Updated: Jan 17, 2022
I've never been to New Orleans, but I've loved Mardi Gras since I was in 4th grade and my teacher stood on her desk and threw out necklaces to the class. I think we had king cake too! I know there is a lot of debauchery associated with the holiday, but there are plenty of ways to celebrate in a family friendly way. One way I like to celebrate with the kids is by making a King Cake with them. For some history on King Cakes, and some more- complicated but delicious recipes, click here.
The last few years, I have been making this super simple King Cake. It's so simple that my 3 and 5 year old could do most of it with minimum help and mess last year.
*Please note I usually try to make a healthy or healthier version of recipes for my kids but I haven't found one that is comparably easy or tasty. When I had gestational diabetes, my mom and I tried making one with almond flour and stevia...but it was just ok. Additionally, celebrating "Fat Tuesday" with a low sugar alternative seems to defeat the purpose.
Here are the ingredients you need!
*Please note the recipe calls for brown sugar but mine hasn't arrived yet. White sugar would be fine though, if you don't have any. I have used it. It also calls for powdered sugar, but I just make mine in the magic bullet with white sugar.
*Additionally, my kids do not like nuts in the cake, so none are pictured.
*I try to buy everything I can organic, so if you see anything that's not, its because the store didn't have it or my Instacart shopper didn't get it for some reason. I also limit my use of artificial food coloring to just a few occasions a year.
*Lastly, I use a little more than the half a brick of cream cheese the recipe calls for, use your judgement ;)
Here is a link to the recipe with a step by step guide.
We put in the baby AFTER the cake is made because we usually use a toy. Last year, we used baby Jack Jack from The Incredibles.
Here are two finished products that we've made in the last few years. The kids love spooning the different colors on. I found some inexpensive sanding sugar that I'm going add this year here. These little picks would be cute too. https://amzn.to/3tovRx7
Of course we want to include a little education with our cake right? Here is a kid-friendly You Tube video which tells about what happens in Louisiana on Mardi Gras including a little info on King Cake.
There are so many crafts that are great for Mardi Gras. Masks are probably the most obvious and easiest. For a completely free mask craft; You can download a template here, trace it on to cardboard, cut it out and have the kids paint it. (Everyone has Amazon boxes right??) Then, they can glue on anything you have around like macaroni noodles, beads, sequence, or just put on some stickers. If you have craft popsicle sticks those would make a great handle.
Because Mardi Gras is so close to Super Bowl and Valentine's Day, I don't know if I have the time to cut out 3 masks. So, I am likely going to buy these and let the kids decorate them however they want. Here is a link to feathers also if you don't have any on hand!
HaPpY MarDi GraS!
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