Surprise Your Valentine With Hidden X’s and O’s Cupcakes

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With just one day left until Valentine’s Day, this cupcake recipe is perfect for the last minute surprise. This cupcake recipe is very simple and easy. Your Valentine may think you’re serving regular cupcakes, but will be pleasantly surprised upon bitting into these delicious treats. Made to be simple, you can either handcut your X’s and O’s or use a letter set.


  • One box of white cake mix
  • Ingredients to prepare cake mix (typically eggs, water, and oil)
  • One can of white frosting
  • Red and pink food coloring
  • Cupcake liners
  • X and O cookie cutters
  • 1M tip for icing, optional
  • XO sprinkles, optional


Prepare cake mix as directed. Separate about ⅓ of the batter into two bowls (so about ⅙ of the batter per bowl). Color one bowl pink and one bowl red.

Grease an 8×8 pan. Spoon the red batter on one side of the pan and pink batter in the other, so there is half a pan of each color. Bake as directed for 8×8 pans.

Once the 8×8 pan has cooled, use the cookie cutters to cut out X’s and O’s. Cut out 6 of each letter.

Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Place a small amount of uncolored batter in each liner. Place one letter in each cupcake liner, all facing the same direction. Scoop the uncolored batter all around and on top of the colored letter, so it is not visible.

Bake as directed for your box mix (bake at the lower end of the cupcake cooking time). Cool.

Frost (with 1M tip, if desired). Makes approximately 10-12 cupcakes.


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