valentine cakes w/ blood orange cream filling ❤ / by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

for some reason valentine's day takes me back to the 80s, when i would wear scrunchy socks, neon colored clothing, acid-wash legging-jeans, and my favorite outfit was a shirt and matching skirt with big, red sponge-painted hearts.  i had pink rimmed glasses and almost everyday i wore a super side-swept ponytail.  i LOVED valentines' day because i knew i could wear my sponge-painted heart outfit with no shame in my game, but mostly because my school would have a huge bake sale. so, my mom and i would go to the grocery store, buy duncan hines white cake and chocolate cake mixes, white and chocolate frosting and goodies like conversation hearts to decorate.  my favorite part was mixing the red food coloring into the white frosting to make PINK frosting!  like, seriously, what was more thrilling than that? and as this recipe shows, i'm still thrilled by pink frosting even as an adult.  

these cupcakes are filled with a pink, cream cheese-y center, riddled with red pulp.  the chocolate shell is hard compared to the moist and fluffy cake, so when you bite in, it begins with a crack and crunch of the shell.  these are somewhat a play on the snack cakes of my childhood (ones my parents never let me eat!) but with more wholesome ingredients.  i made a similar recipe last year, and if you're looking for another valentine goody i can steer you in the direction of heart-shaped whoopie pies, also from last year!

***also, donations are still being accepted for the Feed South Africa campaign.  please follow the link and donate here

valentine cakes w/ blood orange cream filling

| gluten + dairy free |

makes 20 cupcakes



  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 blood orange, zested



blood orange cream filling

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) tofutti cream cheese 
  • 3-4 tablespoons raw honey 
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh squeezed blood orange juice, and some pulp too! (more or less depending on how vibrant you want the color and taste) 

chocolate shell + pink piping

  • 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips (i use Enjoy Life)
  • 2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed blood orange juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons almond milk


for the cakes

  • preheat the oven to 350° and grease/line 2 muffin tins
  • in a large bowl, whisk the first 6 ingredients.  in another large bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs until the sugar is dissolved - about 1 minute.  add the vanilla, oil and vinegar and mix to combine. add the hot water while whisking; add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix thoroughly until combined, add the orange zest and mix once more
  • divide the batter between the tins (i used about 2 1/2 tablespoons worth of batter for each cake).  place in oven and bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating halfway through for even cooking.  remove from oven and let them cool completely

make the blood orange cream

  • in a medium sized bowl, combine the cream cheese, honey, vanilla, and blood orange juice with an electric mixer .  mix until smooth and creamy and taste to adjust sweetness - you may want to add more or less juice as well depending on what shade of pink/red you want
  • using a spatula, pour the filling into a pastry bag, let the filling rest in the refrigerator until you're ready to use

assemble the cakes

  • turn cakes upside down and using the filled pastry bag, fill each one with cream (you will notice that they will get heavier and more plump when they have enough filling, don't squeeze too much in or they will burst) wash pastry bag if you plan on using the same bag for the pink icing
  • melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water until melted and add the coconut oil. place cupcakes rightside up and either dip, or use a spoon to cover top with chocolate shell.  place cupcakes on a tray and refrigerate them until chocolate shell has hardened - about 15 minutes
  • combine the powdered sugar, blood orange juice and almond milk until it forms a malleable pink paste - you want it neither runny nor too stiff.  transfer to the pastry bag and decorate the tops of your cupcakes.  store at room temperature covered with parchment for up to 3 days

enjoy with the ones you love!