Red Velvet Cupcakes for Valentines Day

with Leigh Wyryha

Red Velvet Cupcakes are perfect for this romantic and heart-warming holiday. Yes, that time of year for love, romance, kisses and hugs. It’s Valentines Day, one of the best times of the year for chocolate and sweets of all types and the perfect excuse to eat them and make them for your sweetheart or as party favors. Again we’ve invited professional cake and cupcake decorator from Leigh Wyryha back to ask her for some Valentine cupcake advice. I know it's not St Patricks Day yet, but maybe we can get lucky and convince her to reveal some great cupcake and frosting recipes today! OK let's begin.

1. DSCG: Leigh what are your favorite Valentines cupcakes to eat?

Leigh: By far, my favorite Valentine’s Day cupcakes would have to be red velvet cupcakes, with vanilla cream cheese icing! They’re absolutely delicious and a little addicting! I also love a good chocolate cupcake with chocolate butter cream frosting on top – you can’t go wrong with chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Instead of doing a simple a chocolate cupcake this year I decided to do a rich, black forest cupcake – just like the cake but in cupcake form!

2. DSCG: Do you have any cupcake recipes to share with us?

Leigh: Yes, I do. The first one is my favorite red velvet cupcakes recipe. You can use this recipe for cupcakes, mini cupcakes and cakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups of flower, 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup of softened butter, 2 cups of sugar, 4 eggs, 1 cup of sour cream, 1/2 cup of milk, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and red food coloring.

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food coloring, and vanilla. I would only add a few drops of red food coloring, just enough to get a nice red color in the batter. Then gradually mix in the flour until just blended, don’t over mix. Spoon batter into muffin paper-lined muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
(for the red velvet cupcakes)

Ingredients: 1- 8 ounce package of cream cheese,1/4 cup softened butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 16 oz of confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar).

Directions: Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar. Spread over top of cooled cupcakes and serve! I like to garnish mine with shaved chocolate.

The second recipe is for my delicious black forest cupcakes. They take a little more time but are well worth it in the end!

Black Forest Cupcakes

Ingredients: 1 pkg chocolate cake mix, 1pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese softened, 1egg, 2 Tablespoons of sugar, 1can (20 oz.) cherry pie filling, divided 1-1/2 cups thawed cool whipped topping.

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake batter as directed on package and set aside. Mix cream cheese, egg and sugar until blended well and creamy. Remove 3/4 cup of the pie filling to put on top of your cupcakes and set aside. Spoon 2 Tbsp. of the cake batter into each of 24 paper-lined medium muffin cups. Top each with 1 Tbsp. each of the cream cheese mixture and remaining pie filling. Cover evenly with remaining cake batter. Bake 20 to 25 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool 5 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Top your cupcakes with whipped topping and the remaining pie filling just before serving. They’re delicious!

3. DSCG: How about some more tasty Valentines frosting recipes to top these aforementioned cupcakes?

Leigh: Another popular, and delicious, Valentine’s Day frosting is a Strawberry Marshmallow Frosting. Here is the recipe and directions (tip: this frosting recipe can be used for the red velvet cupcakes too):

Strawberry Marshmallow Frosting

Ingredients: 2 cups of white sugar, 2/3 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup, 4 eggs whites and 1 package of strawberry flavored gelatin, red food coloring if desired.

Directions: Have 4 egg whites sitting in a small glass bowl within reach and ready to use. In a small saucepan stir together sugar, water and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and cook to 240 degrees F, or use the water test by dropping a small amount of mixture into a cold cup of water and it should turn into tiny strands. Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in your strawberry gelatin. Set aside. Whip egg whites in the small glass bowl until soft peaks form. Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the egg whites while continuing to whip until stiff glossy peaks. Cover cupcakes as desired!

4. DSCG: How would you package your Valentines red velvet cupcakes as gifts for a loved one?

Leigh: For my regular cupcakes, depending on how many are being packaged I either use special cupcake containers that will hold between 6 – 9 cupcakes, or if they’re only getting one of two cupcakes and I like to put them in special white boxes with a red ribbon tied around them and a simple, elegant tag of what’s inside!

5. DSCG: Could you please share some cupcake decorating techniques too that work well for both kids parties and for romantic Valentines gifts?

Leigh: This year I’m doing something that I’m really excited about and is a lot of fun too. They’re called "cupcakes in a jar" ! They’re perfect for Valentine’s Day and for birthdays, bridal showers, baby showers, pretty much any special occasion. It’s a simple technique of placing already baked cupcakes in a jar with layers of frosting in between. All you have to do is pop the lid off, grab a spoon and start eating! I like to decorate my jars to fit the theme so this Valentine’s Day I will be putting red and white logos on them along with a pink and red ribbon on top. They’re perfect to give as a gift and kids of all ages really enjoy making them too.

6. DSCG: What are your best selling Valentines cupcakes?

Leigh: My best selling Valentine’s Day cupcakes are by far the red velvet cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting on top. I sell them individually and by the dozen. People just keep coming back for more!

Back to Cupcake Decorating Techniques

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