Hidden Heart Red Velvet Cupcakes

Hidden hearts in my red velvet cupcakes ❤

 I have always wanted to bake a shape inside of a cupcake. I have seen this done for years (even before Pinterest) and I always wondered how it was done. It’s like a present inside of a present. First you get the deliciously sweet and cute little cupcake, and you open it up and there is another little darling surprise!

This year, in the spirit of the season of love, I decided to try to bake a little heart in to some red velvet cupcakes. I know Valentine’s is still a week away, but what can I say, I got a little trigger happy.

Typically, these shape-hidden-within-a-cupcake recipes call for you to make the batter, then separate 1/3 of the batter for coloring and baking and subsequent shaping of the core. I didn’t want to do a boring old white cupcake, so I decided to spice things up for my hunka hunka burnin’ man love and do a red velvet cupcake with a white with pink marbled heart center.

Marbled white cake.

Marbled white cake.

I bought some crappy white cake box mix from the store (I hung my head as I did it, but really… I am just cutting it up and dying it… no point in making a whole quality cake to only use a few pieces of it). I spread my batter on a cookie sheet, marbled the color throughout, and baked. I did it this way because  I wanted my hearts to be as thin and petite as possible. I then stored my hearts for use in my red velvet cupcake recipe.

A couple of things did not go perfectly in this little baking craft.

I love my yellow Kitchenaid mixer!

I love my yellow Kitchenaid mixer!

First, I marbled pink gel color through my white cake, but after baking the hearts in to the cupcakes, you cannot tell that I even took the time to complete this step. The hearts just look like white cake. Which is fine, they are still cute 🙂

Second, I had filled my cupcake liners about 1/3-1/2 full of batter before sticking in my hearts. I then covered the hearts with more batter, making sure that they remained upright. I assumed as long as the batter is covering the hearts, it will rise above the heart. This did not happen, my hearts rose with the cupcakes and ended up very close to the top of the cake. If I were to repeat this recipe, I would fill the cupcake liners only about 1/4 full and make sure my hearts are as close to the bottom as possible. I made this adjustment in my directions below. 

The recipe I am using for my red velvet cupcakes is here

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Prep: 20 minutes     Cook: 20 minutes     Yield: 20 cupcakes


  • Hearts are covered, ready for the oven!

    Hearts are covered, ready for the oven!

    1/2 cup butter

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 fluid ounce red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place 20 cupcake liners in muffin pans.

    Hearts are covered, ready for the oven!

    Hearts are covered, ready for the oven!

  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring, and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. 
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, filling 1/4 full.*
    1. Place a prepared heart standing upright in the center of each cupcake, being careful to have all the hearts facing the same direction so you remember which way to serve them!*
    2. Disperse the remaining batter evenly among the cupcake liners, making sure your hearts will be covered during baking.*
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. 

*I added these directions so that you will have hidden hearts in your cupcakes ❤

Cream Cheese Icing


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract last.
  2. Prepare piping bag with star tip. Spoon icing in to bag and decorate your cupcakes!

I topped with some Valentine’s colored sprinkles and some red hot lip sprinkles. Get creative with your decorating, that’s the fun part!


8 thoughts on “Hidden Heart Red Velvet Cupcakes

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