Hosting a Valentine's Day party can be lots of fun--except when it comes to serving food to guests. Hostesses planning to serve a baked dessert at their gathering can save time and energy by preparing Valentine's Day cupcakes decorated with elements such as hearts. Unlike pies or tarts, cupcake do not need to be cut before serving and involve minimal cleanup.
Most people decorate Valentine's Day cupcakes with theme colors. If you choose to follow this tradition, place white frosting into a bowl and add red food coloring, mixing the two until the frosting takes on the desired shade of pink or red. If you plan on using both colors, divide the white frosting into two portions and place each in a separate bowl. Add more red food coloring to one bowl than to the other so you can create different shades.
If you don't have a piping bag, place the colored frosting in a plastic sandwich baggie and use scissors to snip off one of the bottom corners. Use your hands to push the frosting toward the hole to dispense it.
Pipe the outline of a heart on the top of the cupcake and apply frosting until the shape is filled in with color. Place candy hearts or red gumdrops around the outline or put the candy in random spots on the heart. If you are making a large batch of cupcakes and do not have a lot of time to decorate them, use a spatula to cover the entire surface of each cupcake in white or colored frosting. Finish by sprinkling a few pieces of candy or pastel-colored sugar on top.
Another option involves placing colored fondant onto thin sheets of parchment paper and using a rolling pin to flatten it. Use a knife to trace and cut out Valentine's Day shapes such as hearts and arrows from the fondant sheets. You also can create similar shapes out of fondant using Valentine's Day themed cookie cutters. Place the shapes over a layer of frosting. For more interest, layer one shape on top of the other, such as a small heart over a larger one.
If you have a lot of time, get more creative with your cupcakes. Add text using a small hole in the piping baggie. Use a thin line of frosting to write short messages such as "Be Mine," "X" and "O, ""V-Day" or "I Love You" across the top of each cupcake. Embellish the text by placing edible candy pearls on top of each frosting letter.