Less yeasty and more cake-like than king cake, these quick cakes get you the vanilla-nutmeg-lemon-buttermilk flavor and fun colors of a traditional king cake - without waiting around for a yeasted dough to rise.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
15 mins
additional:
35 mins
total:
1 hr 20 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
12 cupcakes
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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Cupcakes:
Cream Cheese Frosting:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cup liners.

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  • Stir together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Cream butter, 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add half of the flour mixture, all the buttermilk, and remaining flour mixture, beating after each addition until just combined.

  • Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full, and smooth tops with the back of a spoon.

  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, make frosting. Blend cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar to reach a spreading consistency.

  • Frost cooled cupcakes and decorate with luster dust and sanding sugars.

Cook's Note:

Substitute vanilla extract for the paste, if preferred.

Nutrition Facts

317 calories; protein 2.9g 6% DV; carbohydrates 52.5g 17% DV; fat 11.2g 17% DV; cholesterol 31.1mg 10% DV; sodium 201.1mg 8% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (9)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/01/2019
These cupcakes were fantastic.! I doubled the recipe and followed the directions exactly. I took 23 to an event (one escaped before I left the house) and came home with only 3 left.:) The flavors of nutmeg vanilla and lemon all come together nicely. Read More
(4)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
03/06/2019
Easy to make I used vanilla extract instead of the paste because that is 16 a bottle- very sweet didn t care for the frosting or the nutmeg flavor in the cupcake. Will try a different recipe next time. Read More
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
03/01/2019
These cupcakes were fantastic.! I doubled the recipe and followed the directions exactly. I took 23 to an event (one escaped before I left the house) and came home with only 3 left.:) The flavors of nutmeg vanilla and lemon all come together nicely. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
03/07/2019
delicious! I used fresh grated nutmeg and made buttermilk using almond milk. loved them!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/05/2019
Really Delicious! Many compliments received! Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
02/27/2020
Wow. These were fantastic. I have a rule about making a recipe the way that it's written the first time I make it. I was tempted not to do just egg white, but stuck to my rule. So glad I did. My gaming group loved them. So, thanks! I'll be making these often. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
02/25/2020
I made these cupcakes for a "Mardi Gras Monday" at my office instead of making/buying a traditional-style King Cake. I followed the recipe exactly (only substitution was using vanilla extract instead of paste) and the cakes turned out very tasty & moist. The only issue I had was even after doubling the recipe, it was a struggle to fill all 24 liners - I scraped every last drop but a few cupcakes were still kind of small. The lemon cream cheese frosting was quite delicious, but it seemed to overpower the nutmeg in the cake as I wasn't able to taste it. If I do these again, I think I will add more nutmeg for more of the flavor to shine through. Also, after doubling the frosting, I had enough to do at least another dozen cupcakes. So overall, not enough batter, but way too much frosting - I guess it would be good for those that like very heavily frosted cupcakes, but I try to be more balanced with the cake to frosting ratio. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
03/05/2019
Easy to make I used vanilla extract instead of the paste because that is 16 a bottle- very sweet didn t care for the frosting or the nutmeg flavor in the cupcake. Will try a different recipe next time. Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
03/05/2019
I made it as is though I added much more lemon then it calls for. I don't think I'll use the cream cheese based frosting again I may stick to a lemon buttercream instead. The cream cheese frosting is delicious though. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/05/2019
Extra yummy! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/05/2019
Followed directions exactly and everyone loved them. Read More