Chocolate Spice Valentine Cupcakes
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Cook time
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Poured fondant icing and glittery sugar hearts decorate these amazingly delicious Chocolate Spice Cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes are a treat just by themselves, but but the secret is these is the cinnamon.

Making poured fondant is easy, but it is a two-step process. The first step is making the fondant, which should be made and cured at least one day in advance. The second step, which can be completed just prior to covering the cupcakes, is warming and thinning the cured fondant with sugar syrup to make it pourable. The sugar syrup for the poured fondant can also be made in advance.
Recipe type: Dessert | Cupcakes | Chocolate Butter Cakes
Poured Fondant:
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup milk (preferably whole milk)
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (1½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
Cupcake Decoration:
  • Small red sugar heart sprinkles
  • Clear alcohol such as vodka or gin or kirshwasser
  • Small artist paintbrush (for applying alcohol)
  • Red edible glitter
Vanilla Glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons warm milk (preferably whole milk)
  • Black food coloring
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two standard 12-cup muffin pans; line with paper cupcake liners. I used red foil liners for these cupcakes.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cocoa powder and hot water. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, stir the milk and vanilla extract together. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add the chocolate mixture, mix about 1 minute until well blended.
  7. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the milk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and milk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
  8. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Fill about ⅔ full, using about ¼ cup of batter per cup. Tip: Avoid over-filling the liners which may cause the batter to run-over the sides when baking. It is better to bake any remaining batter separately after the first pan of cupcakes has finished baking.
  9. Bake: Bake, rotating pan halfway through, 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cakes are just firm and spring back when gently pressed, and a toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly in cupcake pan, and turn out of pan when cool enough to handle. Repeat process with any remaining batter. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
Poured Fondant:
  1. Dip cooled cupcakes into prepared poured fondant. The easiest way to cover cupcakes is to dip them in the fondant. Hold the cupcake upside down and dip the top of the cupcake into the bowl of fondant up to the paper liner. Lift the cupcake up and continue to hold upside down for 3 to 5 seconds to allow some of the excess fondant to drip off, swipe a spatula about one inch under the cake to cut the drip off, then turn the cupcake upright and allow the drip to settle on top of the cake. Let the cupcakes sit until the fondant is firm to the touch, the fondant icing sets quickly.
Cupcake Decorations:
  1. Use the small artist paint brush to lightly moisten the red sugar heart sprinkles with clear alcohol. Sprinkle with red edible glitter. Set aside to dry until ready to use.
Vanilla Glaze:
  1. In a medium bowl, and using an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon, combine powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla. Add warm milk in small quantities, start with 1 tablespoon of milk, then when it’s getting close to the right consistency add milk in teaspoonfuls or just drops of milk at a time, until it is the desired consistency; for piping, the icing should be like a thick sour cream. Tint with black food coloring.
  2. When the glaze is the right consistency, spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a small piping decorating tip. Or, spoon into a small plastic freezer bag. Put a little piece of tape on corner to reinforce the tip, and then roll over top of bag to keep neater. Twist the top of the bag to create some pressure to make easier to squeeze out. Cut a tiny corner off the tip of the bag. Or, use a plastic squeeze bottle with a tip available in decorating stores.
  1. When the poured fondant icing is set, pipe the black glaze in a zigzag pattern across the top of each cupcake. While the glaze is still wet, place 5 or 6 sugar hearts randomly on top of the glaze. Tip: the hearts are tiny, pick them up with tweezers and place on the glaze to avoid marring the zigzag pattern.
Cake Decoration Inspired by: Graham, Jennifer, The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook, Penguin Books, 2007
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two Standard 12-Cup Muffin Pans Pan Prep: Paper Liners Oven Temp: 350° Yield: 20 Cupcakes Storage: Covered, Room Temperature

Help: Cake Hints and Tips, Chocolate Types, Fondant, Poured Fondant

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