Shamrock Mini Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day

shamrock-mini-cupcakesThis year, avoid the crowds and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at home with these tasty shamrock mini cupcakes!

If you don’t live in a town that has a St. Patrick’s Day parade, it can be a tough holiday to celebrate with kids, because apart from parades, most St. Patrick’s Day celebrations take place in bars. Rowdy bars. And frankly, if your city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is anything like my city’s, even that’s not the best environment for kids. After Chinese New Year’s, we’re pretty much done with parades until the Mermaid Parade in June.

So, if you’re celebrating St. Pat’s at home this year, here’s a great kid-friendly option- shamrock mini-cupcakes. They’re cupcakes, so they’re easy and delicious. They’re miniature, so you can control how many you eat. And they have little shamrocks so they’re fun for kids to decorate. It doesn’t get much better than that.

shamrock-mini-cupcakes

These light little treats have a slightly sweet crumb that’s well-balanced by the sweet, bright, and buttery frosting.

Shamrock Mini Cupcakes
makes 48-52 mini cupcakes

for the cupcakes
4 eggs (separated and at room temperature)
3 cups all-purpose flour (sifted if you’re ambitious)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of butter (room temperature)
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk (room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter your mini muffin tins and line the cups with paper.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, or with regular beaters, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Carefully spoon the egg whites into a small bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

Next, in the same bowl used to beat the eggs whites, and using the paddle attachment if your mixer has one, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for another couple minutes. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, and then add the vanilla.

Turn mixer to low and add half the milk and half the flour, and then the other half of the milk and the other half of the flour. Finally, add half the eggs whites mixing just until combined, and then fold in the second half and mix gently with a spoon or spatula.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup 2/3 – 3/4 of the way full (depending on the size cupcake you are going for). Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are a light golden color and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool cupcakes completely before frosting

for the butter cream frosting
12 tablespoons room temperature, unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
green sprinkles
shamrock sprinkles

Using a mixer on medium speed, cream the butter until light and fluffy, and gradually add in the sugar. When the butter and sugar are fluffy and smooth, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and then the vanilla extract. Check the consistency and flavor and add more lemon juice as needed.

Frost the cupcakes, carefully dip the sides in the green sprinkles, and add a few shamrocks on top.

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