Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Luck o' the Irish Month o' Cupcakes #1 - Green Velvet!

This is the first in a series of green cupcakes for St. Patty's Day in honor of the Irish and my heritage - not sure how much, but I am part Irish - and to start, I'm going to confess something to you. I could have dedicated an entire blog to my love affair with red velvet cake. I don't know what it is about the stuff but I LOVE it! Is that terrible of me to admit? I know the red food coloring isn't the best thing for me and recently I've been thinking about trying more natural ways of making the batter red without all the yuck, but I just can't get enough of this cake. There's just something about the tartness of the buttermilk and vinegar in the cake combined with the sweet creaminess of the cream cheese icing - oh, I'm drooling now! I've made it red (standard), blue (for a winter wonderland wedding), and now I'm gonna go green! Everyone else is, why not me too? :)

Can someone please explain to me why, 5 days before St. Patty's Day, I couldn't find cupcake liners or sprinkles to go with the theme anywhere?? I looked at Publix, Sweetbay, Target, and Walmart. Today I went to Michaels (where I probably should've started in the first place) and finally found some. Even Michaels was almost out so I stocked up for next year!

My cute little liners I found at Michaels - Standard and Mini :)

So, here it is - the best red velvet cake recipe I have ever tried, adapted for St. Patty's Day and made into a slightly healthier version of the original. I filled the cupcakes with a light green cream cheese filling and iced them with a FABULOUS whipped cream cheese icing - best ever! Then I freehand piped some 3 leaf clovers with white chocolate (dyed green, of course) and voila! Green Velvet Cupcakes for St. Patty's Day!

Piped 3 leaf clover

Green Velvet Cupcakes: (original recipe found here)

2 cups sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Mix cocoa and food coloring together and then add to sugar mixture; mix well. Sift together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Blend in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture. Pour batter into cupcake liners and bake until wooden skewer inserted into middle of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool before frosting.
*I substituted 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce for 1 of the sticks of butter, green food coloring for the red and much less of it, and 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup FF milk, whisked together, for the buttermilk. On the step that calls for mixing the food coloring with the cocoa I also added the vanilla there to make up for the lessened amount of coloring. As for the food coloring, I started out with a teaspoon. Once I had all of the ingredients mixed together I kept adding more until I reached the shade that I wanted. Keep in mind that the color will continue to darken as it bakes - not too much - but a little bit. Here's what mine looked like before they went into the oven:

The batter before it went into the oven....

....and the cupcakes after they came out of the oven. Love this shade of green!! :)

Whipped Cream Cheese Icing: (recipe adapted from here)

16 oz cream cheese, cold
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup heavy cream, cold. 

Beat the cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream to nearly stiff peaks, then add the whipped cream into the cheese mixture and quickly and briefly beat to combine. Do not over beat.

I was really excited to use this icing. I've been wanting to try it ever since I first found it on Pinterest and I was NOT disappointed! This is the best cream cheese icing I have ever had and I basically love everything about these cupcakes!! My love affair with green velvet cakes begins....

As always, happy reading and, most importantly, happy cupcake-ing!!


  1. Sounds delicious! Meet me for dinner and a cupcake tomorrow? :)

  2. Those look awesome. I'd really love to eat one right this second. Thanks for sharing at Shine on Fridays!!

    1. Thanks, Amy! I really enjoyed making these and love how the three leaf clovers turned out!

  3. Those cupcakes look fabulous. I host a weekly Anything Goes Linky every Friday-Monday please come share.

  4. I absolutely adore cupcakes. They're my happy food to bake! Just found you through the Mingle with us bloghop and I can't wait to read more! Hope you come visit!

    Mrs. White

    1. Thank you! These cupcakes were so fun (what cupcakes aren't?) and I love the blog hop!

  5. Oh my goodness,...those look amazing. Love the little cupcake liners too. Thanks so much for sharing at our party this week.

  6. You did such a cute job... these are so fun. Thanks for linking them up to Pomp Party this week.

    Amanda Joy
    Joy in the Jumble

  7. Sounds really good, and they are so cute. Have a great weekend

  8. Those are GORGEOUS! And I'll bet delicious too! We'd love for you to come by and link up at our party! http://housewivesofriverton.blogspot.com/2012/03/recipe-round-up-8.html

  9. These are so cute and look absolutely delicious! Thanks for being a part of our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We loved having you and hope you'll be back! -The Sisters

    1. Thank you! I love your blog and your party so, of course, I'll be back! :)

  10. Green! That's a genius! These are so great! Thanks for linking to Foodie Friday! Please come back this week.

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