Sometimes, less, really is more. Instead of making fancy intricate adornments for my cupcakes, I simply added a tiny little heart sprinkle on top of each one for a simple yet classy and sophisticated touch for Valentine's Day this year. I added a little cherry extract to the frosting for chocolate-cherry and cherry-vanilla flavored frostings. You can also try adding a little raspberry or strawberry flavored extract to my basic chocolate and vanilla buttercream recipe below, for a fun and festive touch!
These mini 2-bite cupcakes make a perfect Valentine's Day party treat or for bringing in to school or work for a sweet surprise. You can even switch up the sprinkle shape to match the theme of any occasion!
Check out my baking 101 section for helpful tips, tricks & more
Yield: 12 cupcakes or 24 minis (also makes a 6"-9" cake layer)
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (105g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (40g) unsweetened cocoa powder, dutch processed
- 1 cup (200g) granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water (or 1/2 cup coffee)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 baking cups (or 24 minis). In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa and sugar, mixing until fully combined. In a measuring cup lightly whisk together buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Using a whisk or wooden spoon, gently stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, just until incorporated. Dissolve espresso powder in the boiling water and immediately fold into batter. Do not over-mix. Batter will be very thin and runny.
Distribute all of the batter, filling almost up to the top, between all of the baking cups. Bake standard size cupcakes for 16-18 minutes and minis for 8-10 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling and frosting.
Chocolate-Cherry & Cherry-Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 4-6 tablespoons cream, half and half or milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cherry flavored extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
- mini heart confetti sprinkles
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons cream until smooth. Add flavor extracts and salt. Beat on medium speed until light and creamy. Scoop out half of the frosting and set aside. Beat in the cocoa powder and 2-4 tablespoons cream to the remaining frosting until smooth and fluffy. Spread or pipe half of the cupcakes with your vanilla frosting and the other half with chocolate. Top each cupcake with a festive confetti heart sprinkle.
I used the extra frosting to pipe little kisses of icing on top of my brownies bites (recipe HERE)