Mardi Gras Cookies

Thanks once again to our very own Ohio Cook at My Meals Are on Wheels for this fabulously fun and festive idea for Mardi Gras cookies. These cookies are deliciously decadent, like the fun holiday they represent. Since I made Mardi Gras cookies I had to make them in the Mardi Gras colors too. There are three colors associated with Mardi Gras and Carnival, purple, green and yellow or gold. The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold. These are said to have been chosen in 1892 when the Rex Parade theme “Symbolism of Colors” gave the colors their meanings. Purple – Justice. Green – Faith. Gold – Power.

The French name Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday, from the custom of using all the fats in the home before Lent. Mardi Gras is traditionally celebrated on “Fat Tuesday,” the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.  In many areas, however, Mardi Gras has evolved into a week-long festival.  Mardi Gras is a Christian holiday and popular cultural phenomenon that dates back thousands of years to pagan spring and fertility rites. Also known as Carnival or Carnaval, or Karneval, Fastnacht or Fasching in German, it’s celebrated in many countries around the world—mainly those with large Roman Catholic populations—on the day before the religious season of Lent begins. Brazil, Venice and New Orleans play host to some of the holiday’s most famous public festivities, drawing thousands of tourists and revelers every year.

Traditionally, in the days leading up to Lent, merrymakers would binge on all the rich, fatty foods—meat, eggs, milk, lard and cheese—that remained in their homes, in anticipation of several weeks of eating only fish and different types of fasting. The word carnival, another common name for the pre-Lenten festivities, also derives from this feasting tradition: in Medieval Latin, carnelevarium means to take away or remove meat, from the Latin carnem for meat.

The first American Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699, when French explorers Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Sieur de Bienville landed near present-day New OrleansLouisiana. They held a small celebration and dubbed their landing spot Point du Mardi Gras.

In the decades that followed, New Orleans and other French settlements began marking the holiday with street parties, masked balls and lavish dinners. When the Spanish took control of New Orleans, however, they abolished these rowdy rituals, and the bans remained in force until Louisiana became a U.S. state in 1812. And from this point on, Mardi Gras has been celebrated as one of the biggest, most colorful, and extravagant parties ever celebrated. It keeps getting bigger and better every year.

Mardi Gras Cookies

I doubled my recipe to make about 5 dozen cookies. One recipe will make about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Preheat the oven to 350 F or 190* C.

1 box vanilla cake mix

2 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup flour, or more as needed

Cinnamon Filling

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

2 TBSP melted butter


3 cups powdered

2 TBSP milk

1 tsp vanilla

Colored sprinkles – green, purple and yellow

Make the cinnamon filling first and set aside. Combine the cinnamon, melted butter and brown sugar together until it forms into a thick paste. Roll about 1/2 tsp sized portions into little balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I found wearing gloves works best, since it makes it easier to roll the cinnamon balls in your hands. Once all the balls are rolled, place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes to set.

While the cinnamon balls are setting, make the cookie batter by adding all the ingredients together for the cake mix, then adding as much flour as needed to the mix to make it a stiff, firm dough.

Form the cookies into a round ball, with about 1 TBSP of dough per cookie. Then make an indentation in the center of each cookie, with either your finger or the end of a wooded spoon. Place one cinnamon ball in the center of each cookie, then carefully wrap the dough around each cinnamon ball until it is completely enveloped in the dough.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the cookies are set.

Allow the cookies to cool completely before adding the frosting and the colored sprinkles. I had some store-bought frosting that I had used for something else, that I used and it works just fine too.

Once the cookies are all frosted and decorated, laissez le bontemps roulez, or let the good times roll. These cookies are just as rich and decadent as you would expect them to be, which is why they are just perfect for celebrating in a big way.

Make everyday a day to celebrate and have fun, stay safe and stay well. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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