It’s that time of year where love is in the air and it’s celebrated by cards, teddy bears, and best of all, sweets! Truthfully, the one sweet that comes to our minds is chocolate followed by more chocolate. It just can never do you wrong and is always there for you. Not to mention it seems to go with just about everything.
Since Valentine’ Day is coming up here soon, we wanted to start the month off with something that everyone can enjoy and have fun making. Cupcakes are a great item to give as a gift, make for a party or class, or even just for yourself (and trust us, there’s nothing wrong with that). You can use a variety of flavors and decorate them either traditionally or however you want. Your creativity is the limit!
We decided to use the colors of this holiday since they’re such a great combination of colors. They just pop when you look at them and the red, white, and pink combo looks like love. Now, whether or not you are single or in a relationship, you can still have fun with Valentine’s Day. If you don’t really care for cupcakes, have no fear! Keep your eyes peeled for future goodies coming up that will be just as delightful.
Cupcake: Makes 12
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup (or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup + 1 tbsp milk (can be Almond milk or half and half)
Red food coloring
4 ½ tbsp flour
¾ cup half and half
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp extract of choice (vanilla, almond, etc.)
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar and cream until well mixed together. Add in the eggs, one at a time and mix together until just combined (the yolk should be completely broken apart and mixed with yolk – butter mixture doesn’t have to be fully mixed with eggs). Scrape down sides after each egg.
Measure out the milk in a liquid measuring cup.
Gradually mix in the flour, alternating with the liquid and mixing until just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX! This will result in a tougher product. You want light and airy. It normally takes us 3-4 times of alternating before all the milk and flour has been mixed together. Scrape down sides frequently to get all the butter and flour mixed in.
Add in extract and mix until combined.
Divide the batter in half by dispersing enough of the batter into 12 muffin cups in a prepared muffin pan. This will be the non-colored cupcakes.
Take the remaining batter and add 2 drops of red food coloring and mix until combined. Pour the red colored batter into the remaining muffin cups.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 17-20 minutes, or until toothpicks come out clean and they look golden.
Allow to cool.
This is really a two-part process.
In a small saucepan, combine the flour and half and half and whisk together until combined. Turn the burner onto medium heat and whisk together for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Take a rubber spatula at this point and allow the mixture to cook for 5-10 seconds and then stir it around until it becomes a solid. Remove from the pan and into a bowl and allow to cool completely by placing it in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight if you choose to make this the night before you need the frosting.
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, cream the butter and sugar until well combined. Add in the flour and milk mixture you made along with your extract of choice and mix on high speed for several minutes or until fluffy and smooth. Scrape down the sides though throughout to make sure everything gets mixed properly. Don’t be afraid to taste test along the way. 😉
At this point in time, you can also add in jimmies to give it a different color. We used Valentine’s Day colored ones to make the frosting a pink color.
Once all mixed, decorate your delicious little cakes and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!<3