Chocolate cake recipe + buttercream = the most beautiful St. Patrick’s Day Cake! Inspired by the beauty of shamrocks and all things green, this 2-layer naked Shamrock Cake is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

St. Patricks Day Cake

Shamrock Cake

This cake comes together quite easily once you have prepared. I start by making the chocolate cake recipe listed below in a 15×10 sheet pan. (Be sure to see my notes for baking times!) Allow cake to cool completely.

Create a template for your shamrock. You can freehand draw a shamrock on a piece of paper or print one off of the internet. Be sure that the size is correct! You will need to cut out 2 shamrocks from your sheet cake.

Green Buttercream for Piping

Next, I prepared the buttercream. Separate it into 4 bowls and then tint various shades of green. Start by adding a little McCormick green food coloring to one, then a little more to the next and so on. Place the buttercream in pastry bags fitted with decorating tips. I used an #2D, #9FT, #32, and the final tip didn’t have a number (the tip with the lightest green frosting in it) but is very similar to a #32. Feel free to use whatever tips you have on hand! This St. Patrick’s Day cake design is open to all interpretation.

St. Patrick's Day Naked Cake

Because it’s a 2-layer naked cake the bottom layer of frosting can be a fun “practice” layer. You can experiment with your piping and find out which techniques you like the best. Then the top layer can be covered with your favorite swirls and dollops!

Shamrock Cake

Cake Decorating

I know that cake decorating can be intimidating but this is one of those cakes that you can’t screw up. No matter how you choose to do your dollops and swirls it will be beautiful! Want proof? Let your child or friend who has never decorated cakes try it. They are so pleasantly shocked and encouraged by the ease of this design and then the stunning final product.

If you have never decorated a cake this is the cake for you. If you have decorated a 1,000 this is the cake for you. Simple design paired with amazing taste is always a winning combination!

Check out other ideas for cake decorating here.

Shamrock St. Patricks Day Cake

Now, you may be thinking “that’s a lot of frosting!” But it’s not! Truly. This is a naked cake so those fun frosting dollops are the perfect amount of frosting on each individual slice. You can always use more or less depending on your tastes!

The best recipe you will ever try!
4.97 from 111 votes

The Perfect Chocolate Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
This rich and decadent chocolate cake has been around for decades and is always a crowd-pleaser! Perfectly moist, rich, and flavorful.


  • 1 ¾ cups (219 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (90 g) good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • ½ cup (112 g) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (237 g) freshly brewed hot coffee, regular or decaf, or hot water
  • chocolate buttercream frosting


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 2, 8-inch x 3-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. (8-inch cake pans with shorter sides may cause an overflow in your oven.) Set aside.
  • To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out mostly clean with no wet batter.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes. Then, turn them out onto a cooling rack to let them cool completely.
  • Frost the cake with chocolate buttercream frosting.

Did you make this recipe?

Thank you for making my recipe! You took pictures, right? Well go ahead and post them on Instagram! Be sure to mention me @iambaker and use the hashtag #YouAreBaker.

For this St. Patrick’s Day cake I prepared the above chocolate cake recipe in a 15×10 baking sheet.

Bake at 350°F for 20-26 minutes. The center should no longer appear wet and if you press your finger into the cake it should spring back.

I used this buttercream recipe.

For a fun variation try making your chocolate with Stout beer instead of coffee! You can also use hot water in place of the coffee.






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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Great recipe. I used two 9in round cake pans and it worked out great. My now go-to chocolate cake recipe too! I used hot water because I was making the cake for my son’s 1st birthday but really want to try it with coffee.

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