Gluten Free Shamrock Shake Cupcakes | For St. Patrick’s Day

Gluten Free Shamrock Shake Cupcakes | For St. Patrick’s Day

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this fun and delicious gluten free shamrock shake cupcake that has all the flavors of the drink we wait for all year long!

Gluten Free Shamrock Shake Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day

When I’m not sure how to celebrate a holiday, I fall back on gluten-free cupcakes. And since my children insist upon celebrating every single solitary holiday, no matter what (they’re in it for the food), when all else fails I come up with a celebratory cupcake.

Enter … gluten-free Shamrock Shake Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day. I had no choice.

Gluten Free Shamrock Shake Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day

Can you blame them? Every time I look at this overhead shot, I wanna take out a straw and drink it like a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake.

Take that, McDonald’s.

Gluten Free Shamrock Shake Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day

How to make cupcakes mint-flavored

The cupcakes are naturally mint-flavored by baking them with mint sugar. You make mint sugar easily by taking granulated sugar and pulsing it in a food processor with some fresh mint leaves.

Then bake the cupcakes. See the flecks of mint? I also added some peppermint oil to the batter, to boost the mint flavor. But use that sparingly. It’s strong stuff. You could also leave it out altogether.

Whipped cream frosting

Okay, let’s talk Whipped Cream Frosting. You can make fresh whipped cream and pipe it on there like frosting, but within a couple hours, it’ll begin to separate.

You need something to stabilize the frosting. We could use gelatin, but I wanted something to make it a bit sturdier.

We made it into a heavier whipped cream frosting by adding mascarpone, an Italian cream cheese. You could also use an equal amount standard cream cheese, but the frosting will have more of a tangy flavor with cream cheese.

Gluten Free Shamrock Shake Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day

Gluten Free Shamrock Shake Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy: There are many different forms of dairy in this recipe. The cupcakes have butter and milk, and the frosting has mascarpone cheese and heavy whipping cream.

You can try using Melt brand or Miyoko’s Kitchen brand vegan butter in place of the butter, and unsweetened non-dairy milk in place of the cow’s milk.

The frosting recipe is trickier. Rather than a whipped cream frosting, I’d try making a dairy free buttermilk recipe instead using non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening in place of butter. Just add peppermint oil and some green food coloring.

Eggs: There is one whole egg and one egg white in this recipe. In their place you could try using 1 1/2 “chia eggs” (1 1/2 tablespoons ground white chia seeds + 1 1/2 tablespoons lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel), but I’m not sure how well it would work!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes
1 1/2 cups (210 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Better Batter)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

25 fresh mint leaves

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup (5 1/3 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature (low-fat is fine, nonfat is not)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (or 1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil)

1  egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) + 1 egg white (25 g) at room temperature, beaten

For the frosting
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature (or cream cheese)

2 tablespoons (24 g) non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening

1 cup (115 g) confectioner’s sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (or 1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil)

2 cups (16 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, chilled

2 drops leaf green food coloring gel paste (optional)

Green gluten free sprinkles (optional)


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line or grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set it aside.

  • Make the cupcake batter. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisk to combine well and set the bowl aside. In a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade or, place the granulated sugar and 20 mint leaves. Pulse or blend until the mint leaves are ground fine. The sugar will be a pale green color. Add the mint sugar to the bowl of dry ingredients, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, milk, vanilla, peppermint extract or oil and eggs, and beat until well-combined and smooth. Mince the remaining 5 mint leaves, and fold them into the batter.

  • Bake the cupcakes. Fill the prepared muffin cups about halfway full, and shake into an even layer in each well. Place the tin in the center of the preheated oven and bake until very pale golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the middle muffin comes out clean, about 19 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Place the mascarpone cheese and shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and peppermint, and mix to combine. Switch out the paddle attachment for the wire whisk. Add the chilled heavy cream to the bowl, and mix on high speed until the cream thickens and holds a relatively soft peak (stiffer than a very soft peak that falls over on itself, but softer than a stiff peak that stands straight up). Toward the very end, add the optional food coloring.

  • Frost the cupcakes. Transfer frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a large tip, and pipe a generous amount of frosting on top of each cooled cupcake. Sprinkle with the optional green sprinkles. The whipped cream frosting is stable enough to sit at room temperature for about a day without wilting or separating. For a slightly firmer frosting, refrigerate the cupcakes after frosting and serve chilled.


Comments are closed.

  • Sherry Larson
    March 16, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Thanks for the reply Nicole(and for the Happy Birthday),

    I have experimented w/ dairy-free frostings a bit, and they are pretty good, but not the same. I have not tried using cocnut milk in a frosting though, I bet that would be lovely(but vegan cream cheese is not as lovely as mascarpone, it just isn’t). I did make a pretty successful dairy-free caramel sauce in prep for making the rolo cake. I just subbed out the regular canned coconut milk for the heavy cream, and 1tbs earth balance + 1tbs Spectrum shortening for the butter. Not bad at all! Thanks again for all of the great recipes, and all of the pointers on how to handle my family’s food restrictions. I have learned so much and come so far due mostly to your tutelage! I hope you can feel the love.

  • Anonymous
    March 14, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Just checked today’s recipe (spent the day with friends quilting) & these look so good that I may have to try making theming this weekend! May not be green but they will be minty! Thinking of adding some coco powder instead…chocolate & mint go so well together! Nicole, love all the cake/cookies/cupcake recipes. Thanks for indulging us! We do feel your love!

    • March 15, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      So glad you’re enjoying!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Andrea
    March 14, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Ipinned it on my gluten free food to make. Thanks!

    • March 14, 2012 at 6:46 PM

      Love it, Andrea! Pinterest is so fabulous. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Ashley
    March 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    I would make these today… but since today is pi day (3.14), I will need to make those little apple pies tonight!

  • Maggie
    March 14, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Oh how I wish my mint was up!!!! I am definitely filing this one away for when it is ;) . I made the rolo cupcakes yesterday…..BIG hit!!! We’re talking HUGE….even with my non-gluten free friends :) .

    • March 14, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      Hi, Maggie!
      I wish I could have picked mint from outside my front door to make these, but I had to buy some instead. Growing herbs is my most favorite part of warm weather (and I’m really not a warm weather person at all).
      So glad you enjoyed the Rolo cupcakes! My poor children beg me to make those all the time. But I can’t! Have to move onward. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

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