CakeWalk: Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

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CakeWalk is a weekly column by Mary Ann Porch dedicated to every baker who has ever struggled to achieve the right consistency with their icing, unsuccessfully searched for the perfect cupcake topper or just wants to learn something new. Because with a few helpful tips, cupcakes are a cakewalk.

I took Spanish in college, and for everyone else that didn't have a Gaelic program at their high school or university, the title of this blog post is "St. Patrick's Day blessing Upon you!"

If that first paragraph wasn't hint enough or you've been spared the cheesy grocery store decorations this year, this upcoming Tuesday marks St. Patrick's Day. If you're like me, the tradition of green beer and miles upon miles of amateur drinkers is less than appealing. As a result, I choose to focus my celebration more on the culture of Ireland, especially their recipes.

Obviously, vanilla cake tinted with green food coloring is not an ancient Gaelic tradition. But who would be brave enough to step forward and claim that Irish soda bread would make for a fine substitute when it comes to the lower portion of a cupcake? No one, that's who.

Luckily for us, their are plenty of "Irish" ingredients (I'm using the term "Irish" loosely) that can be utilized to make some pretty unique and delicious cupcakes.

After scouring the Internet, the vast majority of recipes are simply the aforementioned green cupcakes or a take on the Irish Car Bomb in cupcake form. Below are my two favorites, ranging from easy somewhat advanced:

Lucky Charms® Cupcakes
- The folks over at Betty Crocker have come up with this recipe that was most likely being made my Middle America Moms long before the Crocker Test Kitchen put it online. I know this because I was born and raised in Middle America by a mother that was born and raised in Middle America, and as result, we ate like Middle Americans. That being said, I've never taken an Irish history course, but I'm pretty certain General Mills isn't 100 percent on par with Lucky Charms being an Irish cereal, but it's pretty damn delicious so just go with me here and trust the fact that your friends and kids will get a big kick out of the cupcake containing all of the good luck charms they're sure to need for the rest of 2010.

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Chocolate, Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes - If you're not one to over indulge in the liquid celebrations associated with St. Patrick's Day, The Smitten Kitchen offers a wonderful alternative with her Chocolate, Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes. Although I love the recipe, I'm not too keen on the icing design and would suggest a more sophisticated icing technique and decoration. Martha Stewart offers a wonderfully simple idea that involves arranging a simple but elegant shamrock on top.

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I hope St. Patrick's Day is as fruitful for you as it was for St. Patrick and the day he drove all the snakes out of Ireland. On that note, why not share some of that good luck along with your favorite St. Patrick's Day cupcake recipes in the comments section?

Mary Ann is the founder of the New York City chapter of CupcakeCamp NYC, an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and eat cupcakes in an open environment. She is also the founder of Puff and Choux, a blog dedicated to the pastry and dessert arts. You can contact her at with any questions, ideas or just to chit chat. You can also follow her on Twitter at @MaryAPorch.


Tanya said…
I love the lucky charm cupcakes. I haven't left a comment because I thought it would be difficult with the whole log in process, but it wasn't too bad at all..