Cupcakes with Heart Centers!

Don't call it a come back! I've been here for years! Well... one year for this blog? I'm going to have to check on that. Ahem! As you are aware, life has been bustling with the move.

We finally got the internet up and running in the new digs! It's been one hell of a transition between the job, commute, and not having all your stuff in one spot. Thank you for the patience as the line has been on hold. I would like to give a special thank you to my moving crew...

Mom for pushing me to get shit done all at once (cough cough) and my brother for keeping me sane. Ya'll are too good to me. No really... you are and I deeply appreciate it.

Navix for making the journey to the 757, being the other half of this 2-man wrecking crew, finishing the spray paint job (note: if you buy Ikea furniture and want to change its color-- use spray paint, that finish is a bitch to sand off) and being overall Mr. Handy Man. Joy the Baker gives some noble advice in her post, How to Impress a Boy with Baking. Nuff said.

I love my guardian Barthalamew and his trusty sword, Xai, keeping me safe.

Also, mad love to Aziz and TKC for rescuing me from my failed attempts of using the slug line to work in Northern VA. The Duartes and Pops holding it down as well. It's a warm fuzzy feeling. Much like these cupcakes I mentioned earlier. Thanks Zareen for sending me this idea!

So how do you make these bad boys?
Crazy simple. Just take your favorite batter mix, put a little bit on the side to cut out some hearts, and assemble. Ridiculous! The cupcake I used is a simple Vanilla Bean cupcake. And the frosting is entirely up to you, use your favorite!

The only TRICKY part is which way to cut the cupcake. If you cut it wrong, you won't see the heart, so come up with a clever way of marking where the cut line is. I recommend putting sprinkles directly over the line of cut or using a cute decoration. This isn't a 3D heart!

If possible, use a muffin tin (slightly larger) so you got plenty of room to clear the top of cupcake.

Bake a Heart in a Cake
by Bake it In a Cake

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
seeds from half a vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups whole milk
red food coloring

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

Mix the butter and sugar together at medium speed for about 90 seconds, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so everything gets well combined. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla and mix until the batter is smooth. Finally, alternate between the flour and milk, beating on med-high speed until the batter is light and creamy.

Pour a little more than 1/3 of the batter (about a cup and a half) into a smaller bowl. Add red food coloring until you get your desired pink or red color. Pour the batter into a non-stick (or lightly greased) 8x8 baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes until the edges of the cake start to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely (to speed up the process, I stuck in in the fridge).

Once the sheet cake is cool, loosen the edges away from the pan with a knife and then invert the pan onto a cutting board. Use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a dozen cake hearts that are small enough to fit into an average-sized cupcake pan.

Spoon two heaping tablespoons of the remaining batter into paper-lined cupcake tins, so they’re about half-full. Put one heart into each tin and press it point down into the batter. Keep all the hearts facing forward in the pan. Cover with another teaspoon of batter and bake for 24 minutes.

Frost as usual.

Then surprise the people you heart with a little, dorky surprise. They'll stare at you with confusion as to how this heart got in their cake, but I can guarantee you'll get a big hug!