Seriously, could there be any more events and holidays next week? First, we have the super bowl on February 7th (and if you’re still planning your game day menu, might I make a few suggestions?), then Chinese New Year on February 8th, and then there’s Mardi Gras on February 9th.
Who knew February was so festive?
Now, for most of these holidays, you can celebrate them no matter where you are.
I mean, sure, having a seat at Levi’s Stadium sure would be nice, but you’ll be able to enjoy the big game (and all of the commercials!) just as much from your own living room. And I’m sure being in China for the Chinese New Year is the absolute best way to experience it, but you can also bring the same festivities, traditions, and food to wherever you are in the world.
But Mardi Gras?
Oh, I’m sure you could try to recreate the experience in your midwestern town, and you might even come close to capturing the spirit, but I don’t think there could ever be a true replacement to celebrating Fat Tuesday in the Big Easy. I know for me, it’s on my bucket list of things I need to do before I’m 40. Thankfully, this little blog gives me the perfect excuse to experience at least a small part of Mardi Gras: the food! And for my favorite Mardi Gras recipe I learned about this year?
You guessed it – King Cake!
King Cake is typically very doughy (like bread) and flavored with caramel and pecans. In a way, it reminds me of a large cinnamon roll or monkey bread. It’s typically also topped with white icing and purple, green, and yellow sprinkles.
And I thought about making a King Cake. I really, really did. I even wanted to, had it all planned out. But early one morning I had a flash of inspiration… could I make a King Cake… dip?
I love finding ways to turn otherwise complicated or decadent desserts into easy dips, and King Cake seemed like a perfect candidate.
I opted to make a simple cake batter dip that’s topped with caramel and pecans. Easy to make and it has the right caramel flavor.
But what really shines in this recipe? The festive candy coated pretzels. They had just the right amount of salty sweet substance to make it worthy of the King Cake name. Plus, they turned out so pretty!
No matter where you’re celebrating, this dip makes it easy to have a little piece of Mardi Gras at your next party (whether it be the 7th, the 8th, or whenever!)
King Cake Dip
Enjoy this Mardi Gras favorite the easy way: cake batter dip topped with caramel and pecans, then served with candy and sprinkle dipped pretzels.
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- For the pretzels: work through 1 color at a time. Fill a small bowl with sprinkles and set nearby. Fill a microwave safe bowl with about 1/2 cup of candy melts and melt in the microwave per package instructions. Dip the pretzels in the melted candy, then use a fork to scoop the pretzel out of the candy, tapping the fork on the side of the bowl to remove any excess candy. Pretzels should be covered but candy coating should be thin. Drop the pretzel in the bowl with the sprinkles and use a spoon to toss and coat the pretzel. Using another fork, lift the pretzel out of the sprinkles and shake to remove any excess. Place coated pretzel on a plate or baking sheet to dry. Repeat this process with all pretzels, alternating colors as needed.
- While pretzels harden, add cool whip and cheesecake to the bowl of a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + small bowl). Beat mixture on low until combined, about 1-2 minutes.
- Keeping speed on low, add in milk and white cake mix and blend for another 2-3 minutes until dip creamy and there are no more clumps from the cake mix.
- Add dip to a serving bowl. If you're keeping with the King Cake tradition, bury the small plastic baby within the dip. Whoever finds the baby i the dip has to host next year's party.
- Finish by drizzling with caramel sauce and chopped pecans on top. Serve with candy coated pretzels.