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Shamrock Cutout Pound Cake

My son Gabriel loves surprises inside cakes, like seeing a shamrock when this cake is sliced. Everyone wants to know how it’s done. — Angela Lively, Spring, Texas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour Bake: 50 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 loaf (16 slices)


  • 2 packages (16 ounces each) pound cake mix
  • 10 drops green food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 to 5 teaspoons 2% milk


  • Preheat oven according to package directions. Grease a 9x5-in. loaf pan. Prepare one package cake mix according to package directions, adding food coloring and extract before mixing batter. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake and cool as package directs.
  • Cut cooled cake into 1-in.-thick slices. Cut slices with a 2-1/2-in. shamrock-shaped cookie cutter (save remaining cake for another use). Stand shamrock slices at an angle in a greased 9x5-in. loaf pan.
  • Prepare remaining cake mix according to package directions. Pour batter around and over shamrock slices. Bake and cool as package directs.
  • For glaze, in a small bowl, mix confectioners' sugar, extract and enough milk to reach desired consistency. Pour glaze over cake, allowing some to flow over sides.
Editor's Note: Remaining pound cake may be cubed and served in dessert dishes, layered with warm fudge sauce. Top with chopped mint Andes candies.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 228 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 43mg cholesterol, 181mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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  • Dani
    Jun 15, 2018

    I used this as a gender-reveal cake for a young friend. I pureed a handful of blueberries with a bit of water and used that to colour the first cake (I had to add some extra food colouring.), and I used a foot print cookie cutter. I took Joanne's advice and put a bit of the plain batter in the bottom of the cake pan to stabilize the cutouts. It was a great success, and I didn't tell a soul how I did it!

  • 27Joanne42
    Mar 19, 2018

    This worked well. I did put a little batter in the bottom of the pan to help stabilize the shamrocks as another baker recommended. I used mint flavoring instead of peppermint and colored the glazee. I then topped the glaze with shamrock sprinkles. We didn't find it particularly flavorful, but it sure looked good.

  • ebramkamp
    May 30, 2017

    This is such a clever and fun cake. I had a butterfly shaped cookie cutter so used pink food coloring instead of green and strawberry extract instead of peppermint. It turned out well. Be prepared for oooh and aaaahs when you slice the cake. I will definitely make this again.

  • silveryk
    Mar 15, 2016

    Question: before I try this exciting cake, can the shamrock handle being baked twice?

  • cindiak
    Mar 11, 2015

    So cute! I used the same recipe for Valentine's Day and used red food coloring and heart cut outs. It turned out great and everyone wanted to know how it was done.

  • jazzerie
    Mar 10, 2015

    I haven't made this yet, but I think I'll try using lime juice and peel for flavoring and glaze, rather than the peppermint. This is a very pretty pound cake!

  • gramcayo
    Mar 9, 2015

    why do you have to have the shamrocks "leaning"? just wondering tx

  • maggiemae1903
    Mar 1, 2015

    Seo, upon reading the instructions I wasn't getting it either at first, but if you look at the picture of the cake, think about shamrocks (only one "leg" to stand on, lol,) you'll get that you have to place it in the pan on an angle or leaning. Hope my comment helps! Although I am a fan of mint, and it does seem to go with St. Patrick's Day, I always add almond extract to my pound cakes. Thanks for the great idea!

  • oleblueyes
    Feb 27, 2015

    I wondered how that shamrock got into the cake, that was very clever and pretty. love this site.

  • Jess113
    Feb 24, 2015

    This recipe sounds like a fun treat for the family on St Patrick’s Day!Here is a trick for everyone that are asking about how the shamrock stays standing up try pouring some of the cake mix into the bottom of your loaf pan before adding the shamrock slices, this will hold them in place so you can spoon the rest of the cake mix over the top of the shamrock slices.