Studio 5 Party, Holiday & Ideas Contributor Alisa Bangerter shares ideas for Cupcakes with Heart!
VALENTINE CUPCAKE TIPS
How to Tint Coconut or Granulated Sugar: Place coconut or sugar in a zipper top plastic bag. Add several drops of liquid food coloring to bag. Shake and gently knead coconut or sugar until color is distributed. (Note: Sugar may need to be poured onto a baking sheet, spread out and let dry to prevent clumping.) For Valentine’s Day – try red, pink, or lavender.
Valentine Batter Ideas and Baking Tips:
• Cupcake pans or silicone baking cups come in many sizes and shapes. Paper liners can be used but if you prefer smooth sides, be sure to grease and flour the pan well.
• Use grease-poof paper baking liners to prevent paper from sticking and tearing cupcake.
• Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to make red velvet cake. Use your favorite homemade recipe or use a red velvet cake mix available in grocery stores.
• Color white cupcake batter using food coloring. Place some red, pink and white batter in each baking cup and drag a toothpick through for a fun swirled cupcake.
• Toss in a handful of red or pink candy sprinkles in batter before baking. You could also toss in crushed candy bars or mini chocolate chips.
• Make cupcakes using angel food cake – try flavoring and tinting batter.
• An easy way to make a heart shaped cupcake is to place a marble or ½” ball of foil between the paper baking cup and the cupcake tin before baking. This will dent in one side of the cupcake that will look like a heart when baked.
• Place a chocolate candy kiss, heart or maraschino cherry in the batter of individual cupcakes before baking for a “surprise inside” when eaten. (tip: bake for about 10 minutes before adding item to keep it from sinking to the bottom.)
• Place an Oreo type cookie in the bottom of each cupcake liner before adding batter.
• Cut slits into the baked cakes and insert foil wrapped love notes or thoughts.
• A good cupcake filling is: 8 oz. cream cheese, 1 egg, ¼ c. sugar and dash of salt. Mix in tiny chocolate chips if desired. Place a dollop onto cake batter in each cup and filling will go to center of cake when baked.
• Place a dollop of a red jam or jelly on batter before baking. You can also fill cupcake after baking by cutting a small hole in top of cupcake, scooping out a tiny amount of cupcake center, filling with jam and replacing some of the cupcake that was cut out to seal top before icing.
Valentine Icing Ideas:
• Try combining several colors of icing in a decorating bag for a fun stripe effect. Try half red and half white. Pink and red also look nice together.
• Add some flavorings such as strawberry or cherry to icing or stir in some raspberry jam.
• Cooked 7-minute or fluffy marshmallow icings are great for Valentine’s Day.
• Try frosting the top of a cupcake with a mound of homemade marshmallow. After the marshmallow sets, dip the top in melted pink candy melts. Add sprinkles for a festive look.
VALENTINE CUPCAKE IDEAS
• Dip fortune cookies in chocolate or candy coating. Sprinkle with candy sprinkles or nuts and place on top of cupcakes. For a fun variation, make homemade fortune cookies and tint the batter pink or red. To replace fortunes in purchased fortune cookies, steam gently or place in microwave for a few seconds and they will become pliable. Replace fortunes with love notes, etc.
• Make candy heart toppers. Place mini candy canes together in the shape of a heart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. Bake at 325 for about 5 minutes or until slightly melted. Immediately place a 2″ piece of lollipop stick in the bottom of each. Let set up and when cool, use as a cupcake topper.
• Wash and hull a strawberry, cut in half horizontally and notch top to create a heart. Place on top of a cupcake.
• Place a mini cream puff, heart sugar cookie or tiny brownie heart on top of cupcakes.
• Make your own Valentine cupcake picks. Use photos, punched shapes, die cuts, heart marshmallows, gumdrop hearts, chocolate hearts, etc. Simply adhere a toothpick or insert toothpick into item.
• Twist pipe cleaners into hearts to use as cupcake picks. Add beads on the pipe cleaners for a fun decorative effect.
• Cover the top of cupcakes with chocolate curls.
• Frost cupcake with red or pink icing. Cover the top with a cornelli lace decorating technique. This technique is a freehand random lacey design made using a small round piping tip and white icing. For detailed instructions go to: www.bakedecoratecelebrate.com/techniques/cornellilace.cfm
• Wrap some cloth wrapped wire around a pencil to curl. Glue on tiny punched hearts to one end of the wire. Insert into cupcake to make it look like hearts springing out.
• Decorate heart shaped cupcakes using pastel icing. Decorate cupcakes to look like pastel candy conversation hearts. Add fun words using red icing. If you need ideas – pull out some conversation hearts for inspiration.
• Pipe a decorative border using icing on a heart shaped cupcake. Fill in center of heart with red jam or jelly.
• Place a chocolate dipped strawberry on a frosted cupcake.
• A simple Valentine cupcake decoration is to unwrap a red lollipop and insert in the cupcake. Tie a ribbon around the stick and add a small tag.
• Cut the stem off a real rose and place the rose in the top of a cupcake. Sugar the rose if desired. (Make sure to use pesticide free flowers or wash well.)
• Sprinkle cupcakes with coarsely crushed cookies, granola bars or cereals.
• Decorate cupcakes with fresh fruit or berries.
• Wrap strips of decorative paper around cupcake bottom for display. Paper that is printed with thoughts, poems, photos, etc. also make for unique presentation.
• Wrap pretty ribbon bows around cupcake papers after decorating. These can be made to coordinate with any theme.
• Wrap bottom of cupcakes with a circle of red or pink tissue, gather and tie with a ribbon.
• Place cupcakes in a second liner after baking to create a prettier presentation.
• To make unique and fancy chocolate garnishes, melt chocolate (white or regular) and place in a pastry bag with a round tip. Pipe shapes, initials or scrolls onto wax paper and let harden. Use as a garnish.
• A cute Valentine train cupcake idea with video tutorial is found at: jas.familyfun.go.com/recipefinder/printrecipe?id=50096
• Create and place items that go with fun Valentine sayings, for example create peanut butter bees http://www.grouprecipes.com/4861/peanut-butter-honey-bees-for-kids.html and place on a cupcake with a little flag on a toothpick that says “bee mine.”
• Give cupcakes in a simple box. One cupcake in a pretty box tied with a ribbon would be a nice gift.
• Remember that cupcake cakes are easy to make and a heart shape works very well. See this link: http://studio5.ksl.com/?sid=4099006&nid=59