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Mardi Gras King Cupcake Recipe

dessertsSheri SpalloneComment
Mardi Gras King Cake Cupcakes Recipe

Mardi Gras King Cake Cupcakes Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Happy belated Fat Tuesday everyone! Despite my best attempts to get this posted yesterday, life happens! Oh, well, by changing up the sprinkles and decorations, you can enjoy this apple-cinnamon swirled “Mardi Gras King Cake” Cupcake Recipe, year-round. After all, It is never too late to enjoy cake:)

Did you know? Even though Mardi Gras ended yesterday, traditionally, the King Cake for Mardi Gras is a ring-shaped, yeasted confection, with cinnamon and sugar swirled throughout the batter, white icing on top, and sprinkles of gold (power), purple (justice), and green (faith) colored sugar as a garnish ( And, “each king cake has a tiny plastic baby inside. In the past, you might have found an item such as a coin, bean, pecan or pea in a king cake. The lucky person who receives the slice of cake with the baby has the next king cake party (or brings the next cake for the office)”.

Pretty cool, huh?

I tend to “bend the rules” in cooking, and my “take” on this New Orleans classic, is an apple-cinnamon filled cupcake dolloped with a creamy buttercream frosting, and adorned with the traditional colors of Mardi Gras. The apple butter-cinnamon filling (Cherchies® Apple Butter Spread) replaces the baby. (Considering I have two teenagers in braces…I decided to forgo the baby figurine for apparent reasons;). However, if you are bringing these tasty treats to a Mardi Gras party, by all means, add a plastic baby to one of the cupcakes! Or, for Easter, add a jelly bean and create a new tradition.

There you have it.  I may have been late to the party for Mardi Gras, but by simply changing up the sprinkles and decorations, you can enjoy these apple cinnamon filled, sugary confections year-round for any occasion.

Comment below and let us know how you liked this recipe:)  How will you use this recipe?

Thank you for visiting our blog and we hope to see you again!  

Ingredients- "Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes"- Recipe adapted from Glorious Treats

Yields- 15-16 cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour*

  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola oil)

  • 1/3 cup milk (whole or low fat, but avoid fat free)

  • 1/3 cup sour cream (full fat or light, but avoid fat free)

  • 1/2 jar Cherchies® Apple Butter Spread

  • Ground cinnamon

  • Yellow, green, and purple sprinkles (optional for decoration)

*Note- if do not have cake flour, use this simple substitution, for every cup of flour, remove 2 Tablespoons (Tbsp) of flour and substitute with cornstarch and sift together, several times.

*Another Note- You could substitute any yellow boxed cake mix for the cupcakes, using the ingredients mentioned in the box and follow the directions for cupcakes. If you go this route, then use the ingredients listed on the box and skip down to the “Preparation for cupcakes” directions below and add the Apple Butter and cinnamon, as indicated below.

Ingredients for Icing

  • 1/2 cup butter flavored shortening

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature

  • 1/4 teaspoon (tsp.) almond extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon (tsp.) vanilla

  • 4 Tablespoons half & half (milk is fine too)

  • 1 lb. powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 325*F.

Prepare the icing.  Cream together shortening, butter, extracts and milk.  Gradually add powdered sugar.  Mix until blended.  Set aside.

Preparation for cupcakes- In a medium bowl, add cake flour*, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Sift the ingredients together and set aside. In another bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil with an electric mixer and mix for about a minute.

Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture.  Add the milk, then the rest of the flour and the sour cream.  Beat until just combined.  Scrape down the side of the bowl and make sure no lumps are left at the bottom of the bowl.  Do not over mix.

The batter will be slightly thick.  Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. So here is the fun part. The goal is to layer the batter. Fill liners about 1/3 full with cake batter. Dollop a Tablespoon of Cherchies® Apple Butter Spread on top of the batter. Sprinkle enough cinnamon to cover the batter (teaspoon). Carefully add another 1/3 of batter over top of Apple Butter and Cinnamon, not exceeding filling the muffin tin to 2/3 full.

After you have carefully layered the batter, take a butter or table knife and gently run the knife through the batter to make swirls. You will only need a couple of swirls.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes, checking them at 15 minutes.  Insert a toothpick or a cake tester to check for doneness.  If toothpick or cake tester comes out clean, the cupcake is done.  If not, give it another minute or so until done.  You do not want to overcook the cupcakes.  Slightly under cooking is best, as the cupcakes will continue to cook when removed from the oven.

Allow cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack for about ten minutes. Ice cupcakes with the buttercream icing, using a 195 tip, or your favorite tip.  Decorate with your favorite sprinkles and voila, moist fluffy cupcakes with a sweet apple-cinnamon filling inside, perfect for any occasion.

Note: The cupcakes and frosting can be made ahead 1 day in advance.  Make sure to cover tightly and store them in the refrigerator.  Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months, but thaw overnight in the refrigerator when ready to use- Cooking tip from Sally's Baking addiction.

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