Updated on March 24, 2015
Shamrock Shake (Minty) Cupcakes
Have you recovered from Pi Day yet? I hope you had the opportunity to eat some good pie or other circular foods. Whew! The fun and craziness never stop around here. On Saturday we ate chocolate chip pancakes, and I set the alarm on my phone to go off at 9:26 AM, so that we could celebrate the first eight digits of pi (3.1415926). The kids and I high-fived each other and said, “Happy Pi Day!” right on time. It was epic. And then I immediately texted a math nerd friend to wish her a happy Pi Day, but the time stamp on my message was 9:27, so I totally missed it. I am hoping it was one of those deals where “it’s the thought that counts.” She knew that I meant well, and seven digits of pi is still pretty amazing anyway.
And just when you think the holiday madness is over, along comes St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow. And then the first day of spring on Friday, and then before you know it we will have April Fool’s Day and Easter. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Actually, Brown eyed Baker has you covered for tomorrow because I found this recipe on her site last year. Brown-eyed Baker is one of the main food blogs I follow. I love her recipes, but I also really like her site’s name. Because I have brown eyes, I somehow think it is about me or think that the writer of the blog and I are kindred spirits of some kind. I’ve always loved that song “Brown Eyed Girl” for the same reason. Never mind the fact that there are millions of other people on the planet who have brown eyes, and that the song was released before I was even born, it is somehow a positive reflection on me. I may have issues. I’m not sure most of us even know what the song is about, but I bet you have a hard time not singing along when the “sha la la la la la la la la la la dee dah la dee dah” part comes on, don’t you? And you may even have it stuck in your head now for the rest of the day. You’re probably going to go look it up on YouTube. Mwahahaha. (Fun fact: Mwahahaha is a real word according to oxforddictionaries.com even though my word program is putting the little red squiggly line under it right now.)
I bet you really think I’ve gone off on a tangent now, don’t you? Well, this is all going to come full circle again when I tell you that “Brown Eyed Girl” was written by Van Morrison who is a Northern Irishman, and that we are going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a recipe from Brown-eyed Baker. See. (And somehow the math references just linger on way past Pi Day with “tangent” and “circle” above. I told you; I’m really a lot of fun at parties. Book Club meetings count as parties, by the way.)
Q: What do you get when you do an Irish jig at McDonald’s?
A: A Shamrock Shake.
A: Shamrock Shake Cupcakes.
Isn’t it amazing how many of us will celebrate holidays even if they are not even remotely related to us? That’s what we are doing today. I am not one bit Irish, but how could I pass up an excuse to make a dessert? (Just wait until Cinco de Mayo. I am not one bit Mexican, but I plan to share two of my all-time favorite desserts at that time.) It has been ages since I had an actual Shamrock Shake, so I am not sure how closely these cupcakes resemble them, but I can tell you that these cupcakes are moist, minty, and delicious. The frosting is a lightly sweetened cream cheese and fresh whipped cream creation that reminds me of the topping on a shake. Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Shamrock Shake Cupcakes: (I usually double this recipe because it doesn’t seem worth it to me to make only 12-15 cupcakes which is the yield for the recipe. Of course I share mine at church, so we are not trying to eat 30 cupcakes ourselves.)
For the cupcakes: (Yield: 12-15 cupcakes)
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. cake flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbs. white sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp. mint extract (NOT the same as peppermint extract)
- 6 drops green food coloring (more or less to your desired shade of green)
For the Frosting: (Brown eyed Baker piles the frosting on her cupcakes; I use only half the amount given here and still have extra. I use the given amount for a double-batch of cupcakes and still have extra.)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- green decorating sugar
- maraschino cherries (Brown eyed Baker uses green ones, but I have only ever seen red ones at my store)
Make the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners (I like to use white/light liners, so you can see the green through them); set aside.
- In a large bowl (that of a stand mixer if you have one), add the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and mix together on low speed for one minute. Add the butter, a few cubes at a time, mixing on low. Continue until all the butter has been added and the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Slowly pour in the milk, vanilla, and mint extract, and mix until combined. Add the green food coloring to your desired shade and mix until color is evenly dispersed. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for two minutes, until batter is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the centers are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting:
- On medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a mixer with the whisk attachment until smooth and completely combined, about three minutes. Slowly add the heavy cream, scrape the sides of the bowl, then increase speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form.
Assemble the cupcakes:
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes (I use a Wilton 2D tip) and then sprinkle with green sugar and top with a maraschino cherry, if desired. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Source: Brown eyed Baker