Monday, January 28, 2013

Cake Decorating How-to: Valentine's Cupcakes

If you've walked in any store lately, you can't miss the fact that Valentine's Day is just around the corner.  Pinterest is exploding with fun ways to change your everyday food into heart-shaped treats and decorate your home for the sweetest day in February.  In honor of the sweetest day of the year, I put together a Valentine's inspired cupcakes you can whip up to impress your friends or that special someone.  ( a special bonus, there's a cupcake nail polish design by my bud Bailey at the bottom!  Keep reading!)

These are so easy to make and take almost no time.  If you've never used fondant before, don't be worried - this would be a great decoration to start with!

All you'll need is:

Baked cupcakes
White buttercream frosting (here's a great recipe...or you could just use store-bought)
Fondant (red and white)
Red gel coloring ("No Taste Red" or "Christmas")
Several heart cookie cutters (different sizes, all under 1")
Small rolling pin
Piping bag
Wax paper

Start by mixing your fondant.  You can either buy pre-mixed red fondant at a craft store (try AC Moore or Michael's), or mix your own by using gel coloring + white fondant.  

For this design, I made several shades of red and pink.  I wanted to make sure that all the shades were in the same gradient, I started with one ball of white and one ball of red fondant.  For the below colors, I used the following ratios of white to red. 
From left to right, they are - all red, 1:1, 2:1, 4:1, and 8:1.

Tape a piece of wax paper to your counter top and rub some Crisco in the center.  This will keep the fondant from sticking to the wax paper as you roll it out.  Roll one colored ball on the wax paper.  Using the heart shaped cookie cutters, cut out several different sizes of hearts.  
Do this with each color, laying the hears on a separate sheet of wax paper to dry.  

Let these sit out until they are stiff enough that they won't flop over when you pick them up - at least an hour.  You can store them in a Tupperware container overnight if needed.

Now to put the cupcakes together!  

Fill a piping bag with your white icing that has a 1A decorating tip.  
Pipe a large swirl of icing on the top of each cupcake, like you would a soft serve ice cream cone.  Start by piping around the outside edge of the cupcake.  Without releasing pressure, continue your swirl with a second, smaller swirl on top, and finally a little third swirl, pulling up as you release tension on the bag.

Now stick your little hearts into the frosting.  Try to use each shade of red and pink in each cupcake and vary the combinations on each cupcake so they are all a little different.  I used one large heart, one medium heart, and 3 or 4 small hearts on each cupcake.

These would be fun to bring for a school party too, since the hearts are edible.

I'd shown my friend Bailey a picture of these cupcakes last week and we decided to have a little cross-blogging adventure.  She puts together super cute nail polish designs on a regular basis (we've even spotted a big YouTube "star" sporting her designs), so she agreed to do a "cupcake nails" tutorial inspired by these cupcakes!  (EEEEE!!)  I think my favorite part is the cupcake wrapper - super sparkly!

Without further ado (haha)...check out her Valentine nails blog and leave her some love.  :)

Happy cupcaking!


  1. I LOVE THESE!! :) I probably won't eat them though...too cute!!

  2. Thank you for linking up with me for Show and Tell Saturday at Sassy Little Lady! Be sure to stop by next week!

  3. Oh my, these are beautiful! I really love fondant; it's rad! Thank you for sharing. Will try soon!

    1. Thanks! Love all the cute things you can make for Valentine's Day!

  4. These look wonderful! Each cupcake looks so perfect like something you'd buy at a cute bakery. Well done!


    1. Such a simple yet fun cupcake! I just might try to do this for Valentine's Day!!! Cheers, and thanks for sharing your ideas.

  5. Oh my goodness! These cupcakes almost look too good to eat. I love your blog my dear! I will definitely be following you on bloglovin. xx. McKenna Lou

  6. this looks SO SO fun!! i'm so glad i stumbled across this! at first when i saw them i thought there was no way i could whip up something so fancy, but it's totally do-able. thanks for sharing :D

    xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

    1. You can totally do it! Let me know if you try! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Wow you made these look really easy! They are almost too pretty to eat...almost;)

  8. Thanks for sharing at A Crafty Soiree! I've never used fondant, being afraid of it but this looks like a great beginner's project!

  9. I love your Decoration.
    I love the choices you picked and I would be happy to make any one of them.
    Thank You.