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King Cake Cupcakes and Mardi Gras Food

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On Friday, I shared my Mardi Gras Cupcakes, I loved the fun colors but still wanted to make a cupcake that was more like the King Cake.

The King Cake traditionally is layer of dough and cinnamon, with a thin glaze and colored sugar. It also, usually, has a small trinket or baby baked inside. I couldn’t find any babies small enough to bake inside the cupcakes, but did make them with a ribbon of cinnamon and brown sugar.

King Cake Cupcakes

King Cake Cupcakes

Celebrate Mardi Gras with these fun and festive King Cake Cupcakes from HoosierHomemade.com.


  • Yellow or Butter flavor Cake Mix
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/3 oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • milk, VERY small drizzle


  1. Prepare cake mix with buttermilk, oil and eggs.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon, add melted butter and stir until crumbly.
  3. Add cupcake liners to a muffin pan, spoon about 1 tablespoon cake batter {I use a cookie dough scoop} to each liner.
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture, add 2 tablespoons more of cake batter.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely.

Glaze and Decorating

  1. Stir together powdered sugar and milk until desired consistency, you may need to add more milk if it’s too thick.
  2. Spoon glaze in the middle of the cupcake and let it drip down the sides.
  3. Immediately sprinkle with purple, yellow and green colored sugar.

Are you cooking for Fat Tuesday? We have lots of Mardi Gras Recipes for you…

Main Dishes…Shrimp…Sandwiches…Sides…and Dessert

You may also like my Mardi Gras Cupcakes with FREE Printables!

Or the Topsy Turvy Cupcakes from this year

Do you have a Mardi Gras recipe to share? Feel free to leave it in the comments.

I’m linking to…Delicious Dishes


  1. what is the best way to store the cupcakes and how long in advance can you make them

    1. Hi Diann, there are several different ways to store cupcakes – 1) in the fridge in an airtight container, 2) in an airtight container on the counter, and 3) they can be frozen.
      It all really depends on the cupcake recipe, how cool your kitchen is, and when you plan on serving them. You can freeze them for a couple weeks, thaw, frost and serve if you want to also.
      Hope that helps! Happy Baking!

  2. I’m wondering if you could do this in a double layer cake instead? How would you go about that and what would you do differently? TIA! The cupcakes looks great btw!

    1. Hi Angie, yes certainly you can make this recipe into a cake. The way I would do that is mix the cake like the recipe says, except when it says to add the cinnamon mixture, just layer that into the cake. So in the pan add a portion of the batter (not sure how because I have not made it this way) then sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture, then top with more cake batter. Bake the cakes according to the directions on the box. Then you can frost or use the recipe for the glaze.
      Happy Baking!

  3. This recipe looks awesome and being from new Orleans I like being able to put a new spin on the kingcake. I tried but apparently did something wrong. My cinnamon filling sunk to the bottom and stuck to the cupcake paper. Any idea what went wrong? I’d love to try it again but don’t want to ruin them again. Thanks

    1. Hi Mary, I’m guessing that you might have had a bit too much butter in the cinnamon mixture. Melted butter reacts differently every time I use it, depending on how far it’s melted, or if it’s warm. And also what kind of butter you used. You could try margarine if you have it, and maybe a little less.
      Hope that helps!

  4. What kind of oil was use for this King Cake Cupcake? 1/3 CUP of the oil correct?

  5. Dear Liz,

    Love your newsletters; and all the wonderful ideas you come up with… keep them coming…

    Happy Friday! And have a marvelous weekend. ;o)


  6. I’m so glad that I came across this post. I have been trying to find a King Cake cupcake recipe that is more authentic than just adding purple green and gold icing and sanding sugar to the cupcake. I cant wait to try these. Thanks for posting

  7. Cathi C Gautreaux says:

    Just a little information, the babies that are put in King Cakes, are plastic, the baker inserts them in the cakes after they are baked…and you can use any trinket to represent who brings the next King Cake! Happy Mardi Gras from South Louisiana!

  8. mmm… they look tasty, thanks for the recipe!

  9. How many cupcakes (regular size) does the recipe make? Looks yummy.

    1. This recipe is made with a regular cake mix, I typically get 24 – 30 cupcakes out of a mix.

  10. I just love your King Cake cupcakes. They look very good. Thank you for sharing and have a great Fat Tuesday!

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