If you are looking for a simple yet festive dessert to go with your corned beef dinner, these St. Patrick's Day cupcakes are perfect! They are homemade cupcakes that are easy to make and not from a box.
These are an easy cupcake idea for St. Patrick's Day that everybody will love. We make them every year and we make them throughout the year without the food coloring too.
They are basically a homemade vanilla cupcake with food coloring to make it festive. You can also make them with mint extract to compliment the green color, but we usually make them vanilla.
Usually when we add mint to cupcakes it's in our peppermint mocha cupcakes. The chocolate and mint go well together.
You can also fill these with your favorite filling if you like whether it be pudding or even strawberry filling. Tho we love our chocolate cupcakes with strawberry filling, we usually keep these vanilla ones plain.
Flour - We use all purpose flour spooned and leveled.
Baking soda - We find baking soda works best in these St. Patrick's Day cupcakes.
Salt - No substitutions recommended.
Yogurt - Plain yogurt, preferably full fat. We use plain Greek yogurt made with whole milk.
Sugar - Granulated sugar.
Eggs - Large eggs, no substitutions recommended.
Vanilla extract - Can substitute some or all with a mint extract if you wanted to make them mint instead of vanilla.
Food coloring - Optional but used to make them green. We have tried a variety of different food coloring and find that icing coloring is best for a more rich color, but you can use regular food coloring too.
For the icing
You can make your favorite icing for these St. Patrick's Day cupcakes in place of this whipped icing, but we prefer the whipped icing because it is not as sweet.
Heavy cream - No substitutions, must be heavy cream for whipping. May be sold as heavy whipping cream, but not light whipping cream.
Cream cheese - Full fat block cream cheese, not the spreadable.
Sugar - Powdered sugar is best for the texture and flavor when making a whipped icing.
Vanilla extract - You can substitute with mint extract if you are looking for a mint flavor to compliment the green color.
Food coloring - For best results we usually use an icing food coloring, but regular food coloring works well too. This is optional but needed if you want your icing green.
Making the cupcakes
These St. Patrick's Day cupcakes are easy to make but there are a few important tips.
You will be using a whisk to mix this batter, do not use a mixer for the batter. You can use a fork if you do not have a whisk.
First you want to mix the flour with the baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Be sure sift them together or use a whisk to stir out any larger clumps before adding to the wet ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl mix together the yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until they are a smooth liquid and combined well.
Add in the food coloring and dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. This is important that you add the amount you will want now because you cannot over mix the wet and dry ingredients together.
I would go for 10 drops of regular food coloring. If using icing coloring, the amount you add with depend on the coloring. Some do not have droppers and it is thicker.
I recommend using regular food coloring for the batter if you are not familiar with icing coloring.
Mix with the whisk until it is incorporated, small flour lumps are ok. Do not over whisk, I usually mix for about 20-30 seconds.
If you over mix cupcake or cake batter, it will result in a different texture - sometimes a more spongy texture.
Evenly spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups that are lined with cupcake liners. Try to fill them between half and 2 thirds full, no more.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-17 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow them to cool in pan on a cooling rack before icing.
The Whipped Icing
The icing we use on the St. Patrick's Day cupcakes is a basic whipped icing but we add some food coloring to it. The food coloring can be regular food coloring or icing coloring.
Unlike the batter, it's ok to keep adding more coloring and mixing until the desired shade so you can experiment with the colors.
You will be using a mixer for the icing, hand or stand mixer is ok.
Cream together the sugar and the softened cream cheese. It doesn't have to be room temperature, but it should sit out and soften for at least 30 minutes so it creams nicely.
To cream it, you want to mix it on medium until it is perfectly blended and smooth. It should be about 30 seconds.
Slowly pour in the heavy cream while you are mixing it. As soon as all the heavy cream is poured in, add in some food coloring. Start with 5 drops, you can add more to get the right shade.
Mix on medium high until it is thickened and smooth. This will be about 1 and a half to 2 minutes. If you need to add more color, you can add it at any time during the mixing.
Use a piping bag to add the icing to the top of the St. Patrick's Day cupcakes. Add any decorations you like! We added decorations that we got from a local craft store but many stores have different sprinkles and decorations for holidays.
The cupcakes should be stored in the fridge if using this whipped icing.
Frequently asked questions
They are best if they are eaten in 3-4 days. They should be stored in the fridge if you are using the whipped icing. You can leave them out at a party, but do not store them out of the fridge for days.
Cake and cupcake batter should not be over mixed. If you whisk until completely smooth, you have over mixed it. Whisk it together until it is incorporated with no large flour lumps.
Yes! It is a thicker batter. It should not pour out easy, use a spoon to put it in the cupcake liners.
Yes you can use it for other cupcakes! It is a vanilla cupcake recipe that just has green food coloring added for St. Patrick's Day.
Other great desserts
- Salted caramel apple Bundt cake
- Ultimate homemade fudge brownies
- Instant Pot cheesecake with chocolate swirl
St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes
- ¾ cup yogurt full fat
- 2 eggs
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 cup flour spooned and leveled, see notes
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 10 drops food coloring or to desired shade
Whipped Icing - you can use your favorite icing if you prefer
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- green food coloring to desired shade
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit and line the cupcake pan with the cupcake liners.
- In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt and baking soda.1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- In a mixing bowl add the yogurt, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk together until smooth, about 20-30 seconds.¾ cup yogurt, 2 eggs, 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract, ⅔ cup sugar
- Pour the flour mix and food coloring into the wet ingredients. Mix with a whisk until incorporated. Do not over mix, small lumps are ok.10 drops food coloring
- Evenly spoon batter into the cupcake liners. Each one will be between ½ and ⅔ full.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes in the center of the oven at 350°, until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes come out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan on a cooling rack.
- Add the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar to a mixing bowl. With a hand or stand mixer, beat on medium high until it is smooth and blended together - about 20-30 seconds.4 ounces cream cheese, ½ cup powdered sugar
- Add in the vanilla extract. With the mixer going, carefully and slowly pour in the whipping cream.1½ cups heavy cream, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Once all the whipping cream is poured in, add food coloring. Start with about 5 drops and add more as needed while mixing.Mix on medium high speed for about 1½ to 2 minutes until it is thickened and smooth.green food coloring
- Use a piping bag for best results to ice the cupcakes. You can also use a knife and spread the icing across the cupcakes if you do not have a piping bag.
- Store cupcakes in the fridge if you are using this whipped icing.