Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler: King Cake Inspired Cupcakes

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Mardi Gras day, also known as Fat Tuesday, is less than a week away and in the spirit of the Carnival season I couldn’t help but think about my love of King Cake. I can’t even remember the first time I had my first slice of King Cake, but what I do know is that it’s a taste that brings back so many memories of family and fun.

The King Cake is part of the heritage and food of the city of New Orleans. The tradition of the King Cake is believed to have originated in the late 1800’s when it was brought to New Orleans from France. It gets its name from the biblical three kings who brought gifts to baby Jesus. The cake is covered with purple, green, and gold-colored sugars that represent justice, faith, and power.

If you’ve never been to New Orleans, you need to change that. I believe every person should experience this colorful city. I love the sights, smells, foods, and the people of this city because it’s a place like no other. Both of my parents were born and raised in New Orleans and that probably explains why I have such an appreciation for the heritage, culture and community there. mix

I won’t be going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras anytime soon, but I really wanted to bring a little bit of the spirit of the city and celebration to my home. The best and easiest way to do this was though food or… well… through baking. In order to celebrate the spirit of Mardi Gras I decided to take some time out to develop a King Cake themed cupcake. DSC_0492cakesbasic

My King Cake cupcakes have a similar flavor profile to a cream cheese filled King Cake. Although the yeasty challah dough of the King Cake is not present in this cupcake, it is still infused with all the other flavors. The cupcake starts with a vanilla brown sugar cupcake base that I adapted from NatashasKitchen.com. There’s a cinnamon, brown sugar cream cheese filling and it is topped with cream cheese frosting, a sugar glaze and has the colored sugar for the infamous design! frosted

Many of the ingredients for this recipe are on sale at Target right now and I saved even extra money on many of their Market Pantry Items using the Target Cartwheel app. I ended up having to purchase my colored sugar from Walmart (but you can make your own).filling_final

If you’re celebrating the holiday over the weekend or just want to bake something new be sure to try out my recipe!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler… Let the good times roll!DSC_0587


  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Recommended Specialty Cookware: Decorating/Piping Bag, Muffin Pan

Ingredients:

Cupcake Batter:

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Flavor:

  • 2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp flour

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp buttermilk

Sugar Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp buttermilk

Colored Sugar:

  • Colored sugar in purple, green, and gold

Directions:

Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In a mixing bowl cream together eggs, brown sugar, sugar, and oil.
  3. in a separate bowl combine baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour.
  4. Alternatively add flour mixture and buttermilk to wet ingredients and mix until combined (do not over mix)
  5. Fold in buttermilk.
  6. Pour batter mixture into a lined 12 compartment muffin tin filling to about 2/3 full.
  7. Set muffin tin aside.
  8. To make the brown sugar flavor combine maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Sprinkle evenly on top of the cupcake batter.
  9. Bake cupcakes for 15 – 17 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Cream Cheese Filling:

  1. Mix cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, milk, and powdered sugar until smooth.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In a mixing bowl combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and buttermilk until smooth.
  2. Gradually add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and mix until smooth and fluffy.

Sugar Glaze (do not make until after cupcakes have been filled and frosted):

  1. Combine powdered sugar, salt, and buttermilk. Stir until smooth (it should be a thick liquid).

To Assemble Cupcakes:

  1. Using the round tip of a wooden spoon, knife, or your finger create a crater in the center of each cupcake.
  2. Using a piping bag fill each cupcake with the cream cheese filling being sure not to over fill.
  3. Using a piping bag or knife frost each cupcake in the method of your choice.
  4. Mix together the sugar glaze and spoon mixture over the top of each allowing it to drip over the sides.
  5. Quickly sprinkle a combination of colored sugars over each cupcake.

Keep refrigerated until serving.

Seafood Sunday: Cajun Inspired Crab Cakes

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I go grocery shopping every Saturday, and every week as I’m making my grocery list I ask my husband if he has any suggestions for meals. He always responds with, “anything fishy” so I try to incorporate fish or seafood into 2 of our meals for the week. We usually have seafood twice, chicken twice, steak once, salad once, and we go out for Mexican once a week.

Last week I was struggling for our, “something fishy” for the week. I usually do shrimp or salmon but I wanted to do something different. While out grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s I came across a 16 oz can of refrigerated crab meat and then I knew exactly what one of our seafood meals would be… Crab cakes!DSC_0762

I love crab and I order it whenever I have the opportunity. I love crab cakes on their own, crab cake sandwiches, and my go to brunch meal is crab cakes benedict. I’m not the only Comer that loves crab cakes, William is now a fan of them as well!

This crab cake recipe incorporates the methods from a Maryland crab cake but is infused with the cajun flavors of the south. Instead of using traditional mayonnaise I used Hampton Creek‘s Garlic Just Mayo (which is great for those on a vegan diet). I season these crab cakes with Old Bay to add a little spice! DSC_0776DSC_0784DSC_0770

If you’re looking for something a little fun to add to your recipe book, check out the recipe below. It’s so easy I was even able to get my husband to lend a hand in the kitchen.

Happy Cooking!

— LaLa

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Cajun Inspired Crabcakes

Prep: 15 minutes | Inactive: 1 hour | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 45 Minutes

Makes 6 – 8 Crab Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 16 oz crab meat, drained of any water and picked over for shells
  • 15 saltine crackers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons garlic mayo (plain mayonnaise works as well
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Sauté green onions with olive oil over medium heat until soft and fragrant, 1 – 2 minutes.
  2. Remove green onions from heat and set aside to stop the cooking process.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl gently fold together green onions, crab, saltine crackers, cayenne pepper, onion powder, and old bay seasoning. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together egg, mayo, dijon mustard and worcestershire sauce.
  5. Pour sauce egg mixture into the crab mixture and gently combine being careful. Do not over mix.
  6. Refrigerate crab for at least one hour.
  7. Make 6 – 8 evenly sized patties out of the crab mix and place on a non stick surface.
  8. Lightly salt and pepper the patties before frying.
  9. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat and fry patties until golden brown (2 – 3 minutes per size) and remove from pan.
  10. Add more oil to pan as needed.
  11. Serve warm.