20 Lucky St. Patrick's Day Desserts

Host the Sweetest Celebration

leprechaun hat cookies

 Leah Maroney

Serve up some luck with these delicious St. Patrick's Day desserts. They're perfect for a special party, school bake sales, sharing with the office, or just a little celebration at home. You and your taste buds will be dancing once you try them.

  • 01 of 20

    Rainbow Cake

    rainbow cake

     Leah Maroney

    Cut into this showstopper rainbow cake and your guests will be completely in awe. It's as tasty as it is impressive, but much easier than you might think. Just combine the ingredients, stack, frost, and serve. You will need more food coloring than you expect to get those vibrant colors, as the dye will fade as the cake bakes. Add a few drops at a time until you reach a nice, saturated hue.

  • 02 of 20

    No-Bake Grasshopper Pie

    Grasshopper Pie

     Elaine Lemm

    If you love the minty creaminess of a grasshopper cocktail, you're going to want to whip up this easy no-bake pie. It has the same flavor (and a boozy kick, thanks to Creme de Menthe liqueur!), but on a plate instead of in your glass. Because it's not baked, the alcohol will remain in this dessert, so this is a treat for grown-ups only.

  • 03 of 20

    Homemade Shamrock Shake

    shamrock shake

     Leah Maroney

    You don't have to hit the drive-through for the cult-favorite green milkshake. This homemade Shamrock Shake is as thick, creamy, and delightfully minty as the store-bought version. Whole milk, peppermint extract, vanilla ice cream, and—of course—some green food coloring to give it that signature hue are all you need to whip up a few. Don't forget whipped cream and a cherry on top!

  • 04 of 20

    Pretty Rainbow Fudge

    Rainbow Fudge
    (c) 2015 Elizabeth LaBau

    This eye-catching layered rainbow fudge will turn heads at your kids' bake sale, a St. Patrick's Day party, or even as a favor for a shower or other event. It's not difficult to make, but does require repeating the fudge-making process for each of the layers, so it takes some time. Adjust the amount of food coloring a few drops at a time, until you reach the desired intensity.

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  • 05 of 20

    Leprechaun Hat Cookies

    leprechaun hat cookies

     Leah Maroney

    These adorable leprechaun hat cookies will have you jumping for joy and snapping a picture for good measure. They're easy enough to get the kids involved, especially if you use store-bought cookie dough and frosting to cut down on prep time. If you prefer to make your own, we've included recipes for you, too.

  • 06 of 20

    Lucky Charms Marshmallow Treats

    Lucky Charms Marshmallow Treats
    Leah Maroney

    Instead of the rice cereal typically used in these childhood-favorite treats, swap in Lucky Charms for a special St. Patrick's Day twist! Kids and kids-at-heart will get a kick out of the fun substitution, which gets an extra hit of sweetness because of the sugary cereal and little shaped marshmallows. The recipe is simple enough to get little ones into the kitchen, so make it a fun after-school activity.

  • 07 of 20

    Shamrock-Shaped Sugar Cookies

    shamrock cookies

     Leah Maroney

    Cut-out cookies aren't just for Christmas anymore. Whether you're Irish all year-round or just "a little bit Irish" on St. Patrick's Day, you'll love these classic shamrock-shaped treats. Simple green and white frosting will be pretty and festive, but you can also decorate them with sprinkles or edible pearls for a little extra flair. Find the cutters online or at your favorite craft store.

  • 08 of 20

    Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes

    baileys-chocolate-cupcakes-2000
    Getty

    Adding a little Bailey's Irish Cream to the frosting for these rich chocolate cupcakes gives them an extra dose of flavor. They're perfect for St. Patrick's Day, but too delicious to make just once a year. If you're short on time, you can even bake the cupcakes in advance and freeze them undecorated to use later.

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Fast and Easy Shamrock Pretzels

    Shamrock Pretzels
    (c) 2016 Elizabeth LaBau

    Need a quick activity for a chilly day? Try these simple chocolate-covered shamrock pretzels! All you need is green candy coating and basic twist pretzels—it's the perfect activity for tiny hands. They're a tasty and cute little snack on their own, but also make great toppers for cakes or cupcakes.

  • 10 of 20

    Chocolate-Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Frosting

    Guinness and Chocolate Cupcakes

     Elaine Lemm

    You may have tried an Irish car bomb, enjoyed by dropping a shot of Bailey's Irish Cream into a Guinness stout and tossing it all off in one foamy gulp. But if that's not your style -- or if it is! -- these Guinness and chocolate cupcakes with Bailey's-spiked frosting have some of the same flavors, with a hit of chocolate to boot. Once you try the bitter note Guinness adds to the velvety chocolate cake, you'll want to add it to all of your desserts.

  • 11 of 20

    Dark Chocolate Bailey's Mousse

    Dark Chocolate Mousse with Baileys Irish Cream

    Getty Images

     

    Decadent chocolate mousse is already perfect, but you can take things to the next level by adding Bailey's to the mix. Use good-quality chocolate for this deceptively easy mousse; it's really the star of the show. A shot of Irish cream liqueur deepens the flavor and gives these dinner party-worthy desserts an extra creaminess that guests will love. You won't want to relegate this recipe to St. Patrick's Day alone.

  • 12 of 20

    Gluten-Free Irish Cream Cheesecake

    Gluten-Free Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe Image
    Getty Images / Foodpix

    Just because you avoid gluten, doesn't mean you should be left out of all the tasty St. Patrick's Day fun. This gluten-free cheesecake is sinfully rich, perfectly silky, and spiked with a little Irish cream for extra creaminess. Cut it into thin slivers and serve with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh berries for an intensely delicious chocolate dessert.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Bailey's Irish Ice Cocktail

    Baileys Irish Ice with Guinness Gelato
    Tom Pfeiffer/VolcanoDiscovery/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

    Whether you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day under sunny skies or still bundled up for early spring chills, this boozy coffee cocktail is the perfect celebration in a glass. Bailey's Irish Cream, iced coffee, and Guinness gelato create a drink that's like an adult milkshake. If you can't find Guinness gelato, coffee ice cream will work just fine.

  • 14 of 20

    Guinness Soda Bread

    Guinness Bread
    Elaine Lemm

    You may have tried traditional Irish soda bread, which is tasty as it is. But adding Guinness gives it a deep, slightly bitter flavor that makes the already buttery breakfast treat even more of a special-occasion bread. Serve it for breakfast or brunch on St. Patrick's Day or as a nice more savory contrast on your dessert table. While this recipe calls for draft beer, the canned or bottled kind is fine.

  • 15 of 20

    Chocolate and Guinness Brownies

    Guinness Brownies

    Cultura RM Exclusive/BRETT STEVENS / Getty Images

    Adding Guinness to these surprisingly light brownies deepens the chocolate flavor without making them too hoppy. They're simultaneously fluffy and mousse-like, while decadent and rich, like your favorite fudge brownie. And you won't need an entire beer to make the recipe, so you can enjoy a little St. Patrick's Day tipple as you prep and bake!

  • 16 of 20

    Black-and-White Chocolate and Guinness Mousse

    white chocolate and milk chocolate mousse

    Westend61/Getty Images 

    If you're hosting a grown-up party for St. Patrick's Day, this impressive layered mousse will top things off perfectly. This creamy chocolate dessert is served at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland, so it's an authentic taste of the old country. It does require at least two hours to chill, so make sure you plan ahead.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Chocolate-Orange Guinness Cake

    Chocolate Guinness cake made with 1/2 a pint of Guinness.
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    The bitterness of Guinness deepens the chocolate decadence in this rich and delightful cake, while orange adds a contrasting hint of citrus. Serve this cake with some fresh whipped cream to mellow out its slight bitterness. If you really want to get St. Patricks Day going, add a little Bailey's to the whipped cream.

  • 18 of 20

    Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

    Mint Chocolate Cake
    DanielBendjy/E+/Getty Images

    Start with a cake mix and add chopped-up mint cookies for this easy and St. Patrick's Day-appropriate treat that's perfect for kids. Topping it all off with a green frosting makes it extra festive. Make sure you beat the frosting well, for that finger-licking fluffy texture. The recipe works well for a larger cake too; just adjust the bake time accordingly.

  • 19 of 20

    Irish Bread Pudding

    Bread and butter pudding
    Getty Images/William Shaw

    You can't get a more traditionally Irish dessert than a sweet and custard-y bread pudding. This one made with Irish cream will be a hit at your St. Patrick's Day get together. It's a great way to use up bread that's going stale or you can opt for white, raisin, or even challah for an even sweeter aroma. Serve it warm with a little vanilla ice cream for a special treat.

  • 20 of 20

    Bailey's Irish Cream Fudge

    Baileys Irish Cream Fudge

    Elizabeth LaBau

    One taste of this Bailey's white fudge, and you'll think you reached the end of the rainbow. It's melt-in-your-mouth creamy, rich, and the alcohol bakes off so you don't have to worry about little fingers sneaking a taste. This is a variation on a basic white fudge, so you can make it without the liqueur if you don't enjoy the flavor.