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Green Velvet Cupcakes

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These Green Velvet Cupcakes are a perfect St. Patrick’s Day dessert! They taste just like a red velvet cupcake but they’re dyed green and topped with a silky cream cheese frosting.

A green cupcake decorated for St. Patrick's Day with sprinkles and a gold coin

Green Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day

I will take any excuse to make a festive dessert, even if it’s a green one. My kiddo loves everything green, and you should have seen his wide eyes when he saw these!

You’ll love how easy it is to make Green Velvet Cupcakes. They’re incredibly moist but very light, fluffy and full of flavor. If you love red velvet, you will definitely love these. While I topped with my favorite cream cheese frosting, you could also use vanilla buttercream if you prefer.

While I decorated these for St. Patrick’s Day, you could certainly swap out the decorations and make these for a Christmas party or even a birthday party as well.

What do Green Velvet Cupcakes Taste Like?

They are the exact same flavor as my Red Velvet Cupcakes, the only difference is that I used green gel color instead of red.

These are not quite chocolate or vanilla but a combination of both. You’ll get a slight taste of the cocoa powder alongside a heavy splash of vanilla extract.

I think you’ll also love how moist, light, and fluffy these are. The combination of vegetable oil and melted butter gives you the benefit of both flavor and texture.

A frosted green velvet cupcake with a bite taken from it

Ingredients for Cupcakes

  • Vegetable Oil
  • Unsalted butter- will be melted
  • Egg
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar
  • Sour cream- can be substituted with Greek or plain yogurt
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Buttermilk- if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make my quick substitute with milk and either lemon juice or vinegar.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Natural cocoa powder
  • Baking powder & baking soda
  • Salt
  • Green food gel color
  • Sprinkles for garnish
Ingredients for green velvet cupcake laid on a table

How to Make Green Velvet Cupcake

1. Prep Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

2. Combine and beat together: Vegetable oil, butter, egg, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Then add in the sugar and mix until combined.

3. Add the remaining wet ingredients: sour cream, vinegar, buttermilk, and green gel color, and beat until well combined. The green color will get little bit darker once the flour is added, but the idea is to get the color well incorporated before adding the dry ingredients so as not to overmix the finished batter.

4. Add dry ingredients. Combine together the dry ingredients and sift through a fine-mesh sieve, this helps it to better incorporate into the batter. Then slowly beat in the dry ingredients until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed. Add additional gel color only if needed.

5. Fill the pan. I recommend using a large cookie scoop for evenly baked cupcakes. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes exactly, so don’t overfill the cupcakes, otherwise, you’ll come up short.

6. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test them for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean the cupcakes are done.

The Best Way to Color Green Cupcakes

I recommend using a gel-based color like Wilton, Americolor or Chef Master. For these cupcakes, I used Leaf Green from Americolor. The food coloring you find at the grocery store is too watery and it takes way more of that to achieve good color. With the gel color, you can use a lot less but still get vibrate colors.

You’ll notice my instructions call to add the gel color together with the wet ingredients. This ensures the color is well mixed prior to adding the dry ingredients and therefore prevents you from overmixing the batter.

You can still add additional coloring after the dry ingredients are added to adjust the color as needed.

This is The Best Cream Cheese Frosting

My recipe for cream cheese frosting is truly the best. Unlike most other recipes on the web, I start with cold butter and cold cream cheese. The mixer will do all the work we need it to do to soften them enough to incorporate the powdered sugar. This makes for an amazing frosting that you can use for piping and decorating cakes and cupcakes.

For the Frosting You’ll need:

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Cream Cheese– be sure to use a full-fat block of cream cheese
  • Powdered sugar
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Heavy whipping cream– you can sub this with milk if needed
A piping bag frosting a green cupcake with cream cheese frosting

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting for Cupcakes

If you need additional help, be sure to read my full tutorial for cream cheese frosting.

  1. Cut the butter into 1-inch blocks. Beat the butter for 2-3 minutes until it is light and fluffy. This helps the mixer break down the butter to a similar consistency to the cream cheese. Be sure it’s whipped and fluffy before adding the cream cheese.
  2. Cube the cream cheese as well and add to the bowl, mixing together for 2-3 minutes until they are fluffy and free of lumps. At first it resembles a cottage cheese like consistency, keep better until it’s smooth.
  3. Slowly add confectionary sugar 1 cup at a time and then alternating adding the vanilla extract and heavy cream as you add additional powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until the powdered sugar has combined then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1-2 minutes. Repeat until all the powdered sugar has been added.

Time Saving Tips for Preparing Cupcakes

The cupcakes themselves can be baked up to 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Baked and unfrosted cupcakes can be stored for up to a month in the freezer in an airtight container.

The frosting can be made up to 5 days in advance and kept refrigerated in an airtight container. When you’re ready to decorate, whip the frosting in a mixing bowl for about 30 seconds or so and you can proceed to decorate. If the frosting seems too firm, just let it sit at room temperature for another 15 minutes or so.

An unwrapped green cupcake topped with sprinkles and a chocolate gold coin

How to Store Them

Since these cupcakes are frosted with cream cheese frosting, I recommend refrigerating them in an airtight container. However, these are still best when served close to room temperature, so place them on the counter about 15-20 minutes prior to serving.

More St. Patrick’s Day Desserts

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A green cupcake decorated for St. Patrick's Day

Green Velvet Cupcakes

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes

Description

These Green Velvet Cupcakes are a perfect St. Patrick’s Day dessert! They taste just like a red velvet cupcake but they’re dyed green instead and topped with a silky cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

  • 3 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cups (143g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) sour cream (or plain yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup (140g) sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sifted natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (158ml) buttermilk
  • Leaf Green Gel Color

For the Frosting

  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 8 ounces (226g) full-fat block cream cheese, cold
  • 4 cups (520g) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) heavy whipping cream (or milk)
  • Sprinkles for garnish

Instructions

For the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the vegetable oil, butter, egg, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Next add the sugar and beat until well combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. Next mix add the sour cream, vinegar, buttermilk, and red gel color and beat until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and add to the batter, beating until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  5. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool Completely.

For the Frosting

  1. Cut the butter into 1-inch blocks. Beat the butter for 2-3 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
  2. Then add the cream cheese and cream together for 2-3 minutes until they are fluffy and free of lumps, scape down the bowl occasionally.
  3. Slowly add confectionary sugar 1 cup at a time and alternate adding the vanilla extract and heavy cream. Beat on low speed until the powdered sugar has combined then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1-2 minutes. Repeat until all the powdered sugar has been added and beat until the frosting is completely smooth.
  4. Frost the cooled cupcakes with a large open star piping tip and top with sprinkles and any other festive decorations.

Notes

  • Buttermilk: If you don’t have any available, make this quick substitute  with lemon juice or white vinegar
  • Storing Frosting Cupcakes: I recommend refrigerating them in an airtight container. However, these are still best when served close to room temperature, so place them on the counter about 15-20 minutes prior to serving.
  • Preparing Cupcakes: The cupcakes themselves can be baked up to 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Baked and unfrosted cupcakes can be stored for up to a month in the freezer in an airtight container.
  • Preparing the Frosting: The frosting can be made up to 5 days in advance and kept refrigerated in an airtight container. When you’re ready to decorate, whip the frosting in a mixing bowl for about 30 seconds or so, and then decorate.
  • Gluten-Free: I have tested this recipe with a 1:1 measure for measure all-purpose gluten-free flour that includes xanthan gum and it worked out great! 
Nutrition Information:
1 Cupcake
449
53.3 g
233.9 mg
21 g
63 g
0.4 g
3.5 g
62.9 mg
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: St Patrick’s day dessert, St Patricks day cupcakes, Green cupcakes

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