This fun and flavorful recipe for Small Batch Valentine Cupcakes makes 6 pretty pink cupcakes with the most velvety vanilla buttercream frosting.
When the kiddo asks for pink cupcakes, I make pink cupcakes!
Since Valentine’s Day is coming up in a few weeks I decided to really lean in with pink on pink on pink overload. Forgive me. Once inspiration strikes I cannot be stopped.
Feel free to make this luxe buttercream frosting any color your heart desires – they’re beyond easy to customize for any and every occasion and because it’s a small batch recipe, you only have 6 cupcakes to decorate.
Less work means faster cupcake to face delivery.
Twist my arm will ya?
Cupcake and Frosting Ingredients Needed
The ingredients you’ll need are super simple and most, if not all, of them are probably hanging in your fridge and pantry as we speak.
- softened unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- egg white from one large egg
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- milk (I used 2%)
- sprinkles and frosting for decorating
Crazy basic right? Sometimes the simple recipes really are the best! For the base recipe, I used the delicious Small Batch Vanilla Cupcake recipe from Tracy at Baking Mischief and paired it with my go-to vanilla buttercream frosting recipe.
For the full cupcake instructions, see the printable recipe card below.
You’ll want to use an electric hand mixer (or a stand mixer works if you prefer) as cupcakes really benefit from having the butter and sugar creamed together and you’ll need it for the frosting as well. Since it’s a small batch recipe I simply break out the hand mixer and give my stand mixer a much needed break.
Since we’re making a half dozen cupcakes, you will also need a 6-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- half cup unsalted butter (113 grams) softened to room temp
- one and a half cups powdered sugar (approx. 180 grams)
- half tsp pure vanilla extract
- one to two tablespoons of heavy cream
- teeny pinch of fine salt
This is enough frosting to frost the cupcakes with a some additional frosting left over to play with design types. Any leftover frosting can be stored in the fridge for later and can even be frozen.
I went with a pastel pink piped rose design and little hot pink succulents. Feel free to divide the batter and color it however you’d like (pink and green also look great together as well as pink and purple or pink and red, etc…) using gel food coloring.
You can even tint the icing pink with some fresh strawberry puree if you’d like. Simply add the berry puree at the end adjust the powdered sugar ratio as needed. You can check out Sugar Spun Run’s Strawberry Buttercream Tutorial for more tips on how to make a rockin’ strawberry frosting.
Cupcake Frosting Instructions
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed at first to incorporate then increase to medium speed and continue mixing for 1-2 minutes or until fully combined. Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt and continue mixing on medium speed until everything is well combined. Color the frosting, if desired, using gel food coloring.
Small Batch Valentine Cupcakes Recipe Tips
- Use properly softened butter where called for. Butter that is too cold can result in the cupcakes sinking and melty butter can result in greasy cupcakes with less rise/fluff.
- For the best cupcakes and easy measuring, use a small kitchen scale (I always use mine) or the spoon and sweep to measure your flour. For the spoon and sweep method, fluff the flour with a spoon then gently spoon into a measuring cup. Use a butter knife or bowl scraper to scrape the excess so its level with the top edge of the measuring cup. Do not pack the flour into the cup.
- Have fun decorating! This is by far my favorite part of making cupcakes (aside from the eating part of course) and I just love practicing different frosting techniques and sprinkle combinations.
Ready to make these pretty pink Valentine Cupcakes?
Here’s the recipe!
Small Batch Valentine Cupcakes
- 3 TBSP unsalted butter, softened (1.5 ounces)
- 87 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup plus 3 TBSP)
- 1 large egg white
- tsp vanilla extract
- 60 grams all-purpose flour (½ cup) divided evenly into two small bowls
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¼ cup plus 1 TBSP milk
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- ½ cup unsalted butter 113 grams softened to room temp
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar approx. 180 grams
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 TBSP heavy cream
- teeny pinch of fine salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Line a 6-cup muffin/cupcake pan with paper or parchment liners. Measure out all ingredients and bring butter, milk, and egg white to room temp.
- Add softened butter to a medium bowl and whip until creamy. Next add sugar and mash into the butter with a fork to prevent the ingredients from flying when mixed. Using a handheld electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
- Add egg white and vanilla. Beat on medium until smooth.
- Add half the flour (¼ cup) to the mixing bowl along with baking soda and salt. Mix on low until incorporated.
- Mix in milk on low. Add remaining ¼ cup of flour and mix on medium until well-mixed and smooth.
- Divide batter between prepared cupcake cups, filling just under 2/3 full. This should make exactly 6 cupcakes. Bake for 17-19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean or with just a few dry crumbs.
- Once cool enough to handle, transfer to cupcakes a wire cooling to cool completely before frosting.
- While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting.
- In a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed at first to incorporate, then increase to medium speed and continue mixing for 1-2 minutes or until fully combined. Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt and continue mixing on medium speed until everything is well combined.
- Divide and dye frosting desired colors with gel food coloring and transfer to a piping bag with your choice of tip for decorating. I used an open star tip for the succulents and closed star tip for the frosting rose. Frost cupcakes once cooled completely. Add sprinkles if you'd like and have fun with it!
If you get a chance to try these six small batch vanilla valentine cupcakes, let me know!
You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!
Crazy for Cupcakes?
- Small Batch Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes for Two
I also make a mean heart-shaped Valentine Cookie Cake that is an always a crowd pleaser!
These cupcakes were so very good. I used egg replacer for the egg white and coconut oil for the butter. I didn’t have any eggs, and only a little butter. I wanted to make them for Valentine’s Day for a special treat. These are one of my favorite cupcake recipes. They turned out so great. They are perfect for a smaller family. Thank you for the delicious recipe.
Thank you Kathleen! So wonderful they were able to work with the egg replacer and coconut oil! xoxo
These cupcakes are a show stopper! Tasty, gorgeous, and must for Valentine’s Day!
This recipe was perfect for my girly-girl! I love that it only made 6 cupcakes, just enough for us. My daughter was delighted with the pink cupcakes and everyone thought they were delicious.
Ahhhh yay! Thanks Dana!