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Surprise Red Cupcakes

Catch your honey red-handed this Valentine's Day with a batch of these confections. Our family loves these filled cupcakes. They disappear in a day. —Betty B. Claycomb, Alverton, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 dozen


  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup shortening, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 to 3 teaspoons evaporated milk, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


  • In a heavy saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour and milk until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cool.
  • In a large bowl, cream 1/2 cup shortening and remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the food coloring, vinegar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Combine the cocoa, baking soda and remaining flour; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, beat butter and remaining shortening until smooth. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, cooled sugar mixture and remaining vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Insert a large round tip into a pastry or plastic bag; fill with filling. Insert the tip halfway into the center of each cupcake and fill with a small amount of filling.
  • For frosting, in a heavy saucepan, melt chips with 1/3 cup evaporated milk over low heat; stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. Beat in confectioners' sugar. Add enough remaining milk to achieve spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 288 calories, 14g fat (6g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 114mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (29g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Margo
    Feb 2, 2018

    The directions say nothing about adding the filling to the cake batter!! So therefore I will not attempt this recipe

  • Waynefab4
    Feb 20, 2015

    Used only 1 cup of confectioner's sugar in frosting to make frosting less sweet. These cup cakes are awesome!!!

  • foreverfarm1
    Feb 5, 2015

    I didn't make these, but I am giving 5 stars to offset the other people that didn't make the cake and didn't make it. PEOPLE stop doing that. So irritating. The only reason I am not making it is because the prep sounds to time consuming and I bake a lot everyday. I need quick things.

  • vicki503
    Feb 3, 2015

    I make red velvet cake every year for my husbands Christmas birthday and this recipe is almost identical to the one I use. It was amazing and I may have to switch to this recipe for my husbands birthday! I thought it was explained very well, although I still, even after 45 years of baking, read through the entire recipe before I start it just to make sure I understand what I need to do.

  • ninamary
    Feb 3, 2015

    blechcupcakes, sorry the cupcakes could NOT be as bad as you say. The ingredients alone would make a good cake unless you don't know how to bake and screwed up the way you mixed it. How do you get rocks from a smooth batter?? The review you gave was unkind and Unnecessary, You could have just said the it was not good, too much work, and you wouldn't try it again. It does have a lot of steps, but my Grandkids as worth it and it was fun to make something new.

  • lollyjean
    Feb 3, 2015

    THese were great cupcakes; nice batter and the filling was a nice treat. I also find it strange that people would make a comment without baking the item and give it a negative rating. My only guess is that blechcupcakes didn't follow the recipe correctly or to be honest, it sounds like she added the confectioner's sugar to the mix, which would certainly make it lumpy and dry. Again, baker error is the only think I can find from her statement as she only complained, not explained what she had done.

  • jenrsnyder
    Feb 3, 2015

    What I find baffling is that with each comment, each person gives 1 star, only further lowering the average stars on this recipe. This recipe is quite involved with many steps, but yields a delicious end result. It's very reminiscent of an old-fashioned recipe where no "box" mixes even existed. Prep time alone is estimated at 1 hour so I would classify this as a recipe for a baker with some experience. Good luck to those willing to try it. :)

  • Marlene Bennett
    Feb 3, 2015

    I've read all the comments like I usually do before making TofH recipes. Interesting. I am stil going to make these as I am an experience baker and the recipe looks very simiar to one I have made before. I am thinking that ToH has made these before having the recipe on this site?? I wish that blechcupcakes could have just said that the recipe didn't work for her. Her day was certaily ruined by making a ToH recipe. Hard to believe that one person makes the reicipe and says it turned out awful and another make it and says it turned out a hit. Hope that blechcupcakes has a better day.

  • barbie1104cooks
    Feb 3, 2015

    Seriously, I'd like to know which review is true? Did blechcupcakes maybe make a mistake, or not follow the directions - the directions are sot of complicated if you aren't an experienced baker.

  • Laurieleem
    Feb 3, 2015

    Not possible. Somebody is lying. It would be greatly appreciated if someone could submit the truth. It can't be both. It's either one or the other.