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Easy Green Velvet Cupcakes

Easy Green Velvet Cupcakes

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A green twist on classic red velvet, these cupcakes take basic cake mix to delicious new heights with the addition of pure vanilla extract, green food coloring, sour cream, and cocoa powder.


  • One 18 1/4-ounce German chocolate cake mix with pudding
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 Cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons green food coloring, preferably McCormick
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Teaspoons pure vanilla extract, preferably McCormick
  • One 16-ounce container cream cheese frosting
  • Green sprinkles, for garnish


Calories Per Serving221

Folate equivalent (total)24µg6%

Green Velvet Cupcakes

People are crazy about red velvet cake. It's beloved in the South (who remembers the Bleedin' Armadillo Grooms cake from Steel Magnolias?) but has taken all of America by storm over the past few years -- it's found in nearly every bakery on the block. Is the obsession with red-velvet cake due to the cake's obvious merit: tender, moist cake in an attention-grabbing hue, topped with a pouf of creamy-tart cream cheese frosting? Or do we have the rumor mill to thank? Baked goods-enthusiasts have been spreading tales for some time that the cake gets its blush from a chemical reaction between the baking soda and the cocoa powder in the recipe. This is completely false, in fact, some red velvet recipes don't even call for cocoa. The cake gets its color from nothing more scientific than a large amount of food coloring.

So if you can make the cake red by dumping in a whole bunch of red coloring, then you can turn it any color, right? You sure can. Case in point: Green Velvet Cake for St. Patrick's Day. It's as easy as swapping green food coloring for red in your red velvet cake recipe. Or Chuck Hughes' Red Velvet Cupcake recipe, if you really want the best.

Chuck's Red (or Green) Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons green food coloring (or red)
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor, mix the sugar with the eggs, oil, yogurt, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Blend until just incorporated.

Place paper cupcake liners into a muffin pan, and divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, pouring only halfway so the batter doesn't overflow. Bake, rotating halfway through, for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and let cool before frosting.

Note: Chuck tops his cupcakes with mascarpone cream, which is likely very good, but I love cream cheese frosting an like the way it looks on top of little cakes, so I topped mine with cream cheese frosting, instead.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar

To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese and butter and beat until completely combined. On low speed, gradually add the confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time, then beat at highest speed until thick and creamy. Add the vanilla to the mixture and beat until combined.

Chuck's recipe calls for a food processor. I've never used a food processor to make cake batter before, so was tempted to ignore that part and use my stand mixer instead. But I wanted to stay loyal to Chuck and try out something new, so I broke out the food processor. (But ended up using the mixer for the frosting, anyway.)

Tips to Make Green Velvet Cupcakes Recipe:

Since they&rsquore so easy, I just want to make sure you really understand how to make this cake recipe as easy on yourself as possible. So, here&rsquos some fun tips and tricks I found to make turning cupcake baking into a no-brainer.

  • Don&rsquot just line your muffin tins. Also spray them (with the liners in place) lightly with cooking spray. But don&rsquot do this spraying when you preheat your oven to 350 degrees&ndashwait until you&rsquore just about to put the cupcake batter in the muffin tins, that way the oil doesn&rsquot pool in the liners or soak through.
  • Use an electric mixer&ndasha hand mixer or a stand mixer, either will do&ndashto combine your cake mix together. This is going to be so much more efficient. If you don&rsquot have one, use a whisk. Your goal is to break up all the bits of cake mix and not leave any lumps.
  • Ran out of milk? Don&rsquot panic! You can use sour cream or even cream cheese instead!
  • Making buttercream is easier than you might think. Just mix up your butter and powdered sugar in a medium bowl&ndashthen add your green color. If you add the colorant first, it will be &ldquolumpy&rdquo and uneven. So, wait.
  • Never fill your cupcake tins more than 2/3 full. That&rsquos just too much and they&rsquore sure to overflow and then they stick to the tin. Just don&rsquot do it.
  • When checking for doneness, use a toothpick and poke the centermost cupcake. That way you&rsquore testing the one cupcake that is most likely to be raw.
  • Don&rsquot over-mix your cupcake batter. Just use the medium speed and whip it for long enough that the liquid and dry bits are combined. But the more you whip it, the less fluffy your cake mix cupcakes will be.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of sour cream if you want a more moist cupcake. I usually don&rsquot have a problem with moistness, but that&rsquos a personal opinion and you can totally add this one ingredient and make a whole different cupcake.

Green Velvet Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day

Just like the ever so popular Red Velvet, these Green Velvet Cupcakes have a chocolate flavor but are a festive green color for St. Patrick’s Day. Added to the top is a shamrock made from my favorite Candy Clay.

Happy Cupcake Tuesday! I’m so excited you are here! Looking for a cupcake recipe? Be sure to check out the Cupcake Heaven page, there are over 250 cupcake recipes and decorating ideas!

Easy enough for a St. Patrick’s Day treat yet impressive enough to serve at a party, these cupcakes are sure to have guests green with envy! Starting with a box mix, you can’t get easier than that. I used Decorator Icing on them, however Buttercream Frosting would be delicious too! And of course a Candy Shamrock on top!

We have used Candy Clay several times. And honestly, I can’t express enough my love for how easy it is to use. You do need to plan ahead and mix it several hours or the night before, but other than that, it’s perfect to use for decorating cupcakes, cakes and desserts.

And better yet – it taste good…really good!

Head HERE to watch the How To Video and grab the recipe for Candy Clay!

Here are a few cupcakes with Candy Clay Decorations you may also like…

For cake:

  • 3-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons green food coloring
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

For Frosting:

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Follow Garnish & Glaze on Pinterest for more great recipes!

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Don’t you wish there really was a pot of gold at the end of each rainbow? Well, these rich and fluffy Green Velvet St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes with the best cream cheese frosting and a chocolate gold coin on top come close enough!

Holidays have become so much more fun now that we have kids and our three year old is starting to understand what’s going on. I never really did much for St. Patrick’s Day except for wear green but that’s going to change! We’re going green on everything on the 17th!

I bought Lucky Charms last week and while Carly had never had them, she was super excited about the colorful box. The weekend before, two of her friends had birthday parties and when she found the Lucky Charms in the grocery bag I brought in, she starting singing happy birthday to herself and said it was a present. The next day, I let her try it and of course she loved the cereal marshmallows. Hmmm, I wonder where she got that from!?

And it’s no surprise, Carly was a big fan of these cupcakes, particularly the frosting. After she licked all the frosting off she asked for more.

Not only is the frosting amazing, but the cake is too! It’s just like classic red velvet cake with the vanilla extract and little bit of cocoa powder but with green food coloring instead of red.

If you’re looking for more awesome cupcakes you’ve got to try these Samoa Cupcakes and Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes. I’m sure you’ll enjoy all of them.

Tools used to make these Green Velvet Cupcakes:

KitchenAid Blender – If you’re not ready to commit to a high power blender, this one is great! This one served me well in making smoothies and pureeing soups and sauces for 8 years.

Measuring Cups – I love these measuring cups! It has every single size measuring cup and spoon. I can’t stand sets that don’t come with 2/3 and 3/4 cups!

Muffin/Cupcake Tin– Every kitchen needs a muffin tin. This is my favorite. I use it for cupcakes, muffins, mini frittatas….


A green twist on classic red velvet, these cupcakes take basic cake mix to delicious new heights with the addition of Pure Vanilla Extract, Green Food Color, sour cream and cocoa powder.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes 24 servings.

• 1 package (18¼ ounces) German chocolate cake mix with pudding
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 bottle (1 ounce) McCormick Green Food Color
• 3 eggs
• 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
• 1 container (16 ounces) cream cheese frosting
• Green sprinkles (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cake mix, sour cream, water, cocoa powder, oil, food color, eggs and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.

2. Pour batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.

3. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pans cool completely on wire rack. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

• Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (makes 2½ cups):
Beat 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened, 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened, 2 tablespoons sour cream and 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar until smooth.

• Minty Green Cream Cheese Frosting:
Stir 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract and 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Green Food Color into canned cream cheese frosting or Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.

Per Serving: 213 calories, Fat 9g, Carbohydrates 31g, Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 193mg, Fiber 1g, Protein 2g

Market news: Red velvet cupcakes go green for St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day charmer: Easy green velvet cupcakes from a McCormick recipe.

Here's a why-didn't-I-think-of-that idea for Saint Patrick's Day: green velvet cupcakes.

Just like the perennially popular red velvet variety, these cocoa-flavored cakes are brightened with a good dose of food coloring. The recipe for two dozen Easy Green Velvet Cupcakes involves “doctoring” boxed German chocolate cake mix with sour cream, cocoa powder and a full bottle of green food color.

The cupcakes are among more than a dozen St. Patrick's Day ideas at, ranging from traditional Irish soda bread with caraway seeds to Luck o' the Irish cake pops, green Irish (rice) Crispy Treats and drinks such as the Emerald Mint Milkshake, an Irish coffee martini, and green beer or Leprechaun Lemonade.

If you make the cupcakes, enhance them with the vanilla cream cheese frosting suggested for the recipe. It's so easy to make frosting from scratch. Just grab a large bowl and blend together an 8-ounce package of softened cream cheese, a stick of softened butter, 2 tablespoons of sour cream and 2 teaspoons of McCormick's vanilla extract. When that's light and fluffy, gradually beat in 16 ounces of powdered confectioners' sugar until smooth. The frosting can be tinted with food color if you like.

To help with giving the obligatory green tint to a variety of St. Patrick's Day foods, McCormick has developed the Shamrockin' Treats food color guide on Pintrest.

And now that you have the green velvet idea, don't stop at cupcakes. Search “red velvet” at and you'll get about 20 more ideas. Turn red velvet cake or cupcakes green with recipes to make both from scratch. Or transform red velvet cheesecake, pancakes or cookies simply by adding a bit o' the green. And while green velvet hot chocolate might not look as appetizing as the red velvet version, have fun experimenting to come up with a personal spin on these chocolatey treats.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.

Recipe Summary

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 fluid ounce red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 20 paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt stir into the batter just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.

Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter and frost with desired frosting.

Green Velvet Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting

(Yield 12 cupcakes)

1 1/4 cup Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 Egg
1/2 cup Oil
1/2 cup Milk
1 tsp Vinegar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
Green Food Coloring

8 oz softened Cream Cheese
4 tbsp softened Butter
3 cups Powdered Sugar
3 tbsp Baileys

Preheat oven to 350.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
Beat egg and then add remaining wet ingredients and whisk until blended.
In a separate bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients.
Add wet ingedients to the dry stir until combined.
Now add food coloring until you reach the desired color.
Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
Bake about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool on wire rack.
Cream together cream cheese, butter and Baileys.
Gradually add in powdered sugar and whip until desired consistency is reached.
Transfer to zippered bag or piping bag and pipe frosting onto cupcakes.

Watch the video: Green Velvet Cupcakes


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