Grinch Cupcakes (With a Heart Inside!)

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The Grinch Who Stole Christmas Cupcakes, complete with a heart inside. They say his heart grew three sizes that day. 

grinch who stole christmas cupcakes

One of the Christmas books that have been on heavy rotation this holiday season is the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. My daughter has read it almost every single night since the holiday books made their appearance on the 1st of December.

I needed to make some treats for the school bake sale, raising money for a good cause, I did a little more than I normally would. I wanted them to taste really good and look appealing so people would buy them. This line from Grinch story was my inspiration for this treat.

Well…in Who-ville they say
That the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!
And then the true meaning of Christmas came through,
And the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches… plus two.

This was my first time attempting to bake a surprise inside a cupcake (or anything for that matter). While my first attempt was not perfect, I am pretty sure the kids did not care.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Green food coloring
  • Red velvet cake mix
grinch who stole christmas cupcakes

How to Make – The Steps

For the recipe step, see the detailed instruction in my favorite vanilla cupcake and buttercream recipe. You just need to add a few drops of green coloring in the batter and hide the surprise heart inside.

For the surprise heart, I simply put a red velvet heart baked in the middle. The Grinch’s heart, get it? (I cheated and used a packet of red velvet cake mix.)

grinch who stole christmas cupcakes

I baked the red velvet it in a sheet pan and used a small heart cookie cutter to cut out the heart shapes. I added the baked heart into the green batter.

grinch who stole christmas cupcakes

I piped vanilla buttercream using a large star tip and a sprinkle of nonpareils (or hundreds and thousands for my British friends). I got super fancy and rolled out some red fondant and used the same heart cutter to cut out heart shapes for the top of the cupcake.

Tips and Tricks for this Christmas Treat

  • I have started using gel food coloring instead of liquid one. It gives a richer, more intense and brighter color. You can see it with my lovely rainbow cupcakes.
  • I gently pressed the heart into the batter, not letting the cake come over the top. I wanted the green to bake over the red a bit and give clear definition when I added the bright white frosting.
  • When you are adding the hearts and baking them, make sure that you keep them in the same direction. That way you will know where to cut or bite.
  • These cupcakes can be stored for 3 to 5 days
grinch who stole christmas cupcakes

Grab a copy of the book, and have these as a treat. Sounds like a perfect holiday activity to me.

grinch who stole christmas cupcakes

Grinch Cupcakes (With a Heart Inside)

BakedBree
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Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 20

Ingredients
  

For the cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Green food coloring
  • Red velvet cake mix for the heart

For the Buttercream Frosting

  • 3 cups 6 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups confectioners sugar sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

For the hearts:

  • Bake the red velvet it in a sheet pan
  • Use a small heart cookie cutter to cut out the heart shapes

For the cupcakes:

  • In a large bowl sift together flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a pitcher, whisk together milk, half-and-half, and vanilla. Set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Add eggs one at time, mixing well and scraping the bowl after you add each egg.
  • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture
  • Add 1/2 of the milk. You add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, and the liquid in 2.
  • Add a few drops of green gel coloring to achieve a bright green batter color.
  • When everything has been added scrape the bowl one more time. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with paper liners.
  • Fill the paper liners three quarters of the way full and add the baked heart into the green batter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • The cupcakes will be pale in color. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

For the Buttercream Frosting:

  • Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until the butter is pale, very smooth, and makes a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. This takes about 30 seconds if you butter is really soft, a bit longer if the butter is cooler.
  • Add the sugar one cup at a time. Mix until it is incorporated before you add the next cup.
  • When all of the sugar has been added, scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and salt, beat on low speed for 15 seconds.
  • Increase the speed to high (or just high enough so that it doesn’t make a mess). Beat until whipped, light, and perfectly smooth, about 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl once or twice. The frosting will look like it is getting really soft, but it will stiffen and increase in volume.
  • Add the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
  • Add nonpareils and maybe even a little heart shaped candy.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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