DF asked me to bake cupcakes for the women in human resources (to thank them). With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner I thought they should be decorated for the occasion. I was inspired by, of all things, a 21 century insurance commercial. I realize how odd that may sound, but in the little commercial they show this fantasy land with grass, a pound, and flowers; the person who has the 21 century insurance receives a visit from a leprechaun dancing around a pot of gold. I knew I wanted the cupcakes to resemble the scenery.
When Sydney saw the leprechaun hats, prior to petal dusting them, she remarked they would be great for Dr. Seuss’ hats, I agree if the hats were painted red with white stripes they would be cute. Dr. Seuss’ hats or the mad hatter from Alice in wonderland..maybe we will create some fun cakes while she is home for spring break!
Crème de Menthe Cupcakes:
- 150 grams/1 1/4-cups all purpose flour
- 168 grams/ 1 5/8- cups cake flour, not self rising flour
- 9 grams/2-teaspoons
- 1-teaspoon salt
- 300 grams/ 10.5 ounces butter, room temperature
- 300 grams/ 1 1/2-cups sugar
- 1-vanilla pod, seeds only
- 3 drops cherry blossom extract
- 5 eggs, room temperature
- 30 grams/ 2-Tablespoons Crème de Menthe
- 1-Tablespoon lime zest
- Standing mixer or hand mixer
- Rubber spatula
- 50 mm ice cream scooper, medium
- 2 muffin pans
- 24 liners of choice
Prepare your mise en place.
Use the three stage method.
Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.
In a small bowl, sift the flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and vanilla bean until smooth. Add zest, add the sugar gradually, and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Whisk the eggs with the crème de menthe in a measuring jug. Sift the dry ingredients until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Add the mixture, alternating with the flour mixture and egg mixer (beginning with flour and ending with flour) beat on low speed until all the ingredients are amalgamated . Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
Use a medium ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 180 degrees C/350 degrees F, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
**if you do not want to use alcohol substitute mint extract or an emulsion i.e. mint oil.
The Pot of Gold and Leprechaun Hat:
- Creme de Menthe Cupcakes, flat top
- Circle cutters, various sizes
- Ball tool
- Piping tips/tube large and small, you will be using the opposite side
- Grass piping tip/tube, for piping
- #2 piping tip, for piping
- #7 piping tip/tube
- Palate spatula
- A-ceto knife
- Parchment piping cones
- Flower plungers
- Fondant rolling pin
- Artistic brush, #2 round and #3 mop
- Celsticks, medium & small
- Clay gun
- Royal Icing, colored green, blue, & white
- Clear piping gel or blue colored SK piping gel
- Blue food paste
- Edible glue
- Fondant, colored with pastal colors: yellow, pink, purple, & baby blue
- Petal dust & lustre, green, gold, and kiwi
- Vanilla vodka
- Corn starch
- White chocolate melts
- Freeze spray
Create the pots of gold and leprechaun hats prior to baking the cupcakes.
Prepare your mise en place and cover your cupcakes with marzipan.
I chose marzipan, but buttercream would be prefect for the Luck of the Irish Hats; you would need to use buttercream for all the piping instead of royal icing, but the method is the same.
The Pots of Gold and Leprechaun Hats’ mise en place.
Cover the cupcakes, and allow the marzipan to dry. Color your piping gel with blue food paste and whip vigorously,place the colored piping gel in a piping bag fitted with a #2 piping tip/tube, out line a body of water with light blue royal icing, pipe the dam with your blue colored piping gel, and use a tooth pic to spread to the edge (this will also create ripples to the water effect). With a piping bag fitted with a grass piping tip/tube pipe grass from the outline of water to the edge of the cupcake.
The Pots of Gold:
Knead some black fondant roll a “jacks bouncing ball” size ball smooth, hollow the ball with a ball tool, flatten the hollowed ball, and shape the sides. Add flatten round fondant disks to the top. Using a clay gun and round shape disk create the rim of the pot, and attach the rim with edible glue (sugar water, egg white, or store bought).
For the gold disks I used a #7 piping tip/tube, created little round disks of yellow fondant and painted the little disks with a mixture of gold lustre dust and vodka. The edible lustre dust!
The Leprechaun Hats:
Knead wedding white fondant, color with green food paste, roll the fondant out and place in a pasta machine, thin the fondant to #3. Using the wide end of a large piping tip/tube cut a circle for the brim of the hat, and place the brim on a lightly cornstarch area and use a large ball tool to smooth the edges. Form a “jacks bouncing ball” size of green fondant into a smooth ball, turn the ball into an egg shape, with the pointy end of a medium celstick, hollow out the the egg point of the egg shape fondant, play with the top to add movement, and with edible glue attach the top to the brim.
For the band roll to a #4 on a pasta machine flat, and cut about 3 mm or 1/8-inch wide strip, size the strip to the narrow part of the hat, and attach with edible glue.
Since I am not blessed with a plethora of large ball tools, I carefully placed the finished hats to dry on ten bouncing balls covered with viva paper towel and cradle in an egg crate. I created 10 hats, therefore I needed 10 bouncing jacks balls.
Allow the hats, pots, and coins to dry. I colored the coins while the fondant was still soft. I decided to wait to petal dust the hats until the fondant dried overnight. I used mint green petal dust and kiwi petal lustre. I did layer the color until the hats reached what I thought resembled a leprechaun color and then texted a photo to Sydney for verification. Once I had Sydney’s approval I plunged a few flower blossoms and assembled the Crème de Menthe Cupcakes.
Using melted white chocolate pipe a drop for each coin, attach the coins to the pots, now apply white melted chocolate to a hat, place on top of the coins, spray with freeze spray. Decide where you want to place the pots of gold and attach with the melted chocolate and freeze spray the chocolate. Place the flower blossoms around the cupcakes.
What a wonderful baking project for the family or even a kids cake decorating class!