I know, I know… Valentine’s Day is over. But really, how many of us still have a box or two of conversation hearts in our house? I know I do. And really, I don’t know if I could stand to eat one more of them! So, why not take inspiration from those little heart shaped candies and make some sweet Conversation Heart Cupcakes?
I’ve wanted to try a “surprise inside” cupcake ever since I got i am bakers book “Surprise Inside Cakes”. The entire process seemed so simple that I thought I could surely create a heart surprise in a cupcake!
I used the basic white cake recipe from i am baker, which you can find in her book. I tinted some of the frosting pink and baked it thing in a large pan. Once it was cool, I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut heart cake shapes out to put inside of the cupcakes.
I wasn’t sure if these hearts would dry out when I baked them a second time, but I am happy to report that they were as moist as the white cake! Each bite of these conversation heart cupcakes provides a surprise inside heart. Fun, huh?
So if you’ve got some extra conversation hearts in your house, whip up a batch of these cupcakes. They don’t have to be all pink and girlie either, they can be in any fun color you want… just like mine!
- 3 cups cake flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1¼ tsp vanilla extract (clear is best)
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 5 large egg whites, room temperature
- pink gel food coloring
- heart cookie cutter
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 lbs powdered sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- purple & green gel food coloring
- Conversation hearts
- purple & green sugar crystals
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9x13 cake pan with parchment paper, grease and flour.
- Sift together the cake flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl.
- In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- In a measuring cup combine the milk and extracts.
- Add about a third of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar and mix until just combined. Then, add half the liquid and mix in slowly. Repeat with the next third of the flour mixture and half of the liquid. Finally, add the remaining flour and mix until no more lumps of flour remain.
- Pour the batter into a large bowl and clean out your mixer bowl making sure it is completely clean and dry.
- In the bowl of your mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter and continue folding until combined. Be careful not to deflate the egg whites too much or to over mix the batter.
- Remove about ⅓ of the batter to another bowl and add the pink food coloring, mixing very gently until uniform in color.
- Spread the pink batter evenly into the prepared 9x13 pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the pink cake has cooled, use a small heart cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes.
- Line your cupcake pans with liners. I used fun heart liners to continue the theme.
- Place about 1 Tbsp of white batter in the bottom of the liner then place a cake heart standing up into the batter. Spoon white batter around the heart until it's almost completely covered. Repeat until all the batter and hearts are gone.
- Bake each pan at 350F degrees for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the white batter. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, salt, half the cream and extract and mix until combined.
- Add the remaining cream and beat on high for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Remove about ¼ of the buttercream and tint green. Color the remaining buttercream purple.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip with the purple buttercream. Pipe a swirl of frosting onto each cupcake then sprinkle with purple sugar crystals.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a large open star, multi-pronged tip with the green buttercream. Squeeze a dollop of frosting onto the purple buttercream on each cupcake. Top with green sugar crystals and a conversation heart candy.