These bright, vibrant Marbled Mardi Gras Cupcakes are the perfect celebration treat! They are so colourful and indulgent everyone will want one. And with a step-by-step photo guide to making the purple, green, and gold cupcakes, you’ll see that they’re easier to make than you think!
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Marbled Mardi Gras Cupcakes
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions and ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required and understand the steps and timings involved.
Mardi Gras is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start planning your Fat Tuesday celebrations!
These marbled cupcakes are the perfect addition to any party. They’re easy to make, thanks to a box of white cake mix, and they’ll add some festive Mardi Gras flair to your table.
The trio of shades to symbolize the festivities are said to mean: purple for justice, gold for power, and green for faith.
So we’ve made sure to use those colors throughout! You’ll find plenty of purple, green, and gold (well, yellow) in these marbled Mardi Gras cupcakes, from the cake batter to the frosting, to the sprinkles on top!
Learn more about the history of Mardi Gras here.
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
For your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed to make these cupcakes have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online. Standard ingredients such as flour or sugar are not listed, as you are likely to have those in your kitchen. The full list with measurements is found in the recipe card.
Cupcakes & Frosting Ingredients
- Box of White Cake Mix – plus the ingredients to make the cake mix, usually eggs, oil, and water.
- Powdered Sugar – also known as Icing Sugar and Confectioner’s Sugar.
- Pure Vanilla Extract – always buy good vanilla as it really does make a flavor difference.
- AmeriColor Food Coloring Electric Kit – you will need Electric Yellow, Electric Green and Electric Purple. Alternatively use brightly colored gels in your preferred brand.
- Mardi Gras Sprinkles – you can use any purple, yellow, and green sprinkles that you like! Make a mix of your own with different single sprinkle types, or buy a ready-made mix.
Cupcake Decorating Equipment
- (3) 12-inch Piping Bags – to be filled with the three colors, purple, green, and yellow
- (1) 16-inch Piping Bag – to hold the three smaller bags of frosting and to pipe the tri-color frosting swirls
- Large Star Tip – for example, Wilton 1M
Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog! I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. You can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).
Marbled Mardi Gras Cupcakes Recipe Tips
Cupcake Making Tips
- These cupcakes are made using a box of white cake mix that is divided and colored with food coloring gel.
- FOOD COLORING! Food coloring is available in various forms. You’re most likely to find liquid coloring in your grocery store, and other types of coloring like gels, pastes, and powders in more specialised cake decorating shops. The cheapest option is liquids, but they can alter the consistency of your frosting and cake batter, so I prefer to use pastes or gels which don’t. A little goes a long way with food coloring gels and you can usually get a much deeper shade than you would with liquids.
- Use your choice of cupcake liners – themed to the cupcakes, plain white or black, or a complimentary color.
- Add a teaspoon of each color to create the marbled effect. Fill them about three-quarters full.
- The cupcakes should be ready in about 20 minutes – test their doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cakes. It should come out clean when the cupcakes are cooked all the way through. Bake for an extra 2 minutes and check again.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cupcake Frosting Tips
- When making the frosting you want the end result to be creamy, smooth, and to hold a stiff peak. You may have to adjust the amount of powdered sugar and cream slightly to achieve the consistency you need.
- The frosting is then divided and colored using food coloring. Remember that you can always add more color, but not take it away. Add a little to start with and add more to get the shade required. See note above about food coloring gel.
- SPRINKLES! Following the color or theme provided in the recipe, you can use any type you like such as nonpareils, jimmies, stars, confetti, pearls, or shapes.
- These cupcakes are decorated with a tri-color frosting. You can use a 3-color piping coupler like this one from Wilton, or follow the photo guide in the recipe card for a method without using a coupler.
- You will need three 12-inch piping bags and one 16-inch piping bag, as well as a large star tip such as Wilton 1M.
- If you feel like you are going to be making a lot of cakes and cupcakes in your future, I think it is worth investing in a set of piping tips so that you know you always have the right ones on hand for a recipe.
- Do not overfill the piping bag with frosting, and make sure you squeeze the frosting down the bag to expel any air bubbles.
- If you are not confident with your piping skills you can practice on some parchment paper first and scoop the frosting back into the bag to use on the cupcakes. Just make sure you practice with ONE color and not the three mixed together!
More Mardi Gras Treats
Looking for more sweet treats to make for Mardi Gras? Check these recipes out next:
- Mardi Gras Sugar Cookies Recipe with Rum Frosting
- Mardi Gras Hot Cocoa Bombs
- Mini Mardi Gras Cheesecakes – Cinnamon King Cake Flavor!
- How To Make Chocolate & Rum Mardi Gras Cakesicles!
- Mardi Gras Monkey Bread Recipe – A King Cake Twist!
- Gorgeous Mardi Gras Layer Cake
- Easy Mardi Gras Cupcakes + Free Printable Cupcake Toppers
- How To Make Beignets At Home for Mardi Gras!
How Do I Make Marbled Mardi Gras Cupcakes?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, and instructions. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, to save your ink, the pics don’t print).
- 1 (15.25oz) box of white cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp clear vanilla or rum extract, optional
- Electric food coloring gel in yellow, green and purple
For the Frosting
- 3 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 6 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- 5-7 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (double cream)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Electric food coloring gel in yellow, green and purple
- Mardi Gras sprinkles
- To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 (or according to box instructions). Line cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners and set aside.
- Using an electric handheld or stand mixer, place the cake mix, eggs, oil, and water into a large bowl and mix until combined and smooth.
- Separate the mix into three bowls and add 1-2 drops of food coloring per bowl and mix until well incorporated. (four colors are shown below, but use only purple, green, and yellow as in the ingredients list!)
- Using a spoonful of each colored cupcake batter at a time, place into each cupcake to create a marbled effect, until the cupcake liners are about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
- To make the frosting, use an electric stand or handheld mixer and add the butter, powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla to the bowl.
- Beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth and stiff peaks form.
- Separate the frosting into three bowls and add 1-2 drops of food coloring per bowl and mix until well incorporated and you reach the desired shade. Remember you can always add more coloring, but not take it away!
- Place each colored frosting into three separate 12-inch piping bags. Snip off the tips.
- Drop a Wilton 1M tip (or your favorite star tip) into a 16-inch piping bag.
- Add the three filled 12-inch piping bags to the 16-inch bag, and squeeze a little out to blend the colors.
- Pipe swirls of frosting onto each of the cooked and cooled cupcakes.
- Add sprinkles on top of the frosting, you can use any type of sprinkle that you like, but try to stick to the Mardi Gras colors! Sugar pearls work well as they look like beads.
- Laissez les bons temps rouler!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 438Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 29mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 0gSugar: 29gProtein: 2g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Meal!
You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal for a dinner party or special occasion:
- Appetizer: Cornflake + Coconut Shrimp
- Soup: French Onion Soup Recipe
- Main Dish: 30-Minute Spicy Cajun Snapper with Mango-Avocado Salsa
- Side Dish: Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
- Beverage: Mardi Gras Rum Punch
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!