St. Patrick’s Day is upon us and I have a very special treat to help you celebrate! Everyone loves cupcakes and at my house they especially love the frosting! I have never been much of a cake decorator. Not for lack of trying, I just don’t have the knack. I see pretty decorated cakes, cupcakes and cookies and want great things like that to come out of my kitchen. However, it just never turns out like the picture!
My husband came through the kitchen yesterday and noticed there were frosted cupcakes and then asked if our seven-year old had done the decorating. Well no, it was me. I have even on occasion been so frustrated with icing cakes that I call and beg my sister-in-law (who could be a professional cake decorator if she chose to) for her assistance. Mainly I ask for help on birthdays because that is when it really counts!
What really matters is how it tastes and these cupcakes are so moist and the icing has just enough mint to make them just perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! I made the cupcakes from a box mix and they are extra moist and tasty from adding in an instant pudding mix. You could use canned icing if you like, but I love a good homemade cream cheese icing and this one is pretty easy. Cupcakes are still quite the craze with bakeries featuring only cupcakes and even cookbooks dedicated to the tasty little bites.
There are quite a few holiday traditions for St. Patrick’s Day. I always hated the pinching tradition for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day when I was growing up, it must have been thought of by ornery boys! Some of the holiday traditions are funny, like the leprechauns coming in and messing things up. They come in the school and turn over the desk chairs in the class room and such. I had never heard of this until my kids started school in Wyoming. Better than getting pinched I guess!
Did you know that the real St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish? According to this NationalGeographicarticle, he was born in Britain! The wearing of green came into play in the 19th century as a show of support for Ireland. There are parades in many US cities, including Cody, Wyoming and they even dye a section of the Chicago River green! These traditions have all come together to give quite a boost for Irish tourism. I have always thought Ireland would be a fantastic place to visit. I would imagine all of the pubs will be full and the Guinness is sure to be flowing on March 17.
Speaking of flowing Guinness, have you heard that they are striving to achieve a Guinness World Record for the largest St. Patrick’s Day Celebration ever. All you have to do is pledge to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by enjoying a Guinness, Check out Guinness if you would like to join in. Of course this is for adults over 21 in the good ol’ USA.
I have teenagers, so I think I will stick to the food traditions of St. Patrick’s Day like corned beef and cabbage or chocolate & mint desserts! How about you? How will you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese-Mint Icing
- 1 18.25 oz box Devil’s Food chocolate cake mix
- 1 3.9 oz box instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon mint extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 to 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 10 drops green food coloring
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixer bowl add cake mix, pudding mix, water, eggs, and melted butter. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for about 2 minutes and then at medium speed an additional one to two minutes or until all combined and smooth.
Pour into 24 lined or greased muffin tins. Bake 18-22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted comes out clean.
Allow cupcakes to cool for 5- 10 minutes in tins and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile prepare icing.
Add cream cheese and butter into a large mixer bowl. Beat with electric mixer on low-speed until creamy. Add mint and vanilla extracts and beat until combined. With mixer on low-speed add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, drizzling in milk until desired consistency.
Add food coloring and mix to combine. Place icing into a piping bag or plastic zip top bag and pipe over cooled cupcakes.