Mardi Gras is a wonderful holiday.

Anything that celebrates excess and insanity is right up my ally.

Granted, it’s followed by 40 days of giving up something that’s difficult, but isn’t that sort of a wonderful thing in itself.

The history of Mardi Gras is an awesome one. Started as a pagan holiday for the spirit of fertility, the festival developed into a massive party of excess and ridiculousness that was the last hurrah for Christians before the 40 days of Lent.

Mardi Gras is celebrated across the globe and is also called Carnival. In the United States the epicenter is New Orleans, where traditions and foods and a fantastic parade are yearly occurrences.   The first recorded New Orleans Mardi Gras parade was in 1837.  Louisiana is the only state where Mardi Gras is an official holiday and their enthusiasm is clear by this year’s 7AM parade start time.

One of the decedent edible portions of a New Orleans Mardi Gras party is King Cake. King Cake traditionally has a baby figurine inside of it. Sometimes this figurine is other things (a bean, a king figurine, a coin) but in my experience it has always been a baby.  With my lack of baby figurine I baked a coin into cupcakes this year for the same meaning. Tradition is the person who has the piece of cake with the baby is the King or Queen for the day (or night in our case).

For a traditional King Cake, there are many recipes.

I personally am a fan of King Cupcakes.

With Mardi Gras having beads and masks and signature colors of green,yellow, and purple, decorating cupcakes is an easy task to get creative with.
What you’ll need:

1 cupcake pan
2 icing bags (or ziplock baggies)
icing tips
stack of cupcake liners in your choice of colors
1 thing of white icing
green food coloring
yellow food coloring
colored sprinkles
1 box cake mix

Mix the cake mix as directed on the box.  Follow instructions for cupcakes.  Line the cupcake pan with selected liners.

Put your baby figurine (or coin) into the cupcakes after they have cooled (you can cover it with icing).  Let cupcakes cool.
While the cupcakes cool mix small bowls of colored icing – green and yellow.  Make sure to leave most of the icing white in the container.

When the cupcakes are cooled, frost them initially with white icing.

Decorate with piped masks and beads and phrases.
When done decorating with icing, dust with the sprinkles.

And there you have it- King Cupcakes!

For videos and lots of information on Mardi Gras, the History Channel is awesome. Below I’ve featured a map and information about places that celebrate Mardi Gras in famous and over the top ways.

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