If you’re baking for St. Patrick’s Day but don’t have a shamrock cutter, don’t worry, you don’t need one.
I’ll show you how to make shamrocks and four-leaf clovers with heart cutters that you may already own.
But first a little history….
Shamrocks vs Four-Leaf Clovers
Many people (I was guilty of this – insert sheepish grin) confuse the four-leaf clover for the shamrock but they aren’t the same thing.
Shamrocks are three-leaf clovers that were adopted by Saint Patrick to symbolize the holy trinity: The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. They can also represent Faith, Love and Hope.
The shamrock is an iconic symbol of Ireland enshrined in their national identity and synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day.
While the shamrock is still a clover the four-leaf clover is not a shamrock. The fourth leaf is said to represent ‘Luck’ and has been adopted as such by many cultures around the world.
Now lets make shamrocks and clovers!
- Fondant, gumpaste or modeling chocolate (here’s my recipe using brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup)
- Heart cutter set
- Fondant rolling pin
- Thin paint brush
This is the plunger cutter set I used. The large and the medium heart cutters are perfect for making two sizes of shamrocks.
You can make a mini shamrock with the smallest cutter but I mostly used this cutter with the largest heart cutter to make two-tone shamrocks and four-leaf clovers.
How to Make Shamrocks with Heart Cutters
You will need four hearts to make a shamrock.
Why four hearts?, you may say, Shamrocks only have three leaves.
Well, you need four because we’re going to make a cute stem with the fourth heart. Let’s do that first.
Turn the heart upside down and with your heart cutter also upside down make a cut to the right of the midpoint.
Now turn your heart cutter slightly to the right and make a second cut to the left of the midpoint.
By turning your cutter slightly you end up with a point on top and inverted ‘v’ at the bottom. Discard the left and right portions of the heart.
Smooth down the rough edges of your stem. Align the three hearts for your leaves and gently pinch the point of the middle heart so it’s slightly elongated. This will help it all fit together.
Use a thin paint brush to apply a small amount of water to the edges of the leaves and top of the stem.
Press together and set aside for at least 3-4 hours, but overnight is better. The water will dry and the shamrock will firm up.
You can make a pretty two-tone shamrock using the largest and smallest heart cutters.
Make your stem. Then use the small heart cutter to cut hearts out of your big leaves and hearts in a different shade of green.
Insert the small hearts into the leaves and gently press the edges to seal them in (I didn’t use any water but you could if necessary). It’s ok if the points become pinched but try not to distort the shape too much.
Align the leaves and stem, paint the edges with water and press together. Leave overnight.
How to Make Four-Leaf Clovers with Heart Cutters
With a small variation in technique you can make a four-leaf clover with heart cutters too.
Begin with five hearts per clover.
Make your stem the same way as you did for the shamrocks.
When you align the leaves you can see they won’t fit in their current shape.
Pinch the tip of each leaf to elongate the point.
Now they will fit. Using your thin brush add a tiny amount of water to the edges and top of the stem. Press together and leave to dry.
Have fun topping cakes, cupcakes and rice krispie treats for St. Patrick’s Day!