Shamrock Shake Cupcakes With Frosting You Can Make Using Bailey’s Coffee Creamer

March 14, 2019

March is the month that brings us March Madness (if sports are your thing, #cantrelate), St. Patrick’s Day, and of course, the beloved and ICONIC McDonald’s Shamrock Shake.

Fun story about my one and ONLY experience with a Shamrock Shake:

Back in the early 2000s, my dad surprised me and my younger brother with two Shamrock Shakes when picking us up from elementary school. He reached into the backseat, holding the cup like any normal person would, and I — being 8 years old and having no clue how physics works — decided that grabbing the cup by the lid was a great idea. I vividly remember telling my dad, “Got it!”, while my small hand gripped the lid of the slime-green shake.

I’m sure you know where this story is going.

Dad lets go of the base of the cup and gravity kicks in. The lid separates from the rest of the cup and a mountain of artificially-dyed green, minty goodness goes splattering ALL over the floor of my dad’s car.

I relive this traumatizing childhood experience every year, whenever I see those Shamrock Shake ads make the rounds. 

So Yummy

So in honor of the holiday when we indulge in green food and drinks, why not celebrate with these Shamrock Shake cupcakes?

They’ll be the perfect addition to any St. Patrick’s Day party you attend (or host!). You also won’t spend hours preparing these cupcakes, because the hack is to use a box cake mix. That leaves you with more time for festivities!

These cupcakes are flavored with a secret ingredient that you probably use on a daily basis.

I’m an avid coffee drinker, and I’m a fan of all the fun coffee creamer flavors that are out there. I’ve run into the problem one too many times of being left with an awkward amount of creamer left in the jug. I face the dilemma of: do I pour the rest into my coffee and risk the ratio of coffee to creamer being ruined? Or, do I just dump the rest?

I discovered an easy solution for dealing with that awkward amount of leftover coffee creamer, thanks to the help of a few So Yummy producers.

To stay in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I used some non-alcoholic Baileys The Original Irish Cream Coffee Creamer to flavor the frosting for these cupcakes. If you’re looking for a bit of a boozy kick to your frosting, you can always flavor it with the original Baileys Irish Cream.

So Yummy

Making buttercream frosting was a daunting idea for me.

I’ve NEVER made homemade frosting. The only experiences I’ve had with frosting involve those tins of Pillsbury pre-made frosting and sloppily applying it with a knife to cupcakes I made using Sprite (because I didn’t have any eggs in my apartment).

If making your own frosting and piping it is something you’re unfamiliar with, then I recommend checking out this basic American buttercream frosting recipe to get you started.

Note: I didn’t include all the ingredients listed in that recipe.

I used this to get the ratio of butter to powdered sugar right. What you’re going to want is around 12 oz of softened butter and about 3 cups of powdered sugar. I noticed a discrepancy in the measurements. The recipe originally calls for 12 oz of powdered sugar, but that only comes out to 1½ cups, which will leave you with a thick, buttery mess. So stick to around 3 cups for the best results.

So Yummy

I wanted to do some research for myself, so I’d know the best techniques for making yummy buttercream frosting. If you don’t happen to work in the same office as baking professionals like our So Yummy producers, I recommend turning to this Cupcake Jemma video to see the best method for whipping this frosting up. I also knew nothing about piping tips, and this video does an excellent job of walking you through each type.

The only other ingredient I added was around 4-5 tablespoons of the Baileys The Original Irish Cream Coffee Creamer. Flavor your frosting however you’d like.

This creamer smells stronger than it tastes in the frosting, so be sure to sample it before continuing.

So Yummy

When your box cake mix cupcakes are out of the oven and cooled enough (don’t pipe frosting onto warm cupcakes unless you want a melted, gooey MESS), have fun with different piping designs. If you need a bit of a warm-up before piping on the actual cupcake, grab some parchment paper and test it out — that way you can easily scrape the frosting back into the piping bag when you’re done.

See below the ingredients I used for these cupcakes. These measurements yielded enough frosting to generously pipe five cupcakes.

Buttercream frosting:

  • 12 oz of unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups of organic powdered sugar, sifted (regular powdered sugar will do just fine, too)
  • 4-5 tbsp Baileys The Original Irish Cream Coffee Creamer
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • Light green gel-based food coloring


  • Betty Crocker Yellow Cake mix
  • Optional: 6 drops peppermint essential oil (this left a slight mint aftertaste in the cupcakes)


Instructions for frosting:

  1. Add softened butter to an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  2. Whip on a high speed until the butter changes to a whitish color, and is light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar into the mixer. Start the mixer on a low speed at first to avoid sugar flying everywhere.
  4. Once all of the powdered sugar is added, pour in your coffee creamer. Crank the mixer speed back up to high and mix for 3-5 minutes until the frosting has a light and fluffy texture.
  5. Separate a small scoop of frosting into a small bowl and introduce the gel food coloring. Mix until all of the color is evenly added. Reintroduce that batch of frosting to the rest, and mix to ensure that all the color is evenly distributed.
  6. Add to a piping bag fitted with a seven-point closed star tip, and pipe away!
  7. Decorate with any sprinkles of your choice.