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thumbnail image of a cupcake cut in half, showing a pink love heart baked inside

Vegan Valentine's Love Heart Cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes with a hidden pink heart inside. Dairy-free and egg-free!

Course Dessert
Cuisine vegan
Keyword vegan love heart cupcakes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes


For the hearts (to be hidden inside):

  • 115 g Self-raising flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon Baking soda
  • 90 g Caster sugar
  • 140 ml Soy milk
  • 45 ml Oil (I used sunflower)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • ¼ Teaspoon Apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • Pink or red food colouring (start with a small amount and increase if needed)

For the cupcakes:

  • 230 g Self-raising flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking soda
  • 180 g Caster sugar
  • 240 ml Soy milk
  • 90 ml Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)

For the buttercream:

  • 180 g Vegan butter (I recommend the soft, spreadable kind)
  • 400 g Icing sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons Soy milk (you'll need more if you use the blocky style of 'butter')

To top (optional):

  • Few Tablespoons Vegan-friendly love heart sprinkles (I used Tesco's brand)


For the hidden hearts:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C if you're using a fan oven). Grease, flour and line a 7-inch cake tin.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together the self-raising flour, baking soda and sugar.

  3. Add the soy milk, oil, vanilla and vinegar. Mix well until you have a smooth cake batter.

  4. Add the food colouring and stir it in.

  5. Transfer the cake batter into the tin and spread out evenly. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick through the centre comes out clean. Leave the oven on so it's ready for the next part of the recipe.

  6. Let the cake cool in the tin for 5 minutes then flip it out onto a wire rack. Peel off the baking paper and leave it to cool completely.

  7. Once the cake has cooled completely, use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out 12 hearts.

For the cupcakes:

  1. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and sugar. Add the soy milk, oil, vanilla and vinegar. Mix well until smooth.

  3. Fill each cupcake case around halfway with the batter.

  4. Take your pink hearts from earlier and place one into the batter in each case. Keep them all upright and facing the same way, so you remember which way to cut into them after they're baked.

  5. Use the rest of your cake mix to cover the hearts, being careful not to knock them over as you do this.

  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes. You can check they're ready by inserting a toothpick just off the centre of the cupcake. If it comes out clean, they're ready.

  7. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack, keeping them facing the same direction again, and leave them to cool completely.

For the buttercream:

  1. Mix the butter, icing sugar, vanilla and soy milk together.

  2. Use an electric whisk or stand mixer to make it smooth and fluffy. If the icing is too thick, add more soy milk. If it's too runny, add more icing sugar.

  3. Place the icing into a piping bag with a large star nozzle and pipe a swirl onto each cupcake.

  4. Decorate with heart sprinkles if using and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.