Sweetheart Cupcakes

I've been playing around with some baking ideas for Valentine's Day for some weeks now, and this was my first attempt at making some of them a reality. It also gave me the opportunity to try out some cute heart shaped foil baking cups I found in my local kitchenware store.

These cupcakes are made using the Amaretto Cupcake and Frosting recipes from the Primrose Bakery Book. I've made a few of their recipes before, so was fairly confident the sponge would work (while delicious, the sponge was a bit dense for me), but the buttercream turned out a bit runny, so if making again, I would adapt the recipe to not include as much liquid.

The little chocolate love hearts were made using one of my new toys - a silicone chocolate mold from Lakeland in the shape of little 'love hearts'. This was the first time I had melted chocolate to make decorations (I love doing this blog - it's making me try so many new things!). The one thing I learnt from this is the importance of making sure the melted chocolate fills every last nook and cranny in the mold, otherwise you end up with little air bubbles that spoil the effect.

Ingredients (makes 12)

110g room temperature unsalted butter
180g caster sugar
2 large eggs
125g self raising flour, sifted
120g plain flour, sifted and combined with the self raising flour
125ml semi-skimmed milk
1/2 tspn amaretto or almond extract

125g caster sugar
125ml water
1/2 tspn amaretto or almond extract
(This makes a lot of syrup - you could easily halve the proportions and still have plenty for the cupcakes)

115g room temperature unsalted butter
60ml semi-skimmed milk at room temperature
1 tspn vanilla extract
500g icing sugar sifted
1/4 teaspoon amaretto or almond extract

Prehat the oven to 160 fan / 180 conventional / gas 4 and prepare your baking tins.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and smooth, then add and mix in the eggs one at a time.

Add the amaretto or almond extract to the milk. Add one third of the flour mix to the creamed mixture and beat until smooth. Add a third of the milk, and incorporate. Continue alternating flour and milk a third at a time until all incorporated.

Scoop into the cupcake cups to two thirds full.

Bake for approx 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack.

Combine the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan and heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Spoon over the cupcakes while they are still warm.

To make the buttercream, place the butter in a bowl and mix briefly so it is smooth. Add half the icing sugar along with the milk, vanilla and amaretto. Beat well until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat again to make a smooth icing.

When the cupcakes were cool, I then piped swirls over the top an decorated with some heart shaped sprinkles and my chocolate love hearts.

As I mentioned earlier, if making again, I would not use as much liquid in the buttercream, as the swirls did start to collapse slightly. Perhaps try 30ml milk only, and see how you go checking the consistency until you get what you like.

To make the chocolate hearts, take 100g chocolate (I used Milky Bar buttons). Place 70g in a double boiler and heat gently until just melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 30g chocolate. Mix until incorporated and smooth. Pour into mold and allow to set (I placed it in the fridge for 20 minutes).

Decorate the cupcakes. Here's how mine turned out.

Happy Valentine's Day,



  1. Sweetheart indeed - these look amazing!! I love all your different heart shaped moulds :)

    1. Thanks. It was really easy to use - I'm now a silicone convert (at least for this type of thing!)


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