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Celebrate Mardi Gras With The Best King Cake Cupcakes Recipe!

Celebrate Mardi Gras With The Best King Cake Cupcakes Recipe!

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Fat Tuesday is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to celebrate with some delicious king cake cupcakes! These sweet treats are perfect for Mardi Gras, and they’re sure to please everyone who tries them.

Celebrate Mardi Gras With The Best King Cake Cupcakes Recipe!

We’ll show you how to make these delicious cupcakes step-by-step, so you can enjoy them at your next party. There is no need to hop a plane to New Orleans when you have our Mardi Gras Cupcakes, or even wait for Carnival! Let’s get started!

What is Mardi Gras?


Mardi Gras is a celebration that takes place before the Catholic Lenten season. The name Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French, and it’s traditionally a time for people to enjoy rich foods and drinks before fasting during Lent.

What is Fat Tuesday?

Fat Tuesday is a festive day that marks the end of Mardi Gras season. This holiday is celebrated in many countries around the world, and it always features plenty of delicious food and drinks. In the United States, Fat Tuesday is most commonly associated with king cake – a sweet pastry that’s decorated with colorful sugar crystals.

What is Carnival Season?

Carnival season is the time leading up to Mardi Gras. This period usually begins around January or February and lasts for several weeks. During Carnival season, there are lots of fun events and activities that take place in celebration of Mardi Gras.

Fun Mardi Gras Facts

  • King Cake is a traditional Mardi Gras dessert.
  • King Cake cupcakes use crescent rolls as the dough.
  • King Cake is typically made with sweet yeast dough, cream cheese, and cinnamon.
  • The colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold.
  • Mardi Gras is celebrated in many countries around the world.

What is King Cake?

King Cake is a traditional French sweet pastry that’s popular during the Mardi Gras season that is traditionally filled with a mixture of almond paste and candied fruit. This dessert is typically made with sweet yeast dough, cream cheese, and cinnamon. It’s often decorated with colorful sugar crystals, and it can be served either as a cake or as cupcakes. It makes me think of a cinnamon roll.

During Mardi Gras, bakeries like Gambino’s Bakery sell king cakes all across the city. Shops begin selling the pastry on January 6, or King’s Day, and through the eve of Mardi Gras

What do the King Cake colors represent?

The King Cake colors represent the four basic elements: earth, fire, water, and air. There are three colors on a king cake: purple, green, and gold. These colors have meanings associated with them: justice, faith, and power. These colors represent justice (purple), faith (green), and power (gold).

The colors also represent the Epiphany, which is when Jesus was first shown to the world. The cake is often decorated with a plastic baby, which represents the baby Jesus.

Why do they put a baby in a King Cake?

The tradition of putting a baby in a King Cake is said to come from Voodoo. It is said that the baby is meant to help the baby make a wish, but the baby is not supposed to know what it is wishing for.

Celebrating Mardi Gras with king cake cupcakes.

King Cake cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate Mardi Gras! These cupcakes are inspired by traditional king cake, but with a fun twist. Cupcakes can be frosted in multiple colors with this easy technique.

Now that you know a little bit about Mardi Gras and king cake, it’s time to learn how to make these delicious cupcakes!

King Cake Cupcakes From Scratch

A good white cupcake recipe for the base.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg whites at room temp – I save the egg yolks to make lemon curd – just keep them in the freezer.
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2” cubes
  • 1/2 cup of milk – the higher the fat content the better
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the shelf in the middle of the oven. Line the muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Celebrate Mardi Gras With The Best King Cake Cupcakes Recipe!

How to make King Cake cupcakes

Baking tip: for the best results, make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature.

In a large bowl start with your dry ingredients: combine flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

In a microwave-safe dish combine butter and the RumChata and zap 2 minutes on high to melt the butter.

In a separate small bowl, with your electric mixer beat egg whites for 30 seconds on medium-high speed.

With the beater still going, pour the sugar in over 30 seconds.

Beat eggs for 6 minutes more on a highly faster speed, or until tripled in volume and almost pure white.

When the egg is whipped, scatter 1/3 flour mixture across the surface, then beat on low for 5 seconds. Stop beating, add half the remaining flour, then mix again on low for 5 seconds. Add remaining flour, then mix on Speed 1 for 5 – 10 sec until the flour is just mixed in. Once you can’t see flour, stop straight away.

Pour the hot milk and melted butter, vanilla, and oil into the now empty flour bowl. Add about 3/4 cups of the Egg Batter into the hot milk. Use a whisk to mix until smooth. It should look kind of foamy.

With the beater on low still, pour the milk mixture into the Egg Batter over 10-15 seconds, then turn the beater off.

Fill your cupcake tin with paper or silicone liners and then with your cupcake batter until they are 2/3 full. Bake 20-22 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove them from the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool before decorating.

Easy King Cake Cupcakes

So – for today’s recipe, we are going to “cheat” with a boxed cake mix.

Ingredients needed for King Cake Cupcakes:

Ingredients needed for King Cake Cupcakes
  • 1 box of vanilla cake mix
  • Additional ingredients per instructions on the boxed cake mix – usually 3 eggs, oil, and water
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • Small green, yellow, and purple candies – I used m&m’s and skittles
  • Green, yellow, and purple edible glitter
  • Themed party edible glitter – I used one with stars and complementary colors
  • Piping bag with a star tip
  • Candy coins, green & yellow
  • Craft feathers in green, yellow, and purple

How to Make King Cake Cupcakes:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the boxed cake mix, the ingredients it asks for, and the cinnamon. Beat on medium speed until all the ingredients are incorporated and no lumps are seen. Fill your cupcake tin with cupcake papers and then spoon batter in until they are 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes per box recipe and let them cool completely. Now you have cinnamon cupcakes!

How to Make King Cake Cupcakes

For a small trinket or andy-filled cupcakes scoop out the center of the cupcake, fill it with candy.

How to Make King Cake Cupcakes

For coin cupcakes simply press 1 or two coins into the center of the cupcake.

How to Make King Cake Cupcakes

Frosting your King Cake Cupcakes

Place the piping bag into a large glass and fold the sides of the bag over the rim of the glass. Scoop the vanilla frosting into the piping bag. Bring the pastry bag edges up and twist them together to start decorating. If you don’t have a piping bag, try a Ziploc bag with the tip snipped off. Frost the cooled and filled cupcakes.

How to Make King Cake Cupcakes

Pipe frosting on each cupcake in any desired pattern, a tall swirl works best to frost cupcakes.

Decorating your king cake cupcakes

Sprinkle on edible glitter in different patterns on each cupcake making sure to include green, yellow, and purple colors of traditional mardi gras on each one. You will have colorful cupcakes that are perfect for your Mardi Gras celebrations or any time of year you want to have a good Mardi Gras party.

Decorating your king cake cupcakes

Finish with additional small candies, coins, or feathers.

Decorating your king cake cupcakes

More cupcake recipes we love:

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