The sweetest Strawberry Conversation Heart Cupcakes. Lightly sweetened strawberry cupcakes made with real strawberry jam and hinted with lemon and vanilla. Each cupcake is generously frosted with the most delicious strawberry cream cheese frosting and finished off with a light lemony glaze. These are easy, fun, and so very delicious! The loveliest cupcakes to bake up, tomorrow, this weekend, or really…any time of year.
I wasn’t really planning on any Valentine’s Day desserts this year, but then? Well, then these happened and here we are! To be honest, my content these days is very spur of the moment. It’s whatever I’m feeling that day or whatever my family suggests. I know they say that when you’re busy it’s best to be organized. But I find that really, really challenging…and I do consider myself an organized person. Well, at least for the most part!
Anyway, my point is, I wasn’t planning to make these, but then little Miss Asher popped up in my text messages late Saturday night with an idea. Conversation Hearts for Valentine’s Day, but make them chocolate. I think she must have seen something online because she had the whole idea and it went like this…
“You know those candy hearts with the cute messages on them? What if you made like a large chocolate-covered version of those. I don’t know what you would write on the chocolate on yet though”.
“So what do you think?”
I loved, and still love, her idea, but essentially she just wanted chocolate hearts or really one giant chocolate heart. Aside from a chocolate cake, I was stumped on what to do, but then this idea hit me. I was about to make something totally different and suddenly I thought about strawberry cupcakes.
It was very, very random, but I figured I could probably make a strawberry cupcake into a pretty cute Conversation Heart strawberry cupcake. So I switched gears completely and made these. They took a few batches to get just right, but they were worth the effort.
I mean, I know they’re not perfect by any means, but personally, I love um. And what’s even more important? They’re delicious and made with double the amounts of strawberry. The moisture and the flavor are pretty darn perfect.
Here are the steps, make the cupcakes.
When I set out to make these, I knew I wanted them to be easy. I also knew that I wanted to make them with only real strawberries. I’ve found so many strawberry cupcakes made with everything but strawberries and instead use a lot of food coloring. So I knew using real berries was key.
I tried a few things out, but in the end, I ended up using a combination of strawberry jam and freeze-dried strawberries to create the perfect cupcake. The jam has real chunks of strawberries and all the flavor, while the freeze-dried berries add both flavor and color. I tested with fresh berries too, but the jam gives the most concentrated and delicious strawberry flavor. Plus…the jam keeps the cupcakes EASY. Almost no prep work is involved and no special equipment.
Just mix, bake, then frost. So simple and easy.
To create the heart shape, I used broken pretzel rods and the tiniest amount of foil wedged between the cupcake and the mold. This may sound like an odd method, but they actually worked out so well. I took photos so you would have a visual.
Try not to stress too much about making the shape perfect. I ended up loving that mine came out imperfect. Each was unique, cute, and so sweet!
And now, the frosting.
Which is maybe the best part? Nah, it’s really the cupcakes as a whole that makes these so delicious.
I did a cream cheese frosting with a light lemon glaze to create my “conversations”. For the cream cheese frosting, I love the pairing with the strawberries. I used all freeze-dried strawberries, they add flavor and color, while allowing us not to have to use food coloring.
If you’re new to freeze-dried strawberries, most grocery stores carry them in the dried fruit aisle. And you can of course order them on Amazon. To make them into a powder, you’ll need to grind them in a food processor or blender. It’s an extra step, but the freeze-dried berries are key to creating that perfect cupcake. If you’re ordering via Amazon, I just discovered they carry dried strawberry powder too. So another option is to order this and save yourself a step!
To create a “conversion” on top of my cupcakes, I made a simple Meyer lemon glaze. I colored it with a couple of drops of blood orange juice. This gives the glaze the daintiest pink color…exactly what I wanted. With food coloring, you tend to end up with this unnatural neon-like color. But the blood orange juice works so perfectly to create a light shade of pink. You can also just make the glaze white, either works, and the lemony glaze is delicious no matter what!
To decorate, I use a mix of candy Conversation Hearts and real shredded roses. Yes, roses are edible, but make sure to use organic roses or culinary roses. Just cut using a sharp knife and sprinkle them over the cookies. As I’ve said before, flowers are my “sprinkle” of choice.
These are obviously great for Valentine’s Day, but honestly? I’ll be making them year-round. I already want to make them again come March when the fresh spring strawberries start to arrive so I can first do a homemade jam with the berries!!
The awesome thing about these cupcakes…they’re actually really simple and even more fun to make. They’d be great for baking up with young kids this week and allowing them to decorate the tops.
I’m not skilled when it comes to writing with frosting, so the best I could do was XO, XOXO, and LOVE. I’m sure you guys are better and will create the cutest cupcakes…I can’t wait to see them!!
Looking for more Valentine’s Day desserts? Here are a few to try:
Lastly, if you make these Strawberry Conversation Heart Cupcakes, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Strawberry Conversation Heart Cupcakes
Servings: 16 cupcakes
Calories Per Serving: 320 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 2 cups freeze-dried strawberries
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/3 cup high quality strawberry jam
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons salted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 -2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons cream or milk
- 1 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon Meyer (or regular) lemon juice
- 1. In a blender or food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries into a fine powder. You should have 1/2 cup to 3/4. Set aside.2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 16 cupcake molds with foil liners.3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand-held mixer) beat together the coconut oil, sugar, vanilla, eggs, strawberry jam, and milk until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 4 tablespoons ground strawberry powder (from step 1). Mix until smooth and no lumps remain in the batter.5. Fill prepared cups half full. Place 1 marble or pretzel rod stick (or marble-sized foil ball) in each muffin cup between liners and muffin pan to create a heart shape. If needed, use a small piece of foil to wedge between the pretzel rod and cupcake to help better create a heart shape. See above photo for a visual. Bake 18-22 minutes, until the tops are just set. Remove and let cool.6. To make the frosting, add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer beat until fluffy, 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, and 3-4 tablespoons ground strawberry powder (from step 1). Beat until mixed, then adding in the milk until combined. Spread the frosting over each cupcake. 3. To make the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water until smooth and drizzly. If needed, thin the glaze by adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time. You want the glaze to drizzle, but be on the thicker side. Decorate each cupcake with whatever V-Day words you love! XO...was easiest for me 🙂
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