How to Make Hidden Heart Cupcakes

valentines day cupcakes

These cupcakes have a secret waiting inside. Keep reading to find out how to bake a hidden heart into your Valentine’s Day cupcakes. It’s easier than it looks! I also created a video tutorial showing you the step-by-step.

Since we have the added step of putting the hidden hearts inside these cupcakes, I am going to simplify this recipe by using store bought cake mix and frosting. I created mine with vanilla cake mix and then dyed half of the cake mix with red food coloring. But you could create this however you like. You could do chocolate cupcakes and vanilla in the middle, or strawberry cake with vanilla hearts in the middle. Or vanilla cupcakes with red velvet hearts in the middle. Just go with whatever your favorite cake is! 

I used one box of cake mix – half for the hearts and half for the cupcake portion. So, I am only making 6 cupcakes. If you wanted to do a full dozen, you would need 2 boxes of cake mix.



  • Box of cake mix (I used vanilla)

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 3 whole eggs

  • 1 ¼ cups water

  • Red food coloring

  • Store bought frosting (I used cream cheese)

  • Muffin liners (I found the gold ones at Michaels)

  • Heart shaped cookie cutter (I found this set of mini cookie cutters at Michaels)



  1. You will start by heating the oven to 350 degrees. Line the muffin pan with cupcake liners. 

  2. Mix the cake mix, water, oil and eggs in a large bowl with a mixer until well blended. 

  3. Split the batter into two bowls. In one bowl, add the food coloring to make it the shade of red you want for the hearts in the middle of the cupcakes. Pour this onto a flat pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let them cool. 

  4. Then use the cookie cutter to make the hearts for the middle. Make sure the height of the heart cookie cutter is no taller than a cupcake liner.

  5. For the cupcakes, fill with half the batter and then place one of the red hearts in the mixture. Push it down so it is as far down as possible because they will rise a little while baking.

  6. Cover the tops of the hearts with the rest of the vanilla batter and bake for 15-20 minutes. 

  7. I used a pastry bag to add the frosting. For garnish, I used raspberries and mint leaves, but you could do sprinkles or even one of the extra cupcake hearts because I did have some leftover of the red cake.

Here is the finished product, so festive for Valentine’s Day, but they would be great on an anniversary or for a party. What did you think of these hidden heart cupcakes? Leave me a comment below!

hidden heart cupcakes