Mardi Gras King Cake Cupcakes – Good Eats

February 21, 2012 separator DIY Tutorial


If you want to try a slightly less sugarized, more grownup version of this recipe, check out Mardi Gras King Cake Cupcakes II. Enjoy, and share pictures if you make them yourself!

Andrei and I had a bunch of friends over last night for “family game night,” which mostly just entails tons of food, Catch Phrase, and Wii Wheel of Fortune. I got it into my head that I just had to make cupcakes (might’ve had something to do with my new cupcake tree…), and when I realized that Fat Tuesday is this week, I went a little overboard…
Since I’m head-over-heels for anything tiny, I just had to try to make cupcakes resembling mini king cakes, and after a bit of thought, I figured out an absurdly easy way to get the look. If you’ve never seen a king cake, it looks like this, and it’s a Mardi Gras staple. 
If you’re looking for a super quick, super easy (and totally adorable) last-minute party snack, this one’s for you. This would be great to send for a children’s class party and could even be done with store-bought cupcakes!




  • Cupcakes
  • Mini donuts, plain old-fashioned variety
  • White frosting
  • Purple, green, and yellow sanding sugar or Kool-Aid with granulated sugar

1.   Carefully cut the top off each cupcake so that the cupcake is flat and level with the wrapper. Set all your muffin tops aside. You can crumble and mix them with frosting at the end to make cake balls!


3.   Spread a dollop of frosting on top of the cupcake.


4.   Stick the donut on top of the frosting. After you’ve applied all the donuts, add a bit of milk or water to your frosting to make it runny and drippy. You could also just melt a tub of store-bought frosting. Now, using a spoon, drizzle frosting all around the top of the donut. You want little drips off the edges and everything so that it’ll look like a real king cake. 


5.   Now, using either your sanding sugar or Kool-Aid shaken 50/50 with granulated sugar, sprinkle on your Mardi Gras purple, green, and gold! 
*A word of warning – if you use Kool-Aid without mixing with granulated sugar, you get a lethally grape-lime-lemony flavor that’s something akin to throwing back a full box of Sour Patch Kids all at once. If this sounds unpleasant to you, I’d opt for the sanding sugar or the Kool-Aid mixture. 😀


DIY King Cake Cupcakes for Mardi Gras


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  2. I never thought of using Kool aid to sugar a King Cake. Your purple looks way better than what I get when I make it by mixing food coloring.

  3. Se ven muy ricos! Lamentablemente donde yo vivo no hay Kool-Aid, así que no es lo mismo 🙁
    Muy lindo tu blog, me gustó!
    (i wrote in spanish cuz i read that you speak the language and is easiest for me :D)

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