Shamrock Shake Cupcake Recipe (2024)

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by Michelle
March 12, 2014 (updated Dec 8, 2019)

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4.30 (27 ratings)

Shamrock Shake Cupcake Recipe (1)

If you flock to McDonald’s at the first sign of those minty green shakes, you’re going to go bonkers over these cupcakes. I didn’t have a non-spiked St. Patrick’s Day cupcake in my repertoire yet, and thought that this riff on the popular milkshakes could be a really delicious treat. I made a homemade shamrock shake a few years ago, and used that as a jumping off point, starting with green-hued vanilla-mint cupcakes and topped them with fluffy whipped cream frosting.

Shamrock Shake Cupcake Recipe (2)

I adapted my new favorite vanilla cupcake recipe, added in some mint extract (be sure to use regular mint, and not peppermint, or the taste won’t be the same), and tinted it a lovely shade of green. The mint flavor is distinct but subtle; feel free to amp up the amount if you want a super minty cupcake. Likewise, you can adjust the green food coloring to make the batter as light or dark green as you’d like.

Shamrock Shake Cupcake Recipe (3)

The frosting is the same fluffy whipped cream frosting that I used for my pumpkin spice latte cupcakes; it has a cream cheese base, which helps to stabilize it and results in a beautiful frosting that’s light as air and perfect for piping. Throw some pretty green sugar on top and finish it off with a green maraschino cherry, and you have a perfectly festive cupcake fit for a St. Patrick’s Day party!

Shamrock Shake Cupcake Recipe (4)

Sometimes, milkshake-inspired cupcakes make the best dessert, right?

Shamrock Shake Cupcake Recipe (5)

One year ago: Homemade Baileys Irish Cream
Two years ago: Irish Whiskey Soda Bread with Irish Whiskey Butter
Three years ago: Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
Four years ago: Shamrock Sugar Cookies
Five years ago: Braised Beef with Mushrooms and Cabernet Sauce
Six years ago: Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Seven years ago: Texas Sheet Cake

Shamrock Shake Cupcake Recipe (6)

Shamrock Shake Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes mins

Cook Time: 20 minutes mins

Cooling time: 10 minutes mins

Total Time: 1 hour hr

Green-tinted vanilla-mint cupcakes with whipped cream frosting, perfect for St. Patrick's Day.

4.30 (27 ratings)

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For the Cupcakes:

  • ¾ cup (93.75 g) + 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • ½ cup (62.5 g) + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (150 g) + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • teaspoons (1.25 teaspoons) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (122 ml) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) mint extract, NOT peppermint extract
  • 6 drops green food coloring

For the Frosting:

  • 8 ounces (226.8 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (476 ml) heavy cream

To Garnish:

  • Green sanding sugar
  • Green maraschino cherries


  • Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt, and mix together on low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer on low, add the butter, a few cubes at a time, continuing until all the butter has been added and the mixture resembles coarse sand.

  • Keeping the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Slowly pour in the milk, vanilla and mint extract, and mix until combined. Add the green food coloring and mix until color is evenly dispersed throughout the batter. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, until batter is smooth, scraping the sides of bowl as needed.

  • Fill the liners two-thirds full (about ¼ cup of batter) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the centers are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

  • Make the Frosting: On medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixer with the whisk attachment until smooth and completely combined, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the heavy cream, scrape the sides of the bowl, then increase speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form.

  • Assemble the Cupcakes: Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, then sprinkle with green sanding sugar and top with green maraschino cherries, if desired. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Note: I had a little bit of frosting leftover, and as you can see, I piled it high on each cupcake. I always believe that more is better when it comes to frosting, but if you prefer less, you can scale it down.

Nutritional values are based on one serving

Calories: 418kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 123mg, Sodium: 189mg, Potassium: 134mg, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 1130IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 0.5mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

Author: Michelle

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Originally published March 12, 2014 — (last updated December 8, 2019)

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94 Comments on “Shamrock Shake Cupcakes”

  1. Ruth Anderson Reply

    We had our annual Irish dinner tonight with corn beef and cabbage, etc. I decided to try this recipe as my son loves Shamrock Shakes. It was absolutely FABULOUS! Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

  2. Hailey Wood Reply

    Hi! I really want to make these as a Christmassy treat, but Im not even sure ‘Cake Flour’ exists in Australia……. Does anyone know a substitute? I know a lady commented she used normal flour but at altitude… And I am definitely NOT at altitude… haha! I love your recipes! Have religiously used your red velvet cupcake recipe to great acclaim!

  3. Christine Stevens Reply

    I made the cupcakes using regular mint, as suggested, but although the cupcakes were light and fluffy, and were perfect, I just couldn’t get the taste of the mint out of my mouth and it was still there an hour later. I don’t know how to remedy this. I used McCormick Real Vanilla extract, and Watkins brand pure Mint extract. I was so disappointed in the artificial flavor of the cake I never got around to making the frosting, so I can’t give a review of that part of the recipe. I would really like to know what brand of Mint extract was used for the original recipe. Perhaps using a different extract (or less of it) might make a difference.

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Christine, I used McCormick mint extract. I hope that helps!

  4. Mandy Reply

    Hi there! Planning to make these for a work party on Friday, but noticed the frosting calls for granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar. I’ve never made frosting with granulated sugar and just want to make sure this is accurate. Thanks!!

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Mandy, Yes, granulated sugar is correct. Enjoy!

  5. lori Reply

    Where did you find the green maraschino cherries with stems? I live in a rural area, so I’m not confident I’ll be able to find them unless I pay a mint on Amazon.

    Ha, a mint! ;)

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Lori, They were at my regular grocery store, right next to the red ones. They carry them year-round.

      • Kim

        I found them in the baking aisle in Walmart.

  6. Maureen Reply

    Hi, I was wondering about the frosting. I always use 10x sugar in mine, does the granulated sugar not leave a bit of graininess to it? Thanks

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Maureen, It does not in this recipe, and I’ve made it a million times, but you could still use the superfine if you prefer!

  7. Greeny Reply

    Where did you get the green cherries?

    • Michelle Reply

      At the grocery store – they were stocked right next to the red ones in the beverage aisle where you find mixers, margarita salt, etc.

  8. Jen Reply

    Is the frosting “cream cheese flavored.” I have been trying to find a great whipped cream frosting recipe but I worry that this will have the cream cheese flavor. I have thought of making a stabilized whipped cream frosting with gelatin instead, but this seems much easier! Thanks for any advice

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Jen, It’s really subtle, and not overpowering. I definitely like this method for a stabilized whipped cream instead of using gelatin.

  9. C holder Reply

    Cup cakes were great. Family liked them. Easy recipe with good flavor and texture. Icing is a hit. Will be my go to from now on
    Thank you for sharing.

  10. Cherne Reply

    Should heaven cream be at room temp before whipping with cream cheese

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Cherne, No it should be cold, just as when you make regular whipped cream (this is basically a stabilized whipped cream frosting).

      • Jan Gavaletz

        What is the difference between mint extract and peppermint extract? Also, do you have a recommendation or source for the right product? These sound SO good, and maybe just a FEW less calories than an actual Shamrock a Shake!! Thanks!

      • Michelle

        Hi Jan, Mint extract is a spearmint flavor, sort of like an Andes while peppermint is much stronger, like a candycane or those red and white hard candies. Hope that helps! I have found mint extract at my regular grocery store.

  11. GingerB Reply

    I made these last year and everyone LOVED them! They taste just like a Shamrock shake with no brain freeze. LOL They were so good. I followed the recipe to a T and for those looking for the green cherries.. I found them at my store in the soda isle with the grenadine. Making them again today. Can’t wait!

  12. Savanna Dambacher Reply

    I followed instructions precisely. Twice. And the cupcakes didn’t turn out correctly either time. The frosting was delicious, but ended up having to go on something else.

  13. Karen Ryba Reply

    Is there truly no powdered sugar in the frosting recipe for the Shamrock Shake Cupcakes?

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Karen, Correct – no powdered sugar!

  14. Nancy Reply

    Where did you find the green cherries? I have been looking for them and can’t find them anywhere! Affiliate links welcome!

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Nancy, I’ve found them at the regular supermarket where the red maraschino cherries are!

  15. Sofia Reply

    I actually have made this same mint cake, but with chocolate satin frosting and as a layer cake. It has become a family favorite, and is heavily requested!

  16. Frank Reply

    I made these for a St. Patrick’s Day/Irish-themed dinner party I held. They were delicious! I must say though, that the recipe for the frosting made quite a bit. Even after frosting all 12 cupcakes rather generously, there was still a 1-quart bowl filled to the brim of the frosting. You could probably cut the recipe in half and still have more than enough frosting for 12 cupcakes.

  17. Nina Reply

    Hi! These look great and I can’t wait to make them! What type of tip did you use for the cupcake frosting? Thanks!

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Nina, I used an Ateco #827 decorating tip.

  18. Elaine Reply

    these cupcakes were horrible they were heavy and dense. I would have rather used boxed mix. Frosting was OK. They are pretty but not tasty. I was very disappointed.

  19. Paula Reply

    plain mint extract doesn’t seem to exist in canada, just the blend one with peppermint.

    think the butter could be infused with fresh mint or something? any ideas how much fresh mint one would need to use?

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Paula, I have not tried using fresh mint, but if you experiment with it, let me know!

      • Jen

        So one year, I actually couldn’t find mint extract and ended up making mint sugar and using that for the sugar in the cupcake recipe. We really liked the flavor!

  20. Susan Reply

    Have you tried doubling these cupcakes? I need 18 to take to a function (and that would give me a few left over for the family). Thanks!

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Susan, Yes, this can definitely be doubled. Enjoy!

  21. Amanda Reply

    I made these today. The consistency of my frosting was about that of a shamrock shake. :-) Any idea what might have gone wrong?

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Amanda, You may have not beaten the cream long enough; it sounds like it was still liquid? Or possibly you over beat it and it broke down?

  22. Charlotte Reply

    I wonder, could you substitute green creme de menthe for the mint extract and food coloring?

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Charlotte, Definitely! The green color might just be a little more subtle. Enjoy!

  23. Renee @ Awesome on $20 Reply

    That frosting looks like a cloud. I can’t wait to try it.

  24. Dee Dee Reply

    These were a huge hit! Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe. I have never experienced the Shamrock Shake (gasp!) so I did not know what to expect, but I must say, I was quite pleased with the results. I feel I learned so many new techniques-a different vanilla cupcake, adding cream cheese to the heavy cream. And everything came out beautifully! Sadly, I couldn’t find the green cherries, but its’s just another reason to make them again.

  25. Jill Reply

    Hi Michelle,BEB is fabulous!i look forward to trying out your fantastic recipes .for the shamrock shake cupcake,what is the brand of mint extract you’ve used?i have the peppermint extract ,and I can’t seem to find mint extract where I reside:(

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Jill, I use the McCormick brand of mint extract. I hope that helps!

  26. CakePants Reply

    What a great idea for a shamrock shake-inspired cupcake! I stumbled upon this a bit too late for St. Patrick’s Day, but I’m looking forward to trying the frosting recipe! I’ve been looking for a good, reliably-pipable frosting that isn’t a basic sugar and butter buttercream (too lacking in flavor for my liking). This looks promising!

  27. Chelsea Reply

    I made these and they’re awesome! I posted a picture in my blog, and linked to your website so others can try the recipe! I hope that’s okay, if not, I’ll take it off right away. I sent a bunch with my boyfriend when he went to work, and he said everyone there loved them too. Will be trying more of your recipes!

  28. Susan L Johnson-Boyce Reply

    I tryed this recipes and it was a big hit. Can you please tell me how long the extra frosting can be kept.

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Susan, Probably only about 3 days or so in the refrigerator.

  29. Vicki Reply

    I made these are they are awesome! Thanks for posting this.

  30. AndreaL Reply

    These were FABULOUS!!! I was able to get about 16 out of the batch. Added a little more of the mint extract and it just bumped up the taste a tiny bit. The use of the cake flour really lightened up the batter. BUT let me tell you, this frosting is my all time favorite. I think you used something similar with the spiced latte cuppys from the fall. This frosting is so light & fluffy without being overly sweet. It truly reminded me of a milkshake-like frosting.

    Thank you again Michelle for bringing out these recipes to inspire a great St. Patty’s weekend & always :)

  31. Steph in Lex Reply

    I love shamrock shakes so much! These cupcakes look amazing…

  32. Jennifer E Reply

    For those asking about the green cherries…..I had a very difficult time finding them as many grocery stores in my area only carry these seasonally for Christmas. If you can’t find them at a grocery store, try a liquor store, party supply store, or any other store that tends to carry specialty stuff.

    On another note mine are about to go in the oven and will be for my daughter’s preschool celebration tomorrow…..If I can resist eating them lol

  33. latifa Reply

    I found these beautiful cupcakes, my kids will love this recipe! I will test soon!

  34. kate Reply

    Yum! Where do you find green maraschino cherries?

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Kate, They were right next to the red ones in the ice cream topping area.

  35. Ysa Reply

    Ñam!! Beautiful cupcakes…so delicious!

    Kisses ♥

  36. Lori F. Reply

    Two friends and I are doing a “Brown Eyed Baker” baking play date Saturday afternoon. We’re making a double batch of your Irish Car Bomb cupcakes and a batch of these Shamrock Shake cupcakes. We get to have fun, and split the results of our hard work. And our families won’t mind the fact that we spent a few hours of girl time when they taste the cupcakes.

  37. Lauren Reply

    Absolutely gorgeous!!
    I need to be making me some of these!! I never have very good luck in finding green maraschino cherries though :( Where did you find yours??

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Lauren, They were at the grocery store next to the red ones, in the ice cream toppings section.

  38. Ellie Reply

    I’m going make these Sunday! I have one question…. Is cubes ice cubes crushed? Sorry I’m a little confused. Sorry!

    • Lori F. Reply

      I think she is referring to the butter which the recipe ingredients list as “cut into 1/2″ cubes”.

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Ellie, Yes, the butter should be cut into ½-inch cubes. This makes it easier to incorporate into the dry ingredients. No ice :)

  39. Sarah Reply

    Hi! What brand of mint extract do you use? I only have peppermint at home- I’ve heard the mint has like a spearmint taste to it?

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Sarah, I used McCormick mint extract. Yes, regular mint has a spearmint flavor, which is very, very different than the peppermint extract.

  40. Salina Reply

    These look so cute and yummy! One question. Does cake flour have to be used? I live at high altitude and cake flour does not do well here.

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Salina, The cake flour is important to the texture of the cupcakes – it keeps them light and fluffy. I have not baked at high altitude, so I can’t speak to how they would turn out if you replace it with all-purpose flour. If you give it a try, please let me know how it turns out.

      • Salina

        I made these tonight with just all-purpose flour and no cake flour, and they turned out fantastic! I will definitely be making these a tradition. I’m so happy I found this recipe! Thank you!

      • Drea

        I made them at high altitude (5400 ft) with cake flour and with out any adjustments to the recipe. They cae out PERFECTLY!!!

  41. Hari Chandana Reply

    Those are very pretty and tempting.. wonderful preparation! :)

  42. Beth Reply

    Michelle, what size tip do you use?

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Beth, I used the Ateco #827.

  43. Jamie Reply

    Those are adorable!!!

  44. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts Reply

    These cupcakes? YES. I love these!!

  45. The Macadame Reply

    What a great idea!!! I love the red cherries on top – they look so inviting :)

  46. Meriem @ Culinary Couture Reply

    I had no idea green maraschino cherries existed! These look amazing!

  47. Ilona @ Ilona's Passion Reply

    Love this green color of the cupcakes:) Mint flavor:) My son would love them, he loves mint

  48. Kellianne Reply

    Is that 1/2 a cup of butter or 1/2 a stick? Thanks! These looks fantastic.

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Kellianne, That’s ½ a cup, I’ve corrected it above, so sorry for the error!

  49. Marcie Reply

    While I haven’t had a mcdonalds shamrock shake in ages, I grew up loving them. These are so festive and fun!

  50. Tana Reply

    These look divine! Just curious, where do you find the green cherries? I’ve never seen them before.

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Tana, They were at the grocery store where all of the ice cream toppings are, right next to the red cherries. I’ve actually seen them there for a long time!

  51. Maureen Reply

    These look delicious! Could you clarify the butter amount please? Is it a 1/2 cup or stick? I’m assuming the former , just want to be sure before making them. Thanks, Maureen

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Maureen, So sorry for that error, I’ve corrected it above, but it’s ½ cup.

      • Maureen

        Thanks Michelle! Love your site. Happy St Patricks Day:)

      • Michelle

        Thanks, Maureen! Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, too! :)

  52. Megan Jenkins Reply

    This frosting looks divine, and so different from the normal sugar-laden buttercream! One question, I see you say the cream cheese stabilizes it, does that mean this won’t start to break down if you make them the night before? I know for standard whipping cream, it typically starts to separate and get watery over time. Also, do you feel that these should be stored in the refrigerator because of the whipping cream and cream cheese? The photos are stunning — well done!

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Megan, Yes, the cream cheese keeps the frosting from breaking down so it won’t get watery. You could definitely make these the night before. And yes, as directed in the recipe, you should store these in the refrigerator. Enjoy! :)

  53. Liz @ Tip Top Shape Reply

    I want to eat these every single day of my life!! They look amazing!!!!

  54. Katrina @ WVS Reply

    Daaaang! This looks awesome! I love the cute little cherries on top :)

  55. Chloe @ foodlikecake Reply

    Those are so adorable! You always have such good ideas and I love the green cherries. :-)

  56. Lisa @ Simple Pairings Reply

    How cute! I’m getting more excited for St. Patty’s day with each day that passes, especially seeing all the festive treats on my blog feeds! I love that you used the green cherries on top – just really completes the image :) And of course, cream cheese icing – one of my very favorites!

  57. Marie @ Little Kitchie Reply

    How cute are these?!

  58. Elisa Reply

    I have to ask, when do u post your new recipes? I love how I could always count on them first thing!

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Elisa, New posts usually go live shortly after midnight.

Shamrock Shake Cupcake Recipe (2024)


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