When you don’t have time to make the traditional Mardi Gras King Cake and need an easy alternative, these festive little cakes are the solution. However, this is not a brioche-type pastry like the iconic Twelfth Night Cake (King Cake) but it is similar in flavor.
I use the same sparkling sugars for decoration, representing the festival’s symbolic colors of purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. And in the “lagniappe”spirit of New Orleans, the cupcakes have a sweet almond filling (just like King Cake) for that unexpected little something extra!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 2/3 cups flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon fiori di sicilia (or 1 teaspoon vanilla + 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil)
- 2 eggs
- 1 can (12.5 oz.) Almond cake and pastry filling
- Sparkling sugar (purple, green, yellow)
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.
- Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer (low) until the mixture looks sandy.
- In a small glass measuring cup combine the milk and fiori di sicilia, add all at once. Mix for 30 seconds on low, then 30 seconds on medium.
- Add one egg, beat for 30 seconds, add second egg, beat for an additional 30 seconds.
- Line a standard muffin tin with 12 papers or lightly grease and flour.
Fill each prepared muffin tin, using only half of the batter. Top each with a spoonful of almond cake and pastry filling then evenly fill the muffin tins with the remainder of the batter.
Bake in a 350* oven until lightly golden brown (about 25 minutes).
To prepare icing:
In a small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, milk and lemon juice.
When cupcakes have cooled completely, ice them one at a time (so sugars will stick) and sprinkle with the colored sugars.