During Mardi Gras, it’s customary to say, Laissez les bon temps rouler, which translates, Let the good times roll. In your world, that might be a throwback to Ric Ocasek circa 1978. In my world, it means eat cake. How convenient for me that the most traditional Mardi Gras recipe is a deliciously sweet and cinnamony yeasted King Cake draped in green, gold, and purple.
How not convenient that making a King Cake recipe in the classic way is incredibly time consuming.
Whether you’re willing to work for the real deal or would rather shortcut with a King Cake inspired treat, we’ve got you covered with these 6 King Cake recipes so that cake can be eaten by all this Mardi Gras, Tuesday, February 17.
Let’s start with a traditional King Cake recipe from one of our favorite cookbook authors of 2014, Joy Wilson of Joy the Baker. She’s a recent transplant to New Orleans and is living—and baking—like a local this year with as you can tell by her recipe for Mardi Gras King Cake. This is a serious endeavor, people. Set aside a good 3 hours if this is going to be on the menu Tueday. But if anyone can walk you through it with ease and humor, it’s Joy.
Want something that looks and tastes traditional, but without the exhaustive work? Angie from Eclectic Recipes has you covered with Easy Mini King Cake recipes. Her secret is to use store bought pop ’n bake cinnamon rolls. She suggests a tasty brand that clearly works well, but we’re eager to try it using an all-natural version from one of our favorite brands, Immaculate Bakery.
Related: Fun DIY Mardi Gras masks for kids
These King Cake Donuts from Hummingbird High are a fun twist on King Cake, only made with a yeasted donut dough that can be baked and iced. The taste is surely spot on but, if you’re willing to give up traditional flavor for ease of recipe, swap in one of our favorite easy baked donut recipes, then ice and sprinkle with Mardi Gras abandon. Be sure to grab the traditional colors, green, gold and purple, or you know. It’s just donut with sprinkles.
I love the innovative thinking behind these King Cake Misfortune Cookies from Probably Baking. They’re tasty, creative, and just plain funny with mis-fortunes like Show me your pecs, which, by the way, you might want to skip for the elementary school crowd. Beau makes these cookies from scratch, but feel free to move your Mardi Gras festivities to the weekend and decorate store-bought fortune cookies as your kitchen craft project instead.
Related: 10 awesome kichen projects with kids when the weather keeps you indoors
Don’t feel like baking? Wish you were one of the drunken people at Mardi Gras? I don’t judge. I just present you with this King Cake Boozy Milkshake at SheKnows. If you’re like me and prefer to keep your drinks and desserts separate, make this King Cake treat without the vodka. Not only will you be spared a hangover, but also the indignity of being the only person actually over 21 buying a bottle of whipped cream vodka in the liquor store. Besides, non-alcoholic means kids can enjoy too and we happen to like kids.
For just a little taste of something exquisite, Xiaolu of 6 Bittersweets goes all out to make these pretty King Cake Pops. She even colors the gold, green, and purple sugars herself. So impressive! If her precise method is a little too involved for you, though, feel free to improvise using our Cake Pops 101 recipe then decorate. Either way, Xiaolu’s approach to decorating will get you in the NOLA spirit, but without the the throngs of drunken people throwing cheap strands of beads at you.