Are you feeling lucky? After a slice of St. Paddy’s Cake you sure will be! This fun and festive cake is going green, from the inside out. You will certainly bring the party with this moist, chocolatey (yes, chocolatey) treat smothered in a white (or green if you really want to commit) vanilla frosting and sprinkled with some green-tinted sanding sugar. You won’t even have to worry about wearing green, because St. Paddy’s Cake has got you covered! Going green never tasted so good!


For the cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more, to taste, for greasing the cake pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, well-shaken
  • 1 tablespoon liquid green food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • fine salt, to taste
  • green sanding sugar, to taste, for garnish


Step 1 –Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Step 2 –Use the extra butter to grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line them with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper with the extra butter.

Step 3 –In a medium bowl, add 2 1/2 cups of the flour, the cocoa powder, the baking powder, the baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and whisk to combine.

Step 4 –In a spouted measuring cup, add the buttermilk, the food coloring, and the vanilla and mix to combine.

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Step 5 –In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 2 cups of the granulated sugar and 1 cup of the butter and beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed, until it is very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Step 6 –With the mixer still running, slowly add the eggs to the sugar mixture and beat until they are fully incorporated.

Step 7 –Reduce the mixer speed to the lowest setting.

Step 8 –Gradually add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture to the sugar mixture and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed, until it is well-combined. Repeat this step once.

Step 9 –Add the remaining flour mixture to the cake batter and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed, until it is well-combined.

Step 10 –Evenly divide the batter among the three prepared cake pans.

Step 11 –Bake the cakes until they are slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted into each of the centers comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.

Step 12 –Transfer the cake pans to a wire rack and let the cakes cool, about 15 minutes.

Step 13 –Invert the cakes onto the wire rack and let them cool completely.

Step 14 –While the cakes cool, in a small saucepan, add the remaining flour.

Step 15 –Add 1/2 cup of the milk to the flour and vigorously whisk, ensuring to get the whisk into the edges of the pan, until a smooth, thick paste forms.

Step 16 –Slowly whisk the remaining milk into the flour mixture until it is fully incorporated and smooth.

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Step 17 –Cook the flour mixture over medium heat, whisk constantly, until it is very thick, about 5 minutes.

Step 18 –Scrape the flour mixture into a heat-safe bowl and place plastic wrap onto the surface. Refrigerate until it is cool, about 45 minutes.

Step 19 –In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the remaining butter and the remaining granulated sugar and beat on medium speed until it is very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Step 20 –Add the cooled flour mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the butter mixture and beat until it is smooth.

Step 21 –Switch the stand mixer attachment to the whisk.

Step 22 –Add the remaining vanilla and the remaining salt to the frosting mixture and whip until it is very light and fluffy, like thick whipped cream, about 10 minutes.

Step 23 –Place 1 of the cooled cakes on a cake plate and spread 1/4 of the frosting over the top.

Step 24 –Place the second cake on top of the frosting and spread 1/3 of the frosting over the top. Repeat with the remaining cake and 1/2 of the frosting.

Step 25 –Spread the remaining frosting over the sides and the edges, then dust with the sanding sugar.

Step 26 –Slice and serve.