Mini King Cake Cupcakes

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There might not be room for a plastic baby, but these mini cupcakes packed with delicious flavor for a sweet Mardi Gras.

Mini King Cake Cupcakes
Photo: Jennifer Davick; Prop Styling: Lydia Degaris-Pursell; Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns
Prep Time:
15 mins
Rise Time:
90 mins
Bake Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 5 mins
Yield:
1 dozen

Every good Mardi Gras party ends with a celebratory king cake, and this season we're giving it a mini makeover. Flavored like the classic, these Mini King Cake Cupcakes are perfect personal-sized treats for serving at parties, big or small. These cupcakes, however, are not made with a batter. The dough, flavored with cinnamon, is still rolled into a log. Then you're going to cut the dough into different pieces and place those into paper muffin cups to bake. Once out of the oven, spread them with a glaze and top with holiday sprinkles in festive shades of gold, green, and purple. You can even break from tradition and top each mini cupcake with a plastic baby.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup warm whole milk (110°)

  • 2 (¼-ounce) packages dry yeast

  • cup sugar, divided

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 3 egg yolks

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest

  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup cake flour

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, divided

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 ½ tablespoons hot water

  • Purple, green, and yellow sugar sprinkles

Directions

  1. Combine milk, yeast, and ¼ cup sugar in a bowl. Stir well, and set in a warm place for about 10 minutes. In another bowl, combine butter and next 3 ingredients; stir in 2 teaspoons lemon juice.

  2. Combine flours, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and kosher salt in a large mixing bowl. Add milk mixture and butter mixture, and beat, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons flour if dough is too sticky, until dough is smooth and forms a shaggy mass. (It should remain soft.)

  3. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, about 1 hour.

  4. Punch dough down, and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 12- × 8-inch rectangle. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 4 teaspoons sugar, and sprinkle evenly over dough. Roll dough into a log, and cut into 12 equal pieces. Places pieces into paper baking cups in a muffin pan; let rest 30 minutes.

  5. Preheat oven to 375°. Brush cupcake tops with beaten egg, and bake 20 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool on wire rack. Combine powdered sugar, water, and remaining 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a small bowl. Drizzle over cooled cupcakes, and top with sprinkles. Makes 1 dozen.

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