King Cake Inspired Cupcakes

One of my favorite little fellas is turning six on November 9th. I LOVE King Cake but this little dude, well, I think it's safe to say he's the King Cake's biggest fan. He went through 11 last year alone! I decided to make it my goal to try to squeeze the amazing King Cake flavors into a cupcake! They didn't win Mr. Carter over completely, but since they all went quickly, I think we can say I got close enough!

- 1/3 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. lemon extract
Reserve for swirling:
- 2 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. sugar

Cream Cheese Icing:
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1/5 tbsp. vegetable shortening
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1-1/2 lbs. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Allow your butter and eggs to come to room temperature and line your muffin tin.
2. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
3. In a medium bowl combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. In another bowl, beat your butter on medium-high speed, for about 20 seconds. Add in your sugar, vanilla, and lemon and beat on medium-high speed until your mixture is light and fluffy. Add in your eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Alternate adding in your buttermilk and flour, scraping down the sides as needed, until combined.
5. Fill your cupcake liners 2/3 of the way with your batter. Sprinkle a bit of your cinnamon sugar mixture on the top of each cupcake, and swirl it into your cupcakes with a toothpick.
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

1. Cream together your softened cream cheese, vegetable shortening, and your butter.
2. Add in your vanilla and slowly add in your powdered sugar, mixing on low speed. Add additional powdered sugar until your icing has reached your desired consistency.
3. Decorate and ENJOY!

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