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5 from 2 votes

Red Velvet Heart-Surprise Cupcakes

These Red Velvet Heart Surprise Cupcakes are FUN! Slice into them and you'll have a red velvet heart in the center. These are topped with fluffy cream cheese frosting!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Decorating Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcakes, heart cupcakes, heart inside cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes
Servings: 22 cupcakes
Calories: 280kcal
Cost: $10


Heart-Inside Batter:

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk shaken
  • 4 drops food coloring gel (If not using gel, you’ll most likely need about 8 drops of regular food coloring)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

White Cupcake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (shaken)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 large eggs

Simple Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (at very room temperature)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


To Make the Heart-Inside Batter:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease (with cooking spray) and line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment.
  • To a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer, with the paddle attachment (or a medium bowl with an electric mixer), add the butter and sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Crack in the eggs, one at a time. Pour in the buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla. Gradually add in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Pour the batter into the cake pan and spread the cake batter into an even layer. Transfer to the oven to bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
  • When cooled completely, level off the top of the cake so it’s totally flat. A serrated knife worked best. Stamp out hearts using a 1-inch heart cookie cutter (I found mine at Michael’s).

To Make the White Cupcake Batter:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Insert cupcake liners into a cupcake tin. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a measuring cup, measure out the buttermilk and whisk in the vanilla.
  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the butter, sugar and honey. Cream together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Crack in the eggs and mix until combined. Add the flour in a few batches, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, until combined.
  • Fill each cupcake tin with two tablespoons of batter, about halfway. Nestle the cutout hearts in the center of each cupcake tin, facing them all the same way.
  • Transfer to the oven to bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the white cake comes out clean. Cool in the pans on the wire rack for about 5 minutes.
  • What’s good about these cupcakes that at this point, you can see where you need to cut in order for them to see the heart in the center.

To Make the Frosting:

  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the butter and cream cheese. Beat until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Sift in the powdered sugar and mix slowly until combined. Add the vanilla , pinch of salt and heavy cream; beat once more for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • You’re free to decorate the cupcakes however you like. I chose to transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a round tip on the end. It’s important that you give yourself a way to know how to cut the the cupcakes so the heart inside is visible.
  • I chose to use a heart sprinkle as an indicator as to how to cut the cupcakes. I placed the heart sprinkles so the top of the heart sprinkle aligned with the cupcake on the inside. So all I had to do was cut above the top of the sprinkle, and I knew I would see the heart inside.


To Make Ahead: 
The red velvet layer can be made ahead and stored in the fridge (wrapped in plastic wrap) for up to 3 days. You can also store it in the freezer (wrapped in plastic wrap) for up to 3 months. 
You can make the frosting up to 3 days ahead. Store in the fridge. 
Or you can make the frosting and store it in the freezer for up to 3 days. 
Equipment and Tools:
1-inch Heart Cookie Cutter | Cupcake Pan | Piping Bag | Piping Tips | Heart Sprinkles |


Serving: 1g | Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 26.1g | Protein: 4.8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 26.1mg | Sodium: 152mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 10.2g