You don’t need to have a boyfriend to have a special Valentine’s Day. Instead, if you’re sweet and single, round up your girlfriends to play dress up, do make-overs, indulge in some Pretty-in-Pink Strawberry Cupcakes, and watch a chick flick (I recommend Bridesmaids or Love and Other Disasters) all while sipping on decadent Chocolate Martinis.

Pretty-in-Pink Strawberry Cupcakes



1 package(s) (18 1/4-oz.) cake mix, plain white or yellow

1 package(s) (3-oz.) strawberry gelatin

1 cup (finely chopped fresh) strawberries, with juice (from 1 1/2 cups whole berries)

3/4 cup(s) milk

3/4 cup(s) vegetable oil

4 large eggs


1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, reduced-fat, at room temperature

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, unsalted, at room temperature

3 cup(s) (up to 3 1/2 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1/2 cup(s) (fresh ) strawberries, mashed and drained (3/4 cup hulled berries)

Sprinkles, pink and white, for garnish (optional)

24 slice(s) strawberry, for garnish (optional)


Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.

Combine the cake mix, gelatin, strawberries and juice, milk, oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down sides again if needed.

Spoon about 1/3 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it 3/4 full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes; remove empty liners, if any.) Place pans side by side in the oven.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cupcakes are lightly golden and spring back when pressed gently with a finger. Remove from oven, place pans on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes to wire racks to cool for another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare frosting: Blend cream cheese and butter in large mixing bowl with electric mixer on low speed until combined, 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add 3 cups confectioners’ sugar and the mashed strawberries. Mix on low speed until incorporated, 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and blend until frosting is fluffy, 30 to 45 seconds longer, adding up to 1/2 cup more sugar if needed to get a spreadable consistency.

Place a generous tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and swirl to spread it out with back of spoon. Refrigerate, uncovered, until frosting sets, 20 minutes. Decorate with sprinkles and strawberry slices.

Chocolate Martini Recipe

Ingredients (for one martini)

1 1/2 shots Godiva® chocolate liqueur

1 1/2 shots creme de cacao

1/2 shot vodka

2 1/2 shots half and half

Chill martini glasses in the freezer at least 3 hours before serving. Dip the rim of the martini glass in cocoa powder and/or chocolate sprinkles. Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into the cocktail glass.

-Emily Freeman

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