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Growing up near the gulf, it’s not at all uncommon to see Mardi Gras celebrations pop up in cities near mine. All of the hype leading up to the carnival celebration has had me itching to dig a little bit deeper into the customs and cuisine of the holiday, and you know I love any reason at all to whip up a new recipe and do a little taste testing! While people typically associate Mardi Gras with the crazy shenanigans that happen on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, it was actually first celebrated in the United States in Mobile, Alabama. It’s no secret we Alabamians know how to throw a party! 😉
In my brief culinary research, King Cake kept popping up as a favorite traditional celebratory treat enjoyed during the Mardi Gras season. Because I’ve never actually been to any sort of Mardi Gras celebration and had never tried King Cake for myself, I decided to make one to see what all the hype was about! (If you’re curious – I purchased the Mam Papaul’s King Cake Kit, and it was 100% worth EVERY penny!)
I figured purchasing a DIY king cake kit would suffice for my taste test while I patiently wait for the day my husband surprises me with an impromptu trip down to New Orleans so that I can try the real deal. Sometimes I’m subtle with my hints. Sometimes…not so much. Also, I feel like I need a beignet in my life. Give me all the carbs and throw a few sprinkles on there and I’m a happy girl!
After trying (and falling madly in love) with king cake, I decided to make one of my all-time favorite french confections and decorate them with all of the festive colors of Mardi Gras. What better way to give a tip of the hat to a scrumptious dessert than with another scrumptious dessert made in its honor, am I right? Madeleines are the perfect blend between cookies and cake in my opinion. The edges come to a perfectly crispy golden brown, while the insides remain beautifully fluffy and soft. You can dress them up or down as much as you please, and they’re absolutely perfect with a cup of coffee – just like a slice of king cake. 😉
For this particular recipe, I kept the madeleines pretty close to the traditional flavor with just a hint of vanilla. I’ve been doing a few test runs to try to mimic the flavors of king cake and bake them into a madeleine, but for now…these Mardi Gras madeleines are delicious all on their own, and are a party of epic proportions all on their own!
Here’s a free copy of the recipe if you’d like to give them a try! (Don’t forget the little plastic baby…no king cake inspired dish is complete with out it!)
- ⅔ cup white granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter, melted and cooled
- 3 large eggs, room temp
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- For glaze:
- ¾ cup confectioners sugar
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- Purple, green and yellow sugar sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350 F and spray madeleine pan with non-stick cooking spray
- Melt butter in microwave safe bowl and set aside until cooled
- Using a hand mixer, combine eggs and sugar until slightly foamy. Add in flour and baking soda and mix well. Add in melted butter and vanilla.
- Fill each madeleine tin with batter, careful not to overfill
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are slightly crispy and golden brown
- Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.
- In a separate bowl, combine confectioners sugar and heavy whipping cream. Glaze should be thick. If too thin, add more confectioners sugar.
- Pour a small amount of glaze on top of each madeleine
- While glaze is still wet, add sprinkles
Have you ever attended a Mardi Gras celebration? Have you ever fell head over heals with a slice of king cake while walking the streets of New Orleans or visiting Mobile during carnival season? I want to hear how you celebrate Mardi Gras and what your favorite traditions are! Leave a comment below and share the love! And as the French-Cajun say down in Louisiana, laissez les bons temps rouler!