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Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday King Cupcakes

Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is tomorrow.  This is a Carnival, most well-known by the elaborate celebration in New Orleans, and is the last day of feasting before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.  It’s time to eat that extra slice of cake, third helping of dinner, or whatever else you want extra of before the fasting season begins. 

Probably the most notable food of the celebration is a King Cake, which is not only served for Mardi Gras, but also a during a celebration at the end of the Christmas season.  My family’s neighborhood serves a King Cake on New Year’s Eve and whoever’s slice of cake has the baby in it (originally meant to symbolize baby Jesus) has to host the dinner party the next year.  The baby will also bring whoever receives it good luck.  

Instead of an entire cake for you, today’s recipe is King Cake Cupcakes (minus the baby!) So grab one, or two, to celebrate Fat Tuesday.  

{The recipe is double what the pictures represent.}

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 TSP baking powder
  • 1/4 TSP ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 6 TBSP butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 TSP vanilla 
  • 2 large eggs

Cinnamon Swirl Ingredients:

  •  1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 TSP cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 TBSP flour
  • 2 TBSP butter, softened

Icing Ingredients:

  • 3 TBSP butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 TSP vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 2 TBSP milk, enough to make a spreadable icing
  • Purple, yellow, and green sprinkles

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • Line muffin tins with papers, spray with cooking spray, and set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt
  • Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, until the mixture looks sandy (I don’t have a mixer and I used a fork.  You can also use a pastry blender)

  • Combine the milk and vanilla and add, all at once
  • Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds (or stir in to combine using a spatula for 1 minute)
  • Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl

  • With the mixer running (or stirring vigorously with your spatula), at low speed, add 1 egg

  • Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds (or continue stirring for about a minute
  • Add the second egg, again beating for 30 seconds
  • Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and beat briefly, just till smooth
  • To create Cinnamon Swirl, combine all ingredients in a small bowl, and work them together with your fingers, creating a crumbly streusel

  • Fill the cupcake liners ¼ of the way with batter, then sprinkle about ½ TBSP of the swirl on top of the batter

  • Top the swirl with more batter until the cupcakes 
  • Bake the cupcakes for 23 to 25 minutes and are a light golden brown around the edges.
  • To test doneness, insert a toothpick in the center and make sure it comes out clean
  • Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place on a rack to cool completely before icing

  • To make the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla in a medium-sized bowl, and beat them together until light and fluffy 

  • Add the sugar gradually, beating well (or stir using a spatula)
  • Beat in the milk a little at a time, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency
  • Place frosting in a zip lock bag and cut a small portion of one corner off (about 1/8 inch)

  • Spread each cupcake with icing

  • Top with gold, purple, and green sparkling sugars

 

King Cake

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
29 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 TSP baking powder
  • 1/4 TSP ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 6 TBSP butter, softened
  • 2/3 cups milk, at room temperature
  • 1 TSP vanilla
  • 2 egg

Cinnamon Swirl Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 TSP cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 TBSP flour
  • 2 TBSP butter, softened

Icing Ingredients

  • 3 TBSP butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 TSP vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 TBSP milk
  • Purple, Yellow, and Green Sprinkles

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • Line muffin tins with papers, spray with cooking spray, and set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt
  • Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, until the mixture looks sandy (I don't have a mixer and I used a fork. You can also use a pastry blender)
  • Combine the milk and vanilla and add, all at once

  • Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds (or stir in to combine using a spatula for 1 minute)
  • Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl
  • With the mixer running (or stirring vigorously with your spatula), at low speed, add 1 egg
  • Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds (or continue stirring for about a minute
  • Add the second egg, again beating for 30 seconds
  • Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and beat briefly, just till smooth
  • To create Cinnamon Swirl, combine all ingredients in a small bowl, and work them together with your fingers, creating a crumbly streusel
  • Fill the cupcake liners ¼ of the way with batter, then sprinkle about ½ TBSP of the swirl on top of the batter
  • Top the swirl with more batter until the cupcakes 
  • Bake the cupcakes for 23 to 25 minutes and are a light golden brown around the edges
  • To test doneness, insert a toothpick in the center and make sure it comes out clean
  • Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place on a rack to cool completely before icing
  • To make the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla in a medium-sized bowl, and beat them together until light and fluffy 
  • Add the sugar gradually, beating well (or stir using a spatula)
  • Beat in the milk a little at a time, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency
  • Place frosting in a zip lock bag and cut a small portion of one corner off (about 1/8 inch)
  • Spread each cupcake with icing
  • Top with gold, purple, and green sparkling sugars

Stay hungry…

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