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St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes: Decorating Ideas and DIY Cupcake Wrappers

I am a mom of two sweet boys with another one on the way. I worked in the financial world for 5 years before becoming a stay-at-home mom.

Celebrate with these festive three-leaf clover cupcakes!

Celebrate with these festive three-leaf clover cupcakes!

How to Decorate St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

There is no better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than with some festive cupcakes. These yummy treats are sure to brighten any class party, the workplace, or can just put a smile on your little one's face. Decorate them with lucky clovers, brightly colored rainbows, or that much-wanted pot of gold.

For this year's batch of cupcakes, my boys and I decided to go all out with a green and white swirled cake batter topped with candy clovers and green sprinkles. We even got crafty and made our own cupcake wrappers.

So what are you waiting for? Go grab a cake mix and your muffin pans and get ready to make some festive cupcakes inspired by ole St. Patty himself...

An inside look of the cupcake once it is baked.

An inside look of the cupcake once it is baked.

How to Make Green and White Swirled Cupcakes

To be completely honest, I thought this technique would make a striped pattern in the cupcake. After cutting down the center, we found a swirled look of the two colors, which thankfully my boys thought was even cooler. Here are step-by-step directions for making green and white swirled cupcakes.

  1. Follow instructions on the box to make the cake batter.
  2. Separate cake mix into one large bowl and one small bowl.
  3. Add the desired amount of green food coloring to a larger bowl and mix well. (We used 5 to 6 drops to achieve our green cake batter.)
  4. Alternate layers in baking cups. One spoonful of green cake mix, then the white mix. Finish with another layer of green on top. Make sure cups are only half full to assure proper baking.
  5. Bake in the oven for the specified time on the package. Let cool 10 minutes in pan. Take out and let cool an additional 30 minutes before adding icing.

Buttercream Icing Recipe

I have never been a fan of store-bought icing, so I always use this buttercream icing recipe for my cupcakes given to me by my mom. It is so easy to make and tastes simply delicious. Trust me—sometimes I think my boys would rather eat the bowl of icing than anything else I make! Here are the directions to make your own homemade icing:

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 pound of powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of milk (add more if too thick)
  • dash of salt

Directions

  1. Mix all the above ingredients with a mixer for 1-2 minutes.
  2. If making a colored icing, add desired food coloring and mix again.
  3. Spread on top of cupcakes once they are completely cooled.
A complete sugar overload ready and waiting!

A complete sugar overload ready and waiting!

Gather all your supplies to make the cupcake wrappers.

Gather all your supplies to make the cupcake wrappers.

My son working hard on the cupcake wrappers!

My son working hard on the cupcake wrappers!

Cupcake Decorating Ideas

Candy Clover Design

For our clover design, we gathered all the green colored candy and treats out of our pantry. We tried a few designs with peanut M&Ms, regular M&Ms, gummy bears, gummy savers, and sugar sprinkles. Out of all of them, we agreed that the peanut M&Ms worked the best because it looked most like a clover. (Be careful not to serve these to anyone who may have a peanut allergy!) Arrange your desired candies on top to look like a three-leaf clover (or a four-leaf, if you so desire). Sprinkle green sugar on top to give a more festive feel to your St. Patrick's Day cupcakes!

DIY Cupcake Wrappers

After looking through the pantry, I could not find any cute baking cups for our St. Patrick's Day cupcakes. Not wanting to travel to the store, I came up with an easy kid-friendly design for the cupcake wrappers. The boys enjoyed this craft and provided a much-needed distraction for them while they were waiting for the cupcakes to cool.

What you will need:

  • Green and white cardstock or construction paper.
  • Elmer's glue or glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Cotton balls
  • Green ink pad or washable paint
  • Tape

Directions:

  1. Cut a long strip of green paper about 1 1/4 inches wide. Make sure it is long enough to fit around the cupcake.
  2. Cut a long strip of white paper about 1 inch wide.
  3. Dab the cotton ball into ink pad (or paint) and dab on the white strips of paper. If using the ink pad, it will give the look of a spray-painted appearance.
  4. After the white strip is dry, use Elmer's glue (or glue sticks) to attach the white strip to the middle of the green strip.
  5. When the cupcake wrapper is completely dried, attach it to the outside of the baking cups and secure with glue or a piece of tape.
The finished look of our St. Patrick's Day cupcakes!

The finished look of our St. Patrick's Day cupcakes!

Share the Cupcake Love

Now I know I won't be opening up a bakery anytime soon, but I do enjoy baking cupcakes and other goodies all while having fun with my boys in the process. I think we have the most fun coming up with creative ways to decorate them without spending a fortune at the store. So are you craving a batch of cupcakes yet? Will you be sharing some cupcake love this St. Patrick's Day? I hope so!

I hope this article has been helpful in decorating your St. Patrick's Day cupcakes. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below. Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!


Comments

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 10, 2013:

Thanks so much Natashalh! I really appreciate you featuring this hub. I am going to visit your profile to see if I can find a link to your blog. Thanks again!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 10, 2013:

Thanks torrilynn for your sweet comments! These cupcakes certainly make a festive St. Patrick's Day treat. Appreciate you stopping by and for the vote up!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 10, 2013:

Thanks so much ignugent17!So happy to hear that you liked the ideas :) Appreciate you stopping by!

Natasha from Hawaii on March 06, 2013:

I'm including your hub in a blog post St. Pat's roundup tomorrow - I hope you get some views!

torrilynn on March 02, 2013:

Hi alissaroberts,

thanks for scrumptious and delicious looking pictures

I love cupcakes and I love celebrating St. Patrick's Day

thanks and voted up

ignugent17 on February 28, 2013:

Very creative ! Thanks for sharing the ideas. :-)

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on September 12, 2012:

Thanks so much Msmillar! Oh how cool an Xbox cake - I bet they loved decorating that one! I think it is so much more fun when you can get the kids involved in the baking and decorating process. Really appreciate you stopping by and adding your comments!

Joanna from Wilseyville on September 11, 2012:

I like the ideas you have to keep the kids busy while they wait. I enjoy creating with cake, its so fun, and sooooo many things you can do with it! For my son's birthday I made an Xbox control handle cake. He and his friends LOVED decorating the handle to exact specifications, they were so funny. A cake we'll never forget. Can't wait to try this one! Thank you

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 18, 2012:

Thanks FloraBreenRobison! I have made a few cakes in the past and they have turned out pretty good but for some reason I just prefer making cupcakes so much more than cakes. I guess because they are a little easier to decorate than cakes. Appreciate you stopping by and for sharing your comments!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 18, 2012:

Thanks eolikes! Happy to hear you enjoyed it! Appreciate you stopping by!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 18, 2012:

Thanks so much Dawn! Appreciate you stopping by and for the vote up!

FloraBreenRobison on March 17, 2012:

Congratulations on Hub of the day. I find it much easier to make cupcakes than a cake (I'm not a great cook/chef). If I make a full cake I often need a box recipe for it to not drop into brownie. (Although Dad prefers brownies.)So I make cupcakes. Homemade icing-but for me buttercream is too sweet. I didn't have any Paddy's Day cupcakes this year-cookies only.

eolikes from Bangladesh on March 17, 2012:

wow! interesting and beautiful hub.. good job :)

Dawn Conklin from New Jersey, USA on March 17, 2012:

Great idea Alissa, the cupcake wrappers add the extra touch too. These look so good :) voted up

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks so much Tammy! We all got our green on in this house so you can't pinch us :) Appreciate you stopping by!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks so much mary615! I will be sure to stop by and take a look at your hub. My son has a birthday coming up next month and the cupcake tower may come in handy! Appreciate you stopping by and for all the votes!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks for bookmarking and sharing urmilashukla23! I really appreciate it!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks so much livingpah2004! He did have fun making them! Appreciate you stopping by!

Tammy from North Carolina on March 17, 2012:

Those are adorable! Well done. Congratulations on the Hub of the Day! Now.. back to pinching people who aren't wearing green. :)

Mary Hyatt from Florida on March 17, 2012:

My family loves their cupcakes. Congrats on the Hub of the Day. Easy to see why you earned that. I love the idea of involving your kids in making and decorating these. I invite you to take a look at my Hub on making a cupcake tower to display your works of art. Great Hub. I voted it UP, etc.etc.

Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on March 17, 2012:

Wonderful cupcake recipe for St. Patrick`s day!Bookmarked and shared.

Congratulations on winning Hub of the day award!

Milli from USA on March 17, 2012:

Cute idea! Your son looks really happy to make those wrappers. Thanks for sharing it. Congrats for Hub of the Day award!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks so much Carmen! Happy to hear that you liked them! Appreciate you reading and commenting!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks truthfornow! All we had in the cabinet was pink cupcake holders and my boys do not like the color pink. Lol :) So I just came up with this cover up to make them happy because going to the store for one item with 2 little boys is just way too exhausting! Appreciate you stopping by!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks wewillmake! Appreciate you stopping by!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks Organicpixie! They are so delicious that it is totally worth it :) Appreciate you reading and for your comment!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks so much cclitgirl! I told the boys their cupcake wrapper won HOTD. They said "Cool what prize do we get?" Too funny! We may have to celebrate with ice cream later :) Appreciate you stopping by!

Carmen Beth on March 17, 2012:

I know that I won't be making any of these now as I currently do not bake, but it's just so creative to make cupcakes green and simply fitting for St. Patrick's Day. Besides, they look soooo adorable.

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on March 17, 2012:

Never seen DIY cupcake holders before, what a neat idea. These look so good and definitely a good way to get in the spirit.

wewillmake from kerala-INDIA on March 17, 2012:

nice one yaar... you really worked hard on this.

Organicpixie from London on March 17, 2012:

I love making cupcakes and these are great ideas for the colouring for St Patricks day. I love buttercream icing except for my weight doesn't lol. I'll still be giving them a go anyway.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on March 17, 2012:

Way to go, Alissa!! These look scrumptious. Congratulations on a well-deserved hub of the day! Your boys can be proud, too! Their efforts are on the main page of the website. I might have to go get the ingredients to make these before heading to my friend's house for St. Patty's Day. :)

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks so much Stephanie! We do love our cupcakes around here! Appreciate the vote up and for pinning!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks so much vespawoolf! Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

I appreciate your comments SmartAndFun! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks smartincome! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks susanm23b! They did have a good time - cupcakes are their favorite! Appreciate you stopping by and for the vote up!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks Cara! Wow it was a super nice surprise to wake up to this morning! Appreciate you stopping by!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks so much fpherj48! That is so true. My boys dragged everyone in the kitchen to show off "their" cupcakes! Too funny :) Appreciate you reading and for the vote up!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks RTalloni! It was definitely a good start to the day! Appreciate you stopping by!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thanks so much K9! Wow I wasn't expecting HOTD! This just made my day! Appreciate you stopping by and for your comments!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 17, 2012:

Thank you Chris! Appreciate you reading and for the vote up!

Stephanie Henkel from USA on March 17, 2012:

Perfect Hub of the Day for St. Paddy's Day! Making cute cupcakes with the kids is a nice way to include the kids in the festivities...and who doesn't like cupcakes? Voted up and pinned!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on March 17, 2012:

Congratulations on a well-deserved Hub of the Day!

SmartAndFun from Texas on March 17, 2012:

A thorough, fun, and well written hub that's perfect for the Hub O' the Day today! Congrats!

Lor M from Philippines on March 17, 2012:

So cool! Would love to try it! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

susanm23b on March 17, 2012:

These are super cute! I'm sure that your guys had so much fun with this. Great choice for hub of the day! Voted up!

cardelean from Michigan on March 17, 2012:

Congrats on the Hub of the Day!!!! Perfect choice for today. ;)

Suzie from Carson City on March 17, 2012:

alissa...Very nice (and yummy) project for a joint effort. Kids just love "creating" in the kitchen with Mom or Dad. I enjoy making cookies, etc with my young grandsons. The cutest part to me is when they take such pride in the finished product..."Look what I made!!" and this is even if all they did was "stir." LOL....it's the fun and togetherness that matters. UP++

RTalloni on March 17, 2012:

Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for these cute, cute cupcakes and wrappers!

India Arnold from Northern, California on March 17, 2012:

Yum-EE! Great decorating ideas and I love the DIY cupcake wrappers! I see why this has been made HOTD! Super Big Congrats, Alissa.

Chris Achilleos on March 16, 2012:

Very useful hub alissa, voted up!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 15, 2012:

Thanks so much Rebecca! The cupcake wrappers were a good project to keep the kids busy while the cupcakes cooled. Happy to hear that you liked them. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on March 14, 2012:

The cupcakes look festive for Saint Pat's day parties for kids and adults too. I am very impressed by the home made cupcake wrappers. Very clever!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 08, 2012:

Jelly beans would be cute too and a great alternative if there is a peanut allergy! The green gummy savers made a cute clover as well - they were our second favorite design but unfortunately I only had enough to put on two of the cupcakes. Oh "speckled" cupcakes would be so cool. May have to try that one out next! Thanks so much Cara for stopping by and commenting!

cardelean from Michigan on March 08, 2012:

LOVE this! This is a great idea. My kids have an art fair on St. Pats weekend. I'm supposed to bring cookies but I think I might have to break the rules and make these cupcakes! You could also use green jelly beans on top if there are peanut allergy concerns. They would be easy to find this time of year. Also, if you mix green jimmies in the batter it may give more of a "speckled" look.

Your idea for the cupcake wrapper is so great. I can see so many ways to adapt this to other holidays and events!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 06, 2012:

Thanks Teresa! I was worried about the peanut M&Ms on top of the cupcakes but my husband said they were delicious. I kind of believed him after he ate 6 in 2 days :) Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 06, 2012:

Yes my boys and I had fun coming up with this batch! Thanks so much randomcreative for reading and commenting!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 06, 2012:

Thanks partypail! The swirls were a nice surprise when I cut into the cupcake. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 06, 2012:

Thanks so much Robin! I have never made wrappers before either until this day. The boys did not like the pink baking cups which was the only kind I had in my pantry so we had to hide the "girly" color. Boys are too funny! Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on March 06, 2012:

They look delicious. I am so hungry right now. Great hub with wonderfully delicious visuals.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 06, 2012:

Thanks for the great St. Patrick's Day recipe! This is such a fun baking project to complete with kids.

PartyPail from www.partypail.com on March 06, 2012:

I love the green and white swirled cupcake idea! How fun! I'll have to try these this year.

Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on March 06, 2012:

Those cupcakes are amazing! I have never made homemade wrappers. My kids would love that! Might have to make these for St. Paddy's Day!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 05, 2012:

Thanks so much Kimberly! Happy to hear you liked the ideas! Appreciate you reading, voting, and for sharing :)

Kimberly Lake from California on March 05, 2012:

Cute ideas, voted up, interesting and socially shared