Saint Patty’s Day Vanilla Cupcakes with Bittersweet Chocolate Frosting

I like to think of Saint Patrick’s Day as my personal holiday here at Patty’s Food so I hope no one minds if I say Saint Patty instead of Saint Paddy, yes there is a method to my way of celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day and I’m sticking with it!

Today I’m sharing vanilla cupcakes with bittersweet chocolate frosting which were the second cupcake/frosting recipe at Kara’s Cupcake Bootcamp, after the Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Those red velvet cupcakes were a hard act to follow but I think this bittersweet chocolate frosting is something special piped on top of sweet vanilla cupcakes and I’m happy to share the recipe with you.

I’ve also included the recipe for the green shamrock cutout fondant toppers on my cupcakes, they are easy to make with gel-paste food color, rolling pin, confectioner’s sugar, a little elbow grease and  purchased fondant.

Thanks to my friend Peggy for the lovely green depression glass cake stand and vintage cake server for my birthday-I just love using them for Saint Patrick’s Day- one of my favorite holidays.

Saint Patty’s Day Vanilla Cupcakes with Bittersweet Chocolate Frosting

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Slightly adapted from Kara Lind of Kara's Cupcakes.


  • For the Vanilla Cupcakes
  • 2 & 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 & 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 & 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the Bittersweet Chocolate Frosting
  • 14 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 10 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate, room temperature
  • 10 ounces sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon milk
  • for the Green Fondant Shamrocks
  • 1/2 pound fondant, I used Satin Ice
  • Green gel-paste food color, or combination of blue & yellow colors
  • Powdered sugar for rolling out fondant
  • 1&1/2" shamrock cutter
  • Mini green shamrock sprinkles


  1. For the Vanilla Cupcakes
  2. All ingredients should be at room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F with 2 racks.
  4. Place the liners in the cupcake pan and have your ice cream scoop ready.
  5. Sift together the dry ingredients-flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  6. Place the milk and vanilla together in a small bowl or measuring cup.
  7. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on low speed for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  8. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, scrape down the bowl. (about 2-3 minutes total time)
  9. Add the dry ingredients alternating with the milk/vanilla mixture in third- mix on low speed for 1-2 minutes until thick and smooth.
  10. Use an ice cream scoop and fill the cupcake liners 90% full.
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the pans half way through- they are done when cake springs back after being gently touched.
  12. Cool on racks before frosting.
  13. For the Bittersweet Chocolate Frosting
  14. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 3 minutes.
  15. Add the melted room temperature chocolate and beat for 2 minutes on low speed.
  16. Beat in the powdered sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  17. Add the milk to thin out if necessary.
  18. Place the frosting in an 18" plastic piping bag fitted with an 808 star tip.
  19. Pipe the frosting in a generous swirl on top of the cooled cupcakes.
  20. Place a fondant shamrock on top of each cupcake with a few mini shamrock sprinkles.
  21. For the Green Fondant Shamrocks
  22. Make the shamrock toppers the day before so they have time to dry out.
  23. Knead the green gel-paste food color into the fondant, using a slightly darker color than you like, as it will dry lighter.
  24. On a confectioner's sugar dusted work surface roll out the colored fondant about 1/8" thick.
  25. Cut out the shamrocks and place on a baking sheet to dry.
  26. They will become fragile when they are dried so work carefully when handling these cupcake toppers.

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  1. Those are just gorgeous, Patty. I’m going to send the link to this one to my nieces. They love baking and St. Patrick’s Day.
    And I will now think of you as the patron saint of baking on St. Patrick’s Day!

  2. Such pretty and festive cupcakes, Patty! I love the fondant shamrocks :).

  3. You totally deserve your own holiday. I wish I was out your way today, I really love cupcakes with loads of chocolate buttercream! As soon as I get a free minute I want to try those cute fondant toppers. That cake stand is so cute. Hope you’ve recovered from your neck injury, ouch.

  4. Enjoy “your day,” Patty! I wanna reach right through the screen and have a big bite. And then another. And then another. :)

  5. Patty I’ve always called it “St. Patty’s Day” without ever realizing it was “paddy’s”. Haha:) Your cupcakes are so cute and I love the green shamrock on top. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your special holiday. xx

  6. Oh gosh! These look absolutely adorable and perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! Beautiful website, too.

  7. Happy early St. Patty’s Day! ;)
    These cupcakes look delicious – love the fondant shamrocks!

  8. Beautiful tribute to St. Pat’s…it’s your day, Patty!

  9. Happy St. Patty’s Day, Patty! Great looking cupcakes. And I really love your pretty knife, too! My Italian dad always called my Irish mom (whose name was Helen) “Patty” and it took me y-e-a-r-s to understand why!

  10. LOL! St. Patty!! I LOVE IT! In our culture, we celebrate Saints’ names. My name is Katerina, and every year on the 7th of December I have a dinner party with a bunch of family and friends because that’s the day for St. Katherine the Martyr according to the Julian calendar, which is the calendar that we follow. :) SO, you have every right to celebrate St. Pat’s as your day!! :)

    Love the festive cupcakes, and I especially like that bittersweet chocolate frosting!! Awesome idea!

  11. These look stunning, Patty!

  12. How beautiful these are with your homemade shamrock toppers! I’m not wild about frosting but this one sounds wonderful with the bittersweet chocolate and not overly sweet. Perfect for St. Patty’s Day :)

  13. I love these Patty!! So cute and a fun treat for St. Patty’s day :) great job on the shamrocks.

  14. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day and Saint Patty’s Day!!!
    Yours shamrock toppers! looks gorgeous.

  15. Can these cupcakes get any more gorgeous? I don’t think so. They’re perfect from the cake itself to the shamrock! Happy St. Patty’s Day!!

  16. Saint Patty, these are seriously gorgeous, delicious looking cupcakes! Your photos are so bright and clear, one could actually take a bite through the screen! Love them! Enjoy your day on Sunday!

  17. These are the sweetest wee cupcakes ever. I hope you enjoy “your” day on Sunday!

  18. Yes, St’ Patty’s day should be celebrated with these gorgeous cupcakes! Green it’s my favorite color and these are really eye-catching, not to mention delicious!
    Thanks for sharing Patty. Happy St Paddy’s day, I mean St Patty’s day :)

  19. These are just adorable, Patty! And I’ll bet they taste as good as they look!

    We’re having a wine-tasting party tomorrow so my husband asked me to make your chocolate raspberry tartlets! I’m going to try making them in mini muffin tins so people can just pop them into their mouths with a sip of red wine.

    Happy St. Patty’s Day! xoxo

  20. pattysfood says:

    Thanks Susan! Have fun at your wine tasting party ;-)

  21. Now aren’t these just precious Patty? Goodness, I wish I had one to eat for dessert. I love the little four leaf clovers on top too. They look just delicious (no surprise) and I can’t wait to try the recipe. Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a bright and happy weekend!

  22. Patty – I love these little green gems! What a beautiful tribute to the upcoming holiday. The shamrock toppers are darling. Hope your saturday is going great!

  23. These are so festive! Love the fondant toppers. Very nice!

    Happy St. Patty’s Day to you! I hope you enjoy your day. ;)

  24. Wow, this is a lot of hard work! You are one patient food blogger / baker! Your attention to detail is just excellent – that’s very rare these days, Patty! These looks YUMMY!

  25. Your cupcakes look so good and they sound delicious!

  26. Just perfect! I need to check to see if I have a mini shamrock cookie cutter…if not, I need one before next St. Patty’s Day!

  27. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    Fondant shamrocks?? Too cute! Love your bittersweet frosting…it is just luscious and I’m craving a bite!

  28. How pretty! I have never worked with fondant before and you make it look easy.

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