St. Paddy's Day designs work well for both St. Patrick's Day parties and March birthdays that fall around the beloved holiday. Serve up slices with frothy green beer for adults and green milk or 100 percent juice for kids.
If you're not keen on the idea of building a leprechaun shaped cake yourself, let Wilton do the work for you. The company's multipurpose character pan works for a leprechaun design, and decorations are simple to do. You'll need only basic supplies such as a pastry bag, decorating tip, coupler, buttercream frosting, and food coloring.
Without a shaped can pan, you can still make a smiling leprechaun face or depict a leprechaun party on a flat sheet cake. Bake one 9 inch by 13 inch rectangular cake, let it cool, and ice the surface with white buttercream. Pipe a green border or rainbow border around the edge of the cake, and divide a full batch of white buttercream frosting into several small bowls. Tint each with food coloring. The biggest bowl should be green, but you'll also need some skin-tone colors, a little bit of black to decorate the leprechauns' clothes and hats, and some orange for hair and beards. Pipe on rough outlines with black, fill in the empty spaces, and add as much or as little detail as you wish.
Pot of Gold Cake
Kids know that the most exciting thing about leprechauns and about St. Patrick's Day in general is that it involves a big pot of gold. Celebrate this theme in a St. Patrick's Day cake by making a dessert with a beautiful rainbow design and a big money pot hidden beneath it.
With some food coloring, a piping bag, and a knife or flat spatula, even beginning decorators can create a pot of gold cake. Start by frosting a standard 9 inch by 13 inch rectangular cake or a 9 inch by 9 inch square cake with a layer of white buttercream. Separate the remainder of the frosting into a few small bowls, and tint each bit of frosting a different color of the rainbow. Reserve another small amount to tint black and use for the pot of gold.
Put the cake in the refrigerator or freezer, and wait a few moments for the white buttercream to firm up. When the frosting feels firm to the touch, it will be easier to apply new layers of icing. Take out the cake, and use a pastry bag to pipe on the outline of a rainbow and pot of gold. Use a knife or flat spatula to fill in your outlines with the corresponding colors. Finally, drizzle some edible gold glitter over the top of the pot before serving the cake.
The less artistically inclined may prefer making a simpler shamrock cake, which tastes just as good but involves more basic decorations. Ice a standard rectangular or round cake with buttercream frosting. Use a full, thick layer if you want buttercream to be the primary icing, but you can also coat the cake in just a thin layer of frosting and then cover it with rolled fondant that you've dyed green. If you do choose to use fondant, tint a smaller amount with a darker green, and use a fondant cutter or sharp knife to cut out a shamrock or four-leaf clover shape. Secure the clover to the top of the cake with a dab of buttercream before serving.
With all buttercream, just use a pastry bag, coupler, and thin round decorating tip to ice the outline of a shamrock in green on top of the cake. Use more green frosting and a flat spatula to fill in the outline.
A St. Patrick's Day cake doesn't have to be complicated or fussy. At a base level, all it takes is a box of cake mix, frosting, and some green food coloring to pull off a holiday win. If you're short on time but want to add flair to your cake, use products such as candy shamrock sprinkles, green crystallized sugar, or leprechaun cake toppers. With a little bit of luck, your cake will be so fabulous that it will disappear before anyone has a chance to look too closely at the decorations.