the buttercream
200g unsalted butter
400g icing sugar
3-4 tbsp milk

  1. Start by making the red cake mix for the hearts. Preheat oven to 170ºC and line a 20x20cm square tin with baking parchment
  2. Beat the margarine and sugar together until pale and fluffy
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and slowly mix again and then add the flour and mix until combined
  4. Add enough food colouring to make the batter a bright red colour
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth flat. Bake in the oven for approximately 14 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean

  1. Allow the cake to cool slightly
  2. While you are waiting for the red cake to cool, make the vanilla cupcake batter in the same way as you made the red cake batter (obviously leaving out the red food colouring!)
  3. Once the red cake has cooled, cut out hearts using a small heart shaped cutter

  1. Line a cupcake tin with cases and fill each case with approximately 1 tbsp of the plain cake batter. Smooth the cake batter to over the bottom of each cupcake case

  1. Place a heart standing up up in each of the cupcake cases 

  1. Add more of the plain cake batter to each cupcake case so that it is roughly ¾ full – don’t panic if this doesn’t completely cover the red heart

  1. Bake in the oven for 14 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for a few minutes before allowing to cool completely on a wire rack

  1. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, make the frosting by beating together the butter and icing sugar until smooth
  2. Add milk enough milk to create a smooth pipe-able consistency. It is always better to add a little bit of milk as you go instead of too much at once
  3. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes 

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28 thoughts on “Hidden Heart Valentine’s Cupcakes

  1. Corina Blum

    These cupcakes are gorgeous Cat! I’ve never attempted anything like this but the recipe looks nice and simple – even something the kids could help me with in half term as they love baking and they’d both want to cut out the little hearts and help stick them in!

    1. Cat Post author

      Thank you 🙂 They really are very simple and I think they would be perfect for your kids to help out with.

  2. Judith Graber

    Like you I have been wanting to make a cupcake like this (the cakes look harder). Thanks for giving us the details – looks stunning, especially with the way the frosting on top of the cupcakes looks like roses 🙂

  3. Life Diet Health

    Oh wow so pretty! So that’s how they’re made! Thanks for the step by step pictures, how fantastic! I need to go and get some red food colouring now! Thanks for linking and sharing at Fiesta Friday.

    1. Cat Post author

      Thanks 🙂 I like this style of icing because you don’t end up with too much frosting like some other styles.

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