King Cake Cupcakes – Mardi Gras

  • Yield : 12
  • Servings : 12
  • Prep Time : 1:45 h
  • Cook Time : 15m
  • Ready In : 2:10 h

It is Mardi Gras party time and the next recipe in our king cake lineup. When compared to the more involved king cakes these miniatures are easy and quicker to make. They remind me of our hot cross buns recipe in the look and texture. The main difference is that there is no fruit in these cupcakes.

The recipe was in the recent Coastal Living magazine and was created by our local baker David Guas of Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in Arlington, Virginia. I have never been to this bakery but will now plan to visit and see the rest of his selection as I am sure this is not on the menu every day.

The recipe overall was made with little modification. We did find ourselves adding an additional 4 tablespoons of flour during mixing to get the dough into a less sticky mass. When applying the icing be sure to add the sprinkles as you move along as it will create a surface shell fairly quickly making it more difficult to add the sprinkles.

This is a great recipe to bring into your co-workers or provide at a brunch as the cup cake theme makes them perfect single serving that are easy to handle. There is still time to make these late afternoon for your evening celebration. Enjoy your Mardi Gras celebration!



  • 1/2 cup warm whole milk (110°)
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) packages dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, divide
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons hot water
  • Purple, green, and yellow sugar sprinkles


Combine the milk, yeast, and 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl. Stir well, and set in a warm place for about 10 minutes. In another bowl, combine the butter and next 3 ingredients; stir in 2 teaspoons lemon juice.

Whisk the flours, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and kosher salt in a large stand mixer bowl. Add the milk mixture and butter mixture, and beat, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons flour if dough is too sticky (we added 4). Switch to a dough hook and mix until dough is smooth and forms a shaggy mass or about 1-2 minutes. (It should remain soft.)

Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down, and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 4 teaspoons sugar, and sprinkle evenly over dough. Roll dough into a log, and cut into 12 equal pieces. Places pieces into paper baking cups in a muffin pan; let rest another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°. Brush cupcake tops with beaten egg, and bake for 20 minutes. The tops should have a shiny brown crust similar to a hot cross bun. Remove from the pan, and let cool on wire rack. Combine powdered sugar, water, and remaining 2 teaspoon lemon juice in a small bowl. Drizzle over cooled cupcakes, and top with sprinkles.

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Comment (1)

  1. posted by Chef Dennis on March 10, 2011

    those look so very very good!! i love how you made them!


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