Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, and since we couldn't return to New Orleans (wish I could make another trip as my last trip there was full of good food and even better memories), I decided to make some festive cupcakes.
These colorful Mardi Gras cupcakes are so simple to make - and look great "naked" without frosting. (After this "photo shoot", I did ice these cupcakes with chocolate frosting). I got the idea from my friend Conor who created an amazing rainbow princess cake. To get the rainbow effect, she simply layered different colored cake batter. No need to create multiple cakes - the layering effect works as long as the cake batter is thick enough.
For the cake, you can use most recipes of regular vanilla buttercake. Conor used this easy vanilla butter cake recipe from Taste.au for her princess cake (which makes a lot of batter!). In a pinch, you can also use a boxed cake mix - I would recommend substituting the milk for either a soy milk or buttermilk to make the batter thicker.
For the Mardi Gras cupcakes, divide the cake batter into 3 bowls and add green, purple, and yellow food coloring gel to them.
Now for the fun part - intermix the cake batter into your lined cupcake tray. I tried different methods: layering colors on top of each other, pouring each color beside each other, and creating abstract works of art (by alternating spoonfuls of cake batter).
The end result were boldly colored cupcakes. I think the abstract-designed ones came out the best.
To top off the cupcakes, I made some cupcake toppers. So if you're having a Mardi Gras party, or just wanted to decorate a few cupcakes, print out our free printables (and remember to send us pictures!) Happy Mardi Gras!