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Love Bug Cupcakes


2 hours
Skill Level
30 cupcakes

These little love bug cupcakes are a sweet way to celebrate Valentine's Day. Decorate them with pink, white and red frosting, then top them with HERSHEY'S KISSES Candies and JOLLY RANCHER Heart Shaped Lollipops. They're kid-friendly and perfect for classroom parties.

Ingredients & Directions

Prep Time
1 hour 10 minutes
Bake Time
20 minutes
Cool Time
30 minutes


  • HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Hearts or REESE'S Peanut Butter Filled Hearts

  • JOLLY RANCHER Heart-Shaped Lollipops

  • 1 can

    ready-to-spread vanilla frosting or your favorite homemade frosting (about 16 oz)

  • HERSHEY'S Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup

    butter or margarine, (1 stick) softened

  • 1-1/2 cups


  • 2


  • 1 tsp

    vanilla extract

  • 1 cup

    buttermilk or sour milk*

  • 2 Tbsps

    red food color (one 1 oz bottle)

  • 2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup
  • 1 tsp


  • 1-1/2 tsp

    baking soda

  • 1 Tbsp

    white vinegar



Equipment Needed 

2-1/2 inch muffin cup tin
2-1/2 Inch Muffin Cup Tin
muffin cups
Muffin Cups
mixing bowl
Mixing Bowl
wire rack
Wire Rack
pastry bag with tip
Pastry Bag with Tip

Prepare and bake cupcakes according to recipe directions; cool completely.


Prepare Royal Icing. Remove wrappers from desired number of chocolate hearts (faces) and lollipops (antennae and tails). Decorate chocolate hearts with facial features and draw hearts on lollipops. Allow frosting to harden. (If you don't like the design, wait until the icing has hardened and then you can remove without damaging the surface of the heart).


Frost the cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Assemble "Love Bugs" by placing "face" and "antennae" on each cupcake or make a "Love Bug Catepillar" by using one "Love Bug Cupcake" and adding desired number of frosted cupcakes to form body. Decorate catepillar with alternating unwrapped HUGS and KISSES that form a stripe down the back of the catepillar. Place additional lollipop on last cupcake to make the tail.


To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.

HERSHEY'S Red Velvet Cupcakes:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper or foil baking cups.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl; add eggs and vanilla, beating well. Stir together buttermilk and food color. Stir together flour, cocoa and salt; add alternately to butter mixture with buttermilk mixture, mixing well. Stir in baking soda and vinegar. Fill muffin cups about 1/2 full with batter.
  3. Bake about 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Frost as desired.
Royal Icing: Stir together 2-1/4 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons warm water and 1 tablespoon pasteurized dried egg whites (meringue powder). Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until spreadable. Add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to get desired consistency. Divide icing into small bowls for each color desired and tint with food colorings. Transfer icing to pastry bags with desired tip. Cover icings and tips of pastry bags with damp paper towels to keep icing from drying out. (Some icing garnishes may need a firmer icing to hold their shape. Stir in small amounts of additional powdered sugar to get the desired consistency). About 1 cup icing.

Additional questions?