So, you're thinking about baking a batch of cupcakes for your sweetheart this Valentine's Day?
Here you will find everything you need to prepare a valentine cupcake or two or thirteen and all the equipment (including decorating sets) you need to accomplish this special, from-the-heart task. Valentine cupcake ideas are usually associated with soft pastel colors for a female theme or more earthy tones for a male theme.
Valentine cupcake recipes use the same vanilla plain foundation batter mixture and that basic cake mixture can be flavored with chocolate, strawberry, banana, carrot, orange poppyseed, or tangy lemon for example.
Early History of Valentine's Day
It is generally believed by most scholars that the St. Valentine of the annual St Valentine's Day holiday was a bold priest who attracted the ire of Roman emperor Claudius II around 270 AD.
According to legend, Claudius II had passed law that banned young Roman bachelors to marry, claiming that unmarried men made far better foot soldiers. The priest Valentine continued to perform marriage ceremonies shrouded in secrecy but was eventually discovered by the Romans and immediately imprisoned.
In prison, the jailer's daughter brought food and linen to Valentine and cared especially for him as they fell in love. The legend goes that just before his execution, he sent her a long letter espousing his love for her and signed it "from your Valentine."
The archaic Ancient Roman fertility rite of Lupercalia, observed February 13–15, was a local festival held only in the city of Rome. Some well-educated scholars maintain that Pope Gelasius I (492–496 AD) abolished Lupercalia replacing it with the celebration of the Purification of Mary on February 14 claiming he meant to signify a romantic love but there is no historical indication that he ever intended such a thing.
Romantic St Valentine & First Cards
The celebration of Saint Valentine did not have any romantic connotations until Chaucer's poetry about "Valentines" in the 14th century.
As Christianity spread, so did the Valentine's Day card. The earliest card was recorded as being sent in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was a detainee in the Tower of London. It is now in the British Museum.
Banned - No More "Be My Valentine"
In the sixteenth century, St. Francis de Sales, bishop of Geneva, tried to abolish the custom of cards and renew the stature of saints' names. He felt that Christians had become religiously lazy and required designs and false saints to worship.
This abolition was less effective and shorter-lived than Pope Gelasius's circa 492 AD and instead of vanishing, cards multiplied and ended up being more ornamental than ever before.
Cupid, the naked cherub equipped with arrows dipped in love potion, beame a popular valentine image. Cupid was related to the holiday since in Roman folklore he is the boy child of Venus, goddess of love and appeal.
St Valentine Goes Anonymous & Racy
By the seventeenth century, handcrafted cards were large and intricate, while store-bought ones were smaller sized and expensive. In 1797, a British publisher released 'The Young Man's Valentine Writer', which included ratings of recommended emotional verses for the young fan not able to compose his own.
Printers had actually started producing a restricted variety of cards with verses and sketches, called "mechanical valentines," and a decrease in postal rates in the next century introduced the less personal however simpler practice of mailing valentine messages.
That, in turn, made it possible for the very first time to exchange cards anonymously, which is taken as the factor for the introduction of racy verse in an age otherwise prudishly Victorian.
The blossoming variety of profane valentines triggered a number of nations to prohibit the practice of exchanging cards. In Chicago, for example, late in the 19th century, the post workplace turned down some twenty-five thousand cards on the ground that they were not fit to be handled and processed by the United States mail service.
First American Publisher a Woman
The very first American publisher of Valentine's Day cards was printer and artist Esther Howland (1828 1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts.
Her intricate lace cards of the 1870s were expensive ranging from 5 to 10 dollars, with some selling for as much as thirty-five dollars.
None the less, since this time the valentine card business has actually prospered and thrived as young lovers found no expense was too high to get their messages of affection and love to their secret Valentine.
With the exception of Christmas, Americans exchange more cards on Valentine's Day than at other times of the year.
Sadly, this is declining as with all postal mail in this new age of email, digital cards, Facebook, Twitter and other social media methods of exchanging special greetings.