Even though I’m not Irish, I enjoy St. Patrick’s Day! Actually, I enjoy any holiday that gives me a theme for baking. I make heart shaped baked goods for Valentine’s Day. I make lots of reindeer and star shaped cookies at Christmas. I feel that the more time you put into preparing for a holiday, the more you enjoy it! Preparing builds an anticipation of the upcoming event. Think of how you felt as a child at Christmas time. The excitement you felt about special treats, or how excited you were to give your parents cards you had made. For me, baking recreates that feeling.
I had made cupcakes inside of cupcakes before. This year for St. Patrick’s Day I decided to
make Shamrocks Inside a Cupcake and Shamrock Cupcakes. I had seen cupcakes with hearts inside them on a blog for Valentine’s Day. I thought shamrocks inside a cupcake could be pretty cool!
Making Cookie Cutters;
Since I didn’t have a shamrock shaped cookie cutter, the first thing I did was make a cookie cutter. The thin aluminum soft drink cans can be cut into strips with a pair of kitchen shears pretty easily. I cut several strips, about an inch wide, horizontally across the can. The metal bent easily using my fingers and I could crease it to form the shape. I think if I would have had a simple picture to follow, like a coloring book type picture, it would have been easier. It took 3 or 4 attempts before I got the shape to where I was happy with it. Once I had an acceptable shape I stapled the ends together using two parallel staples
In retrospect, I think I would have made the strips wider and possibly put a thin strip of tape around the top edge that I pressed on with my fingers. But it worked pretty well.
The next step was to bake the green cake batter for the shamrock. I made one batch of chocolate chiffon cake and divided it into thirds. I took out one third of the batter prior to adding the chocolate, and added green food coloring and Green Creme De Menthe. To the other two thirds I added the melted chocolate. This made an 8×8 pan about an inch thick, 6 large cupcakes, and 6 small cupcakes.
Chocolate Chiffon Cake
I like a chiffon batter for cupcakes. It makes a sponge type cake that is moist, yet firm.
2 eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1-3/4 Cup All Purpose flour
1 Cup of Sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
3/4 Cup evaporated milk
1/4 Cup brewed coffee
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon + 1/4 Cup Creme De Menthe
green food coloring.
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Separate the eggs. Place the whites in the bowl of your stand mixer and reserve the yolks. Add the cream of tartar to them. Beat on low speed using the whisk attachment until frothy. Turn speed to four, and when the eggs are foamy, start adding the sugar about a Tablespoon at a time. Continue beating the eggs until stiff peaks form. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Room temperature egg whites will foam easier than cold whites.
2. While the eggs are being mixed, prepare 8×8 pan by spraying with cooking spray, lining with parchment paper or wax paper, and then giving a second spray. Preheat the oven to 350F. Measure out your remaining ingredients. Put the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in one cup. Measure the oil into another. Measure the milk, coffee, and lemon juice and stir them together.
3. Your eggs will have reached the stiff peak stage now. Remove the bowl from your stand mixer and using a rubber spatula place them in a separate bowl.
4. Switch to the paddle attachment. Add the flour mixture to your stand mixer bowl and mix on low speed to combine. Add oil and half of the milk mixture. Beat on speed 4 for 1 minute.
5. Add yolks and remaining milk. Mix until combined.
6. Remove 1/3 of the batter to another bowl and add 1 tablespoon of Creme De Menthe
and 10 drops of green food coloring, stir till combined. Fold in one third of the egg whites. Pour into prepared pan and bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. While that is baking, melt chocolate chips in microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval until smooth. Add to remaining batter in your mixer bowl along with 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and mix on low speed until combined. At this point you can refrigerate the remaining batter and whites until your shamrocks are ready.
8. After the pan of green cake has cooled, cut out shamrocks, brush with 1/4 cup Creme De
Menthe and put into freezer for 20 minutes.
9. Remove chocolate batter and egg whites from refrigerator and fold the egg whites into the batter.
10. Spray large muffin pan with cooking spray. Place a skewer through the shamrock tops and rest in the cups. The skewers will help you to know which is the front of the cupcake when you can no longer see the shamrock. Spoon the
chocolate batter around the shamrock until cup is 2/3 full. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F.
You should have enough of the chocolate batter remaining to make 6 Shamrock cupcakes. I saw this on the Family Fun siteand had to try it. I used a regular sized cupcake pan for this. You will need to use cupcake liners. Roll up three aluminum foil balls for each cupcake. I made them about 3/4 inch in diameter. Place the batter in the cupcake liner to about half full. Insert the aluminum foil balls between the liner and tin as shown. Voila! A cupcake shaped like a shamrock.
I frosted the cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting flavored with the Green Creme De Menthe.
1/4 Cup butter, softened
3 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon butter flavored extract
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 Cups icing sugar, sifted
3 Tablespoons Green Creme De Menthe
Place butter and cream cheese in mixer bowl. Beat for three minutes at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add extracts and beat until combined. Turn mixer down to low speed and gradually add the icing sugar. Finally add the creme de menthe. If you want a deeper green color you could add food coloring. I liked the shade with just the creme de menthe. This made enough to frost all of the cupcakes.
The next thing I did was create the small decorations I used on the tops of the Shamrock inside a Cupcake. People will eat the cupcake from the direction in which they can read the decoration in most cases. You want them to eat the cupcake from the direction that will allow them to see the shamrock inside. I got free St. Patrick’s Day printables from this site. I sealed them with clear packing tape to prevent the ink from running and added a toothpick while I was doing it so they would be easy to insert.
There you have it! The two styles of cupcakes complimented each other and made a nice presentation.
If you have any questions please comment below and I will get to them as quickly as possible.
Holidays are about sharing what you do, and who you are. The things you make or bake can bring a smile to a friend’s face, or fill a child with wonder. It makes me happy! It’s a good feeling!