This St. Patrick's Day decorate Oreo Cookies and use them to create adorably cute Leprechaun Cupcakes. Each little leprechaun sits atop a big swirl of green frosting and happily holds a pot of gold.
Over the past year, I've been making cupcakes topped with bears, puppies, monkeys, and even lions made using Reese's Cups. Each of those animals sits atop a big swirl of frosting and has its arms wrapped around a piece of candy.
I love this design concept and wanted to use it to make St. Patrick's Day cupcakes but didn't want to use a chocolate peanut butter cup.
Instead, I chose to dip Oreo Cookies into peach-colored candy melts and turn them into Leprechauns.
Admittedly, these Leprechauns do require a bit more work than the Reese's Cup animals did.
First, you need to dip the Oreo, then add a beard and face. The leprechauns also need hats and hands which are also handmade.
I decided each leprechaun would hold a pot of gold and I took the easy route and used the paper cupcake sticks that came in a package of Wilton St. Patrick's Day cupcake liners. Your leprechauns could also hold a chocolate gold coin. Or you can make chocolate pots filled with gold candy pearls.
To make these Leprechaun cupcakes a little more fun, I baked white cupcakes with a green center.
You can skip this step but it does make the cupcakes a bit more magical.
Let's get baking!
- white cake mix - Plus the ingredients to make the cake or use store-bought cupcakes.
- green food coloring - This is optional if you want to the insides of your white cupcakes green.
- white frosting - Make homemade buttercream or use a thick store-bought frosting like Wilton's Decorator Icing.
- white and orange candy melts - Blend white and orange candy melts together to achieve skin tone for the Leprechauns' faces or mix a little orange candy coloring into white candy melts.
- OREO Cookies - Dip the cookies in the skin-tone candy melts to make the Leprechauns' faces.
- green candy melts - You'll use this to make the Leprechaun hats.
- black food coloring marker - Use this to create a hat band on each candy hat.
- edible gold luster dust - Mix this with some lemon extract and brush it onto the hats to make a buckle.
- lemon extract
Start by making (or buying) cupcakes.
If you want to add a surprise green patch inside each cupcake, use a Wilton Two-Tone Cupcake Pan and Insert.
You make your cupcake batter, then color ⅓rd of it (in this case, green) and pipe that into the center of the insert and pipe another color (in this case, white) around the outside.
When you've filled 3 cupcakes, you simply lift up the insert, place it into the next set of cupcake liners, and pipe in more batter. You don't have to clean the insert unless you change colors.
I tested out Wilton's Perfect Fill tip to pipe in the green coloring. You put it into a disposable pastry bag just like a coupler, then pipe the batter into the pan. It fits perfectly into the two-tone insert and when lifted up doesn't allow the excess batter to spill out.
OREO Leprechaun Faces
Once you have a batch of cupcakes made, you need to make some leprechauns.
Start by melting one 12-ounce bag of white candy melts with 10 orange candy melt wafers. Once blended together, they create a nice peach color.
Dip any type of Oreo Cookie you like into the peach-colored candy coating. I had some Pumpkin Spice Oreos, so I used those. Vanilla Oreo Cookies will work great too.
Use a dipping fork or kitchen fork to lift the cookie out of the candy melts and allow the excess to drip off before placing it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 5-8 minutes until the candy coating hardens.
You'll also need two small peach-colored hands for each leprechaun cupcake. Pipe teardrop shapes onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet then pop them in the freezer for a few minutes.
You'll also need to melt some green candy melts to use to make the leprechauns' hats.
I used the leprechaun picks that came with the St. Patrick's Day cupcake kit as a guide. I pulled the sticks out of the paper hats and set them under a piece of parchment paper. I then piped around the outside of the hat, making my hats a wee bit bigger than the paper picks.
If you don't have the picks, draw out a simple hat shape and set it under your parchment paper, then pipe the green candy melts over top. Pop them in the freezer for about 3 minutes until the candy hardens. Then remove them and allow them to warm up to room temperature.
Use a Wilton Green Candy Decorating Pen to draw a band on each hat. Then mix a bit of edible Wilton Gold Pearl Dust with some lemon extract or vodka. I used Wilton's Sweet Meyer Lemon flavoring from their Treatology System.
Use a food-use-only paint brush to paint a gold buckle onto each hat.
To decorate the leprechaun Oreos you'll need red or orange candy melts or a combo of both, which is what I used. You'll also need a food-use-only paint brush with wide bristles.
Dab the melted candy melts around the edge of the Oreo cookie. Once the candy starts to thicken, push your brush up against the edge and quickly pull away creating small little spikes. This will give your leprechaun's beard and hair some texture.
Then use a black candy marker to draw two eyes and a smile on each face. Add a dab of peach candy coating at each end of the smile if you'd like them to have cheeks.
One of my readers commented that she had a hard time getting her Reese's Cups Teddy Bears to stand up straight on her cupcakes, so I thought it might be helpful to add a candy pick to each Leprechaun Cookie.
To create a candy pick, simply pipe some candy melts onto parchment paper and set the Oreo Leprechaun over top. Allow the candy to harden before peeling it off the parchment.
Attach one candy hat to each Leprechaun cookie using either peach or green candy melts.
Frost the cupcakes.
Now you need to add a big swirl of sturdy green frosting on top of each cupcake.
I used Wilton's Decorator Icing and colored it using their Kelly green icing coloring. I absolutely love this frosting. It's the perfect consistency for piping big swirls of frosting onto cupcakes and it tastes great.
To make the swirls, spoon some of the green frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a big star (1M) tip, then pipe a big swirl in the center of each cupcake.
Assemble the cupcakes.
Now all you have to do is decorate the cupcakes.
Attach one Leprechaun cookie to the top of each swirl of frosting.
Insert a pot of gold pick into the front of each cupcake or attach a gold chocolate coin. Then press a candy hand on either side.
Your Leprechaun Cupcakes are ready to serve.
If you're looking for more St. Patrick's Day food, use the link and check out these awesome recipes.
Creme de Menthe Fudge Shamrocks • Shamrock Shakes in Edible Candy Cups
Candy Leprechaun Hats • Rice Krispie Treat Shamrocks
Shamrock Semi-Freddo • Shamrock Surprise Cakes
- 12 ounces Wilton White Candy Melts plus 10 orange Candy Melt wafers
- 16 Oreo Cookies use any flavor you like
- 4 ounces Wilton Green Candy Melts
- 1 pinch edible gold petal or luster dust
- lemon extract
- 4 ounces Wilton Orange or Red Candy Melts or mix both
- black and green candy decorating markers
- 16 baked cupcakes
- green colored frosting about ⅓ cup per cupcake
Pour white and orange candy melts in a microwave safe bowl.
Heat on high power for 15-30 second increments, stirring after each until melted creating a peach color.
Dip Oreo in peach colored candy melts.
Remove using a dipping fork and allow excess candy coating to drip off.
Set on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Freeze for 5-8 minutes until candy coating hardens.
Pipe 32 small tear drops onto parchment paper for the hands.
Melt green candy melts.
Pipe or paint the candy melts onto parchment in the shape of a leprechaun hat.
Make 16 hats.
Freeze for 3-5 minutes until hardened.
Use the green candy decorating marker to draw a band onto each hat.
Mix gold petal dust with just enough lemon extract to make a thin paste (a few drops.)
Brush it onto each hat creating a buckle.
Melt orange candy melts.
Paint a ¼ inch wide border all around each cookie creating the hair and beard.
Draw eyes and a smile onto each cookie.
Add dots of peach candy coating at each end of the smile.
Attach one hat to each cookie using candy melts.
Attach one Leprechaun cookies to the top of the swirl on each cupcake.
Insert a pot of gold pick or attach a gold coin or shamrock candy to the front of each cupcake.
Insert two hands into the frosting so they look like they are holding the pot of gold.
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Beth, looking at the pic I just couldn't fathom what that little man was made of. An oreo! Genius!
I have trouble with eating too much chocolate while i bakek
Me too! 🙂
These cupcakes turned out super cute!
I would say my biggest problem is working with chocolate /melting candies in a warm environment. i live near Phoenix, AZ which means half of the year my home is too warm. But my small fridge is too full to put a sheet pan of treats in it. I really have to plan ahead.
Anyway, love seeing your fun ideas and getting inspired to make creative treats. (So many ideas. So little time.)
I have the most trouble finding sugar free chocolate to melt!
Guittard makes a good sugar free chocolate. It can be used to make fillings, ganache, to dip and to mold!
Guittard makes really good products. I've not tried their sugar free chocolate yet. I'm glad to know it's good. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion.
Beth, you always have THE cutest ideas, I just wish I could have time to do all of them.
Debbie the NY Baker
Biggest problem is I want to bake EVERYTHING at once, even if I don't have orders! Don't make candies, although I do use the Wilton melting chocolates for a couple of different items. Thanks for the chance at this giveaway!
I am not a great baker from scratch so my problem is when a boxed mix or recipe doesn't come out right I don't know what to do to correct it!
My problem is if they do not turn out the way I expected I give up! I forge that practice makes perfect, but I dnt have the time!!! ;(
Your posts are always so delightful and ingenious. I would have never suspected the leprechaun was made from an oreo. My biggest problem is melting chocolate bits evenly so they don't end up scorched.
I have the most problem with having enough time to do everything I want and enough space to do it in!
A sourdough bread with a hard crust.
Lucky to say that I really don't have any trouble with baking or candy coating except maybe eating more of the candy coating with a spoon instead of what I'm dipping.
Your cupcake toppers are adorable and Thank you for sharing the recipe along with the giveaway opportunity
I love, love your site and I follow you everywhere. You are so creative and your desserts or food are fun to make, You explain very well and step by step how to replicate your work. Thank you so much.
I have the most trouble with the small details in baking/candy marking. Either small icing details, cookie borders, or chocolate/candy melt designs, it is all still a work in progress. I've got quite a ways to go to fill my mothers shoes in the baking kitchen!
I have the most trouble cleaning up after baking.
LOL! Me too!!! I love that answer. 🙂
The biggest problem I've had with chocolate is burning it or keeping it at the right temp to do a large batch
I have the most problem with time. I always think that it won't take that long to finish a baking project, but I usually run into some type of snag. Then, I have to think about Plan B-Z depending. ;o)
I have the most trouble with finding diabetic-friendly desserts to bake.
Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud
Absolutely adorable, they really turned out great! Thanks for the fun give-away:@)
My biggest problem is maintaining my patience to see the job all the way through!