Mardi Gras Cupcakes

Mardi Gras cupcakes to celebrate Fat Tuesday! These cupcakes are swirled with the Mardi Gras colors of purple representing justice, gold representing power, and green representing faith. This post is wrapping up my week’s worth of traditional New Orleans style food. Can you believe that I have never been to New Orleans? I have heard so many great stories because my mom grew up in Lake Charles Louisiana, about 3 hours away from New Orleans. She still has a chalk drawing of herself that she got during Mardi Gras that hangs in the second bedroom of their house. When I was about 10 years old our family drove down to visit family in Alabama, while we were there my parents decided to drive to Lake Charles and look at my mom’s house she lived in and her old high school. My dad said that we were going to drive to New Orleans and stay a night or two. I was so excited that we were going to New Orleans! I remember having my face plastered to the car window for the entire ride. I was so excited! That excitement didn’t last too long, as soon as we arrived in New Orleans, we left!  It was during a Saints game so traffic was at a stand still. I remember us missing our turn into our hotel and my dad being so irritated that he refused to stay! He tried to make up for it by taking us to Gulfport Mississippi to spend a few days at the beach. I still remember that trip and how much I wanted to visit New Orleans. Maybe someday!

If you are like me and unable to make it down for Mardi Gras, whip up a batch of these rainbow cupcakes and celebrate anyway! :) These cupcakes are made from my favorite recipe for a classic white layer cake, only with a burst of coloring added.

They always bake up super moist and tender. I layered the batter into the muffin tins by squeezing the different colored batter using ziploc bags with the ends snipped off. This made the process so much quicker and less messy. So what are you waiting for? Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Mardi Gras Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes:

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
purple, green, and yellow food coloring
purple, green, and yellow sanding sugars
For the Buttercream Frosting:
20 tablespoons (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2½ cups Confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

In a 2-cup glass measure, combine milk, egg whites, and extracts and mix with fork until blended.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.

Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 1½ minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium speed and beat 20 seconds longer.

Pour a scant cup of the cake mix into three separate mixing bowls. Mix in food colorings and place the colored batter into three individual Ziploc bags.

Squeeze cake batter into each cupcake well, alternating colors. (I did purple first, followed by green...)

Then yellow on top.

Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer muffin pan to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cool completely prior to frosting.

Place frosting into a large decorators decorating bag fitted with the 1M decorating tipand approximately 1/4″ above cupcake top at a 90° angle to cupcake surface,  pipe a spiral of icing, beginning at the outer edge and working inward. Sprinkle with sanding sugars.

Source: cupcakes adapted from Bean Town Baker, frosting Crumbly Cookie


mardi gras cupcakes