In honor of one of my favorite holidays – Valentine’s Day – I’ve got a new sweet treat for you from the Crazy Cupcake Flavors from a Box series!
Nate is on a committee at his office for morale among his coworkers. He offers his team incentives for doing certain things requested by his committee. One time it was Jeans Day. This time around he was bringing cupcakes. Since I’m very popular up there for my cupcakes, I wanted to offer a little Valentine treat that everyone would love.
These little wonders are Pink Velvet Cupcakes and a perfect treat for your favorite Valentine. They are a dark pink cupcake topped with pink cream cheese frosting. But the best part is that they have a secret heart cut out inside with cream cheese filling! I know you’ll just love these as much I do!
To make these super easy, I used a white box cake mix and added chocolate pudding mix to the batter. Did you know there are several ways to make a box cake mix taste like homemade? One is adding pudding mixes or another is adding sour cream. I like to do both of these. Then, another way is using buttermilk in place of the liquid in a cake mix will really help make it taste homemade. I also used Americolor gel food coloring (you can get it at Hobby Lobby) in a bright Electric Pink. Due to the chocolate pudding, your cupcakes will come out a beautiful dark pink color.
For the secret heart center, I used the heart-shaped cookie insert from a Linzer cookie cutter to remove the heart of the cupcake. I found an entire Wilton set of Linzer cookie cutters with several tiny center cookie cutters for $1.25 at Walmart about 2 weeks ago. I think it was on clearance from Christmas. You might check to see if they have one.
Pink velvet cupcakes with secret heart cutouts filled with cream cheese.
- 1 box of white cake mix
- 1 1/4 cups of buttermilk
- 1/3 cup of canola oil
- 1/2 cup of sifted flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 package of dark chocolate pudding mix
- 3-4 large drops of Americolor gel food coloring in Electric Pink
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
- splash of vanilla
- 1-2 tbsp heavy cream
- A small drop of Americolor gel food coloring in Electric Pink
- Preheat oven to 350. Get muffins tins ready with cupcake papers.
- Combine box cake mix, chocolate pudding mix, oil, flour, buttermilk, and eggs.
- Mix for 30 seconds to combine well.
- Add the food coloring. Then, mix for 2 minutes on Medium.
- Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full of cake batter.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center.
- While the cupcakes are baking, make the filling. Beat the cream cheese until whipped (about 1-2 minutes.)
- Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and beat well.
- Add the rest of the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream. Beat on medium high for 3-4 minutes.
- Once cupcakes are cool, cut small hearts into the centers.
- Take a small ziplock bag and fill it with the cream cheese filling.
- Snip off a small corner and fill each heart with the cream cheese.
- Finish the cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting tinted pale pink.
- Add finishing touches such as sanding sugar.
This cream cheese frosting recipe is the one I used. It is my go-to cream cheese frosting recipe. It’s very easy to make and also very forgiving, so if you feel your frosting is too thick or too thin, you can easily add more powdered sugar or cream to get the consistency you want. I like to whip it for an additional 5-7 minutes to really make it fluffy and light. I added just a touch of the same Electric Pink gel food coloring because I wanted a pale pink color. It came out just perfect for the color I wanted.