I love Valentine’s Day. With all the pretty pink, red and white things decorating every store and Pinterest page it is a bit difficult to ignore, even if you are a V-Day hater. I don’t care so much about the commercial side of it (although purchasing the cute pink, red and white things makes that a flat out lie), but I’m talking in terms of gifts. I’d much rather have a thoughtful handmade something than a bunch of store bought anythings. Handmade things make the recipients feel loved and thought about. One year my husband cut out simple hearts from construction paper and wrote a simple message on each one. The children found them when they came down for breakfast and I can tell you those little hearts made us feel special all day long. With Valentine’s Day only nine days off, I thought it was the perfect day to start doing some fun baking projects with the kids.
Cupcakes are one of those easy to bake recipes that can look adorable when they are finished. We made this one mostly for the sweet buttercream frosting. I’m not talking a little bit sweet. I’m not even talking fairly sweet. I’m talking it could give you a cavity sweet. There are ways, of course, to alter that…but with it being a snow day we decided to go all out with the powdered sugar. This is a very quick frosting to make- just be sure to take your unsalted butter out of the fridge the night before so it can really come to room temperature.
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3-4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 tablespoons heavy cream
Combine the butter, powdered sugar and salt in a mixer using the paddle attachment. It will take a few minutes for this to really come together. Add the vanilla and then add the cream slowly until you achieve the consistency you are hoping for. We wanted to pipe ours onto cupcakes so we were going for thick but not too firm. We also added a tiny dab of pink food coloring gel to get a soft pink color. We filled our piping bag and attempted, yet again, to pipe frosting onto a cupcake. Let’s just say we are going to keep working on it. Because this is buttercream, it will become quite soft if you leave it out. We put ours in the fridge to harden up before we decorated them. The cupcakes were sprinkled lightly with red sprinkles and then decorated for Valentine’s Day with little tiny paper hearts. The kids were delighted with the end result and are now in full Valentine’s mode. XOXOXO.