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, not from a box and they are easy to make.
We have made these with peppermint extract - always a nice minty treat to go with the green, and we have made them as vanilla cupcakes. This will depend on your preference and it is only one simple ingredient change - the extract. You can even make these as vanilla cupcakes for other occasions as well, the green is just food coloring here.
I had thought about filling these cupcakes, but I decided not to. You may decide to fill them before icing them and they would still turn out great!
We are not big drinkers here so we serve them with chocolate hazelnut lattes.
What is different about these St. Patrick's Day cupcakes?
For one thing, this makes 12 cupcakes. I noticed that a lot of cupcake recipes out there make 14 or 18. A pan holds 12 and that is all we wanted to make at a time. You can definitely double this to make 24 for a gathering tho!
Another is that I use yogurt and butter for the fat. We don't use the processed oils here so canola and vegetable oil were out of the question for me.
Believe it or not, we didn't use any actual liquid either. No milk or water. They turned out delicious just the way they are!
Decorating the St. Patrick's Day cupcakes
These are simple yet festive - don't they look like the perfect St. Patrick's Day dessert?
You can use any decorations you choose, we got ours from Michaels (a craft store we have here.) I am sure Walmart and other local stores probably have decorations to put on them. The brand of decorations here is Wilton which is a big name in baking so hopefully you can find them close to you.
Get creative here! Another option is to use a little food coloring with granulated sugar. Mix well and you will have green sugar. You can use candy melts in silicone molds to make shapes to put on them.
The sky is the limit here! We just kept it simple, mainly because I saw these sprinkles and just had to get them.
For the icing
We used one that we found on Baking a Moment - Whipped Cream Icing and it was amazing! I actually goofed and added a quarter cup less whipping cream then they did. I thought I had more then I did, but it turned out amazing! Best icing we ever had.
We don't like sweet icing and this is not at all too sweet, just perfect for these St. Patrick's Day cupcakes. I prefer to make a not so sweet icing for a crowd (and ourselves being we don't like it sweet). The only thing is that it does make a bit too much for 12 cupcakes. You can scale it down a little bit, make a double batch of cupcakes (I am sure they will get gone), or freeze the remaining icing for another day! Just be sure that you don't thaw it on the counter, thaw it in the fridge.
Frequently asked questions
How long will the cupcakes last?
This depends mostly on the icing you choose to use. Whipped cream icing (the one we recommended) needs to be kept refrigerated so you cannot store them out of the fridge. They can be out at a party, but don't keep them out all day. They should last about 3-4 days in the fridge. You will find they won't be bad (like get you sick bad), but they won't taste as good as the day you made them at that point.
Can I freeze the cupcakes?
Yes you can freeze them. If you freeze them without frosting, they should last about 4-6 months in the freezer.
You can also freeze them with icing, depending on the icing you use. Some can be frozen for 3 months and some might handle longer.
What if I don't have whole milk yogurt?
Many times people get fat free or low fat yogurt and sometimes whole milk yogurt isn't available. If that is the case, I would use full fat sour cream. You do need the fat in this recipe. We make our own yogurt so we always have it on hand.
Our homemade yogurt is a regular consistency, we don't strain it. Greek yogurt will work too, but I would add a tablespoon of milk to it to thin it a little - that is only if using Greek yogurt in place of regular. Sour cream is already the right consistency.
How much batter do I add to the cups?
I add 2 heaping spoons each. You actually want them to be between half and 2/3 full. It is hard to get them all perfect so if each one is in between, you are good.
My batter is thick
It is ok! This is a thick cake batter, so no worries. Remember that you are using yogurt in place of liquid.
Can I use this for other cupcakes?
Yes! These St. Patrick's Day cupcakes are really just a vanilla cupcake recipe done up to go with the theme of the holiday. The only difference is that some people choose to add peppermint extract instead of vanilla. The mint just seems to fit with the green! The green is just food coloring.
Can I use regular food coloring or do I have to special food coloring?
This is where I am probably supposed to tell you that you should use a special coloring agent here, but truth is that I am not the person to do that. I use regular food coloring - the 4 pack of little bottles that you buy in the supermarket, so yes you can use food coloring!
I completely understand that most people do not have all the gels, pastes, powders and whatever other dying agents there are in their house. Trust me, I don't have any of that either! Tho I might play around with it in the future, but I used simple green food coloring.
St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes
- 6 tbsp butter unsalted, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract or peppermint, see notes
- ½ cup yogurt whole milk or sour cream, see notes
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 cup flour spooned and leveled, see notes
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 10 drops food coloring or to desired shade
Your favorite icing - we use this one we found and love by Baking a Moment
- ½ batch whipped cream icing about half is perfect for 12 cupcakes
- The butter needs to soften for about an hour. Also take the yogurt and eggs out for about an half hour before making.Preheat oven to 350°F and line the cupcake pan with the cupcake liners.
- In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt and baking powder.
- Using either a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Should take about 2 minutes.
- Add in the yogurt and the vanilla (or peppermint) extract and mix again for about 1 minute.
- Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing for about 1 minute each time.
- Pour the flour mix into the mixing bowl and mix until it is incorporated. Small lumps are ok, do not over mix.
- Spoon batter into the lined cupcake tray, filling each liner halfway - it is hard to be exact between ½ and ⅔ is good. I do 2 heaping spoonfuls for each one.
- Bake for 18-21 minutes in the center of the oven at 350°F. A toothpick inserted into a cupcake should come out clean.
- Allow to cool on a rack - once they are cooled enough remove each cupcake and put them on the cooling rack. Once cooled, you can ice with your favorite icing.