Say all that mushy stuff and give into consumerism with these Valentine’s Day Cupcakes.
Valentine’s day is looming AND one of my best friends had her engagement party last weekend, so I thought it fitting to bake some Valentine’s day cupcakes OR, as I’ve been calling them, “love cakes”. These simple vanilla cupcakes always – ALWAYS – go down a treat, I’ve never found a soul who has a dislike for them. They are a crowd pleaser (they all went within the first 10 minutes of the party) but don’t underestimate the gorgeous flavour good quality vanilla can bring to a bake. It’s simple, but an old faithful friend.
I was lucky enough to have some pre made some vanilla caster sugar (click here and go to number 13 for how to) but if you don’t have any then don’t worry, a tad more vanilla extract will do the job just fine!
Valentine’s Day Cupcake Ingredients
For the cupcakes
280g unsalted butter
280g caster sugar (I used 100g caster sugar + 180g of vanilla caster sugar, if you have some!)
4 medium eggs
2 tsp of vanilla extract (1 tsp if you are using vanilla caster sugar)
280g self raising flour (sifted)
For the vanilla icing
250g icing sugar (sifted + a few tbsp extra for dusting when assembling)
90g unsalted butter
20ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 drops (ish!) pink food colouring
2 different sized heart shaped cookie cutters (small)
Ready made pink royal icing
Makes 16 large vanilla cupcakes
Muffin tin lined with your choice of cupcake/muffin cups
Pre-heat the oven to 180oC
For the vanilla cupcakes
1) In a large bowl whisk together the butter and sugar until creamy, light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time. Once all incorporated beat in the vanilla extract.
2) Pour half the flour into the bowl and fold with a wooden spoon until only just mixed and then do the same again with the remaining flour, but remember Do Not Over-Mix, only until it is JUST combined.
3) Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake cases but make sure the batter fills the whole of the case and comes up to the top. We want these to rise a bit over the cases. Pop on the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven for about 17-18 mins until a skewered inserted comes out clean & they are slightly browning round the edges. Leave to cool in the tray and then turn out into a wire rack to cool completely.
For the vanilla icing
1) In a large bowl whisk together the icing sugar and butter. This is much easier if the butter is at room temp or slightly melted. Then add the milk and vanilla extract and beat for at least 4 mins, generally speaking the longer the better, this makes it lovely and light! Half way through the beating process add a few drops of food colouring until you get your desired shade. Set aside.
1) When the cupcakes are cool (and only when they are COMPLETELY COOL) use a sharp knife and cut the top off the cupcakes. As a guide I use the side of the cupcake case as a rule and cut off whatever is above that. Do this with all the cupcakes. Set aside.
2) Spoon a dollop or two of the icing onto the freshly cut cupcake (the side where the cupcake case is still attached) and smooth. Repeat with all the cupcakes and set aside.
3) Grab the tops of the cut cupcakes and, using the larger of your two cookies cutters, cut out heart shapes, one per cut top. Aim for the middle so you get as much sponge as possible. Pop on top of your iced cupcake. Repeat for all.
4) Lightly dust a clean work surface with icing sugar and roll out your pink icing until about 1/2 cm thickness (or thinner if you dare!). Use your smaller heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out 16 hearts. Once done, place onto the top of the sponge heart. Repeat.
5) To finish off I placed a small sugar butterfly and silver ball into the corner of the cupcake and lightly pressed them into the pink icing with the back of a knife, so they didn’t roll away!
Enjoy Valentine’s Day lovers xx