I saw some pretty Valentine cupcakes on Williams-Sonoma's website; the only problem with them was they were crazy expensive. I knew that I could make something very similar at home for a lot less than $49.95 plus shipping (and make more than 9 cupcakes).
I have come to realize that I really love red velvet anything. These cupcakes are right up there with the Red Velvet Brownies that I made at Christmas. They are some of the moistest cupcakes I've ever eaten. The best part about this recipe is that it is just a doctored up cake mix - yea!! Don't tell anyone - they will never know.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
adapted from Pampered Chef
1 box Devils Food Cake mix
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil
1 oz red food coloring
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 Tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350. Place paper liners in cups of muffin pan.
For cupcakes, combine cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs and food coloring in medium bowl; mix according to package directions.
Using a large scoop, drop heaping scoops of batter into muffin cups. Bake 18-22 minutes. Cool cupcakes completely.
For frosting, beat shortening and almond extract until well blended. Slowly add powdered sugar and 3 Tbsp milk; beat well. Add more milk until frosting is at desired consistency.
Take 3 cupcakes out of wrappers and pulse in food processor until you have very fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into bowl.
Frost tops of cupcakes with approximately 1-2 Tbsp of frosting. (You don't want a ton of frosting if you are going to do the crumb coating.) Dip top of cupcake into cake crumbs. Repeat with remaining cupcakes, fluffing crumbs between coatings.