Growing up, I had a large imagination and believed in all magical creatures including leprechauns. Every St. Patrick’s Day, I would dress up in all green attire (to avoid getting pinched), grab a magnifying glass, and go on a hunt for leprechauns. To be fair, I had every reason to believe they existed thanks to the “evidence” my mom secretly created. Along with dying objects (such as milk) green, my mom would leave tiny leprechaun footprints around the house, as well as hidden chocolate gold coins. I remember being so excited to find the hidden treasure, and if I was lucky, catch a glimpse of a leprechaun! These St. Patrick’s Day memories of mystery and hidden treasure inspired me to create today’s recipe: Hidden Pot of Gold Cupcakes!
On the outside, this delicious dessert looks like a traditional cupcake, however, hidden inside is a surprise treasure of gold coins and shamrocks. These cupcakes are easy to make and can be customized in a variety of flavors!
To start, prepare and bake a batch of cupcakes according to the instructions on the store bought cake mix. For my cupcakes, I used the Betty Crocker Super Moist white cake mix, but you can make the cupcakes in any flavor you prefer. To add a festive touch, bake the cupcakes in green or St. Patrick’s Day themed cupcake liners. After baking, place the cupcakes on a cooling rack and allow them to cool for at least an hour.
Next, use a sharp knife to cut a round divot on the top of each cupcake, about an inch deep. Carefully remove the cutout pieces and set aside for later. Fill each hole with “treasure” such as sprinkles or mini yellow M&M’s. I found mini shamrock and gold coin sprinkles at my local craft store, but you can use any candy “treasure” of your choice. It is important that the cupcakes are completely cool for this step because you don’t want the candy treasure to melt. Once all the holes have been filled, trim the cutout cupcake pieces flat and place them back on top of each cupcake.
Now for the frosting! In a medium size bowl, combine the frosting with green colored food dye until a desired shamrock green color is reached. I used cream cheese frosting, but you could use another flavor as well, as long as it is a white frosting and can be mixed to create green (so I would avoid chocolate frosting). To create a piping bag, snip off a tiny corner of a Ziploc bag and insert a frosting tip. Fill the bag with the green frosting and pipe a decorative pattern on top of the cupcakes. Alternatively, you can use a spatula to frost the cupcakes as well. Choose whichever frosting method you prefer, but make sure that the cupcake has a nice layer of frosting to cover the hole.
For a finishing touch, I added green and gold sprinkles, as well as festive shamrock cupcake toppers. These St. Patrick Day cupcakes are so yummy and a fun surprise for everyone!
Hidden Pot of Gold Cupcakes
- 1 Box Betty Crocker Super Moist white cake mix
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 whole eggs
- 1 container Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting
- Green food dye
- Sprinkles, mini M&M’s, or any candy of your choice
- Prepare and bake the cupcakes according to directions on the cake mix box. Allow to cool for at least one hour.
- Using a sharp knife cut a round divot out of the top center of each cupcake, carefully making sure to not puncture through the bottom. Remove the cutout piece and set aside. Fill the cupcake hole with sprinkles or another candy of your choice. Using a knife, trim the cutout cupcake piece until it sits flat on top of the filled hole. Repeat for each cupcake.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine frosting and food coloring until desired green color is reached. Transfer frosting to a piping bag or use a spatula to frost the cupcakes. Top with sprinkles.