A delicate, sweet Valentine’s Day cupcake topped with creamy traditional buttercream icing is the perfect way to show the love of your life how much you care. These easy homemade cupcakes can be dressed up for any special occasion by using themed liners and different toppings.
I picked up some adorable cupcake liners & toppers at the grocery store last week and felt inspired to make some cupcakes for Valentine’s Day. I had some Wilton cake sparkles that I sprinkled on top and voilá….a Valentine’s Day Cupcake! It turned out to be such a cute dessert.
Because of its versatility, this is easily one of my favorite Valentine’s Day Cupcake recipes. I think you’ll love this easy recipe.
Really you could make these cupcakes for any occasion and decorate them however you want. I wanted a white recipe so I went with a white cake and vanilla buttercream icing. The white frosting is perfect for decorating with red sprinkles, multi-colored jimmies, pink heart sprinkles, pink m&m candies, or nonpareils for more elegant cupcakes.
The vanilla Valentine cupcakes alone are not overly sweet. I find the icing adds the extra element of sweetness and you really can’t go wrong with anything buttercream. It’s smooth, rich, and delicious!
Plus, it’s easy to prepare which makes it the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert! I have a KitchenAid mixer and it did most of the work for me. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a handheld mixer will also do the job.
Why You’ll Love These Valentine’s Day Cupcakes
- Come together quickly
- Fun to decorate and personalize
- The perfect balance of sweetness
- Light and fluffy
- Kids will love them. Make for a fun surprise after school!
- Easy from scratch recipe
- Perfect treat for Valentine’s Day
- Flour – All-purpose flour is just fine for this recipe.
- Sugar – White sugar, also called granulated sugar is what you’ll need.
- Baking powder – Check the expiration date on your baking powder, as it will lose its potency after the sell-by date.
- Milk – I used 2% milk but whole milk is good too.
- Egg whites – I use the whites of large eggs.
- Vanilla extract – Pure vanilla extract is best.
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract – Pure vanilla extract is best.
- Butter – I prefer to use unsalted butter because the amount of salt varies by brand, and you want this icing to be sweet.
- Milk – I used 2% milk but whole milk would be fine.
How to Make Valentine’s Day Cupcakes
- Step One: Preheat oven to 350°F. Add paper liners to a cupcake pan. Set aside.
- Step Two: In a large mixing bowl, beat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, shortening, and milk with an electric mixer on low speed for about a minute. Beat an additional two minutes on medium speed until the flour mixture is well combined.
- Step Three: Add egg whites and vanilla to mixing bowl. Beat another 2 minutes on medium speed.
- Step Four: Add a scoop of batter to each cupcake liner until almost full.
- Step Five: Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Step One: In a large mixing bowl, beat powdered sugar and butter with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add in vanilla and milk and increase speed to medium. Mix until well combined and smooth.
- Step Two: Spread cupcake frosting over cooled cupcakes. Optional: add cake fun Valentine sprinkles, pink candies, or cupcake toppers to decorate. Easy peasy!
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What to Serve with Valentine’s Day Cupcakes
Serve these cupcakes for Valentine’s Day after one of these delicious meals:
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Have your cold ingredients ready at room temperature, before you start to bake. Butter may take longer but your milk and eggs can sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes or more. Room temperature ingredients bind together more easily.
- Measure your flour correctly! Use a spoon to add flour to your measuring cup then level it off with the back of a knife.
- The vanilla really shines through with this frosting recipe, so use the best pure vanilla extract that you can. Even better, use vanilla bean paste. The little flecks of vanilla seem so fancy!
- Making buttercream frosting is rather easy. If you feel it is too sweet, add a pinch of salt. If you feel it is too thick, add a little milk. If you feel it is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
- Adjust a little bit until you have a fluffy frosting.
- The buttercream frosting can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
Variations and Substitutions
- Mini cupcakes would be cute, though you would need to adjust the baking time.
- For cupcakes with more of an Italian taste, substitute half of the vanilla extract with almond extract. Lemon extract with some grated lemon zest would taste wonderful too!
- Add a few drops of red food coloring to make the frosting pink.
- To decorate, you can either spread the frosting onto the cupcakes with a knife or small spatula or if you’re feeling fancy pipe a swirl using a decorating bag and a 1M Tip or 2M Tip.
Keep frosting vanilla cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.
Can I Freeze?
Yes, you can freeze these cupcakes. Freeze in an airtight container for up to two months. Let them defrost at room temperature for about two hours, before serving.
What is the secret to moist cupcakes?
The key to having moist, fluffy cupcakes is to not overmix your cupcake batter. This can result in a dense, chewy texture. Mix on low speed until, stopping just as all ingredients are blended. This ensures air bubbles to give you a light, fluffy cupcake.
More Valentine’s Day Desserts & Sweet Treats
- Pretzel Hugs
- Valentine’s Day Fudge
- Red Velvet Cookies
- Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
If you make the recipe, rate it on the recipe card below and tag me on Instagram and use #simplystacie. I like sharing the photos on my Instagram stories!
Valentine’s Day Cupcakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 egg whites
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup salted butter softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 to 3 tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Add paper liners to a muffin pan. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, shortening and milk with an electric mixer on low speed for about a minute. Beat an additional two minutes on medium speed until well combined.
- Add egg whites and vanilla to mixing bowl. Beat another 2 minutes on medium speed.
- Add a scoop of batter to each cupcake liner until almost full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat powdered sugar and butter with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add in vanilla and milk and increase speed to medium. Mix until well combined and smooth.
- Spread icing over cooled cupcakes. Optional: add cake sprinkles or cupcake toppers to decorate.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.