Go Back
+ servings
featured mardi gras cupcakes

Mardi Gras Cupcake Recipe (King Cake Cupcakes)

Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 16 cupcakes
Calories: 373kcal
These fun and colorful cupcakes are perfect for Mardi Gras. Soft and fluffy vanilla cupcakes are topped with a purple, green, and yellow cream cheese and cinnamon frosting for a vibrant treat!
Print Recipe


For the Cupcakes

  • 2 cups cake flour 240 grams, see note
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 8 grams
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • cups granulated sugar 250 grams
  • ½ cup unsalted butter 113 grams, room temperature (1 stick)
  • ¾ cup milk 170 grams, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 8 grams
  • 3 egg whites 105 grams, room temperature

For the Frosting

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter 170 grams, room temperature (1½ sticks)
  • ¼ cup cream cheese 57 grams room temperature
  • cups powdered sugar 395 grams
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3 grams, optional
  • 2 tablespoons milk 28 grams, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 8 grams
  • Food coloring purple, green, and gold/yellow


For the Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 12-count cupcake tin with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar, until they are combined.
    2 cups cake flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • Using a hand mixer, add in the butter and milk, mixing on slow speed to gently combine the butter with the dry ingredients.
    ½ cup unsalted butter, ¾ cup milk
  • Add in the vanilla and egg whites and combine for another 30-60 seconds.
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 3 egg whites
  • Pour the batter into the wells of the prepared cupcake tin, filling each well ¾ full with batter.
  • Bake for 20-23 minutes, until the top of each cupcake springs back to the touch. Allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting.

For the Frosting

  • In a large bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese, and sugar together. Add in the cinnamon (if using), milk, and vanilla. Continue beating until the frosting is well mixed and creamy. If the frosting is too soft, add in additional powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches desired thickness. If the frosting is too thick, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the desired thickness.
    ¾ cup unsalted butter, ¼ cup cream cheese, 3½ cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Divide the frosting into three bowls. Color the frosting, purple, green, and gold/yellow. If the frosting has thinned because of the coloring, place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes, allowing it to chill to become slightly firm.
    Food coloring
  • Fill three piping bags, one with each of the colors, and then place into a large piping bag with a 2D frosting tip. Gently squeeze from the top, until all three of the colors come through the piping tip. Starting in the middle of each cupcake, begin to rotate as you pipe until you complete a swirl on the top of the cupcake, ending once you have covered the outer edges. You can also do a swirl up instead of a flat swirl.


  • Flour: If you don't have cake flour, you can substitute with a mix of 1¾ cups all-purpose flour and ¼ cup cornstarch.
  • Top cupcakes with Mardi Gras baby, or spoon out one or two cupcakes and fill with color sprinkles before frosting as the “surprise” cupcake.
  • This recipe makes 16 standard-sized cupcakes.
Storage: Store Mardi Gras cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freeze unfrosted for up to 3 months. 


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 513IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg