Mardi Gras Cupcakes

My office is celebrating Mardi Gras this week with a Fat Tuesday luncheon and potluck. I thought about preparing some Crock Pot Jambalaya, but really wanted to bring dessert. My cousins are from Louisiana and each year they used to send us a King Cake in New York via mail. I looooved the King Cake – it was cinnamony, flaky  colorful and had creamy frosting. I looked up a few King Cake recipes and thought about making one – but with a relatively small office, it seemed like it’d be too big to prepare. Then I realized – I could make Mardi Gras cupcakes! Of course! These aren’t quite King Cake – they’re not flaky or bread-like – but they are fun colors, have creamy frosting and cinnamon. And B (a chocoholic) more than approved of them – he even asked if I could leave him some at home!

Mardi Gras Cupcakes for Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras Cupcakes

Inspired by Hoosier Homemade

For the cupcakes:

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk (instead of water indicated on box)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (per cake mix directions)
  • 3 eggs (I used ¾ c Egg Beaters)
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • Purple, yellow and green food coloring (I used yellow, green and blue+red for the purple)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. Mine made about 17 cupcakes.
  3. Use an electric mixer to beat together all the cake mix, buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs and cinnamon on high speed. Mix well so batter isn’t lumpy – especially if you use powdered buttermilk like I did.
  4. Divide the batter equally into three parts in three separate bowls. I had probably about a cup of batter in each bowl. Using food coloring, create one batter bowl green, one batter bowl yellow, and the third batter bowl purple (I mixed blue and red food coloring).
  5. Get a tablespoon for each color batter.
  6. Start with one color and take a spoonful of batter. Push batter up against one side of cupcake wrapper.
  7. Fill in with the other colors, using the same technique, pushing batter up against other sides of cupcake wrapper until you have the green, purple and yellow batter in thirds in the cupcake wrapper. Don’t worry about making these perfect, they will still taste great!
  8. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (or what the box says), until toothpick comes out clean. Frost when cool.

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon

Here’s what you do:

  1. Beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating well until completely combined.
  3. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until frosting is creamy and thick. 
  4. Mix in vanilla and cinnamon until well combined.
  5. Frost cupcakes when cooled!
mardi gras cupcakes fat tuesday cupcakes batter in the tins

Tri-colored cupcakes ready to go into the oven

mardi gras cupcakes fat tuesday cupcakes without frosting

Fresh out of the oven – check out the colors!

mardi gras cupcakes fat tuesday cupcakes frosted

mardi gras cupcakes fat tuesday cupcakes

Printables from TomKat Studio

Fun With Food – Cheeseburger Cupcakes

For those of you that know me, you know how much I LOVE baking. So I was super excited when about a month ago, the Social Media Club Cleveland had a meeting with the potluck theme of cupcakes and beer. The last time we had this theme I made some red velvet cupcakes. This time, however, I wanted to make something new and different. That’s why I made …. cheeseburger cupcakes!  Here’s what they looked like:

cheeseburger cupcakes

Don’t be jealous — or overimpressed. They were easy – and a hit! Curious how to make them? Here goes.

What you need: Vanilla frosting (I used Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Vanilla); Tubes of decorating frosting — red, green and white; Yellow food coloring; Yellow cupcake mix; Chocolate cupcake mix; Whatever ingredients the cupcake mixes call for.

What you do: Prepare your cupcakes per the mixes’ instructions. Make sure to grease the cupcake tins well so they don’t stick (you’re not going to use cupcake papers).

After the cupcakes have cooled, cut off the tops of the cupcakes – both the chocolate and the vanilla ones. This step reminds me of the Seinfeld “Muffin Top” episode. The tops and bottoms of the chocolate cupcakes will become the burger patties and both parts of the yellow cupcakes will be used as the bun.

Add yellow food coloring to a good amount of the vanilla frosting (now dyed yellow, this will be the American cheese). Then slather the bottom half of the yellow cupcake with the “cheese” and place a burger patty (half of a chocolate cupcake) on top.

Use the white decorative frosting to put small dots on the top of the yellow cupcake — this will look like sesame seeds. Use the red and green decorating frosting to put red and green squiggles on the tops and bottoms of the chocolate cupcakes. This will be the relish or lettuce and ketchup. Now you can put your burgers together — they should be layered yellow cupcake half, chocolate cupcake half, yellow cupcake half.

They were a hit at SMC and I made them again a few weeks later for my soon-to-be niece’s “housewarming” party (it was for the 18 month old’s new playhouse).

cupcakesI can’t take credit for these cupcakes, though – I came across them on Flickr. Check out this Flickr photo group – there are step by step photos if my directions weren’t enough, plus hers came out looking way better than mine!

Good luck and happy baking!