Leprechaun Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting – Of Love and Chocolate

Saint Patrick's Day is coming up quick and what better way to celebrate then with some baked goods! I had lots of ideas on what to kick off the St Patrick's Day celebration with and thought to do something fun and colorful. I love Lucky Charms cereal--it's so bright and colorful--and the Leprechaun on the box always looks like he is up to mischief. These cupcakes are inspired by the idea that Leprechauns need something to eat during St Patrick's Day festivities that are as magical and fun as they are. These cupcakes are so moist and sweet, the perfect treat for adults and children to enjoy! I showed my 7 month old daughter some of my finished cupcakes and her eyes lit up and she grabbed her cute little chubby hand out for a taste of one (she only succeeded in getting a little bit of frosting in her mouth). I made handmade, and very amateurish ,gold treasure coins for the top of the cupcakes, but you don't have to decorate your cupcakes like that! You can top with marshmallows, green sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles, anything you want! Just make sure you don't skimp on the frosting :) A quick tip: Do not overmix these cupcakes! When combining the wet and dry ingredients together, be sure to mix until just combined and there is still a little flour visible in the mixing bowl. Otherwise you'll get some sad looking, sunken cupcakes. But if you do still end up overmixing, it will still taste delicious! Trust me, I've been there. It's all part of the learning process. Leprechaun Cupcakes Treats with Buttercream Frosting Yields 12 cupcakes Vanilla Cupcakes 1 and 1/4 cup (165 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled) 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ½ cup (120 grams) full fat sour cream Vanilla Frosting 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) confectioner's sugar 1 tbsp vanilla extract 2-3 tbsps (30-40ml) heavy cream Green food coloring Directions: To make the vanilla cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Add in the sour cream and mix until fully combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them a little over half way full. You should end up with exactly 12 cupcakes. Bake in separate batches at 350F for 18-22 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Remove all of the cupcakes from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. To make the frosting In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer) beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add in the confectioner's sugar and vanilla and mix on low until well combined. Slowly add in the heavy cream, increase the speed to medium-high, and mix for a few more minutes until the frosting is smooth and well combined. Add up to 3 tbsp of heavy cream until desired consistency is reached. Add green food coloring last, it may take a few drops to get it that light green color Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. Add sprinkles and/or other decorations for extra fun cupcakes!