Feb 15, 2012

Getcha Gras On with King (Cup) Cake

*~See Ya In the Gumbo Potluck can be found here~*

I've long considered myself fortunate to have both Creole and Cajun roots. Especially come Mardi Gras since I can celebrate both versions!

Every year, I feature a homemade King Cake here in honor of my Creole side and growing up in New Orleans. King Cake has its origins in pagan celebrations, which the French Creoles of New Orleans incorporated into their Mardi Gras festivities.

Next week, I'll share some pictures from the Courir de Mardi Gras--the traditional Cajun Mardi Gras run. The Husband is running Mardi Gras this year in Basile, LA. This should be very interesting.

I try to add a twist to our King Cake each year--usually a different filling. This time around there's a huge twist.

I didn't make traditional King Cake at all!

Sorry, yall. I dug deep, but still didn't have it in me. Homemade King Cake is an all day event that I couldn't schedule time for.

The Boy has been itchin' for cup cakes lately. Although they aren't my favorite thing to make, I remembered seeing King Cake cupcakes made with purple, green, and gold cake batter in a bakery last year and decided that's what was goin' down in my kitchen.

Truth? Babe, ya know I'm gonna give it to ya.
By the time the batter was tinted, colored sugars made, and cupcakes decorated, these King (Cup) Cakes were almost as much work as the real deal. Dang! But The Boy thought these were waaay cool and that I was awesome. Worth it. My mother-in-law was tickled at the surprise that comes when biting into these. (No, not a King Cake Baby. The swirls of color.)

Traditional King Cake has cinnamon and lemon zest in the brioche dough. I added cinnamon to...whaaaa? Yes, boxed cake mix.
Sometimes a gal has to make do. Or some excuse like that.

I divided the batter into three and tinted each portion purple, green, and gold.
Purple = justice
Green = faith
Gold = power

Zipper bags made it easier to fill cupcake liners.

Using a glass made it easier to fill the bags.
See where I'm going with this?

Pipe in one color on top of another.

Gold wasn't my favorite choice for the top since it browned a little in the oven.

The icing is a simple buttercream, to which I added lemon juice for that traditional lemony taste.

Purple, green, and gold sugar decorated the tops.
Lots of fun!

Gallery of King Cakes Past

Cream Cheese Filled (and some Mardi Gras history)
Hazelnut Praline Filled
Blueberry King Cake

Stay tuned next week for Mardi Gras pictures the way Mardi Gras is done in Cajun country.

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King Cup Cakes

1 box cake mix (yellow or white)
eggs and oil or applesauce as stated on box
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
green, yellow, red & blue (or purple) food coloring

1 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp whipping cream
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

sugar for decorating
green, yellow, red, & blue food coloring

Prepare the cake mix according to package instructions, stirring in cinnamon. Divide the batter equally into three bowls. Tint one bowl a bright yellow/gold. Tint another bright green. Tint the third purple using red and blue food coloring or purple if you can find it (Wilton makes purple). Transfer each bowl of batter into a zip top bag.

Line muffin tins with liners. Cut a small corner off of each bag. Squeeze some yellow batter into the bottom of the muffin cups. Squeeze green over the yellow. Squeeze purple last. Bake according to package directions. Let cool before frosting and decorating.

For the buttercream, beat together butter and powdered sugar until well blended, about 4-5 minutes. Add the vanilla, cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix 1-2 minutes longer. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes.

Divide sugar into three bowls or bags. Tint one yellow, one green, and the third purple. I find it easier to use a bag so that I can knead the food coloring into the sugar. Sprinkle each color over the icing before it sets.

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  1. I love the idea of King Cake cupcakes. They are definitely high on the cute factor!

    I always keep cake mix on hand for things like this. Sometimes the idea of getting out the flour and all the other ingredients can be daunting.

    P.S. My email went down over the weekend. I sent you a response on facebook.

  2. I made a big pot of jambalaya over the weekend in anticipation of Mardis Gras. I'm a Canadian who LOVES the Big Easy and visits as often as I can :-) This is a fabulous idea!! I'm off to print out your recipe.

  3. Love your Mardi Gras cupcakes and they look fab! Looks like we're on the same wavelength. Great minds think alike! :) !Happy Mardi Gras

  4. I love the cupcakes but that little baby always freaks me out :-)

  5. I have never heard of King Cake before, but these little cup cakes sure look cute. No wonder The Boy loved them. BTW, what's the story with the little baby/kewpie doll/thingy? - don't know the first thing about Louisiana traditions.


  6. Thank You for participating in Show Your Stuff Blog Hop, You are invited to come back:

  7. Howdy! I"m your newest follower! Your blog is bursting with goodies! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE for you to join in my Mardi Gras party today on my blog. Feel free to link up as many links as you want! I am giving pins on pinterest which will bring you traffic.

    I'm so happy to have found your awesome blog! Susie http://cafescrapper-scrapsoflife.blogspot.com/2012/02/happy-fat-tuesday-mardi-gras.html

  8. These are beautiful cupcakes! What a lovely treat! I'm really enjoying your Mardi Gras posts.

  9. Man, I wish I had visited here earlier so I could bake these for my kids. Those look fantastic! Very creative!

    Thanks for linking up and playing along for Friday Food Fight. Hope to see you in the ring again this week. :-)



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