Want to make a special treat for Mardi Gras, but feel like a King Cake is too intimidating or time-consuming? These Mardi Gras Cupcakes, made with cake mix and a simple cream cheese frosting, just might be the solution. All it takes is gobs of food coloring and come pretty sprinkles to turn ordinary cupcakes into wondrously festive cupcakes with the brilliant purple, green, and gold colors of Mardi Gras.
And if you still want a King Cake, but don’t want to go to the trouble of making one, we’ve had great success ordering from delicious cream-cheese filled King Cakes from Gambino’s Bakery. They do a really great job of packaging and shipping.
If you make these cupcakes, you can even get a package of little Plastic King Cake Babies and place one in the batter of one of the cupcakes. If you’re not familiar with this Mardi Gras tradition, typically the person who gets the slice of King Cake with the baby is supposed to bring the King Cake for the next party. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is literally one party after another
If you want more inspiration for Mardi Gras, check out Fort Mill SC Living’s Mardi Gras Pinterest Board.
Mardi Gras Cupcakes
- 1 box of white cake mix, plus ingredients called for on the box (eggs, oil, water)
- Purple, gold, and green food color ( I used liquid green food coloring, but bought some purple and gold gel in the cake decorating department at Joanne’s to get those colors right)
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Make cake batter according to box instructions. Evenly divide batter into 3 separate bowls. (Just leave 1/3 in the mixing bowl so you only dirty 2 additional bowls.) Use food coloring to color 1 bowl purple, 1 green, and 1 gold. You will have to add lots if you want the colors really bright.
- Starting with the purple, place a little batter in each of 12 muffin-cups lined with cupcake liners. Then layer green, followed by gold. When judging how much of each color to add, keep in mind you want the top of the batter to be a little below the top pf the cupcake liner.
- Bake cupcakes according to directions on box. Let cool before frosting.
- To make frosting, using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter. Mix in vanilla extract and cinnamon. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar.
- To easily frost cupcakes, use a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Once frosted, cover with sprinkles.
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Disclosure: Fort Mill SC Living is an amazon.com affiliate.