Pot of Gold Cupcakes

I’ve really been into decorating cupcakes lately, so it’s no surprise I decided to make these pot of gold cupcakes!

I almost wanted to call them end of the rainbow cupcakes, but I wasn’t sure everyone would get what I was talking about with that title.

Giving These Cupcakes A Little Kick

These cupcakes are for St. Patrick’s Day, so I decided to use my Baileys cupcake recipe to make them. This means they’re boozy, in all the right ways!!

Baileys is used in both the cupcake batter and the frosting, so these cupcakes have just the right amount of kick.

I love the flavor of Baileys, and think it’s the perfect flavor for these St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes.

Making These Pot of Gold Cupcakes Kid-Friendly / Alcohol-Free

While I may enjoy consuming alcohol ( responsibly of course ?), I know that not everyone drinks. There also are lots of people out there looking to bake with their kids, so don’t worry if that’s you!

These cupcakes can easily be made alcohol free by using my classic chocolate cupcake recipe. Use that recipe as the base, and follow the decoration steps included in the recipe card below.

Decorating These Cupcakes & The Tools You’ll Need

Speaking of the decoration of these cupcakes, I used a few different tools to create this look! You don’t need to have all these tools, but they make it a lot easier.

image of pot of gold cupcakes made for St. Patrick's Day

The tool I used the most is a small offset spatula! It helps you evenly spread the frosting, and stack the cupcakes. If you don’t have one on hand, I suggest using a butter knife instead.

Another important tool is piping bags. They make it way easier get the frosting around the cupcake and to get it smooth.

Piping bags also allow you to add accents around the pot which really make it look like a little pot of gold 🙂

image of pot of gold cupcake being frosted with a small piping bag

If you don’t have piping bags, you can use ziploc bags! Just be sure they’re the sturdy kind (freezer bags work great) rather than flimsy sandwich bags.

The last tool that you really need to make these pot of gold cupcakes is an acetate sheet! It’s the little plastic sheet I use to smooth frosting on cakes and cupcakes with curved sides.

I get mine in a big pack with large sheets (12 in x 12 in), then cut them down with scissors. This makes them a lot easier to use on small desserts like this.

You can smooth the frosting using an offset spatula if you don’t have a thin piece of plastic like this. However, it makes it more challenging to make the pot look curved.

Finding Out What’s Really at the End of the Rainbow

In my mind, there was no way I could make a batch of pot of gold cupcakes and not make a rainbow. The two go hand in hand, right?!

While the idea seemed super cute, executing it was hard than I thought. I ended up deciding to make a fondant rainbow.

Rather than making 7 different colors of fondant with gel food coloring or buying 7 different colors of fondant, I chose to paint the fondant.

I used a mixture of gel food coloring and vodka to make my edible paint.

If you don’t drink alcohol or are intent on making this child friendly, you can use a few drops of clear extract to make each color. I find that almond and lemon extract work great!

image of hand painted rainbow using fondant and gel food coloring

I recommend using either a set of cake paint brushes, or a new paint brush. No matter how much you wash them, paint brushes that have been used always seem to be filled with residual paint.

This is why I strongly advise against using arts and crafts paint brushes that have been used with regular paint.

In most cases no one actually eats the fondant rainbow, but it will be touching the frosting on your cupcake. And none of us want a hint of old paint when we’re trying enjoying these cupcakes.

Tips for Making The Best St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes:

  • Be sure your cupcakes are COMPLETELY cooled before you frost them! If they’re even a little bit warm, the frosting can melt right off and they will crumble when you try to cut them in half.
  • Chill these cupcakes in the freezer for 30 minutes to make it easier to stack and frost them. This helps the buttercream stick to them better, and reduces crumbing.
  • Use a cookie scoop to easily fill your cupcake liners
  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better, so be sure you set out any cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Bang your cupcake pan on the counter before putting it in the oven, to bring any air bubbles that are trapped in the batter to the surface

Making These Pot of Gold Cupcakes In Advance & Storage Tips:

  • Make these cupcakes in advance! If stored unfrosted in an airtight container, they can last for 2 days at room temp, up to a week in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer
  • Make your frosting ahead of time too, or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
  • Frosted cupcakes can sit out at room temperature overnight in an airtight container, or be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try these pot of gold cupcakes, I’d love to hear what think of it! Please leave a rating, and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment.

Also tag me @chelsweets, and use the #chelsweets on social media so that I can see your amazing creations!

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 12-14 cupcakes

Pot of Gold Cupcakes

Pot of Gold Cupcakes

These pot of gold cupcakes are perfect for St. Patrick's Day! They are just as delicious as they are festive, plus they're absolutely adorable!!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 25 minutes
Total Time 58 minutes

Ingredients

Boozy Pot of Gold Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup warm water (59 grams)
  • 1/2 cup of Baileys Irish Cream (120 grams)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (73 grams)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled - milk or dark (57 grams)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature (114 grams)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (98 grams)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (3 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (2 grams)
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa powder (32 grams)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar (4 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)

Baileys Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (226 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3  grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (454 grams) - or a 1 lb bag
  • 2 Tbsp Baileys Irish Cream (30 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream (15 grams)
  • Black and Yellow Gel  Food Coloring
  • 1/3 dark chocolate chips, melted and cooled (58 grams) - to be added after making the yellow frosting

Additional Tools / Decorations

Instructions

Pot of Gold Cupcake Recipe:

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350°F. Place cupcake liners in baking pans.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of warm water, 1/2 cup of Baileys, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1/3 cup melted and cooled chocolate chips, and 2 large eggs into a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together until smooth.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/3 cup baking cocoa) and stir until just combined.
  5. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a spatula.
  6. Add in 1 tsp vinegar and 1 tsp vanilla extract, and mix until the batter is smooth - it will be a bit thick!
  7. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, and bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.
  8. Allow cupcakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and place in the freezer for 15 minutes (to accelerate the cooling process).

Baileys Buttercream:

  1. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle or whisk attachment, until smooth. 
  2. Mix in the salt and vanilla extract on a low speed.
  3. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with additions of the heavy cream and Baileys.
  4. Beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
  5. If the frosting is too thick, add an extra Tbsp of heavy cream. If it's too thin, add in another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.
  6. Stir by hand with a rubber spatula to get the frosting SUPER smooth.
  7. Color 1/2 cup of frosting yellow with gel food coloring in a separate bowl, and place in a small piping bag.
  8. Mix the melted and cooled dark chocolate into the remaining frosting and color it black with gel food coloring.
  9. Place a 1/4 cup of the black frosting into a small piping bag, and cut a 1/2 cm opening.
  10. Place the rest of the frosting into a larger piping bag and cut a 1 cm opening.


Decorating These Pot of Gold Cupcakes

  1. Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, unwrap one of the cupcakes and cut it in half with a sharp knife.
  2. Add a dab of frosting onto your small dessert round of plate to help the cupcake stay in place.
  3. Gently press the bottom half of the cupcake onto the dab of frosting, making sure it's centered.
  4. Spread an even layer of black buttercream onto the cupcake bottom, then top with the other half of the cupcake.
  5. Pipe a generous layer of black frosting (from the larger piping bag) around the sides of the cupcake up to the top, to create a lip. Leave the top of the cupcake uncovered.
  6. Smooth the frosting around the cupcake with a small offset spatula and an acetate sheet, and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes or the freezer for 5 minutes.
  7. Once the frosting is firm to the touch, cover the top of the cupcake with yellow frosting and top with yellow or gold sprinkles.
  8. Use the black buttercream in the small piping bag to pipe 3 small feet around the base of the pot, and two handles.
  9. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.
  10. If desired, make a fondant rainbow by painting white fondant with gel food coloring mixed with clear liquor or extract.

Notes

Make your cupcakes in advance! If stored unfrosted in an airtight container, they can last for 2 days at room temp, up to a week in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer

Make your frosting ahead of time too, or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.

Frosted cupcakes can sit out at room temperature overnight in an airtight container, or be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If you want to make alcohol free cupcakes, use my moist chocolate cupcake recipe instead!

Nutrition Information

Yield

14 cupcakes

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 343Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 36mgSodium 194mgCarbohydrates 53gFiber 2gSugar 41gProtein 4g

2 thoughts on “Pot of Gold Cupcakes

Let me know what you think!