Home Desserts 25 Festive Mardi Gras Desserts

25 Festive Mardi Gras Desserts

Bring the fun of Fat Tuesday home with these fantastic Mardi Gras desserts. One bite, and you’ll feel the spirit of Carnival.

Celebrating the last day before Lent, Mardi Gras is a time to celebrate and indulge in all the things you gave up. Which, for many people, includes plenty of sugary treats.

Sweet Mardi Gras King Cake
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If that sounds familiar, you’ll want to bookmark this list of Mardi Gras desserts.

Because after 40 days and nights, you’ll be craving these sweet and decadent desserts.

1. Mardi Gras King Cake

This is the most traditional and famous dessert of the Mardi Gras celebration.

If you’ve never had one, it’s sort of like a giant, one-layer cinnamon roll – soft, sweet, and delicious.

The King Cake features a brioche dough, lots of cinnamon, and colorful sugar.

And this recipe uses cream cheese icing, so it really tastes like a cinnamon roll. 

The colors used represent power, faith, and justice.  

2. King Cake Oreo Balls

Oreo truffles are simple to make but so darn good!

They’re decadent, wonderfully chocolatey, and a fun Mardi Gras take on your average Oreo truffle. 

Typically, all you need is cream cheese, a package of Oreos, and white chocolate.

Since this is for Mardi Gras, you also need sprinkles or sanding sugar in gold, green, and purple. 

3. Mardi Gras Cupcake Recipes (King Cake Cupcakes)

These King Cake-inspired cupcakes are perfect for your Fat Tuesday celebrations.

They’re fun, colorful, and absolutely delicious. 

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The cupcake itself is a sweet and simple vanilla cake. This recipe is from scratch, but you can use a box mix if you’re in a hurry. 

The cupcake is topped with a warm and tangy cinnamon and cream cheese frosting, which is colored in Mardi Gras colors. 

4. Mardi Gras Trifle

Layered desserts are always a good idea. You get different flavors and textures in every bite, like Mardi Gras in your mouth! 

This trifle is inspired by the colors of Mardi Gras, with vibrant vanilla cupcakes layered with your choice of creamy frosting.

Add cinnamon to make it taste like King Cake or fruit for some freshness. Of course, sprinkles are always fun too.

5. New Orleans-Style Beignets

If you can’t make it to Cafe Du Monde, don’t worry! You can make amazing New Orleans- style beignets right at home. 

Like a doughnut, beignets are sweet, fried dough. They’re topped with powdered sugar and served warm. 

6. King Cake Dip

This cakey, tangy cinnamon dip is so good you can eat it by itself. However, you top it with pecans and caramel, so it’s super indulgent. 

This recipe is served alongside candy-coated pretzels in gold, green, and purple. But feel free to dip whatever sounds good to you! 

7. Mardi Gras King Cake Pecan Praline Puff Pastry

This pecan praline puff pastry is flaky, creamy, nutty, caramelly, and delicious. It’s topped with vanilla icing and sanding sugar in Mardi Gras colors.

This recipe does require a little bit of effort, but it is so worth it. 

8. King Cake Cheesecake Bars

If you don’t want to fuss with yeast and proofing, skip the traditional King Cake and make these cheesecake bars instead!

Full of incredible flavor and a luscious creamy texture, you can even customize this recipe with fruit or a different pre-made dough. 

The only thing you MUST have are those fantastically bright colors! Otherwise, it’s not King Cake. 

9. King Cake Cookies

Butter cookies are always a crowd-pleaser. And these are perfect for your Mardi Gras party. 

The shortbread is buttery and delicious, featuring warm notes of nutmeg (or cinnamon), and the colorful royal icing is light and lemony.

Together it’s flavor magic.  

10. Mardi Gras Muddy Buddies

Muddy Buddies, Puppy Chow, whatever you call them, they’re delicious and addictive.

That makes them perfect for a celebration like Fat Tuesday. 

These are extra celebratory! First, you use cinnamon Chex cereal as a nod to King Cake. Then, you swap out regular chocolate for Mardi Gras-colored candy melts. 

Add some colorful sanding sugar to the powdered sugar for extra oomph, and they almost look like they’re sparkling! 

11. Mardi Gras Candy Charcuterie

Holy colorful candy, Batman! 

This fun charcuterie board features oodles of delicious candy, all in the Mardi Gras colors.

It’s one helluva show-stopper, and you know it’s out-of-this-world sweet! 

12. Mardi Gras Lemon Bliss Bundt Cake

Aptly named, this bright and citrusy bundt cake is indeed blissful. But, it also has a colorful surprise inside!

Lemon oil and lemon juice impart loads of citrusy goodness into the cake and icing. Every bite is cheerful and mouthwatering. 

13. King Cake Bites

These bite-sized sugar nuggets will take your Mardi Gras party to the next level. I guarantee these will disappear quickly.

They’re sweet, creamy, and bursting with fragrant cinnamon. 

Like the cheesecake bars from earlier, these use pre-made pastry dough and a cheesecake-like filling. These are just individual and fun-size!

14. No-Churn Mardi Gras King Cake Ice Cream 

Fat Tuesday is for indulgence, and this easy ice cream lives up to that standard. It’s luxurious, delicious, and super easy to make. 

The base is homemade, no-churn vanilla ice cream. It also has chunks of King Cake and Mardi Gras-colored sugar sprinkled throughout.

15. King Cake Cracker Candy

You will not be able to stop eating this cracker candy.

Saltine crackers, toffee, white chocolate, and sanding sugar come together in one delicious bite.

It’s sweet, salty, and simply irresistible.

16. Bourbon Pecan Monkey Bread

Transport yourself to Bourbon Street with this tasty treat.

The street may not have been named for the alcohol, but you’ll find plenty of it. 

However, it is known for its decadence, and this dessert fits that description, too.

It’s sticky, sugary, and dripping with buttery, bourbon-cinnamon-pecan-caramel sauce. 

17. Mardi Gras Moon Pie Bars

For the uninitiated, a Moon Pie is a s’mores-like cookie treat. It’s made with Graham Crackers and marshmallow fluff, and it’s covered in chocolate. 

These yum-a-licious bars have all the best parts of a Moon Pie without the hassle.

They’re chocolatey, marshmallow, buttery, and basically little bites of heaven.

18. Mardi Gras Cinnamon Pecan Vanilla Cake Pops

These festive cake pops are ideal for a Mardi Gras party! They’re also great on the go! 

The cake is made with vanilla batter swirled with cinnamon sugar and toasted pecans.

Then each pop is dipped in white chocolate and decorated with Mardi Gras colors. 

Use colored candy melts, sprinkles, and sugar to make a variety of pops. 

19. Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is a Southern classic. It’s rich, custardy, and divine.

This fantastic recipe calls for bourbon-soaked raisins and a boozy bourbon sauce. So it’s one for the adults!

That said, you can make it kid-friendly by using caramel sauce or creme Anglaise instead. 

But this is meant for Mardi Gras, so I’d make two batches if kids are around. One for them and one for the grown-ups. 

20. King Cake Donuts

Fat Tuesday doesn’t have to be so fat, and these King Cake donuts prove it.

They’re baked instead of fried, so they have fewer calories than your average donut. But don’t worry, they still taste amazing!

The donut itself is flavored with vanilla and spice. Then it’s iced with an almond glaze and topped with Mardi Gras sprinkles (or sugar).

21. Mardi Gras King Cake Milkshake

Get your camera ready because this insane milkshake is SO Instagram-worthy. 

The milkshake is simple, made with King Cake ice cream and milk. But it’s the extras that make this shake crazy! 

The glass is rimmed with white chocolate, and Mardi Gras sprinkles.

Then, the whole thing is topped with whipped cream, mini beignets, and a chunk of King Cake. 

This recipe uses pre-made items that might be hard to find outside of NOLA. Luckily for you, all of the toppings have a recipe on this list. 

22. Paczki (Polish Donuts)

Paczki is a delicious treat very similar to the North American donut.

They are made with enriched dough that is shaped and fried. Then they’re filled with yummy things, like custard!

Top them with sugar and serve! 

23. Bananas Foster Upside Down Cupcakes

Inspired by the Bourbon Street classic, these cupcakes are seriously delicious! 

Picture this: moist, cinnamon and vanilla cake, warm, caramelized bananas, and toasted pecans in bourbon caramel.

Am I the only one drooling?

24. Mardi Gras Layered Jello

If you want a treat that feels a little lighter, try this tasty Jello. It’s layered in the festive colors of Mardi Gras, so it’s perfect for your party. 

Lemon, lime, and grape-flavored Jello make up the layers. It’s topped with fresh whipped cream and sprinkles.

The kids will love this one! 

Or add some vodka for an adult-only version. 

25. Mardi Gras Meringues

Meringues are like pretty, chewy pillows of sugar. They have a fantastic texture, and they literally melt in your mouth. 

These cheery meringues are colored in the traditional Mardi Gras colors, and they’re pretty easy to make.

This recipe makes vanilla meringues, but you could use cinnamon extract instead if you want them to taste like King Cake.

25 Festive Mardi Gras Dessert Collection

Bring the fun of Fat Tuesday home with these fantastic Mardi Gras desserts. One bite, and you’ll feel the spirit of Carnival.


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author avatar
Haley van der Ploeg
Haley van der Ploeg is a food writer and content creator for Insanely Good Recipes, where she authors blog posts, creates recipes, and crafts tantalizing photos.

Haley is passionate about food and its ability to gather people across cultures, languages, and generations. She believes everyone can learn to cook.

Most days, you can find Haley reading, baking elaborate cakes, and hosting get-togethers for friends and family. If Haley isn't home, she’s probably on a plane jetting off to exciting adventures and new cuisines.

She lives with her husband in the Netherlands and has taught him that vegetables *can* taste good.

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