top of page

Green fun for St. Patrick’s Day


Whether you bake them in ice cream cones or paper liners, green cupcakes are a fun treat for St. Patrick’s Day or any time.


Seems like most of the food focus for St. Patrick’s Day (Sunday, March 17) is on corned beef and cabbage. Sure, that is delicious, but this year I wanted to have a little fun with green food, and I don’t just mean cabbage.

We all like to wear a bit of green on that Irish day, to avoid getting pinched, and green is definitely a very pretty color. We like food, we like green, so why not have some green food? Let’s check out some recipe ideas and see if something looks like a good choice to make.

Bailey’s cupcakes

The batter is chocolate but the frosting is green.

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup hot water

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 2/3 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

1 package (1-pound) confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup Irish Cream liquor (or heavy cream)

1/8 teaspoon green food coloring, plus additional if needed

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 18 muffin cups with liners (in a muffin pan).

2. In bowl, mix cocoa and hot water until dissolved; reserve. Melt 6 tablespoons butter, reserve.

3. In another bowl, mix flour with next five ingredients. Whisk in buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and cocoa mixture; stir in chocolate chips.

4. Divide batter evenly in cupcake liners. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool about 10 minutes, then transfer from pan to racks; cool completely.

5. For frosting, on medium-high speed, beat remaining butter until fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until blended. Add liqueur; beat until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in 1/8 teaspoon food coloring until blended.

If desired, fit large star tip into pastry bag. Using a paintbrush, starting at tip of bag, paint 2 to 3 lines of food coloring inside, ending 1 inch from edge. Place bag in glass; fill with frosting. Pipe, or with spoon, spread frosting over cupcakes. If desired, decorate with some shamrock cupcake toppers.

Green velvet cake

This makes a three-layer cake.

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon green food coloring

1 tablespoon vinegar (such as cider or white)

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

White and green prepared frosting, enough for layers, top and sides of cake

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil and vinegar and mix well.

2. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt together. Add to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. Blend in vanilla and food coloring.

3. Pour into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until cake layers test done. Allow to cool on wire rack before assembling cake. Looks nice frosted with white, with drizzles of green frosting or green candy sprinkles.

Green sherbet punch

This makes enough for two punch bowls, but if you don’t want that much, just use one and enjoy the unused ingredients at another time.

2 quarts lime sherbet

2 liters Sprite, 7-Up or ginger ale soda, chilled

1 gallon green Hawaiian Punch, chilled

1 can (46-ounce) pineapple juice, chilled

Pineapple sherbet, optional, to add to top for extra flavor and color

Green food coloring, if you want more color

1. In a large punch bowl, add half of lime sherbet.

2. Pour half the Sprite (or 7-Up or ginger ale) over the top and then add half of the pineapple juice and half of the Hawaiian Punch. Repeat for other punch bowl.

Watergate salad

1 package (4-oz.) instant pistachio pudding mix

1 can (20-oz.) crushed pineapple with juice, undrained

1 cup mini marshmallows

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I prefer to omit these)

1 3/4 cups nondairy whipped topping, thawed if frozen

1. Stir pudding mix, pineapple with juice, marshmallows and nuts in a large bowl until well blended.

2. Refrigerate one hour or until ready to serve. Gently stir in whipped topping. Refrigerate one hour or until ready to serve. Makes about 6 servings.

Green popcorn balls

These are chewy rather than crunchy, and you don’t need a candy thermometer. I find it easier to wait a few minutes before forming the balls, as they tend to be a bit less sticky by then. Butter your hands well and remove any unpopped corn kernels.

1 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1 package (3-oz.) lime gelatin

9 cups popped corn, unsalted and unbuttered

1. In a saucepan, bring corn syrup and sugar to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add gelatin, stirring until dissolved.

2. In a large bowl, pour mixture over popcorn. Stir to coat. With buttered hands, form into balls, using about 1 cup of popcorn mixture for each ball. When cool, wrap with clear or green colored plastic wrap and secure green curling ribbon tied at the top. Makes 9 popcorn balls.

bottom of page