King Cake Cupcakes

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Happy Mardi Gras!

In honor of this season, instead of a king cake, I decided to shake things up a bit with a king cake cupcake!

You can get just about any kind of filling in your king cake these days, but my all-time favorite is praline and cream cheese filling.

So…I made a yellow cake with a praline crumble inside topped with a cream cheese frosting.  I don’t mind telling you, these are quite a treat!

Rourke and I devoured one, but then I had all of these cupcakes left.  So, I took them to school to some of my favorite taste-testers.  They all agreed that these are divine!

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Starting with your praline filling, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup chopped pecans and cook for 1-2  minutes and set aside.

fullsizeoutput_1faeSift your dry ingredients into a bowl.

fullsizeoutput_1faf.jpegIn a mixer, cream your butter, oil, and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix. Take turns adding a little buttermilk and then dry ingredients and mixing each time.

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Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.fullsizeoutput_1fb4.jpegfullsizeoutput_1fb5.jpegScoop the batter into the liners until about 2/3 full.

fullsizeoutput_1fb6.jpegPut about 1 tablespoon praline mixture on top of each cupcake.fullsizeoutput_1fb9.jpegTop with about 1 tablespoon more batter.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Stick a toothpick into one to see if it comes out clean to know if they are done.fullsizeoutput_1fbe.jpegFor the frosting, cream your butter and cream cheese.  Add almond flavoring and mix.  Gradually add your powdered sugar so you don’t dust your whole kitchen. fullsizeoutput_1fc1.jpegfullsizeoutput_1fc2.jpegfullsizeoutput_1fc3.jpegIMG_4415.JPGfullsizeoutput_1fc7.jpegfullsizeoutput_1fc8.jpegfullsizeoutput_1fc9.jpegPipe frosting on cupcakes.  I just started in the middle of each cupcake and made a conch-shell-like design.  Then sprinkle your yellow, green and purple sugars.  I did stick a baby into one cupcake.  If you don’t have a baby, you can use a dry kidney bean.

Recipe:

makes 2 dozen

Praline filling:

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup brown sugar

Cupcakes:

2 3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

2/3 cup butter, softened

1  1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

2 whole egg yolks

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Cream cheese frosting:

2-8 ounce blocks of cream cheese, softened

1 cup butter, softened

1 tsp. almond extract

approximately 4 cups of powdered sugar

Extra decorations:

Colored sugars for decorating.

A small plastic baby or dry red kidney bean.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place cupcake liners in muffin tin.

For praline filling:  In a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Add brown sugar and pecans.  Stir for a few minutes and set aside.

For cupcakes:  Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Cream sugar, oil and butter in a mixer.  Add vanilla and eggs.  Mix.  Take turns adding flour mixture and buttermilk a little at a time until all is incorporated.  Spoon batter into cake liners about 2/3 full.  Top each with 1 tsp. praline filling.  Top cupcakes with 1 tablespoon batter.  Bake  for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool on a rack.

For frosting:

In a mixer, mix cream cheese and butter together.  Add almond extract and mix well.  Gradually add powdered sugar until you get the consistency you desire.  Place frosting in a piping bag.  Cut tip off and frost each cupcake.  Before frosting, gently push the baby or bean into one of the cakes.

Sprinkle with colored sugars.  Green, purple and yellow are the Mardi Gras colors.

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Bon appetit!

Toodle-oo,

Melanie

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2 thoughts on “King Cake Cupcakes

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