Shamrock Surprise Chocolate Cupcakes

“May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks. May your heart be as light as a song. May each day bring you bright, happy hours that stay with you all the year long.” – Irish Saying


I celebrated this past St. Patrick’s Day the best way possible: with a lucky green manicure and some special cupcakes! I modified one of my favorite cake recipes and came up with these Shamrock Surprise Chocolate Cupcakes. Along with canna-oil, I substituted Bailey’s Irish Cream for the milk in the recipe to add a little Irish kick!


I made a couple different batches and tried to attempt to make them in the shape of a shamrock. As you can see from the picture above, some of them came out and some of them didn’t. Thankfully, they all tasted pretty good no matter the shape!

Shamrock Surprise Chocolate Cupcakes

(makes 30 cupcakes)


2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream OR milk
 1/4 cup canna-oil  – try using vegetable oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Green Frosting (recipe follows)
Edible grass or green licorice (optional for decoration)


1. Heat oven to 350°F and line cupcake pans with liners.
2. Mix together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, Bailey’s Irish Cream (or milk), canna-oil, vegetable oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
3. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. To make shamrock shape, roll three balls of foil or use three marbles for each cupcake. Place the foil evenly around the perimeter of the cupcake between the liner and the pan (please refer here for a visual). Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely.

Green Frosting

(makes about 2 1/4 cups)


1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons water or milk
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon meringue powder (optional)
A pinch of salt (optional)
Green food coloring


Cream butter, vanilla extract and water. Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been blended. Add a few drops of green food coloring and continue mixing for an additional minute or so, until creamy. You can continue to add more food coloring to get the desired color green you want. Frost cupcakes after they are completely cool. Put in the piece of edible grass or licorice in the bottom of the cupcake to replicate the stem of the shamrock.



Last step is to eat and feel lucky – Sláinte!

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