Treat your sweetheart and/or special friends to an elegant dessert with these adorable Valentine’s Mini Cakes. I translated one of my most popular dessert recipes into individual heart-shaped cakes. These little bites of heaven are super moist and flavorful, due to the addition of buttermilk and banana in the cake batter. And, they are enveloped in a delectable lemony-cream cheese glaze. Quick and easy Strawberry Almond Salsa is served alongside and adds color, freshness and texture. So scrumptious, so pretty, so filled with love!
I love individual desserts. There’s something so elegant and fun about giving each guest their very own special delicacy. Plus, serving is so easy – no cutting or portioning out pieces! These Valentine’s Mini Cakes are my newest favorite.
What’s in Valentine’s Mini Cakes?
For Valentine’s Day this year, I thought it would be fun to create mini heart cakes for dessert. Fortunately, I had mini heart cake pans (mine are from Le Creuset)! I started with the cake batter from one of my most popular recipes – Banana Raspberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. The addition of buttermilk and bananas to basic cake ingredients not only amps up the flavor, they keep these mini cakes super moist.
Instead of the original cake’s frosting, I created a lighter, even more lemony cream cheese glaze that envelopes each mini cake in a scrumptious layer of tangy creaminess.
Can I bake these cakes in mini bundt pans or muffin tins?
Yes, you can! I tested making these delicious mini cakes in various pans – mini heart cake tins, mini (1 cup volume) bundt pans and individual heart-shaped springform pans. The good news is they worked beautifully in all of them! You could also make them in standard muffin tins or ramekins.
Can I freeze Valentine’s Mini Cakes?
Yes, these heart cakes can be frozen for up to 2 months. Wrap each cake with plastic wrap, then with foil before freezing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. I prefer freezing cakes without the glaze, but you can also freeze glazed cakes as well. They come out prettier if glazed the day of serving.
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Other Valentine’s Desserts you might like
- Coeur à la Crème with Strawberry-Currant Sauce
- Frozen Lemon Velvet Pots de Crème
- Pecan Cookie Cups with White Chocolate-Rum Mousse
- Individual Butterscotch Pies
- Berry Cream Parfaits
- Individual Blueberry Cakes
- Warm Chocolate Cake
- Almond Raspberry Cookies
For these adorable Valentine’s Mini Cakes, I translated one of my most popular dessert recipes into individual heart-shaped cakes. These little bites of heaven are super moist and flavorful, due to the addition of buttermilk and banana in the cake batter. And, they are enveloped in a delectable lemony-cream cheese glaze. Quick and easy Strawberry Almond Salsa is served alongside and adds color, freshness and texture. So scrumptious, so pretty, so filled with love!
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 7/8 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pans
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, whole or low fat
- 1/2 cup (1 – 2) mashed ripe banana
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
- 3 ounces regular or low fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dash salt
- 1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar (or more as needed), sifted
Strawberry Almond Salsa
- 2 cups stemmed and sliced (1/2-inch) fresh strawberries (= 16 ounce package)
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted and chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 6 nonstick muffin cups (round or heart-shaped) or 5 mini bundt cups (1 cup volume) with nonstick cooking spray. Dust cups with flour.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together buttermilk, banana and vanilla.
- With mixer running, add flour mixture and banana mixtures alternately to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until combined (do not overmix).
- Divide batter equally between the prepared pans (see Note on pans below) and bake for around 20 minutes for hearts/muffins or 23 – 25 minutes for mini bundt cakes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cake comes out clean.
- Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack. After 1 minute, gently run a table knife around the edges of each cake. Leave cakes in pan for another 9 minutes, then gently remove and place on wire rack to cool completely.
Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and salt at high speed until light and smooth.
- With mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until well blended. For a thinner glaze (like heart cakes in my photos), stop now. For a thicker glaze (like mini bundt cake in my photos), add more powdered sugar.
- With thinner glaze, I like to brush on top and side of cakes. With thicker glaze, spoon glaze over top of cakes, allowing it to drizzle down the sides.
Strawberry Almond Salsa
- Finely chop strawberries.
- Place in a medium mixing bowl and stir in remaining ingredients.
- Spoon atop or alongside cakes when serving.
High altitude: No adjustments necessary.
Note on pans: the muffin tins will be 3/4 to 7/8 full, while the bundt tins will only be around 1/2 – 2/3 full.
Make ahead – Mini Cakes: Mini cakes and glaze can be prepared ahead, wrapped and stored in the refrigerator up to 24 hours in advance. Can also be well wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months (see details in blog post). Bring to room temperature and put glaze on cakes the day of serving.
Make ahead – Strawberry Almond Salsa: Salsa can be prepared earlier in the day, but tends to lose some of its vibrant red color as it sits. When salsa is made ahead, I like to add pinch of salt just before serving.