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Making Valentine heart cupcakes on a budget

Sweets for the Sweet - Sweetheart Cupcakes

Since Valentine’s Day is exactly one week away, I thought I’d share a cute little technique for making the most adorable little heart shaped cupcakes without a specially shaped pan. The secret is to put a marble in the well of the muffin tin outside the cupcake liner to shape the top of the heart while they bake.

You can use any cake recipe you like, homemade or boxed mix. The trick that really makes this technique work is to only fill the cupcake liner about ¼ to ⅓ of the way (do a test cupcake first). If you add more; the cake will rise too high and you won’t get the heart shape. Another bonus doing it this way is that you get double the number of cupcakes. When the cakes are done baking remember the marble will be very hot so use care when removing the cakes from the tin.

Now you can just bake the heart shaped cupcakes and top them with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and be done. Adorable! Or… you can “add a little Diva” to the plan. You can make marbled cupcakes. If you use a light colored cake mix separate about one third of the batter in another bowl and add some red food coloring to make a nice shade of pink. When you fill the cupcake liners; start with a little bit of the light color then add a teaspoonful of the pink. Use a toothpick or tip of a knife to swirl the colors together and bake as usual. They will have a beautiful marbled look when finished.

If you use a canned frosting be sure to whip it with a mixer before you spread it. This nearly doubles the volume and makes the most gloriously fluffy, glossy frosting. To reinforce the heart shape; put the frosting in a piping bag or a plastic zip top bag and cut a small hole in one corner about ¼ of an inch wide. I like using the plastic bags because clean-up is as easy throwing the bag away. Start by piping the outside of the heart and fill in with concentric heart shapes finishing in the center. Too cute!

You can also add a chocolate topper to the cupcake. To make the topper simply melt chocolate chips, or candy coating, or almond bark in the microwave. Place melted chocolate in a plastic bag and cut a tiny hole in one corner. Draw or print a heart shape design to use as a guide. Put a piece of wax paper over the guide and pipe the chocolate over the design. Allow the chocolate to cool and harden. When it’s stiff place one on each cupcake. Lovely!

You have a week to plan a very special way to say “I love you” to those you love. Of course you don’t need to wait till Valentine’s Day, you can tell them every chance you get! Celebrate every day. Give a sweet heart to your special sweetheart and eat dessert first!

Tips, trick and techniques contributed by Patti Diamond author of Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom

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