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It's Sweet to be King: 8 King Cake Recipes for Every Mardi Gras Celebration

Mardi Gras celebrations should be filled with lots of beads, some fun masks and a Hurricane Cocktail (or two). But make sure you save some room for dessert, because you can't celebrate Mardi Gras without a King Cake! 

We'll take any excuse to celebrate with cake. And since Mardi Gras has it's own quintessential cake, what better way to celebrate than with King cake -- and lots of it! King Cake is a sweet, decadent treat made with Danish-type dough braided together and topped with icing. Traditionally, King Cakes also include a plastic baby figurine underneath or inside (hello, choking hazard), and whoever finds the baby in his or her slice is promised a year of prosperity. Or a piece of cake that tastes like plastic. 

Even if you're not interested in going the whole 9-yards on Mardi Gras (you can certainly skip the mini baby figurine thing), you must try a King Cake if only to celebrate one of the most iconic traditions associated with Mardi Gras. We've rounded up our favorite King Cake recipes that we've found – and some variations on the dessert – for a fun and festive Mardi Gras celebration.


If You Want the Real Deal: Traditional King Cake

There's a reason why the traditional King Cake has become the focus of many Mardi Gras celebrations. You can try imitations, but nothing beats the original. Get the recipe from My Recipes.


If You're Short On Time: Quick King Cake

We get it, we get it; you're probably too busy drinking hurricanes and throwing beads to make a big fancy cake. Cut some corners (and still whip up something delicious) with this Quick Mardi Gras King Cake recipe from Betty Crocker.


If You're Cutting Calories: Lighter King Cake

King Cake is basically all sugar and butter. Cut some calories with this lightened up recipe from She Knows.


If You Want a Boozy Option: King Cake Jell-O Shots

OK, this one doesn't really count as a cake, but look how cool these are? Layeres of colored gelatin spiked with vodka are made even sweeter with some vanilla frosting and colored sugar sprinkles. Get the recipe from Tablespoon.


If You Want an Easy Non-Traditional Treat: King Cake Icebox Cake

A cake that's just as fun to make and assemble as it is to eat. Even the little kids can get involved in this King Cake Icebox Cake Recipe from Food Family Finds. The colored sugar really makes it stand out.


If You're More of a Pie Person: Susie's King Cake Pie

Some people are cake people, and others are pie people. For the pie-loving folks, Susies King Cake Pie  – which includes nutmetg, cinnamon, vanilla and dark rum – is the ideal dessert to whip up for Carnival. Get the how-to on Nola.com.


If You Prefer Bite-Sized: Mini King Cupcakes

Cupcakes are always a win, especially when they come in the form of mini cupcakes. Bring the big taste of king cakes to a bite-sized treat with these Mini King Cupcakes from My Recipes.


If You're Feeling Fancy: Mardi Gras Macarons

The classic French dessert has become quite trendy in the last few years. If you're on board with the macaron boom (and have the time and patience to make them yourself), then check out this recipe from HGTV.com.



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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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