Red Velvet Cupcakes with Edible Glitter Chocolate Hearts

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You know, I have never been a big fan of the red velvet cupcakes craze.   

I always found red velvet to taste like vanilla, but with an alarming amount of red food colouring taste.   

That was until I had a red velvet cupcake at an event that I absolutely loved.  It looked so pretty, so deeply red, so velvety, and realized it was because the baker had added lots of cocoa powder. 

Some red velvet cupcakes are so red they look very unappetizing.  Unless of course, you’re down for blood coloured food (I’m not).   When I think red velvet, I think dark red, almost burgundy, rich, and lush.  The addition of chocolate adds that extra dimension, and tones down the red. 

The best part is that it makes the cupcakes LOOK like red velvet.   Wait wait, wrong – the best part is that they are chocolate flavored!


piece of red velvet cupcake on a fork against a dark wooden background


After the event where I had the most divine red velvet cupcake of my life, I went home and tried to replicate the recipe.  After numerous attempts, I nailed it.  

These are not airy, tasteless masses with sickly buttercream frosting.    These cupcakes are rich, dense, and moist with a light stabilized cream cheese whip cream topping that tastes fantastic.  I really struggle making them because I kept eating the little devils. 

Well, I had to eat several to test the recipe.  It was a sacrifice I was willing to make. 

And just to note the husband and I have both been off sugar since July, so these were a terrible idea on my part.  

Worth it! 



Ingredients & Tools 



Chocolate glitter hearts

Edible Red Glitter
Red candy wafers

Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tsp baking soda
1 Tsp cornstarch
1 Tsp salt
3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk room temperature
1 heaping TBS paste red food coloring
1 Tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs vanilla extract




Red cupcake liners, silicone heart mold with spilled edible red glitter and red candy wafers against a bright white background.


Edible Glitter – What you need to know. 

So I had the idea for these glitter hearts after watching the Wizard of Oz the same week I was planning Valentine’s day posts.    That’s how my brain works I guess.  Sparkly shoes = sparkly hearts.  

Who knew?

So I went looking for edible glitter and found all kinds!  I ordered pink and red and a variation called “disco glitter”. 

For the record, the “disco glitter” was not edible.   

Don’t ask me how I know.   

If you order edible glitter I recommend the Wilton brand so you are 100% sure it is indeed edible.   I ordered the disco glitter from a cake shop, so I assumed it was edible – my mistake.   The instant I tasted it my brain said: “Hey idiot, you sure that’s edible?”

The real edible glitter doesn’t taste like anything.  It has a very non taste about it but it does add a bit of a crunch to the white chocolate hearts.  


Bright red edible glitter spilled on a bright white background


How to make the glitter hearts to top your red velvet cupcakes

I used a silicone heart mold to make my hearts and it worked perfectly.   I added a heaping melted tablespoon of red candy wafers to each cavity, gave the mold a tap against the table to remove bubbles and waited for it to set. 

Once they were set well, I pulled them from the molds.  They popped out of the molds easily and looked great.    They had a nice soft edge and perfectly smooth surface. 

I used my small butane torch to ever so slightly (and gently) melt the front of the hearts so I could sprinkle the hearts with glitter.   This ensured the glitter stuck.    If you do this, less is more. The chocolate does not require a lot of heat to melt. 

They turned out beautiful! 




A few quick tips and notes

So a few quick things.   Don’t overbeat your batter.  Just beat it long enough to create a smooth texture without any lumps.  This will make a nice tender crumb. 


red velvet cupcake batter dripping from a whisk


Only half fill your cupcake liners.  Filling over the 1/2 fill line will create bubble tops on your cupcakes, we don’t want that, we want the batter to bake evenly and cup up to just the rim with a gently mounded center. 


red velvet cupcake batter in a muffin tin prior to baking



You can make your own favorite frosting for these but honestly, I absolutely love this whipped cream recipe.  It tastes like cream cheese, but has a wonderful texture and is not cloyingly sweet like buttercream.  It’s actually not very sweet at all, which pairs well with the sweet cake below.

I make this “frosting” all the time, and usually make it with Splenda.  

It’s the perfect texture for piping too and refrigerates quite well. 

Start with cold cream cheese!  If you start with room temperature cream cheese, or overbeat the cream cheese before you add the heavy whipping cream it will never stiffen up. 



Red Velvet Cupcake & Whip Cream Frosting Recipe 

These would make a great Valentine’s Day treat.  The cupcakes freeze very well without frosting so you can make them in advance and decorate them the day you need them.  I like recipes like this, anything I can make ahead of time is always a win.

I also feel these cupcakes get better after a day.  The flavors meld and the cupcakes get a bit denser.  I like a dense cupcake, halfway between a brownie and one of those flavorless airy things they pass for cupcakes at the grocery store. 

These make very pretty cupcakes without a lot of work.   The sparkle from the glitter hearts really adds a BIG pop of wow to these treats.  

Ugh, now I want another one! 




Red Velvet Cupcakes with Edible Glitter Chocolate Hearts

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Edible Glitter Chocolate Hearts

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes

Moist and rich red velvet cupcakes with a simple cream cheese whip cream frosting


  • Cupcake Recipe
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk room temperature
  • 1 heaping TBS paste red food coloring
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Whip Cream
  • 16 oz cream cheese (cold)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (cold)
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 4 Tbs icing sugar



  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake papers.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, and cocoa powder.
  3. In a large bowl gently beat the oil, melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, egg yolk, food coloring, cider vinegar, and vanilla with a mixer.
  4. Add the sifted dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Don't over mix the ingredients, just enough that the batter is completely smooth, with no lumps. 
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake papers. I use an ice cream scoop and drop one level scoop into each cupcake liner. This never looks like enough, but you get perfect cupcakes every time.  
  6. Don't over bake. When the centre of the cupcake can be touched and it bounces back the cupcakes are done. You can use a toothpick to test as well. 
  7. Let cool completely before frosting.

Stabilized Cream Cheese Whip Cream

  1. Beat the cold cream cheese with a mixer until it is light and fluffy. Don't over whip, we don't want to add a lot of friction and heat up the cream cheese.  
  2. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and add the icing sugar and vanilla and give the cream cheese another quick blast with with the mixer.
  3. Add in the 1 cup of cold whipping cream and slowly mix it into the cream cheese. Once the whipped cream is well incorporated into the cream cheese, go ahead and turn the mixer on high and whip until there are stiff peaks. 
  4. This stabilized whip cream is not overly sweet, but is super creamy and pipes exceptionally well.  
  5. Refrigerate the cupcakes after frosting. 







  1. The cupcakes look so delicious, and not hard to make. My mouth is watering. Thank you for such a fun recipe & valentine’s idea.

  2. These look delicious. I love the heart on the top too!
    Thanks for sharing

    >> Christene
    Keys to Inspiration

  3. I love the way these cupcakes look, Laura, and I’ll bet they taste fantastic! The sparkly heart really does add a wow factor. Your photography in this post is really outstanding, too.

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