Lucky Charms Cupcakes

4.7 from 3 votes
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Lucky Charms Cupcakes are equally as perfect for a St. Patrick’s Day dessert as they are for any special occasion. Cereal-steeped milk adds sweet cereal flavor, then add a marshmallow-studded buttercream frosting for a festive touch. Easy to make from scratch or use a gluten free cake mix!

A cupcake stand holds a colorful Lucky Charms cupcake with Lucky Charms decorated the plate around it.

Why You’ll Love These St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes

  • Cuisine Inspiration: American
  • Primary Cooking Method: Oven
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free option
  • Skill Level: Easy

These Lucky Charms cupcakes are not your ordinary cupcakes! Everyone will go wild for this colorful treat. They’re perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, a birthday party, or simply for the cereal lover in your life. I also like to bring them to school parties – kids always love sweet cereal, especially when it’s tucked into a cupcake. Here’s why you’ll also love this recipe for St Patrick’s Day cupcakes:

  • Unexpected ingredients. The secret ingredient is the “cereal milk” that comes from steeping Lucky Charms cereal in milk. Then you’ll add the flavored milk to the cupcake batter for a kick of extra sweetness and cereal flavor. The cupcakes are frosted with a creamy, marshmallow-studded buttercream for more oomph.
  • Easy to make gluten-free. Did you know that Lucky Charms is a gluten-free cereal? (Note: check with your doctor, as some do not consider them celiac-safe). To make these into gluten free cupcakes you can use two boxes of gluten-free cake mix to make 24 gluten free cupcakes. The buttercream recipe is already gluten free so you won’t need to make any adjustments.
  • Adaptable. Want to make these cupcakes from scratch? No problem, I’ve included all of the directions in this post. Want to make them from a mix? Go right ahead, I’ve detailed how to do this as well. You’ll use the cereal milk in both variations for ultimate flavor.
  • Fun! Cereal-infused cupcakes? Sign me up! These lucky charms cupcakes are fun, flavorful, and cute, making them perfect for all sorts of celebrations.
Green buttercream adorns three Lucky Charms cupcakes in a row.

Lucky Charms Cupcakes Ingredients

I’ve included the ingredients you need to make from scratch cupcakes below. See the recipe card for the full ingredient amounts plus the necessary ingredients for making cupcakes from a box mix if you wish to make them gluten-free. That’s also where you’ll find the detailed directions.

Cupcakes

  • Lucky Charms Cereal: Pick up an 11.5-ounce box or larger (you may have some leftover).
  • Milk: I like to use whole milk, and 2% milk will also work.
  • Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives the best flavor.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Or use a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour.
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt: Use fine sea salt or table salt.
  • Butter: I always use unsalted butter in my baking recipes.
  • Sugar
  • Eggs: Use large eggs.

Frosting

  • Butter: Use unsalted butter in the frosting so that it doesn’t compete with the sweetness of the frosting.
  • Confectioners’ Sugar: Sift the sugar before adding it to the frosting to remove any lumps.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Food Coloring: Optional, to color the cupcakes.
  • Garnish: Lucky Charms marshmallows.
A side view of a green frosting-topped Lucky Charms cupcake surrounded by more cereal pieces.

Tips for Success

I’ve included several methods for baking these Lucky Charms cupcakes in this post, and these tips apply to each of them!

Check out baking best practices plus other suggestions to help you make these cupcakes:
  • Measure the flour properly. If you are making the cupcakes from scratch, use the spoon and level method for the all-purpose or gluten-free 1:1 flour rather than scooping out the flour directly from the bag. This will help ensure there’s not too much flour in the batter and your cupcakes will have a lighter crumb after they’ve been baked.
  • Use room temperature ingredients. Bringing the ingredients to room temperature before you make the batter and the buttercream – learn how to soften butter – will help them incorporate better into the recipe.
  • Sift the powdered sugar. No one likes a lumpy frosting! To avoid any clumps of powdered sugar, sift it into the bowl for the frosting rather than dumping it in.
  • Soak the cereal long enough. Make sure to let the Lucky Charms soak for at least 15 minutes in the milk so that you’ll get the most intense flavor.
  • Use natural food coloring. If you prefer to use a more natural food coloring, you can find it online or at Whole Foods Markets. I love to color the cupcakes for a burst of fun color, so I recommend following this step!
Lucky Charms cupcakes are served on a silver tray with a cake stand holding another cupcake in the background.

Proper Storage

Cupcakes should be stored in the fridge and will last for a few days. Here’s how to store your leftover St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes:

  • Fridge – Place the cupcakes in an airtight container or cover them tightly with foil and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let the cupcakes sit out on the counter for a few minutes at room temperature before serving for the best texture.
  • Freezer – You can freeze cupcakes in a freezer-safe, airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost the cupcakes completely in the fridge before serving them.
A Lucky Charms cupcake with green frosting is surrounded by Lucky Charms.
A Lucky Charm cupcake in a pink liner is shown on a cupcake stand surrounded by Lucky Charms.
4.7 from 3 votes

Lucky Charms Cupcakes

Lucky Charms Cupcakes are equally as perfect for a St. Patrick's Day dessert as they are for any special occasion. Cereal-steeped milk adds sweet cereal flavor, then add a marshmallow-studded buttercream frosting for a festive touch. Easy to make from scratch or use a gluten free cake mix!
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 11.5 ounce box Lucky Charms Cereal or bigger , but then you may not need all of the marshmallows
  • 1 ⅓ cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs

For the Cake Mix (Regular or Gluten Free) Cupcakes:

  • 1 box regular yellow cake mix to make 24 cupcakes or two boxes gluten free yellow cake mix (each makes 12 cupcakes for a total of 24 cupcakes)
  • Lucky Charms cereal divided so you have 2 cups of marshmallows set 1 cup aside for the frosting, and 1 cup of the cereal pieces
  • Milk , used to replace the water in the cake mix. Use the same amount as per package instructions.
  • Oil, applesauce, or butter , as per package instructions

For the Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter , softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food coloring if desired
  • Reserved Lucky Charms marshmallows up to 1 cup , if you use a larger box of cereal

Instructions

For the From Scratch Cupcakes:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F, and put liners in cupcake tins.
  • Pick the marshmallows out of the box of Lucky Charms. Set aside the marshmallows to fold into the batter and frosting.
  • Combine 1 cup of the Lucky Charms (after removing the marshmallows), the milk and vanilla extract. Let soak while you finish assembling the other ingredients, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Grind 1 cup of the Lucky Charms (after removing the marshmallows) into a powder using a food processor, or just crushing them up really well. You should be left with a little less than half a cup of cereal powder.
  • Sift together the cereal powder, flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, then gradually add the sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a few seconds after each addition
  • Drain the milk mixture off of the cereal.
  • To the butter and sugar, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture in thirds, beating until smooth after each addition.
  • Fold 1 cup of the reserved marshmallows into the batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it springs back when you touch it.
  • Let cool before frosting.

For the Cake Mix (Regular or Gluten Free) Cupcakes:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F or as directed in the package instructions, and put liners in cupcake tins.
  • Combine 1 cup of the Lucky Charms cereal pieces and the milk. Let soak for about 15-20 minutes. Then drain the milk mixture off of the cereal. Add enough milk to equal the total amount required for the mix (some may get absorbed by the cereal while soaking).
  • Prepare the cupcake batter as per the package instructions, using the cereal milk in place of the water.
  • Fold 1 cup of the reserved marshmallows into the batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins. Bake according to package instructions.
  • Let cool before frosting.

For the Buttercream Frosting:

  • With a mixer on medium-high, beat the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Reduce the speed to medium, and gradually beat in the sugar. Continue mixing for a few minutes, until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla and food coloring, if using, and beat until smooth.
  • Carefully fold in the marshmallows.
Nutrition Facts
Lucky Charms Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake)
Calories 366 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 249mg10%
Potassium 92mg3%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Sugar 34g38%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 720IU14%
Vitamin C 0.8mg1%
Calcium 58mg6%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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42 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    This sounds so fun!

    I would normally try and make everything from the scratch because that’s somehow healthier, but then I realized – you are about to make Lucky Charm cupcakes! Come ON! Live a little! :D…and chose the faster version.

          1. LJ

            I don’t see the scratch version. I’m on my phone and may be missing it somehow? Also, can this be used as a cake instead of cupcakes? Do you have any photos of inside of the cupcakes once baked? I saw Tosi on Once Upon A Chef and loved the idea for my 3 yr old’s birthday cake.

          2. Hi! The scratch recipe is just above the cake mix recipe. I have not tried it as a cake, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I just can’t confirm that. I don’t have photos of the inside, sorry. But if you make them let me know how it turns out.

  2. I am looking for some cupcake recipe for my nieces birthday, and your idea seems delicious. I just wonder if I can add some mint leaves to buttercream frosting for fresh? I think the flavor is nice, and there is no need to use food coloring as well because the leaves juice themselves are green.

  3. Amber

    Found you via a slideshow on The Daily Meal. http://www.thedailymeal.com/crazy-cupcake-recipes-slideshow

    I love these so much. I made them for my sister-in-law’s birthday over the weekend. So good. Added a little bit of cream cheese to the frosting just because. I like how the frosting can turn the marshmallows soft (like marshmallows instead of styrofoam). Don’t get me wrong, I like the Lucky Charm styrofoam texture, it was just surprising to see how they revived in the frosting.

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  8. These look super fun and yummy! I think I went into sugar shock, just looking at them! lol.

    I was never allowed any sugary cereals….we had things like raisin bran and cheerios, and that’s it. I went nuts at friends’ houses! I think my fave was Fruity Pebbles at my friend Alison’s house–she always had those!

    Now, I don’t eat cereal at all, but Joe loves Kashi—it’s funny, there’s just as much sugar in some of those cereals, but he justifies it because it’s “natural.” Ha.
    I definitely miss cereal!

    1. Yeah, these are definitely not one to make often, but fun to play around with for St. Patrick’s Day. My cousin actually told me she wants Fruity Pebbles cupcakes after she saw these. I was never a big fan of them, but maybe I’ll have to come up with something for her.

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