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I first saw the idea for these cute cupcakes in a magazine at my dentist’s office, of all places.  Right after I saw them, my name was called to go in so I didn’t get more than a passing glance.  And then of course on my way out I was just so overjoyed to be done (and dentist-free for another 6 months until my next check-up!) that I was preoccupied with getting out of there at warp speed, so these cute cupcakes completely slipped my mind.  (Which is just as well really…I would have felt a little weird rooting around (horrible pun, I know) for a sugary recipe at the dentist’s office, what with sugar being taboo and all.)  Anyway, the real bottom line is I don’t know what magazine to credit with this adorable idea!

It was a while ago when I saw these cupcakes (the end of last summer to be exact), and they’ve been on my to-make list since then.  The timing really couldn’t be more perfect though, since they have a very Valentine’s Day-ish feel to them.  To make them, I started with my absolute favorite yellow cake recipe (the same yellow cake recipe I used to make Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes and transformed into Spumone Cake), but you can use any kind of cake you like.  The “Linzer” part of these cupcakes is super easy to make, and I give step-by-step photo instructions because this is the sort of thing that’s more easily understood through pictures than words.  If you’re planning to make sweets for the sweets in your life this Valentine’s Day, I recommend giving these a try!

Linzer Cupcakes

(Yield:  15 cupcakes)

1 1/2 c white sugar

3/4 c canola oil

3 eggs

3/4 c milk

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 c all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

About 1 1/2 c jam (whatever kind you like, I used raspberry)

About 3 TB powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake baking pan with paper liners.  Use a handheld electric mixer to beat sugar and oil together in a large bowl, then cream in eggs until light and fluffy; beat in milk and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually beat dry ingredients into wet until just combined, making sure not to over-mix. 

Fill each cupcake well with batter to just under the top of the paper liner (I usually only fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, but for this recipe I like to fill the wells a little more than usual to make sure that I get a nice upper rim that I can cut off).  Bake 22-24 minutes, or until light golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean or with just slightly moist with a crumb or two.  Cool for 5-10 minutes in the cupcake baking pan and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

When the cupcakes are cool, cut the tops off with a serrated bread knife (this is easiest to do by turning the cupcake upside down on the countertop, and then gently running the knife between the cupcake top and the top of the paper liner).  Use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter (or whatever shape you like) to stamp out a heart from the cupcake tops.  Pour a little powdered sugar into a small sieve and lightly dust the cupcake tops with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  Spread a spoonful of jam on the top of each cupcake, then put the tops on and spoon a little jam into the heart-shaped cut out.

I like to fill the cupcake wells a little more than usual for this recipe to make sure I get a nice upper rim that I can cut off…

Start with a pretty cupcake…

Cut off its head…(Not nearly as brutal as it sounds!)

Stamp out its heart…(Again, not as gruesome as you might imagine!)

Sprinkle powdered sugar on the tops…

Add the jam…

Put the top back on and ta-da!  A little Linzer love for your Valentine…

This picture shows why this is my all-time favorite yellow cake…look how moist it is!

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. These cupcakes are so clever! Gutted I’ve only just seen them, but definitely saving the recipe.

  2. Lorraine, Yay, I’m so glad you liked them! Thanks for letting me know, you made my day! :)

  3. These are fabulous! Beautiful and tasty. I love how the design in the top is formed…wicked clever.

  4. such a cute cupcake, perfect for the valentines!!! :D

  5. Too funny about the dentists office, I guess that would look a little odd :) These are just adorable though, glad your remembered them…

  6. how lovely! i’m glad to know that something wonderful can indeed come out of a visit to the dentist. :)

  7. super cute Faith! Another winning recipe for sure. These are perfect for Valentines; yay for the dentist’s office!

  8. Amazing! You do the most beautiful and creative things in the kitchen! I want some of that creativity :)

  9. faith these are just beautiful almost too pretty to eat though i bet they taste heavenly. enjoy your weekend!

  10. Linzer tarts are some of my favorite cookies! And to have them in cupcake form…oh so delicious. I love the heart cut-out. Perfect for V-Day!

  11. Isn’t it fun when you find a winning recipe when you aren’t even trying?! These are darling and so perfect for February!

  12. Such a clever idea – I love it. I never would have thought of cutting the top off. I would have remember this recipe too!

  13. Could these be any cuter? I love them Faith! So creative and you are so right – perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  14. These look wonderful and you couldn’t present anything more seasonally appropriate. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  15. Faith, these cupcakes are just adorable! Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  16. These are absolutely darling, Faith. :-) What a cute idea! It reminds me of Europe and Christmas and snowy evenings and all those lovely things. :-)

  17. I use that same technique in a cupcake in My Sweet Vegan! Yours came out so cute, they look perfect. :)

  18. I love your dentist I see so many recipes waiting for appointments. One time, I tore out a recipe, thinking no one would care, and the receptionist gave me such a dirty look that I would never do that

    Your cupcakes are gorgeous. What a great idea. The look beautiful and delicious. Perfect for Valentine’s Day:)

  19. What a innovative idea.And all through I was wondering how did u manage that linzer look and then I saw last two so clever.anything jam-I m in!!Have a nice weekend.

  20. I was scratching my head as to “How did she do that?!” Thank you for the step-by-step :) They look perfect for Valentine’s Day!!

  21. I absolutely adore these! I love the photo directions. It really helped me to get it.

  22. off with his head and cutting out his heart … merciless, you are! cheers!

  23. These are awesome cupcakes for valentine. I wish I could be your neighbor.

  24. The cupcakes look lovely and it is incredibly creative the way you cut them and reassemble the finished cake. I really enjoy Linzer cookies so I’m sure that your cupcakes would be great.

  25. Faith, these look FABULOUS! Thanks for showing it step by step too. What a brilliant idea! So great for valentine’s coming up :D. Looks delicious, I want one haha.

  26. Heavenly Housewife says:

    This is so simple but extremely clever. Very inspired, very delicious.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  27. FAITH!
    I think you have started something. What kind of magazine was it: Martha Stewart? The photos are gorgeous, the idea is brilliant, and I am so surprised I haven’t seen it on cupcake wars yet! Kidding. I never watch it. Usually, I detest cupcakes as they are just conveyors of icing, in my mind. However, these are not. The are past adorable, and would not be so heavily laden with sugary fat! You are my idol!

  28. 5 Star Foodie says:

    These are absolutely adorable, love the jam-filled hearts in the middle of the cupcakes!

  29. What a fabulous idea :) They are easier to put together than I thought, and it’s so cute with the heart on top!! These really are perfect for Valentine’s Day.

  30. Wow, Faith, these are so well done and beautiful that they belong in a magazine! Wonderful job!

  31. OMGod , Faith , these are calling out my name now :-)
    Super cutttteeeeeeeeeee….
    Have to try this now:-))
    And sooonnnn , so cuteeee !!!
    Gosh i lovee ur visits to the dentist now:-)lol!
    U have me in smiles here:-)

  32. Oh my, Faith, that is the sweetest little cupcake ever. How clever of you to take a quick glance at the dentist’s office and turn it into a great dessert. Your cake recipe is indeed spectacular!!!

  33. Faith, these are so creative & fabulous. Great work – must be a fun project to make these cupcakes. The top photo had me fooled, totally thought they were cookies. Must try something like this soon. Perfect for Valentine’s day with the heart cutout.
    Bummed you will not be in NY when I am there – but your travels sound like a blast!! xo

  34. I love Linzer cookies and can only imagine how fantastic it must be as a cupcake! Looks gorgeous!

  35. They are so elegant Faith and something good came up from visiting the dentist right?

  36. I made Linzer torte a while back and it was a huge success with the in-laws, who happen to bare almost the same surname as this famous dessert! Gorgeous cupcake version, Faith! :-)

  37. Hahaha! The things we learn at the most random places…love it! And these look sooo pretty, Faith!

  38. Your picture tutorial is excellent. The perfect cake for valentine’s day. They look so lovely and tasty!

  39. What a fantastic idea for Valentine’s day. Yopu have made them perfectly. Diane

  40. This is ADORABLE! I want to forgo my work plans tomorrow, and make a batch of these precious treats. Thank you for sharing yet another delicious and adorable recipe. I hope you have a fabulous Friday and a relaxing weekend!

  41. Love, love, love these! I was wondering how you pulled off the heart at the top. Now, I see. Very clever, indeed. Anyone would feel super special to have one of these cupcakes set in front of them on Valentine’s Day.

  42. Arent these little cupcakes cutie patooties huh., I love them, such a simple concept with a big WoW factor to them.

  43. I made something similar to this after seeing a recipe in Real Simple Magazine but of course yours look far more professional and delicious. Gorgeous Faith! Just gorgeous. And perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  44. Oh, this is just toooo cute. Love this idea so much! I did some clicking and traced the cake recipe back to your first post on them (OMgoats, TOO FUNNY about Mike wrecking b/c of them–lol!), but it didn’t mention where you got the recipe. I was just curious. I do not have a good yellow cake recipe so guess what? I’m stealing it! Mwahahahahaa! Oh, wait, you mean that’s why you shared it? Shucks, my evil plans have been foiled again. ;)

    1. Veronica, I actually developed this yellow cake recipe (not as hard as you might think…once you understand the formula, developing baked goods recipes is actually pretty easy). (On my blog I will always credit a recipe source when there is one…if there is no source credited, I’m the source. ;) ) I couldn’t find a yellow cake recipe that I liked so I spent a couple days in the kitchen and just did it. The end result was perfect for my liking so now it’s my go-to recipe. Of course you’re welcome to it, lol!!! :)

  45. Too bad my hubby is not much of a sweets fan or I would’ve made these for him. Oh well, as I always say, more for me :-P
    Thanks for the step by step pics, they really did help. I have all the ingredients so these would definitely Ve on my to make list for valentines day. My kiddies would enjoy them as well. Thanks for sharing the love ;)

  46. These cupcakes are so pretty and sweet! Perfect timing for V Day. :)

  47. Faith…these are exceptional…especially since I know that you’re not too sweet on desserts. One more reason to appreciate what your talents are and what your willing to share with us.

    Happy Heart wishes,

  48. I can’t believe you remembered eventually to research these after a dentist visit lol. They are adorable and so easy to make with your pic tutorial. Excellent pics bu the way.

  49. These are adorable! I love the concept and you perfected it. I have to try these! Thanks so much for sharing the dentist office love ;) I know the feeling after you’re done in ‘the chair’. Relief!

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