St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting are a cute, fun idea for school parties or after dinner dessert for the kids! Make the batter or icing white or green and decorate with rainbow sprinkles and gold coins.
I love that I have a little one in school now who is still young enough to find it exciting when her mama goes a little nuts with the holiday baking.
Whether it's Halloween (my favorite!), Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Valentine's Day. You can easily alter any of my holiday dessert recipes to the occasion of choice.
For instance, make these white chocolate covered pretzel sticks for St. Patrick's Day by using green and rainbow sprinkles instead of red and green Christmas ones.
And just the same, you can alter these St. Patrick's Day cupcakes to your holiday of choice by changing the food coloring and decorations.
I do admit that I secretly wait for the school calendar and hope there's a party day requesting parents to bring in food. You'll find me cooking and baking away all sorts of fun recipes for the party.
I may overdo it, but it's fun and kid's are a great excuse to make "kid" foods to celebrate any holiday or special occasion.
These St. Patrick's Day cupcakes are the second recipe on my St. Patrick's Day recipe list, next to these green and rainbow pancakes.
To make St. Patrick's Day cupcakes, you need 1 cake mix box, plus the ingredients indicated on the box (this is usually eggs, oil, and water)
To make the buttercream frosting, you need:
- confectioners sugar
- vanilla extract
You'll also need these supplies to make St. Patrick's Day cupcakes:
These St. Patrick's Day cupcakes are incredibly easy because I use store bought cake mix instead of fiddling with a homemade batter. However, I do make a homemade buttercream frosting, which is also incredibly easy. I'll explain how to do that in a few moments.
Here's how to make my fast and simple St. Patrick's Day cupcakes:
- Following the instructions on the cake mix box, preheat the oven and make the batter.
- If dying green, mix in 3-4 drops of green food coloring, add more if desired. Alternatively, you can make ½ of the batter green and half white. To do this, just reserve half in a bowl while dying the other half green.
- Line 24 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners. Fill ⅔ of the way with the batter.
- Bake according to the time on the package and until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
To learn how to frost and decorate your St. Patrick's Day cupcakes, read on!
The thought of making homemade frosting used to scare me. I think it was a combination of then knowing just how much sugar was in frosting and the preconceived notion that it was something only professional baker's could master.
But making homemade frosting is so easy!
And it tastes so much better than store bought frosting. There really is no comparison. Make frosting from scratch just once and I bet you'll always opt for it.
Making homemade frosting takes barely 10 minutes.
Here's just how easy it is to make buttercream frosting for your St. Patrick's Day cupcakes:
- First, cream the butter with the vanilla. The butter should not be melted, but pretty soft.
- Next, add the confectioner's sugar 1 cup at a time, beating on low. It will be crumby by the time you are finished.
- Now, add the milk and beat on low until it's thick and smooth.
- If you are adding in green food coloring, now's the time to do it. Start with 3-4 drops and add more until you reach the green that you want. Alternatively, reserve half of the icing to have some white cupcakes, too.
You can also replace the butter with cream cheese to make cream cheese frosting, which is just as delicious.
To use your homemade frosting, fill a piping bag to the maximum line and tie with a rubber band.
When the cupcakes have cooled, squeeze the frosting around the cupcake top.
If you don't have piping bags, no worries! Simply use a knife to spread the icing on.
It's important to decorate your St. Patrick's Day cupcakes immediately after icing them. Otherwise, the icing will harden and the sprinkles won't stick.
After adding the sprinkles, stick one gold coin into the frosting.
St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
- standard muffin tin, muffin liners, electric hand mixer
- 1 package vanilla or white cake mix, plus package ingredients
- rainbow sprinkles
- gold coins
For Buttercream Frosting
- 12 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 cups confectioner's sugar
- 3 tbsp milk
- green food coloring
- Preheat oven to temperature indicated on cake mix package. Line muffin tins with liners.
- In a large bowl, make cake mix according to the package. You can use green food coloring to make the batter green, keep it white, or make half green and half white. Use 3-4 drops of food coloring to start, adding more to reach your desired green hue.
- Fill muffin cups ⅔ full. Bake for time indicated on package. Let cool from 15 minutes before frosting.
- To make the butter cream frosting, beat the butter and extract on medium speed. Add the confectioner's sugar 1 cup at a time. The mixture will be crumbly. Add the milk and beat until of spreading consistency, about 2 minutes. If coloring green, add food coloring until desired green is reached, beating until fully blended.
- Transfer icing to a piping bag and ice cupcakes. Alternatively, use a knife to spread on icing. Sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles and insert a gold coin into the icing.
- Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Buttercream frosted cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.
Unfrosted cupcakes will keep longer, and you can store them in the fridge if you'd like. You can even freeze them if you make them way ahead of time, or have too many.