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King Cake Cupcakes

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A traditional King Cake has layers of dough and cinnamon, with a thin glaze and colored sugar. It also, usually, has a small trinket or baby baked inside. The baby, said to represent Baby Jesus, found inside or sometimes placed underneath, and the person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket has various privileges and obligations.

These King Cake Cupcakes are inspired by the King Cake, with yellow cupcakes and layers of cinnamon and sugar and topped with Cinnamon Buttercream in bright Mardi Gras colors! 

King Cake Cupcakes - Celebrate Mardi Gras with these easy to make cupcakes! Yellow cupcakes and layers of cinnamon and sugar and topped with Cinnamon Buttercream in bright Mardi Gras colors! Pin to your Recipe Board!

I love creating cupcakes for all the fun days throughout the year. And if you don’t celebrate Mardi Gras…these cupcakes are still yummy, just change the color of the frosting and you have an everyday cupcake.

King Cake Cupcakes for Mardi Gras | Recipe on HoosierHomemade.com

There are many different techniques to frost with multiple colors, but this is the one I found to be the easiest.
  1. Mix frosting and place in 3 separate bowls and add coloring
  2. Place each of the frostings in separate ziplock bags – this is an extra step, but it makes filling the decorator bag lots easier
  3. Fit a decorator bag with a #1 M Tip, and place in tall glass
  4. Snip the corner off the ziplock bag and fill the decorator bag with ALL the colors at the same time
  5. After the frosting is in the bag, you may need to pipe some out onto a plate until all the colors come out even

King Cake Cupcakes for Mardi Gras | Recipe on HoosierHomemade.com

It’s also tradition to put a tiny baby or small trinket inside a King Cake. I found these little babies at Wilton.

King Cake Cupcakes for Mardi Gras | Recipe on HoosierHomemade.com

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.

Celebrate Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday with these Mardi Gras Cupcakes! Pin to your Recipe Board!

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  1. Hi, I think these are so cute and am planning to make them for an office party. I’d like to make them 4-5 days ahead of time and then freeze them until the party. Do you think I could frost them ahead of time too? Or would this ruin the frosting? Thank you

    1. Hi Susan, Thank you! I would wait to frost them until the day you plan on serving them.
      Happy Baking!

  2. I enjoy your newsletters, recipes, and ideas. I will be baking Lego cupcakes for my grandson’s 7th birthday and also baking a lot of cupcakes for Relay For Life’s bake sale. Could you give me a source for cupcake liners. Lately, they pull away from the cupcake and look so unsightly. I wonder if companies are changing their product. I never had this problem in the past. Any suggestions you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Patty

    1. Hi Patty, most of my liners are from Wilton, although I have also had the same trouble. You might try a very light spray with cooking spray on the liner first. There is also Bake it Pretty that have many to choose from. http://www.bakeitpretty.com/
      Happy Baking!

    2. Liz, appreciate your help. I had a problem with Wilton liners not completely fitting in the pan. I bought some nice green ones from Bake It Pretty to make a flower cupcake. (The ones you attach to a styrofoam ball on a flower pot) for my niece’s birthday. The liners all separated from the cupcake so I had to cancel that idea. It’s so frustrating. I am going to make lego cupcakes for my grandson’s birthday this weekend and I’m hoping that I don’t have any problem. The liners are from Bake It Pretty.

      1. Hi Patty, I recently started using the liners from Sweets and Treats >> https://shopsweetsandtreats.com/ I really like them and they don’t pull away, and the liner does not color.
        Happy Baking!

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