Every one will be wondering how you managed to get a heart into the middle of the cupcake. I’ll teach you the secret, and it’ll just be between us:)
I Heart You Cupcakes
Classic Vanilla Cupcakes (Vanilla Birthday Cake)
Recipe makes four 9″ cakes or ~ 30 regular cupcakes. This recipe makes ~20 cupcakes with the red heart centers.
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 8 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cup (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
+ Red food coloring gel or powder for the hearts
+ Sheet pan
+ Cupcake pan
+ 1 1/2″ heart shaped cookie cutter
+ Cupcake liners
+ Buttercream icing. Martha Stewart’s basic vanilla butter cream is my favorite
1. Preheat the oven to 350′F. Coat the inside of a 12″ x 18″ cookie sheet with cooking spray. Dust the botoms and sides of the pan with flour, knocking out any extra flour. Line your cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
2. Combine the eggs, milk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat lightly. Set aside.
3. Combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a extra large mixing bowl. Add the butter. With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the butter softens. Four in about 2/3 of the egg mixture and mix on low speed until all the ingredients are moistened. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining egg mixture on low speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
4. Divide the batter into two parts. Add a few drops of food coloring gel to half the mixture until you achieve your desired color and stir until combined. This batter will be for the center hearts of your cupcakes. Pour the colored batter into the cookie sheet, spread evenly, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (approximately 13-15 minutes). Let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, and invert onto a flat work surface.
5. Once the cake is cool to the touch, cut out heart shapes from the red cake. Once you have all your shapes cut out, scrape your plain vanilla batter into the cupcake paper liners, filling about 2/3 of the way. Working quickly, insert a cake heart into the center of each cupcake (yes, cooked cake into the center of the raw batter). Bake until cupcakes are light golden brown (approximately 12 – 15 minutes).
6. Check on the cupcakes about 5 minutes after you’ve placed them in the oven– if the hearts start to rise to the top, carefully tap them down using a wooden spoon. I didn’t have an issue with them popping up on my first batch, but when my oven got a little too hot, they started to creep up. I tapped them down half way through baking and it seemed to fix the issue. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and allow to cool before icing with your favorite buttercream.
Tip: Using a pencil, mark the cupcake liner to indicate where and which direction you placed the red heart in the center of your cupcake. That way, you can know where to cut the cupcake in half.