We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Orange Chocolate Cupcakes, chocolate gold coins, and treasure hunting. Somehow, this little “holiday” became one of the most looked forward to days in our house full of kids. Yes, even compared to Christmas.
See, one year, oh about 7 years ago, when my wee little twins were just youngin’s I decided to leave a few gold coins around the house. The tradition continued until one year they started asking when the leprechauns would be coming again to visit.
Now the legend has it that one day a year, on March 17, the portal between the leprechaun world and the human world opens to allow the leprechauns access. On this day, the red bearded tiny elfs can cross between worlds and wreak havoc.
Think Day of the Dead meets Elf on a Shelf meets April Fool’s Day. Sometimes I wonder how I get myself into these things.
The leprechauns dye the milk green, they pee in the toilet, they hide things, they use the couches and the pillows as a trampoline and everywhere they go they leave green elf dust.
And, lest we not forget the St. Patrick’s Day pot of gold! Everyone knows that leprechauns never leave their gold behind! Their pockets are full of it, but because they are running so fast all over the house, their gold slips out of their pockets.
Yes, giant gold chocolate coins fall out of the leprechauns pockets all over the house. The kids love that the leprechauns money is chocolate!
It’s an all day long treasure hunt to find green dust, chocolate coins, and green dye. The children find coins in various hiding places all over the house and see what sort of mischief the imps have been up to. It’s tons of fun and I look forward to it just as much as the kids do.
And at the end of our treasure hunt, we make orange chocolate cupcakes using some of our coins to decorate these treats that resemble an Irish flag.
Orange Chocolate Cupcakes
Yummy chocolate and orange cupcakes frosted with chocolate and orange buttercream and a solid chocolate leprechaun coin!
Of course you can enjoy these orange chocolate cupcakes anytime of year. They are super delicious with just the right amount of orange flavor! It’s a perfect combination.
How to Make this Recipe
Orange Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup orange juice
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- Zest one orange
- 1 stick of butter
- 3 cups of powdered sugar
- ½ cup of orange juice
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- Orange food coloring
- ¼ cup of cocoa powder
- In a small saucepan, melt butter and orange juice over stove until melted
- In a large mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients together and mix as best you can
- Add liquid and stir to combine
- Fill cupcake liners no more than ½ full
- Bake at Fahrenheit 350° for 20 minutes, until cake springs back to the touch
- Allow to cool completely before frosting
- Mix all ingredients except for food coloring and cocoa powder together with a hand mixer until well combined and smooth
- Seperate half of the frosting and transfer to a seperate bowl
- In one bowl, sdd several drops of orange food coloring until desired color is reached
- Beat until fluffy
- In the second bowl of frosting, add ¼ cup of cocoa and beat until fluffy
- Use a large glass or mason jar to fill your piping bag by inserting the bag into the glass and wrapping the opening around the edges
- Fill one side of the bag with orange frosting
- Fill the other side of the bag with chocolate frosting
- Close up tight and pipe swirls onto your chocolate and orange cupcakes
- Adorn with a green solid chocolate coin
Where Do You Find Green Chocolate Coins?
Typically, we just do solid milk chocolate coins – but the past few years they’ve been harder and harder to find.
This year we planned ahead and ordered them on Amazon, and even though I don’t need 128 coins they were a great deal and I didn’t have to go searching around for them.
Bonus: They don’t have any specific candy store markings!
While I was searching Amazon, I just happened to find these green ones. They are bright and colorful, they just scream Irish, and my daughter loves white chocolate! It’s been a hard few months for our family and I wanted to do something extra special for her.
Are These Cupcakes Soft and Moist?
Yes! The trick is the balance of liquids and fats and melting them into the batter.
These are the best chocolate cupcakes you will ever have.
- They are so soft.
- They are so moist.
- They are so yummy.
- They are so good.