Stefani Pollack of Cupcake Project is a food blogger in St. Louis, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and son. She has been baking and blogging since 2007, when she left the corporate world to be a full-time mom, writer, photographer, conference planner and recipe developer. Stefani can usually be found hula-hooping or baking something new in the kitchen, but she’s also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.
Mardi Gras is a holiday that is all about eating the rich, fatty foods that are often given up for Lent. It should truly be every baker’s (and eater’s) favorite holiday! Throw your diet out with some beads – it’s Mardi Gras time!
The most popular Mardi Gras dessert is King Cake, a bready, cinnamon roll-esque cake decorated in the bold, festive colors of Mardi Gras. This year, I reached beyond King Cake to create a new Mardi Gras tradition.
Café au Lait mini cakes are loaded with New Orleans’s famous Café Du Monde coffee and chicory and filled with vanilla buttercream. These cakes are like little tastes of a New Orleans morning, bursting with the flavors of coffee and cream.
I used the Hamilton Beach 2-Way FlexBrew® Coffee Maker to make the coffee for this cake. Since I often use brewed coffee in my baking, I love that this coffee maker has the ability to brew a big pot of coffee or just a little bit. Using the FlexBrew, I could actually brew just the amount of coffee that I needed for this recipe directly into into my liquid measuring cup! There is an option to use a K-Cup® single-serve pack or ground coffee – so much flexibility!
I chose to do an understated decoration of powdered sugar for these cakes. Eating one would be a peaceful way to begin a Carnival day or to wind down after Mardi Gras festivities. However, if the mood strikes you, go ahead and decorate them with a glaze and colored sugars just as you would a King Cake.
Tip: I liked the powdered sugar look on these mini cakes, but if you are a glaze fan, I highly suggest brewing a little more coffee than this recipe calls for and using it to make coffee-flavored glaze like the one I use on my mocha donut holes.
- ½ cup + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 2 ½ cups cake flour, not self-rising
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons espresso powder
- 1 cup brewed coffee, ideally Café Du Monde Coffee and Chicory
- 1 recipe vanilla bean buttercream frosting or your favorite vanilla frosting
- Powdered sugar, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
- Mix in eggs, one at a time.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together, cake flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Stir espresso powder into brewed coffee to dissolve.
- Alternately add flour mixture and coffee to butter mixture in three additions, mixing until just
- combined after each addition.
- Grease mini Bundt pans and fill ¾ full with batter.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a Bundt comes out clean.
- Cool on counter for five minutes and then invert onto a sheet of parchment to continue cooling.
- Once cool, pipe frosting into the center of each Bundt and dust Bundts with powdered sugar.