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Green Cupcakes

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close up shot of a frosted cupcake topped with sprinkles on top of a st. Patrick's day hat
The vibrant green color of these green cupcakes is the perfect shade for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. 
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Table of Contents
  1. Green Cupcakes Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Green Cupcakes Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

These green cupcakes are overflowing with the luck of the Irish. With the classic rich flavor of red velvet cupcakes, they are tinted a festive green and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting for a treat that is perfect for all your little leprechauns. 

Our Bailey’s chocolate cheesecake trifles and mint brownies have a little bit of Irish in them to make your St. Patrick’s Day extra special. 

close up shot of a frosted cupcake topped with sprinkles

Green Cupcakes Ingredients

green cupcakes raw ingredients that are labeled

 You’ll need: 

For the Cupcakes

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Nestle Toll House 100% cocoa)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon green liquid food coloring
  • 24 white paper cupcake liners

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8-ounce block cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • St. Patrick’s Day shamrock sprinkles for garnish

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

COLOR: You can color your cupcakes any color you prefer to coordinate with a holiday theme or party decorations; just note that the amounts of liquid food coloring may vary depending on the color that you choose. You can also coordinate your sprinkles as well. These cute little St. Patrick’s day sprinkles came from an online retailer. The choices are endless. 

ICING: I always love a great cream cheese frosting with my red, or should I say “green” velvet cupcakes; however, you can make your favorite vanilla buttercream frosting for these cupcakes if the cream cheese is not your desired flavor.

CREAM CHEESE: Be sure to use full-fat cream cheese in the block for the frosting in this cupcake recipe. You do not want to use the cream cheese in a tub or fat-free cream cheese as they will lend to a looser frosting that is not the intended taste or texture for this frosting.

How to Make This Green Cupcakes Recipe

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

I highly recommend sifting your unsweetened cocoa powder and powdered sugar before adding them to your recipe. These ingredients can tend to have some harder lumps while in their packaging. By sifting them, you will ensure that you have a nice smooth batter and frosting without any tiny little lumps.

For the Cupcakes

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 (12-cup) standard muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside. 

STEP TWO: In a small mixing bowl, add the all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine the flour mixture. 

dry ingredients whisked together in a bowl

STEP THREE: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the unsalted butter, vegetable oil, and granulated sugar for 1-2 minutes or until light and fluffy. 

STEP FOUR: Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture. Make sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding the next.

eggs added to the butter mixture in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Add the vanilla extract, green food coloring, white vinegar and beat just until the mixture is smooth. This will take another 1 to 2 minutes. 

vanilla, food coloring, and vinegar added to the butter mixture

STEP SIX: Next, you will alternate adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk to the butter mixture. Start by adding ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the bowl with the butter mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds or just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Then you will add ½ of the buttermilk and beat on low for another 30 seconds or just until incorporated.

Repeat adding the second ⅓ of the dry mixture, followed by the other ½ of the buttermilk, and ending with the last ⅓ of the dry mixture. Make sure to mix each addition just until the ingredients are incorporated. You do not want to overmix your cupcake batter, or your cupcakes will be dense and tough. 

dry ingredients and buttermilk added to the batter

STEP SEVEN: Fill each cupcake paper ⅔ full with cake batter. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the cupcake pans for 5 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting and serving. 

cupcake batter filled into each cupcake paper

For the Frosting

STEP ONE: While your cupcakes are baking, you can make your frosting by adding the room temperature cream cheese block and the room temperature unsalted butter to a medium bowl.

STEP TWO: Using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat together the cream cheese and unsalted butter for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. 

STEP THREE: To the butter and cream cheese, add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt and beat until fully incorporated. 

ingredients blended together in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Add the sifted powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, to the cream cheese mixture and beat on low speed. Continue to add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, until all the powdered sugar has been added and your cream cheese frosting is thick and smooth. 

PRO TIP:

If your frosting is a little too loose for your preference, then you can add additional powdered sugar, but I would start with just a ¼ cup at a time until you reach your desired thickness.

If it is too stiff, you can loosen it up by adding a little extra heavy cream to it. I would start with just a splash (about 1 teaspoon), then mix it, and if that does not get you to your desired consistency, you can add an additional teaspoon.

STEP FIVE: Frost each cooled cupcake with the cream cheese frosting and garnish the top of each cupcake with the St. Patrick’s Day sprinkles. 

PRO TIP:

I like to pipe the frosting onto my cupcakes. To do so, you can place a large piping tip (I like to use a Wilton 2A tip) into a large piping bag, or a heavy-duty zip-top bag with a corner snipped off of it, then transfer the cream cheese frosting into the piping bag.

The cream cheese frosting pipes a little easier if you allow it to firm up just a little bit by placing it into the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes before decorating your cupcakes. Be sure that your cupcakes are completely cool before frosting them, or your frosting will just melt right off the top of your cupcakes.

cupcakes topped with frosting and sprinkled with sprinkles

How To Serve

These easy St. Patrick’s day cupcakes are the perfect sweet treats to make for the green-themed holiday. Serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or bring them along to a party for a fun dessert. 

Storage

ON THE COUNTER: These green velvet cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for a couple of hours if your room is not too hot. Because of the cream cheese in the frosting, you will not want them to stay at room temperature for more than 1 to 2 hours. 

IN THE FRIDGE: You can store these delicious cupcakes for up to 3 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. I would allow the cupcakes to come back to room temperature after being in the refrigerator before serving to allow the cream cheese frosting to be more enjoyable. 

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze green velvet St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes for up to three months in an airtight container. 

close up shot of a frosted cupcake topped with sprinkles with a bite taken out of it on a plate

These cream cheese frosted green cupcakes are a green version of a red velvet cupcake. They are moist and tender with just the right amount of cocoa flavor to balance with the cream cheese frosting. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze these cupcakes?

This easy recipe freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months in an airtight container. 

Where can I get festive shamrock sprinkles?

You can find shamrock sprinkles online and at hobby stores. Check out our link for sprinkles on Amazon

Can I color these cupcakes a different color?

The sky’s the limit with these cupcakes. Any color you can imagine would work fine with the base red velvet recipe.

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close up shot of a frosted cupcake topped with sprinkles on top of a st. Patrick's day hat

Green Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote
The vibrant green color of these green cupcakes is the perfect shade for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes

Ingredients
  

Cupcakes

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, I used Nestle Toll House 100% cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon green liquid food coloring
  • 24 white paper cupcake liners

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • St. Patrick’s Day sprinkles, for garnish

Instructions
 

Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 (12-cup) standard muffin pans with cupcake papers. Set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add the all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.
  • In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, cream together the unsalted butter, vegetable oil, and granulated sugar for 1 to 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture. Make sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding the next.
  • Add the vanilla extract, green liquid food coloring, white vinegar and beat just until the mixture is smooth. This will take another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Next, you will alternate adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk to the butter mixture. Start by adding ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the bowl with the butter mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds or just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Then you will add ½ of the buttermilk and beat on low for another 30 seconds or just until incorporated. Repeat adding the second ⅓ of the dry mixture, followed by the other ½ of the buttermilk, and ending with the last ⅓ of the dry mixture. Make sure to mix each addition just until the ingredients are incorporated. You do not want to overmix your cupcake batter, or your cupcakes will be dense and tough.
  • Fill each cupcake paper ⅔ full with batter. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcake to cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting and serving.

Frosting

  • While your cupcakes are baking, you can make your frosting by adding the room-temperature cream cheese block and the room temperature unsalted butter to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • Using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat together the cream cheese and unsalted butter for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
  • To the butter and cream cheese, add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt and beat until fully incorporated.
  • Add the sifted powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, to the cream cheese mixture and beat on low speed. Continue to add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, until all the powdered sugar has been added and your cream cheese frosting is thick and smooth.
  • Frost each cooled cupcake with the cream cheese frosting and garnish with the St. Patrick’s Day sprinkles.

Notes

  • I highly recommend sifting your unsweetened cocoa powder and powdered sugar before adding them to your recipe. These ingredients can tend to have some harder lumps while in their packaging. By sifting them, you will ensure that you have a nice smooth batter and frosting without any tiny little lumps.
  • If your frosting is a little too loose for your preference, then you can add additional powdered sugar, but I would start with just a ¼ cup at a time until you reach your desired thickness. If it is too stiff, you can loosen it up by adding a little extra heavy cream to it. I would start with just a splash (about 1 teaspoon), then mix it, and if that does not get you to your desired consistency, you can add an additional teaspoon.
  • I like to pipe the frosting onto my cupcakes. To do so, you can place a large piping tip (I like to use a Wilton 2A tip) into a large piping bag, or a heavy-duty zip-top bag with a corner snipped off of it, then transfer the cream cheese frosting into the piping bag. The cream cheese frosting pipes a little easier if you allow it to firm up just a little bit by placing it into the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes before decorating your cupcakes. Be sure that your cupcakes are completely cool before frosting them, or your frosting will just melt right off the top of your cupcakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 299IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
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