Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Most people have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. Often they forget how this holiday started and the history of Saint Valentine. It wasn’t about the flowers or gifts, Saint Valentine just wanted couples to be able to get married, even if it was illegal in third century Rome. He ended up giving his life for his belief in love.

Nowadays it’s considered a “Hallmark” holiday, where guys begrudgingly spend too much on flowers and gifts – and single people just want it to be over. However, we Crusaders like to think of Valentine’s Day as an opprotunity to show someone you love (friend, parent, child, or significant other) how much they mean to you. So, if you’re looking for something to get that cupcake lover in your life, we gathered together some interesting, some typical, and some unique Valentines day gifts!

Cupcake Flowers
Flowers
(Photo courtesy of 1-800-Flowers.com. No copyright infringement intended.)

Looking for some flowers to send? What about a bouquet shaped like a cupcake! These flowers are beautiful and won’t break the bank.

Kinky Cupcake Cookbook
Cookbook

(Photo courtesy of Amazon.com. No copyright infringement intended.)

This flirty book, by Joanna Farrow, will be all the rage with your cupcake lover. If you’re brave or you’re the baker in the relationship, try making one of these recipes and grab some candles too.

Personalized Wrappers
PersonalizedWrap
(Photo courtesy of PersonalizationMall.com. No copyright infringement intended.)

If you want to make cupcakes and give them to your valentines, perhaps you want to order these wrappers and personalize them!

Wrapper set
WrapDecorSet
(Photo courtesy of SurLaTable.com. No copyright infringement intended.)

If you aren’t the baker, maybe you’d rather pick up this cupcake wrapper kit from Meri Meri®! Not only will your valentine love these adorable liners and decorations, but then you get to reap the benefits when they use them.

Cupcake Liner Wrapper KitWrapperGiftWrap
(Photo courtesy of Le Box Boutique on Etsy.com. No copyright infringement intended.)

This kit isn’t for baking, it’s for wrapping up a gift for your Valentine. A pair of earrings, a love note, or perhaps some love coupons would be so cute wrapped up in a unique way.

Cupcake Watch
Watch
(Photo courtesy of Nordstrom.com. No copyright infringement intended.)

Betsy Robinson sure knows how to make a cute cupcake watch that is the perfect pink for Valentines day. Maybe not for everyone, this watch is definitely fun and an out-of-the-box idea for your valentine.

Slippers
Slippers
(Photo courtesy of 6pm.com. No copyright infringement intended.)

These comfy slippers, from Patricia Green, are perfect for your valentine. Pair them with breakfast in bed and you’ve got a winning combination.

The best Valentine’s Day present I’ve ever received was a handmade book about love, with definitions, quotes from famous philosophers, love in different languages, etc. The pages were designed with beautiful type and then cut and put together. It was the kind of gift that made me feel really special. What’s your favorite Valentine’s gift (cupcake related or not) and how will you show someone you love them next Thursday?

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Elisa (Baltimore, MD)

Valentine’s Day Giveaway: Because We Love You!

** THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED**

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we think of how much we love the people around us. The excitement our readers share over cupcakes brings us so much joy. As a way to show our love for you all and to say, “Thank you,” we are having a giveaway! We’ve included a lot of fun items, but the really special piece is a cupcake hemp bracelet, from Ashley’s Hemp Creations. She’s a friend and guest crusader, and has made this special bracelet just for us!

Bracelet

This bracelet features three unique cupcake glass beads, blue hemp, and a teapot glass bead closure. It’s truly one of a kind!

Just to sweeten our giveaway we’ve also thrown in things that we’ve found and love. Here’s a glimpse at some of those items:

Items_FourUp

Items shown above:
– Valentine’s Day cupcake liners
– Matching cupcake toppers
– Cupcake sticky notes
– Cupcake liner shaped snack bowl

ContainerCorer

We couldn’t have a giveaway without one of our favorite Cupcake-2-Go containers! This time we’ve also added in a handy cupcake corer.

There are 7 different ways to enter, but some will earn you 2 entries, so you can earn up to 10 entries—and it is so easy!

1. Leave a comment below about something (or someone) you are in love with this Valentine’s Day.

2. Follow our blog via email & comment below that you did or already do.
> This will earn you TWO entries!

3. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter & comment below that you did or already do.

4. Share this contest on Facebook or Twitter & comment below that you did or already do.
> This will earn you TWO entries!

5. Follow us on Pinterest & comment below that you did or already do.

6. Pin this contest onto Pinterest & comment below that you did or already do.
> This will earn you TWO entries!

7. Follow us on Foursquare or Foodspotting & comment below that you did or already do.

The contest will close on midnight on Thursday, February 7th, 2013. A winner will be drawn at random and announced on Friday, February 8th, 2013. The winner will have 24 hours to send their mailing address so the package can be sent out in a timely fashion (hopefully arriving before Valentine’s Day!).

We are only able to ship within the USA. Sorry to those who don’t qualify!

** THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED**

IcedGems LOVE-ly Dozen

When Rebecca (my friend at work and guest Crusader) saw that IcedGems was going to do something special for Valentine’s Day, she emailed me right away! Of course I wanted in! Who wouldn’t want to share a little cupcake love on the day we “officially” celebrate love!

In mid January IcedGems announced on their Facebook page, “Start placing your orders for our Valentine’s Day Dozen Special! For $32.50 the box includes 3 strawberries and champagne, 3 chocolate lava, 3 birthday cake and 3 red velvet… all decked out for Vday… The box will be tied with a ribbon and a red rose…”

We called to place our order and counted down the days! As promised, yesterday they were delivered to our office.

(Chocolate Lava)

(Birthday Cake)

(Red Velvet)

(Strawberry and Champagne)

These cupcakes not only looked perfectly decked out for the holiday of Love, but tasted lovely too. Rebecca shared them with her team at work and I took one of each flavor home with me. This was definitely a sweet part of my Valentines Day!

My favorite was the Strawberry Champagne. Did you have cupcakes on Valentine’s day? Which was your favorite?

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Elisa (Baltimore, MD)

Valentines “Luv” from Frosting

Frosting is an adorable cupcakery that the Crusaders visited during their most recent cupcake tour, this past fall.

I happened to be down that way last Friday and decided to stop in and see if they had any “luv” inspired cupcakes. Boy, was I in luck!

This cute and simple cupcake was their “Autumn Luv” cupcake, spice cake with their signature almond buttercream icing. I was so excited that they had a Valentine’s Day decorated cupcake that I bought it (and a latte) right away! Sadly in my excitement, I forgot to ask Jenn or Stacy if they wanted any – we have a pretty strict “text/call and make sure we don’t want any cupcakes before leaving any cupcakeries empty-handed” rule – so when I got home, I carefully cut up this lovely cupcake and saved 1/4 for each of them.

Saving those quarters was next to impossible once I took a taste of my half. The spicy, sweet cake paired with the dreamy almond buttercream icing made for a completely indulgent and wonderful cupcake. And the tiny, shiny, pink fondant heart was the perfect topper, understated and simple with a explosion of flavor under it (not unlike love for some of us – calm upon first view, and passionate and a little spicy underneath.)

I know both Stacy and Jenn enjoyed their “bites” and I sure hope the next time I am down that way, Frosting has more “Autumn Luv” to spread around!

How did you show your “luv” yesterday? And, Happy Valentine’s Day (one day late) everyone!

Flowers, Hearts, Candy, and CUPCAKES!

I’ll be honest. I love Valentine’s Day. Even in my single days, my family and friends always made me feel very loved on this day filled with cupids and hearts, so I was very excited to see all the Valentine’s Day specials being offered by local bakeries and cupcakeries.

It had been a while (and by “while” I mean a whole month) since my last visit to Kupcakes & Co. so when I saw they would have some amazing Valentine’s Day cupcakes, I knew that was where I wanted to order my sweet treats. From cupcakes, to cake pops, to sugar cookies, they had it all! For their cupcakes, you could pre-order a dozen cupcakes with conversation hearts, a dozen cupcakes with roses, or the ULTIMATE CUPCAKE.

(Valentines Day conversation hearts and rose toppers from Kupcakes & Co.)

Each conversation heart had a different message like, “True,” “Hot Stuff,” “Hottie” and “Text Me.” The flavor below is Hot Chocolate. It’s one of our favorites, which we reviewed here. Not knowing how much longer they will carry this seasonal flavor, we knew it was a must have.

Next, was the Chocolate Chocolate topped off with a edible red rose. The roses were beautiful and completed the look of this cupcake perfectly.

I was nice and shared this cupcake with my “forever Valentine.” We both really enjoyed the rich, creamy chocolate frosting. It was the perfect decadent treat. But then, it got even better…

As I mentioned above, Kupcakes and Co. offered the ULTIMATE CUPCAKE (for pre-order only), which is an oversized chocolate or red velvet cake that has been hollowed out and filled with rich chocolate mouse and fresh raspberries. Then, when you thought it couldn’t get better, it’s topped with a smooth dark chocolate ganache, creamy chocolate buttercream or cream cheese frosting, and edible gold flakes.

The one pictured above is a miniature version of the real thing. You can see the full size version on their Facebook page. Our friends at Kupcakes & Co. were sweet enough to treat the Crusaders to this special gift. It definitely is the ULTIMATE CUPCAKE. I can’t imagine how impressive the full-size one must be becuase this smaller version was still plenty to share between two people and it blew me away. The fresh raspberries combined with the rich chocolate is the perfect way to indulge with the one you love, whether it be a best friend, sister, or significant other.

It might be too late to order these cupcakes from Kupcakes & Co., but make sure to treat yourself to something sweet this Valentine’s Day!

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Stacy (Baltimore, MD)

Edible Valentines: Starry Night’s Chocolate Raspberry Hearts

Despite all the cupcakes I’ve been surrounding myself with in preparation for Valentine’s Day, when I heard Starry Night was offering their “famous” chocolate raspberry ganache hearts, I wanted one. Try as I might to resist, I quickly gave in to Crusader Stacy’s peer pressure and pleas for me to bring her one. I caved.

Of course I couldn’t get just one! I decided to get the large heart for my sweetie and I to share. Then, since I was getting one for Stacy, I decided that my big sister, Alissa, and other “sister,” Crusader Elisa, also deserved a special, edible valentine.

And I’m so glad I gave into the temptation. These hearts are decadent, delicious, and make the perfect gift to say, “I love you!”

What do you like to give for Valentine’s Day? Are edible treats in your holiday plans?

“Love is Like a Box of…” Cake Mix!

I knew I wanted to do something special for my sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. He’s come to love cupcakes as much as I do and might as well be an honorary Crusader with all the tours and tastings he’s helped out with. So when I starting seeing all the great Valentine cupcakes being created by our favorite bakeries, I thought I’d just pick up something from one of them. However, while I was out running errands I saw some Valentine’s Day cupcake decorations and decided that I could just make my own cupcakes. I found liners and toppers for under $2! Then, while thinking about what cupcakes I would make, I passed by the Pillsbury Valentine’s Day Funfetti mix and coordinating icing with sprinkles. These were each under $2 as well! After some debate I decided that with the time constraints of having an infant at home, a boxed mix was the way to go. And $6 for two-dozen cupcakes was too good to pass up! Luckily my husband is easy to please when it comes to sweets.

So last Friday, I pulled my holiday cupcake paraphernalia out of hiding to bake cupcakes ready for the weekend…a sort of pre-Valentine’s Day treat.

I added a dash of pure vanilla extract to the cake mix, because the batter seemed to be lacking in flavor versus other cake mixes I’m used to. I would have liked to pipe the icing on all of the cupcakes, however there would not have been enough if I had. So instead I compromised and just did a few. In the end, I’m happy with the results!

Do you have any special baking plans for Valentine’s Day? We’d love to hear about them!

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn (Westminster, MD)