Filled Cupcakes For Your Valentine

Chocolate mint cupcakes, with vanilla icing, topped with crushed Lehman's Old-Fashioned Sugar Stick Candy in Peppermint.
Chocolate mint cupcakes, with vanilla icing, topped with crushed peppermint sugar stick candy and mini chocolate chips.

No matter who has your heart this Valentine’s Day, you can customize this basic cupcake recipe to meet their heart’s desire!

In my family, we use a chocolate cake recipe handed down from my great-grandmother. (It won a Girl Scout cake auction in the 1970s, I’ll have you know!)

You can use any cake recipe: butter, red velvet, anything that makes your favorite cupcake. Heaven forfend, you can even a use a boxed mix. Why? Because the secret is in the filling–and, for Valentine’s Day, in the frosting.

Make The Filling
Make your cake recipe as usual. Then, in a separate bowl, make the filling. The ingredients are simple, and you may even have most of them on hand:

When your cupcakes are baked, the filling settles in the middle, just like this!
  • 1 8-oz box cream cheese (the real thing, not light cream cheese!)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips

Let the cream cheese soften to room temperature. Cream the sugar and cream cheese together until well blended. Beat in the egg, and stir in chocolate chips.

Fill Your Cupcakes
Pop cupcake papers into the cupcake pan. You won’t want to bake these cupcakes without papers, in case the filling leaks. When I want a fancy look, or if I’m taking the cupcakes to a party, I use the foil cupcake papers.

Fill the cupcake papers 2/3 full with cake mix. Drop one rounded teaspoonful of cream cheese mixture into the center of each cupcake.

As the cupcakes bake, they’ll rise up and around the cream cheese mixture. The cupcakes will be moist, too, with a wonderfully rich flavor.

After cupcakes are completely cool, frost with your favorite icing.

Substitute peppermint sugar stick candy for chocolate chips in the filling recipe. After frosting, dip tops of cupcakes gently into leftover crushed candies.

Finely chopped nuts can be swapped in for chocolate chips, and used for topping too. Try a brown sugar cupcake with molasses icing, and crush a few pieces of cinnamon sugar stick candy into crumbs and mix in the nuts. Dip the iced cupcake into the candy/nut mixture.

Crushed peppermint sticks and mini chocolate chips. Clear glass 2-cup bowl available at Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio.
Crushed peppermint sticks and mini chocolate chips. Clear glass 2-cup bowl available at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

For mint fans, use mint chips, and dip frosted cupcakes gently into crushed peppermint candy sticks and mint chips.

If your sweetie is a fan of fruit flavors, use a fruit-flavored cake like cherry or lemon. Crush a Lehman’s candy stick in cherry or lemon. Dip the frosted cupcakes into the crushed sugar stick candy for an extra blast of flavor.

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