Muffin Tin King Cakes

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a batch of these Muffin Tin King Cakes!  Filled with cinnamon + brown sugar flavor, these king cakes make for a festive treat!

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a batch of these Muffin Tin King Cakes!  Filled with cinnamon + brown sugar flavor, these king cakes make for a festive treat!I’d be willing to bet that I have the largest collection of Mardi Gras beads of anyone in upstate New York.  Granted, that’s a somewhat safe bet to make as Mardi Gras beads aren’t too common here in the frozen tundra of New York.  But in Louisiana?  I’d be willing to bet that everyone has some Mardi Gras beads stashed away somewhere!

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a batch of these Muffin Tin King Cakes!  Filled with cinnamon + brown sugar flavor, these king cakes make for a festive treat!Laura keeps asking me if I want to get rid of some of the bags of beads that are currently living on a rather large storage shelf in our basement.  To this date, the answer has always been no.  The beads remind me of Mardi Gras and Louisiana.  Plus, Robbie really enjoys playing with them.  And I keep telling myself that I’m growing to throw a Mardi Gras party one of these years.  Maybe this is the year!  And if we do throw that party, then you better believe these Muffin Tin King Cakes will be making an appearance.

Muffin Tin King Cakes

King cakes are a traditional Mardi Gras recipe, and they come in all sorts of flavors.  I’ve noted before that my first experience with king cake was rather disappointing.  I had recently moved to south Louisiana, and I noticed stacks and stacks of king cakes appearing on the tables at the grocery store.  I broke down and got a cinnamon king cake.  It was ok, but I didn’t understand all the fuss.  It tasted like a 3-day old cinnamon roll.  You know, the kind you still eat because it tastes like a cinnamon roll…all the while craving a fresh cinnamon roll.

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a batch of these Muffin Tin King Cakes!  Filled with cinnamon + brown sugar flavor, these king cakes make for a festive treat!Then I had a king cake from a local well-known bakery.  It changed everything!  In fact, I ordered a king cake from that bakery when we first moved up here to New York – I needed my king cake fix.  Then I decided it was about time to learn how to make an actual king cake.  As it turned out, king cakes aren’t all that difficult to make.  And now I don’t have to worry about overnighting a king cake half-way across the country!

For these Muffin Tin King Cakes, I took my go-to cinnamon king cake recipe and transformed it into individual, mini king cakes.  I was quite pleased with how these turned out!  Dividing the dough takes a bit of time, but in the grand scheme of things, these individual king cakes weren’t too hard to make.  And as I was sprinkling the colored sanding sugar on top, Robbie walked through the kitchen and said, “Dad, I can’t wait to eat one of those after dinner…if I’ve been good.”  Hah!

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a batch of these Muffin Tin King Cakes!  Filled with cinnamon + brown sugar flavor, these king cakes make for a festive treat!If you’re familiar with king cakes, then you’ll know that the tradition is to include a plastic baby somewhere in the king cake.  (You insert the baby into the bottom of the king cake after it’s baked.)  Then whoever gets the baby in their slice of king cake provides the next king cake…and the tradition goes on throughout the entire Mardi Gras season.  I didn’t include any plastic babies in these Muffin Tin King Cakes, although perhaps I could’ve stuck one into each of the king cakes.  That way, I’d be sure to get invited to a lot of future king cake parties – hmmm, on second thought, this plan is sounding pretty good!

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a batch of these Muffin Tin King Cakes!  Filled with cinnamon + brown sugar flavor, these king cakes make for a festive treat!If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate Mardi Gras, then put these Muffin Tin King Cakes on the list.  They’re a tasty and festive way to celebrate Fat Tuesday!  Laissez les bons temps rouler <– that’s Cajun French for ‘Let the Good Times Roll!’

Did you make a batch of these Muffin Tin King Cakes at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a batch of these Muffin Tin King Cakes!  Filled with cinnamon + brown sugar flavor, these king cakes make for a festive treat!

Muffin Tin King Cakes

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a batch of these Muffin Tin King Cakes!  Filled with cinnamon + brown sugar flavor, these king cakes make for a festive treat!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 347kcal

Ingredients

For the Muffin Tin King Cakes

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • tsp active dry yeast i.e. 1 packet
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter melted

For the Filling

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter melted

For the Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • green yellow and purple sanding sugar (see note)

Instructions

  • Using a countertop mixer, add flour, sugar, yeast, salt and cinnamon; stir until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and melted butter.
  • Pour liquid mixture into the dry mixture.
  • Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed for 1-2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and continue mixing for 4-5 minutes, or until dough is smooth.
  • Transfer dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rest in a warm location until approximately doubled in size (~2 hours). (Note: I let my dough rise in the oven with the oven light on. The oven itself is off.)
  • Once dough has finished rising, make the filling mixture by whisking all of the filling ingredients together in a small bowl; set mixture aside.
  • Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick baking spray; set pan aside.
  • Divide dough into 12 equal portions.
  • Cut each of the 12 pieces into 3 pieces and flatten each with the palm of your hand. (Note: At this point, you should have 36 flattened pieces of dough.)
  • Drop a small spoonful of the filling mixture on top of each piece of dough.
  • Gather sides of each piece of dough together and roll into a tight ball. (Note: The filling should more or less end up inside of each ball of dough.)
  • Place 3 balls of dough into each of the muffin cups. Spray tops of dough with non-stick baking spray and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until the dough is ~½” above the top of the pan (~20-30 minutes).
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Place muffin tin on a rimmed sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. (Check the king cakes after 15 minutes. If they are browning too quickly, tent the top with foil. The rimmed sheet pan is used to catch any of the filling that might overflow during baking.)
  • Remove pan from oven and let king cakes cool for 15 minutes. Remove king cakes from muffin tin and drizzle tops with glaze. Sprinkle colored sanding sugars on top while glaze is still wet.

Notes

Colored sanding sugars can be found in the baking aisle at many stores or ordered on Amazon (aff link). In a pinch, you can make colored sugar by mixing sanding sugar or granulated sugar with food coloring. (I personally prefer sanding sugar as it has a coarser texture.)

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a batch of these Muffin Tin King Cakes!  Filled with cinnamon + brown sugar flavor, these king cakes make for a festive treat!

Looking for more tasty Mardi Gras dessert ideas?  Check out these other favorites, too:

New Orleans Beignets are a classic sweet treat in the Crescent City.  Now you can make a batch at home...complete with plenty of powdered sugar!New Orleans Beignets

This Pecan Praline Bundt Cake features a warm praline frosting poured over a moist cake. Oh, and there's some sugared pecans in there, too! Enjoy!Pecan Praline Bundt Cake

Let the good times roll with a batch of these Mardi Gras Donut Holes!Mardi Gras Donut Holes

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19 Comments

  1. Cant wait to make this for me for the cakes can i use vegan butter and almond milk / for the filling can i use vegan butter and for the glaze can i use almond milk i never had muffin tin king cakes before perfect for my after office snacks love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work

      1. While I made these mini King Cakes with Mardi Gras in mind, you make a great point that they would be a good sweet addition to the table for the Super Bowl! 🙂 I haven’t baked these with vegan ingredients, but I suspect it would still work quite well. Give ’em a try!

  2. 5 stars
    These mini king cakes look so festive with all the colours! Mardi Gras is definitely not big up here in Canada. Do the purple, green and yellow colours have any symbolism behind it?

    1. Yes! The Mardi Gras colors do have significance – according to tradition, purple is for justice, green is for faith, and gold is for power. The origins of the colors are a bit murky (like many things), but it is suspected they were chosen to honor a Russian Duke when he visited New Orleans years and years ago. Either way, these colors are often associated with wealth. I really love the symbolism and history behind Mardi Gras! Also, these mini king cakes are delicious. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Ohhh its that time of the year again, I wanted to experiece that but travel atm seems to be hard specially from where I come from due to border restrictions. Anyways I think I will just try to experience Madri Gras with this great recipe for the meantime

    1. Yeah…I don’t think this is the right year to travel (even if you were allowed with border restrictions). But definitely put Mardi Gras on the list for a future year when things return to “normal.” It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen!

  4. 5 stars
    We have some friends that lived in Louisiana and now live out in the country in our neck of the woods. Every year they have a Mardi Gras party with a parade around their property, costumes, a Mardi Gras band and all sorts of amazing food. The temperatures are usually below freezing with lots of snow. This is where I was introduced to a King Cake. I love the idea of the muffins – I’ve always loved individual desserts. I’ll have to bring these to their next party!

    1. Hahaha – a parade around their property? Now that’s what I’m talking about! I’m pretty sure those friends are good people. 🙂 I love king cake in all forms, so I had a lot of fun turning the classic Mardi Gras treat into these individual versions. Thanks, Kathy!

    1. Oh, you should start the Mardi Gras celebrations over there in Scotland, Neil – I’ll send you some beads! (Laura would be happy to see some of them out of our basement. Haha!) Thanks so much, my friend!

  5. 5 stars
    What a great idea David! These Muffin Tin King Cakes are so stunning! I cracked up at Robbie’s comment, so so sweet, and I know the situation well! My daughter says the same thing about earning dessert at our house. 😄. These king cakes would certainly be a way to motivate my daughter to eat a good dinner!

    1. Haha – don’t you just love kids and how they keep it real? 🙂 These king cakes certainly motivated Robbie to be on his best behavior…and I think they even motivated Dad, too. Haha. Thanks, Shannon!

  6. I’ve never heard of king cakes! yours look delightful – so colourful. i think i’d worry someone would choke on a baby in the cake 🙂 Though thinking back, we once had a party where tiny pink plastic babies were encased in ice cubes and put in everyone’s drinks … the next day tiny pink plastic babies were all over the house and the yard. we were very young at the time, in our early 20s so can be forgiven for nearly killing a few dozen friends…

    1. Yes, the choking hazard with the baby in the king cake has led to a new ‘tradition’ of just packaging the baby with the king cake but not actually inserting it into the cake. I know I always took small bites of king cake until the baby was found! I’m cracking up at the idea of those babies in ice cubes. What a funny time the next morning…haha!

    1. A king cake is pretty similar to a good cinnamon roll – well at least cinnamon king cakes. You can also get king cakes with flavored cream cheese fillings. You should throw a Mardi Gras party next year – it’s a good excuse to have fun! 🙂

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