If you’ve seen any pictures of me, you know why I have to make special things for St. Patrick’s Day. Pale skin, green eyes and freckles freckles everywhere. I missed out on the red hair though (darn you genetics!). In actuality I think I’m about an eighth Irish, but it is the heritage I associate most with. I’d love to visit the Emerald Isle someday. Photos of the verdant (my super smart husband taught me that word) rolling hills of Ireland are more beautiful to me than all the sandy beaches and turquoise waters in the world. I know. I’m odd.
Anyway, I decided to mash together several recipes I came across to create the perfect green cupcake as a treat for my kiddos to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The green color is not from food dye. It is from spinach. Stay with me. It’s blended together with applesauce and is untraceable in the cupcakes. Your kids will never know. I promise. The remainder of the recipe is just a standard vanilla cupcake. The cloud, rainbow and pot of gold make this a truly a work of art and a delightful holiday surprise.
Since March 17th is already upon us, you can bookmark this recipe for next St. Patrick’s Day. Or, you can use the green cake for various other purposes. I pulled one aside and frosted it with a Frankenstein face (ok, Frankenstein’s monster for those of you who are particular). Anyone having a Kermit the Frog party? Or you could use it to celebrate Earth Day. Nothing greener than these babies.
So, we start with spinach & applesauce.
Blend it together with until it’s nice and smooth. Now, don’t use all of this in your cupcakes. Measure out 1/2 cup of it and save the rest. I used the remainder to make pancakes green for breakfast!
Then mix with some other wet ingredients. How Irish is this recipe? Look at the colors here people. Remind you of a particular country’s flag by chance?
It kind of looks like guacamole.
Mix in some dry ingredients and divide among 12 cupcake wells.
Bake and start to get excited as the batter fills your house with the sweet smell of cupcakes. The first wafting of that aroma always makes me giddy.
Allow to cool and then frost. I used The Best Buttercream EVER for these gems. And topped them with a little leprechaun scene. How much fun is that?
I used Airheads Xtremes Rainbow Berry Sour Candy and mini marshmallows (cut in half) for the rainbow & Rolos for the pot of gold at the end. Adorable!
These were waiting for my kids along with a little rainbow filled baggie when they came down for breakfast this morning. My daughter described them as “delectable”. Yes, she’s 5. Yes, she gets her vocabulary for my aforementioned super smart husband.
Leprechaun Rainbow Cupcakes
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup applesauce + 2 cups baby spinach pureed together (use a blender or a food processor)
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg , room temperature
2 large egg yolks , room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with foil liners.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, blend 1/2 cup applesauce/spinach mixture, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix flour in until smooth and no flour pockets remain.
3. Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. Bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.
Decorations for End-of-the-Rainbow topper
1 package Airheads Xtremes Rainbow Berry Sour Candy
Rolo chocolate candy – in gold wrappers
Mini Marshmallows (cut in half)
Cut the Airhead Xtremes in half and press into the frosting creating an arch.
Press halved marshmallows on one end and a Rolo candy at the edge of the other end of the “rainbow”