It’s that time of year again folks…parades, beads, debauchery,
bad decisions yes it’s Mardi Gras time. I have to be completely honest, the whole Mardi Gras thang wasn’t really on my radar until I moved to Louisiana where I lived for several years.
I didn’t even live anywhere close to New Orleans but right after the New Year, the unmistakable green, gold and purple beads and banners would start to pop up everywhere and my favorite was seeing people who would just redecorate their Christmas trees as Mardi Gras trees. Another constant fixture this time of year in Louisiana is the King Cake.
If you are not familiar with a King Cake, just think of a giant cheesy cinnamon-ey danish thing with a cream cheese or vanilla icing on top in the quintessential purple, green and gold colors…oh and don’t forget the little plastic baby you might find in the cake 🙂 I remember my first Mardi Gras season in Los Angeles going on a hunt for a King Cake, and not only could I not find one anywhere but no one had any idea what I was even talking about. Sooo, that’s when I decided I would make some cupcakes with the delicious King Cake in mind. These are an incredible french vanilla cake with spiced rum in the batter, topped with a butter rum glaze and a cream cheese cinnamon frosting, these are sooo moist and awesome y’all. If you’re wanting to get in the Mardi Gras mood this year, I think these will be perfect.
So let’s start with the cake mix…
- 1 Box of French Vanilla Cake Mix.
- 1 Small Box of Instant French Vanilla Pudding Mix, Dry.
- 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon.
- 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla.
- 4 Eggs.
- 1/2 Cup of Milk.
- 1 Stick (1/2 Cup) Unsalted Melted Butter.
- 1/2 Cup of Rum (I used Captain Morgan Spiced Rum).
- 3 Sticks of Butter, Softened.
- 1 (8 Ounce) Block of Cream Cheese, Softened.
- 3 Cups of Powdered Sugar.
- 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon.
- 1 Tablespoon of Meringue Powder (optional).
- 1 Stick of Butter.
- 1/4 Cup of Water.
- 1 Cup of Sugar.
- 1/2 Cup of Rum.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line 22 cupcake tins with liners and set aside.
- In a bowl with a handheld or stand mixer with paddle attachment place all of your ingredients for your cupcakes and mix until all are well incorporated.
- With an ice cream scoop place your batter in your cupcake liners until 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake your cupcakes for 15-17 minutes or until they spring back to the touch, I took my cupcakes out at precisely at 16 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- With a hand held or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream your softened butter until smooth, then add your cream cheese and cream together.
- Then add your powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated.
- Then add your cinnamon and meringue powder (if you want) then mix all until smooth.
- In a small saucepan place your butter on medium heat and melt your butter.
- Once your butter is melted, add your water and sugar mixing all together and boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the rum.
- Let the glaze cool down a little then dip the tops of the cooled cupcakes in the glaze.
- Once all of your cupcakes have the glaze on them, place back in the fridge covered for at least 30 minutes to make sure the glaze has set before piping your frosting on top.
- I used a Wilton 16" disposable piping bag with a Wilton open star piping tip for the tops of my cupcakes.
- You do not have to use meringue powder, but because cream cheese frosting has a tendency to not hold it's shape once piped, I thought it might help to stabilize it.