Make the cutest St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Cupcake Cake ever! The cupcakes are made from a doctored up cake mix and have a great chocolate mint flavor! They're topped with a gorgeous green minty frosting and rainbow sprinkles! The best part is that this is a pull-apart cake and no utensils are needed to dig in!
We all doctor up cake mixes from time to time, right? I have an entire post planned out for this topic actually. I just can't wait! Now I just have to figure out what to do with all the cake I'll have afterward.
Let's get cracking on this shamrock cupcake cake. I sort of showed you the steps below.
The first step to making a cupcake cake is to have it laid out in your brain or better yet draw it up. Once you get the cupcakes on the cake plate, it's just going to look like a bunch of cupcakes. Here, let me show you. I had my 4-leafed clover all laid out, but it's hard to see it just yet.
Do you see what I mean? Just know where you need the lines to be when you're spreading the frosting out. So the very bottom two cupcakes are for the stem. Each leaf has 3 cupcakes in the shape of a triangle with the point facing the center. That sounds really confusing.
If you want them to stick while you're spreading out the frosting on top, you can add just a little dab of frosting to the bottom of each cupcake. To avoid the mess on the bottom, I just held each cupcake in place when I started spreading the frosting on it.
The next step is to add a large cookie scoop of frosting to the top of each cupcake. Mine had quite a thick layer of frosting, but you can scrape some off after it's all spread out and all the cracks are covered. Spread it out carefully to the shape that resembles a 4-leafed clover using an off-set spatula.
Use the offset spatula and clean up the edges so they look tidy.
This next part is my favorite. Add an outline of a darker frosting. Use the leftover green frosting and added a darker green gel food color to it. I used forest green gel food color. This will make the cake pop. People will know right away what you were going for after the outline is added.
Working quickly, sprinkle with some rainbow sprinkles to the dark green frosting. Mine already dried so the sprinkles didn't stick. I just sprinkled them into the center of the cake instead.
How to make a shamrock cupcake cake
Shamrock Cupcake Cake
- 2 cups butter room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp. peppermint extract
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 5 ½ T. milk
- 3 - 5 drops of leaf green gel food color
- 3 - 4 drops forest green gel food color
- Rainbow sprinkles for garnish
- CupcakesPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with green paper liners.
- In a small bowl, add in the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of the dry cake mix. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add in the box of cake mix, pudding, vegetable oil, eggs, milk, and extract.
- Whisk until everything is combined and most of the lumps are worked out.
- Stir the chocolate chips and dry cake mix. Dump into the cake batter and fold in.
- Fill the cupcake liners ¾ full of cake batter.
- Place into the oven and bake for about 21 minutes until done. Place a toothpick into the center of the cupcake and if it comes out clean or with moist crumbs, it's done. Batter means it needs to bake longer.
- Let cool.
- FrostingIn a large bowl, add in the butter. Beat with a hand mixer on medium until creamy.
- Add in the peppermint extract, powdered sugar, and milk. Beat until it comes together.
- Add the leaf green gel food color and turn the hand mixer on high and beat an addition 1 minute or 2 until light and fluffy. You can add more green food color if it isn't dark enough.
- AssembleYou'll need 14 cupcakes. Place the cupcakes into the shape of a 4-leafed clover. It should have 4 triangles made up of 3 cupcakes with the points of each triangle. Add two cupcakes in between 2 leaves for a stem. See picture below.
- To hold the cupcakes in place, you can add a small spot of frosting on the bottom of each cupcake before setting it in its final place on the cake board. I just held mine as I was spreading the frosting on it.
- Using a large cookie scoop, scoop frosting on top of each cupcake.
- Using an offset spatula. spread the frosting on each cupcake. Be sure to leave space between each leaf and fill in the center. Carefully work the frosting over the gap in the center so it doesn't fall in and get all over the sides of the cupcakes.
- Using the offset spatula, clean up the edges of the frosting so they're tidy and well shaped.
- Add the forest green gel food color to the remaining frosting and stir with a spatula to combine. You can add more gel food color if needed to get the desired color.
- Add the frosting into a disposable piping bag fitted with a coupler or straight tip.
- Keeping a steady hand, pipe the outline of the clover.
- Quickly add the sprinkles to the green frosting. If it's crusted already, sprinkle them on the inside of the clover.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)