This Valentine’s Day, prepare an easy Valentine dessert for a classroom, a workplace or at home for the family. There are no special pans or ingredients necessary. Just pour in a little extra love and bake as directed.
Recipe for Heart-Shaped Cupcakes
These heart-shaped chocolate cupcakes are sure to be a hit this Valentine’s Day. The surprise ingredient is zucchini, which makes them extra moist and serves up some heart-healthy benefits. Zucchini contains vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Eating zucchini also helps to support the arrangement of capillaries and, due to its high amount of folate, is associated with lowering the risks of vessel clogging and heart attacks.
To make delicious cupcakes, gather cupcake liners, cupcake pans and 24 marbles, which will aid in the shaping of the small cakes. Then, assemble these ingredients:
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup liquid (water, milk, rice milk or soy milk all work equally well)
- 2 cups shredded zucchini (grate or shred in a food processor)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with cupcake/muffin liners. Slide a marble between the liner and the pan, pushing out the liner, which will then force it into a heart shape. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and vanilla extract until well blended. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Add the one cup of liquid and then fold in the zucchini. Pour into prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick.
After cupcakes have cooled, remove liner. Frost cupcakes with white frosting.
White Frosting Recipe
With an electric mixer, beat together 3 cups powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 cup unsalted butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons of water. Add more water to adjust consistency.
Tint the frosting pink with food coloring or decorate with colored sugar, sprinkles or candies. To make red-colored sugar, place desired amount of granulated sugar in a zip-top bag. Add four drops of red food coloring. Close the bag and knead it with fingers to distribute color throughout the sugar. Sprinkle colored sugar over the frosted cupcakes.
Try these easy, festive cupcakes this Valentine’s Day. With their heart-healthy zucchini, delicious moist chocolate flavor and their unique heart shape, this sweet treat is sure to be a hit.
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