Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes!

Mom, alert. Kid friendly post.

The twins in A Cheese Shop Mystery series made me do it! LOL

Truly, there are times Amy and Clair are in my head and begging me for a post that is kid friendly. I know, it sounds weird, but writers do have characters that talk to us...sometimes all the time. [Shhhh, don't tell a soul, but this morning I was craving a little alone time. Nah, it didn't happen. Chatter, chatter, chatter.]

But I digress...

A St. Patrick's Day meal is not always one kids look forward to. I mean, c'mon, corned beef and cabbage? Pale colors? Maybe some carrots? So in order to entice your kids to eat these delicious foods, why not show them what dessert will be? Colorful, pretty green cupcakes!

I decided to go simple this week. [So much chatter in my head, so little time to argue.] I used a boxed cake mix. Now, understand, it's not easy to find really good gluten-free cupcakes that taste just like "real" cupcakes, but Betty Crocker has done it. So has Pamela's baked goods and a number of other ones. For this, I used the Betty Crocker brand.

Anyway, back to the fun part. I bought green sprinkles and I sprinkled the insides of the cupcakes with them and then the tops. This way, if there's a picky eater amongst your kids and that picky eater doesn't like frosting (who doesn't like frosting!), you can simply give 'em a green cupcake.

{**caveat: I'm no Jenn McKinlay at the cupcake decorating deal, but I do my best.}

Trivia about St. Patrick's Day:

La Fheile Padraig means St. Patrick's Day in Irish
The holiday began as a Catholic feast day.
Named after St. Patrick, who lived in the 5th century.
St. Patrick was not Irish by birth. He was a missionary born in England.
His true given name was Maewyn Succat.
There are more Americans of Irish origin than there are Irish in Ireland.
There are nine cities named Dublin in America.

Irish Cupcakes (Gluten-free)

1 boxed Gluten-free vanilla cake mix
Gluten-free vanilla (or vanillin*)
1 jar green sprinkles
Icing (see recipe below)
Cupcake holders (Note: the aluminum ones do some weird cooking things; I prefer simple paper)

Cream Cheese Frosting


1 cup powdered sugar

¼ cup butter, softened

1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. vanilla extract


Blend all together until smooth.

*Note: leftovers may be placed in sealed container and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature to re-use.

[Note: Betty Crocker asks that you supply the gluten-free vanilla. Yes, vanillin is gluten-free.] [For those not familiar with "why" vanilla needs to be gluten-free, it is usually brewed in an alcohol, usually whiskey, and that contains gluten, so some gluten-free people can be sensitive to vanilla. More than you wanted to know, right? ]

Here are some links to a few other Irish specialties:

And here's a SNEAK PREVIEW of
LOST AND FONDUE is up on my website. Click here. If you'd like to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series and want to download a few other recipes from me (on recipe cards), click on this link to my website: Avery Aames. I've posted recipes in the "morsels" section. There's lots of other fun stuff, as well.

And sign up for the mailing list to get in on the next contest...coming every two weeks as I approach the launch of L&F in May. Latest winners (as of yesterday) include: Anna Blundell and Barb Nickless! More to come.

Say cheese!


  1. Mmm...cream cheese frosting! These look amazing, Avery. My daughter has been sick all week with a fever and I think these cupcakes would do a lot to cheer her up. Thanks for the idea and recipe!

  2. Thank you for the gluten free cupcakes Avery. We will be having our irish meal at my parents of course. We are of Irish decent and each year mom and dad remind us. These cupcakes will fit right in. Now to get to the store

  3. What fun, Avery. I hope lots of kids will be enjoying these today.

    Elizabeth, I hope your daughter feels better soon!

    ~ Krista

  4. Aw, Elizabeth, it's horrible when kids are sick. We just can't do enough for them. I hope she enjoys a little sweet from Mom.

    Babs, I forgot to mention I'm Irish, too. Silly me. I mentioned it in a comment to Sheila earlier in the week and simply assumed...well, we know what happens then...Happy SPD to your family. What's on the menu?

    Krista, thanks. Kids rock! (Except on days when they don't, of course.) LOL


  5. Shoot, I've got a nice batch of shamrock sprinkles, but I can't stand long enough to bake! But cupcakes will cure what ails you, along with a nice cuppa, right?

    I'm happy to report that Irish cheese is thriving--I checked. Plenty of goat cheese, and it's good (now, why didn't I see any goats?).

  6. These are so cute! Top of the mornin' to ya.

  7. is making the Corned Beef and Cabbage, boxties, soda bread and coffee. I will bring the cupcakes from the recipe above. I had to go over to their house a few minutes ago and it smells wonderful I had to leave I was getting hungry ha.

  8. Sheila, sit down. That's an order. I'll bring you some cupcakes to Malice.
    Goat cheese in Ireland? Lovely. The goats are high on the hills. :)

    MJ, "and the rest of the day to you." :)

    Babs, boxties! Yeah. Yes, don't cupcakes smell fabulous. My husband came home after I baked and drew in a long breath. He's been on a diet and my cooking for MLK doesn't help. But he's been so successful! And he's gotten little bites of lots of different foods.

    Hugs to all, (got to walk my sweet dog now)


  9. Happy St. Patrick's Day, Avery! We're wearin' our green today and I'm tickled to see your cupcakes are, too! Drink with joy!

    ~ Cleo O'Coyle :) Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  10. My Irish ancestry (which is often masked by my 8 or so other ancestries)comes to the forefront at a St. Patrick's Day dinner. I LOVE Irish food. The cupcakes look excellent, and that's good to know about the GF cake mixes!

  11. Love the green cupcakes! I'll eat green food. Blue food is something that gives me pause!

  12. Kaye, yes, many of us are masked by other ancestries, but there's just something about saying you're Irish, isn't there? Kiss me!

    Janet, I agree re: blue. Just can't do it. Green looks healthy. :)



  13. My Irish comes to me from my friends and I'm happy to be honorary Irish today. These cupcakes look wonderful and we love cream cheese frosting. The best, ever! Happy St. Paddy's Day to ya!

  14. Sure and begorrah, Avery! xxx

    Don't forget blueberries--although that's the only blue food I can think of. I hate blue frosting, it makes my teeth blue!

    Elizabeth, I just read your post. Hope your daughter feels better soon!

  15. Cleo, drink with joy. That's a nice thought. :) Parade up a storm!


  16. Julie - honorary Irish is a good thing.

    Kaye - I totally forgot about blueberries. I love blueberries. But I do remember a time as a girl when I made a cake frosting (another kitchen disaster, one of my first) (ooops, used real sugar and not powdered) and it was blue. My teeth were blue for days!!!! LOL


  17. You know I love a good cupcake, Avery, and this one looks fun and fabulous! Thanks for sharing it!

  18. Ah, Jenn, how nice to see you visiting. I can't decorate like you, but I think this one tastes fabulous!

    Want to share secrets?


  19. Delicious as always ... and thanks for the tip about vanilla not being gluten-free! We don't stay gluten-free in our house, but I love to be able to accommodate people's dietary preferences and needs ... this is something I never ever would have thought of!

  20. Wendy, isn't it amazing? It's the little things that can make the difference. Did you know soy sauce has wheat in it? There are great wheat-free soy sauces, but it can really throw something off. I got sick because of a soy sauce marinade in a Mexican restaurant. Now, c'mon, should I have asked if they'd soaked their food in soy sauce? I was shocked!