Made with a thing called love...

This Valentine's Day, I was totally conflicted on what to bake. I was inspired by all of the heart-shaped cookies, cakes, and truffles flooding the blogosphere, but craving something simple and sweet like cupcakes.

The compromise?

A tasty fusion!

The results were chocolate heart-cutout cupcakes filled with a luscious strawberry-cherry cream cheese frosting...YUM!

And the finishing touch?

I found these adorable cupcake wrappers from Pink Peacock Paperie! B creates some insanely cute designs that are free to download (like this one!) or available for a small fee. Drop by her site for some eye candy!

Anyways, you may be curious as to the fate of the leftover pieces of heart-shaped cake...

Heart-shaped mini cakes + leftover frosting equals...

Squish together and stuff into mouth. Immediately.

Heart Cut-Out Cupcakes with Strawberry-Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting -
(makes 24 cupcakes, or 12 large cupcakes + 1 small 8-inch round cake)

One dozen cupcakes - baked in cupcake liners using a recipe of your choice and allowed to fully cool (Important note: Fill your cupcake cups a bit more than usual before baking - a nicely sized dome of cake is essential for these cut-outs!)

A 2 1/2 inch heart cookie cutter

Using the cupcake wrapper as a guide, use a serrated knife to slice off the top mound of the cupcake. 

Use a butter knife or offset spatula to spread a bit of frosting on the cupcake bottom - leaving a border to prevent frosting spillage. With the cupcake top flat side down, center the cutter and press through - wiggling the cutter carefully to release. Gingerly, flip cut cupcake top over and drizzle border with frosting like elmer's glue.

Take the cupcake and lower it onto the cupcake top, flip over, and voila! - a heart to fill!

Then, use an offset spatula to fill cavity and tap lightly onto your palm to level and smooth the frosting. Repeat with remaining cupcakes, and enjoy! ♥

 ♥For Strawberry-Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting: (Note: this recipe makes a TON of frosting, so if you want just enough to fill the cupcakes, halve the recipe!)

1 cup frozen fruit, thawed (I used equal parts strawberries and dark sweet cherries)
Optional: 1 tbsp marashino cherry juice (it added an extra punch of cherry flavor and sweetness)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
8 cups powdered sugar
3-4 drops red food coloring, if desired (it helped to boost the beautiful berry-pink color)

In a food processor or using an immersion blender, puree fruit and juice. Strain through a sieve, if desired. You should end up with about 1/2 cup of fruit puree.
Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and brown sugar and beat for 2 minutes or until smooth. Then, about half a cup at a time, blend and beat in powdered sugar until frosting is thick but still slightly puddly (this will enable you to spread the frosting on and in the cupcake, but the frosting will be thin enough to level and smooth itself nicely). Add food color, if desired.


Brittany @ Pink Peacock Paperie said...

Great stuff Rachel!! Those cupcakes look sooo good! I would have to confess that cupcakes are one of my weaknesses...

The Cupcake Wrappers look fab on them, I am so happy that you downloaded them to use them!

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