The Valentine cupcakes have 2 "hits" of strawberry - in the filling and in the butter icing and are slightly unusual for cupcakes as they are halved and spread with jam - like a miniature Victoria sponge.
Prep and cooking time: 35 minutes plus cooling
For the cakes
100g /4oz Butter or Margarine, softened
100g /4oz Caster Sugar
2 Medium Eggs, lightly beaten
100g /4oz Self Raising Flour, sieved
1 teasp Vanilla Extract
For the Filling
Approx. 3 tbsp Jam
For the Topping
100g /4oz very soft Butter
225g /8oz Icing Sugar
50g/2oz/6 medium Strawberries - fresh or frozen (defrosted)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4 and place 12 heart shaped silicone cases onto a baking tray. You can also use ordinary paper cases or a cupcake tin.
2. Place all the cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon, electric hand whisk or in a bowl food processor, until well blended.
3. Divide the cake mixture between the moulds, filling to about 2/3rds, level the tops with a small spoon or spatula and bake for 15 - 20 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch. If using silicone moulds it's easier to remove the cakes from the moulds whilst they are still hot. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before filling/decorating.
4. Meanwhile, make the butter icing, place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until very soft then pass the strawberries through a large sieve onto the butter and mix briefly. Discard the pulp and seeds.
5. Sift in the icing sugar and beat with a wooden spoon until well blended and very smooth. Set aside until you are ready to assemble the cakes but do not refrigerate as the mixture will "set" and be more difficult to pipe.
6. Cut each cupcake in half horizontally as you would a layered sponge sandwich, spread with a little strawberry jam then replace the top.
7. Pipe or spread the butter icing onto the top of each cake.