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Cupcakes, with all my love

If food is a love language, it’s definitely mine. And when it comes out to showing my love, cupcakes are my go to treat.

That’s why it was a no brainer that I needed to come up with a special Valentines Day cupcake. You never know when you’ll need to show someone (or a group of someones) that you care.

The fun part of it all was coming up with the perfect flavor combinations that looks and tastes like Valentines treats should.

I am personally a huge cherry fan (cherry cordials are my favorite), so I knew I wanted to incorporate cherries somehow.

I found the recipe for Inside Bru Crew Life’s Chocolate Chip Dip on Pinterest and thought that instead of a dip, it would make an amazing filling.

So, I decided to go with a chocolate cupcake as the base (would it really be Valentines Day without chocolate?), and to core the cupcakes and fill them with the dip.

To top it all off, I went with a cream cheese icing with a little bit of maraschino cherry juice mixed in for flavor, then sprinkled mini chocolate chips on top, along with a cherry for good measure.

If cherries aren’t for you, there are plenty of other options – just get creative.

Chocolate covered strawberries are a Valentines favorite, so why not play around with chocolate and strawberry flavors. For instance, you could bake a chocolate cupcake and pipe cream cheese icing and top it with a strawberry. For the real chocoholics, there’s always the option of chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing and strawberries on top.

Not a fan of fruit fan in your cupcakes? Red and pink (and even heart shaped) sprinkles make a fun twist to any sort of cupcake, and red food coloring can turn boring white icing into a seasonal treat.

 

Ingredients

1 chocolate cake mix

1 dry pudding mix

Eggs, oil and water as called for with cake mix

3 ½ blocks of cream cheese (20 oz.), softened and divided

1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, softened and divided

5 Tbsp. cherry juice from 16 oz. jar, divided

8 ½ cups of confectioner’s sugar, divided

½ cup finely chopped pecans

¼ cup miniature chocolate chips, plus extra for garnish

¾ cup of maraschino cherries, quartered

24 whole maraschino cherries

 

Directions

Combine cake mix and dry pudding mix, and then add in eggs, oil and water as called for on cake box. Bake as directed.

While the cupcakes are baking, begin making the filling. Beat 4 ounces of cream cheese (half a block), with 4 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of cherry juice together until creamy. Stir in pecans and miniature chocolate chips, and then gently stir in the quartered cherry pieces.

Set the filling aside, and begin the icing. Beat 16 ounces (two packages) of cream cheese, 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter and 4 tablespoons of cherry juice. Slowly add 8 cups of confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth.

When the cupcakes are finished baking, remove the core from each cupcake with a cupcake corer, knife, citrus juicer or similar implement, and then fill the hole with the cherry filling.

Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes, and then garnish by sprinkling each one with miniature chocolate chips. Place a cherry in the center of each cupcake as a final touch.

 

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