Festive Mardi Gras Cupcakes With Purple, Gold and Green Baked Right In

Feb 5, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. ET
Image: Getty Images/Claire Gallam/SheKnows

Fat Tuesday is the one glorious day of the year when you can let it all hang out — it's not just expected, it's required to let your freak flag fly. And one of the best ways to get freaky on this fine holiday is by jazzing up your favorite foods, starting with these fun and funky tie-dyed cupcakes.

 Tye dye Mardi Gras cupcakes
Image: Claire Gallam/SheKnows

These gorgeous cupcakes are almost as much fun to make as they are to eat. I mean, what's not fun about coloring your food when you're over the age of 8? These stunning cupcakes are the best treat for your Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday celebration. Because, well, sprinkles, buttercream and cake. What's not to love?

This is pretty basic, but you know the drill. You need to mix all the cake ingredients in a bowl and whisk it up. For added Mardi Gras sparkle, use Funfetti white cake batter.

 Tye dye Mardi Gras cupcakes
Image: Claire Gallam/SheKnows

And now the fun part! Haven't you always wanted to play with your food as an adult? Well, now you can. You want three separate colors, so be sure to fill three bowls with white cake mix before you color it. Otherwise you're going to have a pretty messy and ugly cupcake on your hands.

 Tye dye Mardi Gras cupcakes
Image: Claire Gallam/SheKnows

The coolest part about these cupcakes is how they look when they are baked. To get all three of the colors to stand out, it's best if you stack the colors while the batter is wet.

 Tye dye Mardi Gras cupcakes
Image: Claire Gallam/SheKnows

I started with purple on the bottom, then topped it with green and then finished with yellow. You can swirl them or stack in different colors, but this works the best with the brightest color on top.

 Tye dye Mardi Gras cupcakes
Image: Claire Gallam/SheKnows

Make sure you let the cupcakes cool before you frost, which to me is always the hardest part. I want to frost and eat as soon as the oven timer goes off.

 Tye dye Mardi Gras cupcakes
Image: Claire Gallam/SheKnows

I'm probably the world's worst cake decorator, but I can make a mean thick vanilla frosting. Now the hardest part with this frosting is not eating it directly from the frosting knife or from the bowl — trust me.

 Tye dye Mardi Gras cupcakes
Image: Claire Gallam/SheKnows

Frost each cupcake with buttercream, and then sprinkle with colored sprinkles. I rolled the frosted cupcakes in sprinkles so they were heavily sprinkled. You can simply toss a few sprinkles on top or decorate as you see fit. I love sprinkles, so that's why these look like a kid made them.

More: 3 Strong Mardi Gras cocktails

 Tye dye Mardi Gras cupcakes
Image: Claire Gallam/SheKnows

Then peel, eat and enjoy! Also known as the best part ever!

mardi gras cupcakes
Image: Claire Gallam/SheKnows

More: The best gumbo recipes for Mardi Gras

Tie-dyed Mardi Gras cupcakes recipe

Recipe inspired by Sweet Pea's Kitchen

Yields 12

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Green food dye
  • Red food dye
  • Blue food dye
  • Yellow food dye

For the frosting

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vanilla extract
  • Colored sprinkles

Directions: 

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, and set aside.
  2. To make the cupcakes, mix together the cake mix, egg whites, canola oil and water until fully mixed. You want to make sure there are few lumps, so beat for about 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Separate the cake mix into 3 shallow bowls. To make purple, add 12 drops of red and 8 drops of blue, and mix. For the green, add a few drops of green food coloring, and mix well. Same goes for the yellow. Once mixed, pour the colors into 2 different zip-close or decorator's bags.
  4. Squeeze the purple cake batter into the paper liners, filling about 1/4 full. Fill another 1/4 with green cake batter over the purple so the liners are filled halfway. Top the green with the yellow cake batter until the liners are about 3/4 full.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for about 16 – 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool on a wire cooling rack for about 30 minutes or until cool to the touch.
  6. While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, heavy cream and vanilla until creamy and thick. Spread on the cupcakes, and top with sprinkles.

Updated by Bethany Ramos on 2/5/2016

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