Sweet Stuff

King Cake Donuts

Hi! I'm reporting live from the couch, where I just finished watching the Grammy's, and am now moving on to Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown, while I SHOULD be packing for my trip to New York on Wednesday. I hate packing something fierce. There's so much pressure (self-imposed) to put together lovely outfits that you'll be so happy to find in your suitcase once on your trip, and your vacation will be a highlight reel of your wonderfully curated closet (lol). What I usually do is start out with a lot of structure and planning to what I place in my suitcase, but ultimately wind up throwing random tops and pants in, crossing my fingers that they look remotely good together. They usually don't.

King Cake Donuts

While I may be setting myself up for style failure in the packing-for-a-trip realm, I did make King Cake Donuts that each contain a coveted wealth/luck-bringing baby. So what I'm trying to say is that I have a hell of a lot of wealth and luck comin' my way. And you can, too. I used King Arthur Flour's recipe for Mardi Gras King Cupcakes, and made a couple minor tweaks.

King Cake Donut



  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2/3 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (half of an 8-ounce package) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, enough to make a spreadable icing
  • colored sugars, preferably purple, yellow, and green
  • PLASTIC BABIES. I bought these from Amazon and they're just as creepy as I hoped. Don't bake them inside the cakes.
King Cake Donuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a muffin donut pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, until the mixture looks sandy.
  4. Combine the milk and vanilla and add, all at once. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.
  5. With the mixer running at low speed, add 1 egg. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Add the second egg, again beating for 30 seconds.
  6. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and beat briefly, just till smooth.
  7. Scoop the batter by heaping spoonful into the donut pan, filling the cavities about 2/3 of the way.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges are just slightly golden and the cake bounces to the touch.
  9. Remove from the oven, and place on a rack to cool completely before icing.
  10. To make the icing: Combine the butter, cream cheese,  and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl, and beat them together until light and fluffy.
  11. Add the sugar gradually, beating well.
  12. Beat in the milk a little at a time, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
  13. Spread each donut with icing, and immediately sprinkle with gold, purple, and green sparkling sugars, covering about 1/3 of the cupcake with each color sugar.
  14. Store at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.
  15. Yield: 12 donuts. I'm not going to lie to you guys, I made half donuts, half cupcakes, and only had enough batter for 4 cupcakes instead of 6 because I ate so much batter. LIVE YO LIFE.