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Once February has come and gone, it’s time to think spring, sunshine, and St. Patrick’s Day. What better way to celebrate than making delicious Green Velvet Cupcakes for your friends and family? It only takes one bite of these festive homemade cupcakes topped with a delicious Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting to believe in the luck of the Irish.

Green velvet cupcakes on cake stand.

Green Velvet Cupcakes are a delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – and they are way more delicious than any store-bought cupcakes you might find.

The recipe uses both butter and oil so the cupcakes are buttery rich, extra moist, and incredibly fluffy. These single-serve cupcakes taste exactly like a classic red velvet cake – only they’re green! The Bailey’s Irish Cream buttercream frosting takes this dessert to the next level. If you don’t want to use the alcohol, this cream cheese frosting is a great option.

After the cupcakes are cooled and frosted, green sanding sugar or shamrock sprinkles will add an extra festive touch to these green velvet cupcakes. Your family and friends will believe they’ve found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

This cupcake recipe is made just like my red velvet cupcakes. If you love those, be sure to try my red velvet cake as well. You can always substitute green food coloring if you want to make a green velvet cake!

You might want to try my delicious Irish potato candy or Irish soda bread if you’re not a fan of cupcakes.

Green Velvet Cupcake Recipe Details

  • Taste – The cupcakes are a tangy chocolate flavor, thanks to sour cream, buttermilk and cocoa powder.
  • Texture – Moist and velvety.
  • Ease – These cupcakes are simple to make and just require a little extra beating time.
  • Time – The cook time is only 18 minutes – the whole process will take about 45 minutes, plus time to cool and frost the cupcakes.

What You’ll Need

Ingredients

These cupcakes are a velvety a mix between chocolate and vanilla flavors with a touch of tanginess that lingers at the end. There’s chocolate, vanilla, sour cream, and buttermilk in the cupcakes. Each one plays an important part in how the cupcakes taste.

For the Cupcakes:

  • Butter and oil: The combination of butter and oil ensures the cupcakes have the best texture and taste. Use vegetable or canola oil with a high-quality unsalted butter.
  • Sugar: Regular granulated sugar is all you need here.
  • Eggs: You need 3 large eggs that are at room temperature. Set them out 30-45 minutes before you start making the recipe or put in a bowl of warm water for 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla extract of the highest quality. Or you can use homemade vanilla extract.
  • Flour: I find that cake flour is best. It’s lower in protein content and produces a soft, lighter crumb. My favorite is Bob’s Red Mill.
  • Cocoa powder: You only need a couple of tablespoons of unsweet cocoa powder to add a hint of chocolate flavor.
  • Leavening: Baking powder and baking soda are added to give the cupcakes rise.
  • Buttermilk: Use full-fat buttermilk for the best results and make sure it’s at room temperature just like the eggs.
  • Sour Cream: This adds a little extra tang and moistness to the cupcakes. Make sure it is at room temperature.
  • Green food coloring: I used an entire 1-ounce bottle of liquid green food coloring. You can use gel food coloring if you wish.

For the Frosting:

  • Butter: Always use unsalted butter as it is better to adjust salt on your own. Butter should be softened to room temperature – soft but not oily.
  • Confectioner’s Sugar: Adds sweetness to the frosting and will blend in smoothly to make the perfect texture.
  • Vanilla Extract: Use pure vanilla extract of the highest quality. Or you can use homemade vanilla extract.
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream: This is a creamy spirit with a little bit of whisky and a little bit of chocolate. You can omit if you want this to be booze-free.
  • Heavy Cream: Just a little bit to smooth out the consistency of the frosting. As always, at room temperature.

Recommended tools

  • I like to use a stand mixer for this recipe because it requires beating the batter for 10 minutes. You can use a hand mixer as well.
  • This cookie scoop will drop the perfect portion of batter into these muffin tins.
  • Use a pastry bag with a piping tip to frost the cupcakes
Green velvet cupcakes on countertop.

How to Make Green Velvet Cupcakes

Green velvet cupcakes use the creaming method for mixing. This results in a sturdy yet soft cupcake texture.

Make the cupcakes:

  1. Mix the wet ingredients: First, cream the oil, butter, and sugar together for about 10 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Then, mix in the vanilla extract.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a separate bowl. Use a whisk to stir it all together until everything is well combined.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients: Add half the flour mixture to the butter/oil mixture. Mix until almost fully combined.Add the buttermilk and sour cream followed by the remaining flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add the food coloring and mix until fully combined.
  4. Bake the cupcakes: Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners and fill each one ⅔ full with batter. Bake the cupcakes at 350°F for 15-18 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  1. Make the Frosting: Beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add half the confectioners’ sugar and the Bailey’s. Beat together, then add remaining confectioners’ sugar. Add the heavy cream, slowly, then turn mixer to medium high speed and beat until incorporated.
  2. Frost the cupcakes: I use a round tip to pipe the frosting on top of each cupcake. If you’re not a fan of using Bailey’s in the frosting, try my cream cheese frosting or my Swiss meringue buttercream instead.
Irish cream frosting in glass bowl.
Green velvet cupcake with shamrock topper.

Tips For Success

  • Make sure to properly measure the flour. Don’t just scoop the flour out of the container with the measuring cup. Instead, lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife. Or measure by weight for more accurate results.
  • Sift the flour and cocoa powder to remove any clumps. Do this after they have been measured.
  • The amount of food coloring is up to you! I used 1-once liquid food coloring. Feel free to use less or more.

Recipe FAQs

I don’t have a pasty bag for the frosting. What can I do?

Either use a gallon-sized plastic bag with a corner cut off to pipe the frosting, or spread it using a flat knife.

Do I have to use buttermilk and sour cream or are there substitutes?

Buttermilk and sour cream are required for the moist, velvety texture. Full-fat buttermilk will work best but low-fat will be okay if that’s all you can access.

Storage & Freezing

  • The cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance. Keep covered and store at room temperature.
  • The frosting can also be made 1 day in advance. Keep covered and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and frost before serving.

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Green velvet cupcakes on countertop.

Green Velvet Cupcakes

Yield: 28 cupcakes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes

These Homemade Green Velvet Cupcakes are such a fun way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! Made exactly like red velvet cake, only in cupcake form and green!

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

  • ½ cup (120 ml) canola oil, vegetable oil can also be used
  • ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ¾ cups (330 g) cake flour, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (113 g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-ounce green food coloring, 1 bottle

For The Frosting

  • 1 ½ cups (339 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups (480g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons Baileys® Irish Cream
  • 1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature

Instructions

Make the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the oil, butter, and sugar for 10 minutes on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for about 20 seconds after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a whisk.
  4. Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until almost combined. Add the buttermilk and sour cream. Mix until almost combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix just until fully combined. Mix in the food coloring until fully incorporated and no streaks remain in the batter.
  5. Fill the prepared muffin cups ⅔ full. (There may be enough batter leftover to make 4 extra cupcakes.) Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few dry crumbs.
  6. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost as desired.

Make the Frosting

  1. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add half the confectioners’ sugar and Baileys. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for 2 full minutes.
  3. Add the remaining confectioner's sugar. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for 2 full minutes.
  4. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly add heavy cream. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until the cream is well incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Notes

Cake flour: I highly recommend cake flour as it's going to give the best texture.

Buttermilk & sour cream: Both are required for this recipe. There are no substitutions that will offer the same moist, velvety results.

Baileys® Irish Cream: You may use more heavy cream instead.

These cupcakes also pair well with cream cheese frosting.

Make Ahead Tip:

  1. The cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance. Keep covered and store at room temperature.
  2. The frosting can also be made 1 day in advance. Keep covered and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  4. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and frost before serving.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 28 Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 123mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 0gSugar: 27gProtein: 2g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

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