King Cake Cupcakes

Cinnamon cupcakes filled with cinnamon whipped cream cheese and vanilla cream cheese frosting

I don’t want to oversell these, but they are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. They’re so moist and the filling is incredible. I used a melon baller to scoop the center out of these beauties and then filled them with the same luscious mixture that’s in my Snickerdoodle Sandwiches, but with cinnamon added for good measure. They’re out of this world!

King Cake Cupcakes Mardi Gras Dessert Recipe | The Rose Table

King Cake Cupcakes Mardi Gras Dessert Recipe | The Rose Table

King Cake Cupcakes Mardi Gras Dessert Recipe | The Rose Table

First of all, what is a king cake? A king cake is a cinnamon bread pastry associated with the Mardi Gras season that’s shaped like a wreath and often filled with something (fruit, chocolate, cream cheese), and topped with a sweet glaze and Mardi Gras-colored sprinkles. A plastic baby is traditionally hidden inside. (I did not hide a baby in the cupcakes because I think that’s a chocking hazard.)

Thank you to my grocery partner Tom Thumb / Albertsons for supporting The Rose Table and this recipe! It’s partnerships like this that keep The Rose Table ad-free.

What is King Cake | The Rose Table
A classic king cake from Tom Thumb / Albertsons.

My die-hard readers know how much I like turning food into other food. (Please see my Bananas Foster Cake for reference.) So I thought, how can I turn king cake into cupcakes? I decided on cinnamon cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I consulted my friend Bobby, who lives in New Orleans, and he’s the genius who suggested I fill them with something. Thanks to Bobby, we now have the best cupcake recipe ever! Enjoy.

Mardi Gras Party Ideas Recipes | The Rose Table

King Cake Cupcakes Mardi Gras Dessert Recipe | The Rose TableKing Cake Cupcakes

For the cinnamon cupcakes:
2 cups sugar
3 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large farm fresh eggs


To bake the cinnamon cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners and lightly spray with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Add butter to the mixer and beat until it looks sandy.
  4. Combine the milk and vanilla and add to the mixer. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Don’t forget to scrape the bowl as you go!
  5. Crack eggs into a bowl. This way, you won’t accidentally get egg shells in your cake batter. With the mixer running on low, add eggs one at a time. Make sure each is incorporated before adding the next.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Softly bang the bottom of the pans against the counter to help settle the batter evenly.
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Do NOT overbake. Set the time for earlier and check them every few minutes until the toothpick is clean.
  8. Remove tins from oven and place on racks. Cool five minutes, remove from pan, and cool completely.
  9. Make the cinnamon filling when cupcakes have completely cooled. Use a melon baller to scoop center out of cupcakes. Use a spoon to fill with cinnamon whipped cream cheese filling (recipe follows). Don’t worry about being perfect because you’ll frost right over it.
  10. Make cream cheese frosting. Spoon frosting into pastry bag fitted with a Wilton star tip. Frost with cream cheese frosting and decorate with purple, yellow, and green sprinkles.

Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cheese Filling:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 oz cream cheese, softened

  1. Beat together sugar, whipping cream,  vanilla, and cinnamon until soft peaks form.
  2. Cut cream cheese into cubes and slowly beat in. Don’t panic if it looks like cottage cheese at first; keep beating until smooth.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened (full fat!)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Combine cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly sift in powdered sugar and beat one cup at a time. Mix in vanilla.

King Cake Cupcakes Mardi Gras Dessert Recipe | The Rose Table

King Cake Cupcakes Mardi Gras Dessert Recipe | The Rose Table

King Cake Cupcakes Mardi Gras Dessert Recipe | The Rose Table

Read more about my Mardi Gras game night here.

Laissez les bon temps rouler,

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7 Comments Add yours

    1. Katie-Rose Watson says:

      Thanks for the shoutout!

  1. Pingback: Mardi Gras Dinner
  2. Laura says:

    Hello! The King Cake Cupcake recipe is great! One thing, I noticed you left out the step of folding dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. You might want to edit that step for bakers who may not make cupcakes often 😉 otherwise great recipe!

    1. Katie-Rose Watson says:

      Actually, this recipe starts with whisking the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl, then adding wet ingredients to it. Thank you though!

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