Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

strawberry buttercream copy

The other day I was making cupcakes (late at night, after bedtime, of course), and I wanted to do something fun and fast that would make them special. With Valentine’s day around the corner, pink seemed like it was in order, so I rummaged through the fridge and this lovely strawberry buttercream frosting was born. The base is a simple buttercream. (Don’t do what I did and melt the butter trying to soften it. The made the texture softer than usual, so I never ended up adding any milk. The leftover was un-pipable after an overnight stint in the fridge, so I advise being patient with the butter and adding milk.) The thing that lifts this above the ordinary is the addition of strawberry jelly. The little Miss tasted it later, and her comment was “Wow! It tastes like strawberries!” You know when a child inadvertently exclaims “wow” that you have a hit. 🙂

The Recipe
1 cup salted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tsp vanilla
4 Tbs Milk
1/2 jar strawberry jelly (not jam, if you will pipe the frosting)
food coloring if you like more color

Cream together softened butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. Once the butter and sugar are thoroughly creamed together, mix in about 1/2 a jar of good quality strawberry jelly. (I used Trader Joe’s Reduced sugar, since this is already a little too sweet for me.) If you are going to pipe the frosting, you MUST be sure that the jelly is smooth, not chunky. (Add food coloring next, if you are using it.) Now, add the milk 1 Tbs at a time until the frosting is a good piping consistency. I will probably add a little more jelly next time, and cut back on the sugar a tad. This will make the frosting softer, so I will probably end up using less milk.

For an easy, professional look, pipe with a star tip onto mini cupcakes. I like using Trader Joe’s vanilla bean cake mix (+ ~ 1 tsp vanilla) because it is easy and flavorful, and has a more “home-made” texture than most box mixes.

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10 Fun Children’s Valentine’s Cards to Make

Stuck on You
how to make a photo valentine 3
Every child loves stickers! This is a cute Valentine that avoids candy (their teachers will thank you!) and is highly customizable. Either find ready-made cardboard or foam heart-shaped frames, or cut your own from construction paper using my TEMPLATE. Let your child choose stickers that appeal to him or her. (Your local Dollar Store often has a good selection.) Place the heart frame face down and tape the back of the sticker sheet to the frame, arranging it so the stickers fill the framed area. Trim the outside edges as necessary. You can write a sentiment such as “Stuck on You” or something that fits the specific stickers you choose.

Sweetheart
Rice Krispie Valentine
If you or your child enjoys cooking, you can whip up a batch of these beautiful and delicious heart-shaped Rice Krispie treats for the class! The pink hearts look lovely on their own, or take it up a notch by dipping half in some melted chocolate and then some brightly-colored candy sprinkles. You can find treat bags at your local craft store or dollar store. Tie off the bag with some pretty ribbon, and you are Valentines Day party-ready.

Have a Colorful Valentine’s Day
Rainbow Crayon
Who doesn’t love rainbow crayons? Make this fun craft with your children, then print out the printable cards. Attach the crayons, and Whala! Be sure to make a few extra crayons to keep!

Have a FAN{TACHE}TIC Day
Mustache Valentine
This great printable has everything going for it. It is fast, cheap, and incorporates the mustache trend. (Can anyone tell me why we have a mustache trend??) Best of all, it avoids having your 6 year old tell the entire class that they are the love of his life!

You Make Me Loopy
loopy Valentines
This idea isn’t mine. I really wish it was. It is unique and cute, and little people really love loopy straws. You can buy the straws at Walmart or the Dollar Store. Put them in Wilton pretzel bags (also at Walmart, or your local craft store) and staple folded paper over the ends. This was a photo-only Pinterest pin, so there is no printable, but you can make your own, or just use construction paper and write your sentiment by hand.

Valentine’s Bouquet
Valentine Flower
These pretty flowers are simple to make and don’t require a printer. Older children might enjoy creating them with you. Speed them up by using a die-cut instead of hand-cutting the hearts.

Valentine’s Day
Tic Tac Toe Valentine
This unique idea used M&Ms to create a sweet game of tic-tac-toe. All the printables are on the original site. You just add the sugar.

Swimming in the Same School
Swimming in the Same School
This free printable was just too adorable not to include! This is another idea that doesn’t use the word “love” and you can use goldfish instead of candy fish to the delight of teachers everywhere. The bowl-shaped bags can be hard to find, but you can call Walmart or your local craft store.

Have a Chocolate?
Chocolate Hearts
Once upon a time books and candy were the only gifts a young lady could accept from a gentleman. Times have changed, but these polymer clay chocolate look-alikes can still melt hearts. If you don’t have heart molds, simply shape a ball of clay with your fingers. These are a bit complex for younger children, but teens and tweens would have a wonderful time making these with their besties.

You Make my Heart Glow
Glowstick Valentines
Last, but certainly not least, are these adorable glow-stick Valentines. Head to the Dollar Store for the glow bracelets, and print up some free printable cards. Even young children can help assemble these!