When most Americans think about Mardi Gras, they think New Orleans. Yet, little do they know that this tradition has a lot of roots on in Continental Europe and Roman Catholicism, which was transplanted from French settlers in their North American colonies as well as Portuguese and Spanish settlers in Latin America. Now Mardi Gras isn’t really a religious holiday yet, it was celebrated the last chance to eat, drink, and be merry before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the 7 week penitential season which includes 6 weeks of Lent, followed Holy Week before Easter. Nevertheless, like a lot of religious holidays like Christmas and Easter, it has become somewhat secularized as another excuse to party. Of course, while Mardi Gras literally translates into “Fat Tuesday” in French, it has other names depending on the area like Carnival or the Feast of Fools like in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The timing of the Mardi Gras celebrations can also vary but they usually culminate the day before Ash Wednesday. Of course, not everyone celebrates Mardi Gras like myself despite being Catholic but that’s because most of my ancestors came from Germany, Ireland, Sweden and the British Isles and that I live in Western Pennsylvania, though there is a celebration in Philadelphia. Yet, it’s a holiday where parades are held and people dress costumes with some adults having a little too much to drink or screw for that matter. Still, it’s a holiday that has a lot of associations with food. So for your viewing pleasure, here are some creative Mardi Gras treats for your artistic culinary indulgence. Being American, most of the fare will be New Orleans inspired of course.
1. Bring in the festive Mardi Gras spirit with these colorful cake pops.
Now these are certainly a colorful lot. And each one of them has a unique design. Of course, if professionally made, they’ll be on discount starting from Ash Wednesday for those who haven’t given up sweets for Lent.
2. Make your Mardi Gras special with this one of a kind King Cake cinnamon bread.
In some places, king cake is a dish pertaining to Epiphany which marks the end of the Christmas season. In New Orleans, it’s a cuisine associated with Mardi Gras. Originally in France this was a dry French bread type dough with sugar on top and a bean inside 300 years ago, it’s now more or less a braided Danish cinnamon fried dough type with a small plastic doll underneath. Hundreds of these are consumed in New Orleans during the season and you’ll see a lot of these in this post.
3. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with these Mardi Gras jello shot squares.
Of course, a word of caution here. Despite these squares’ bright color and fruitiness, these are most definitely not for kids. That is, if they contain alcohol which is very likely.
4. Serve your Mardi Gras guests this colorful pasta salad this Fat Tuesday season.
Of course, this contains red onion and corn to bring out the color. If you think gumbo is too hot for you, you might want to go with this.
5. I do declare that no one should make Mardi Gras cupcakes without decorating them with beads.
Nevertheless, you should never serve these cupcakes to children under 3 years old for obvious reasons. Still, I also love the icing and the tiaras on some of them.
6. For your Mardi Gras appetizers, treat your guests to this specially made Mardi Gras trail mix.
Now this contains popcorn, Chex Mix, peppermints, small plastic baby dolls, and white chocolate covered pretzels with sugar all over them. Of course, don’t ask me about the plastic baby doll. It’s a New Orleans thing.
7. For those who don’t have any time to make gumbo, how about a Mardi Gras pizza instead?
Now this contains pepperoni, red onions, cheese, as well as green and yellow peppers which aren’t as spicy as I originally assumed in November. Nevertheless, this doesn’t contain tomato sauce which is derived by a crop from South America.
8. For your Mardi Gras lunch, chomp on these colorful lunch meat sandwiches.
These can range with salami and bolongna but I’m not sure if they’re from Oscar Meyer. They also have bread dyed purple and yellow without crusts as far as I can see.
9. For something more festive and healthy, you can try this Mardi Gras wrap and salad.
Of course, you can tell this is a Mardi Gras dish because the mask appears carved from some vegetable dyed purple as are some of the carrots. Nevertheless, very colorful.
10. Make your Mardi Gras party special with these specially made cupcakes.
Of course, you can tell that someone at a few of these if you see their lips with a very unnatural color like green or purple. Yet, each looks pretty in its own way.
11. Nothing makes a Mardi Gras party than a large cake with a purple mask with yellow, purple, and green feathers.
You’ll see a few of these on this post for there are so many for some reason. This is certainly professionally made. Yet, you have to admire the artistry on this.
12. Bring the festive spirit into Mardi Gras with these one of a kind cookies.
Now these come from a website called Custom Cookies.com so they’re professionally made. Items include jester hats, jesters, crowns, the Fleur de Lis, beads, masks, and music notes.
13. You can’t enjoy Mardi Gras without putting some candy beads on your cupcakes.
Now I think these are made from candy. I mean they sure don’t look shiny to me. Yet, you’d still wouldn’t want them near kids under 3 years old for obvious reasons.
14. Nothing says Mardi Gras than cakes of women’s bosoms with their beads on them.
Seems like while doing these posts, I seem to find how heart cookie cutters can be used for so many occasions. Yet, I’m not sure if I approve of this for families since this is reflective of the Mardi Gras party scene that might carry some unfortunate implications.
15. So if you wear a mask this Mardi Gras then so should your cupcakes.
Of course, these purple masks and feathers are made from icing while the cupcake is covered with white icing and sugar. Guaranteed to make some people give up their New Year’s Resolutions for Lent.
16. Treat your guests this Mardi Gras with these joker cookies.
Of course, while these cookies may look cute, they may contain beads that aren’t suitable for children under 3 years old. I’m just saying to all you parents out there.
17. Of course, if you live in New Orleans, you can’t have Mardi Gras without some music note and star cookies.
Because we all know that New Orleans is known for jazz music as well as Hurricane Katrina, zydeco, crime, levees, and FEMA fiascos. Also, those plastic babies near the star cookies are absolutely creepy.
18. Celebrate your Mardi Gras with these specially made crown cookies.
What’s even better about these cookies is that they were made from chocolate dough or gingerbread by what it looks like. Still, they all seem to have intricate designs as if it was done by a professional or someone with too much time on their hands.
19. Top your Mardi Gras party off with a giant mask cupcake display.
Now this might be for some special event of some sort. Still, that’s a lot of cupcakes and how they keep them on without the icing sliding off amazes me. Yet, the best part about this display is that all the cupcakes are chocolate.
20. Bring the festivities alive with these Mardi Gras cookies on a stick.
These may be from a Louisiana based startup called Cajun Home Sweets. Of course, these had to be professionally made since the mask details are all so fine and intricate.
21. Make your Mardi Gras memborable with this lovely mask and feather cake.
Of course, this cake has a lot of things we know of Mardi Gras like feathers, mask, confetti, Doubloons, and beads as you’d see in New Orleans. Also a background of green, purple, and yellow.
22. Of course, no New Orleans resident can forget to celebrate Mardi Gras without a king cake.
Now this is what the modern New Orleans King Cake looks like. Notice how it resembles a giant braided Danish garland? Also, the baby doll on this thing is creepy.
23. Make Mardi Gras a festive occasion with these lovely cupcakes.
These cupcake icing designs were probably made by: a. a professional, b. a repressed art student, c. someone who’s had too much of the Mardi Gras ganja, or d. all of the above.
24. What doesn’t bring Mardi Gras to its roots than the Fleur de Lis?
Of course, the Fleur de Lis is a symbol of France and the French royal family in the Bourbon dynasty days. It was even on France’s flag until the French Revolution. Still, these cookies look delicious.
25. Get lucky this Mardi Gras with these specially designed fortune cookies.
Available in yellow, purple, and green at a New Orleans Asian restaurant near you. Of course, I don’t know about using the green and purple food coloring but it works.
26. For even greater luck on Mardi Gras, try this giant fortune cookie up for size.
Now this fortune cookie is covered in yellow, purple, and green sprinkles. Don’t say I didn’t warn you in case you open it. Then again, it’s probably made from cake.
27. Hope these jester cupcakes manage to put a smile on your face this Mardi Gras.
Of course, I’m not sure if the jesters are edible but all seem to have their own characteristics as individuals. Also, some of them have masks on, too.
28. Make your kids the perfect Mardi Gras lunch with this King Rex crown sandwich.
Of course, this seems like a decent healthy lunch with a better content than whatever Nutrition Inc. makes. However, I think the purple broccoli is kind of pushing it with the Mardi Gras spirit. Seriously, purple broccoli belongs in somebody’s acid trip.
29. Make your Mardi Gras memorable with this set of sugar cookies.
I like how some of the cookies resembling Mardi Gras beads and how they’re designed. I can never master something like that, not in a million years.
30. Wake up this Fast Tuesday to these king cake donuts.
Of course, these are the pastries most likely consumed by the New Orleans police department which is usually busy on Mardi Gras arresting topless drunk women for indecent exposure and maybe suspicion on prostitution.
31. Treat yourself right this Mardi Gras with this colorful Mardi Gras salad.
Now this contains carrots, kale, and red cabbage. Yet, the carrots may be heirloom and only available at Whole Foods. Still, yellow peppers may do fine.
32. Give a toast this Mardi Gras with these king cake jello shots.
Yes, I know these probably contain alcohol and aren’t for kids. Yet, they certainly display quite vibrant colors as you see here.
33. Celebrate your Mardi Gras with these king cake cinnamon sugar cookies.
Now I know these aren’t donuts because they’re flat but I love the swirl icing design on these. Still, I’d eat them.
34. For Mardi Gras, candy coated popcorn makes a great snack.
Of course, candy coated popcorn may be festive for Mardi Gras but it’s not good for you, especially for your teeth. Yet, I do like how it looks in this photo.
35. Send your kid with a mask pancake lunch this Mardi Gras.
Now this combines the rituals of French Mardi Gras with the traditions of British Shrove Tuesday that usually consists of pancake breakfasts. Of course, where I live Shrove Tuesday isn’t celebrated there either.
36. Of course, if your kid doesn’t like pancakes, you can always send him or her a sandwich with a Fleur de Lis.
Of course, other than the Mardi Gras imagery, there’s really nothing remarkable about this lunch. Of course, Mardi Gras isn’t really a children’s holiday like Christmas and Easter are.
37. Treat your Mardi Gras party guests to this tearaway mask cupcake cake.
Now this is may not be as messy as cutting it, but I’m sure whoever took hours to work on it will be crying when he or she sees it being torn to pieces. Still, quite festive.
38. Of course, if you’re no fan of donut holes, you can always settle for king cake long johns.
I know they look like custom designed Mardi Gras twinkies covered in icing, but hey, to each his own. Of course, consumed by New Orleans cops arresting people for public intoxication and indecent exposure.
39. For the New Orleans Francophile, here’s a nice tearaway cupcake cake of the Fleur de Lis.
Of course, the best part about this design is that it’s purple. Still, since it was originally a French colony, Louisiana bases a lot of its tradition on French culture with their legal basis being the Napoleonic Code.
40. Celebrate this Mardi Gras with this vibrantly colorful king cake.
Unlike the previous 2 king cakes I’ve shown, this one has multi colored icing instead of sugar. Nevertheless, I find the presence of plastic baby dolls on these quite disturbing. Maybe it’s the baby carrot cake from Cakewrecks or something.
41. No Mardi Gras party is complete without these mask cookies.
Of course, some mask cookies have holes in them and others don’t. In this one, the eye holes are covered in black icing. Yet, each mask is unique in its own way.
42. Of course, for those who don’t like jello shots there’s always jello slices for the Mardi Gras party.
Like the jello shots, just because they’re brightly colored and made from jello doesn’t mean they’re for children. In fact, they might contain alcohol as well. Just, giving some people cause for parental discretion.
43. No Mardi Gras party is complete without an elaborate mask cake like this.
This cake is lined with some gold Spanish Doubloons that are more likely made from plastic to some Golden Age pirate’s chagrin. Yet, you can tell that this was professionally made and very expensive.
44. Besides Hurricane Katrina, most people know New Orleans for 2 things: Mardi Gras and jazz music as these cookies illustrate.
Of course, we have a couple designs of Mardi Gras masks along with a face with dangling notes and piano hair as I see it at least. Yes, these were undoubtedly made in the Big Easy.
45. When it comes to Mardi Gras cakes, sometimes 2 tiers are better than one.
I have to admire the decorations on this like the beads, the party stuff, and the feather mask. I also like the swirls, too.
46. Now you can’t have a Mardi Gras party without including truffle chocolate beads.
Come to think of it, truffle chocolate beads must be more expensive than regular plastic Mardi Gras beads you can find at any dollar store in your area. Yet, these seem to resemble beads from some higher end store.
47. For Mardi Gras, some people prefer whipped cream with sprinkles on their jello shots.
Once again, jello shots usually contain alcohol and therefore aren’t for kids. Nevertheless, if any parent wants to make non-alcoholic jello shots, then be my guest.
48. Now these New Orleans mask cookies are bound to make any Mardi Gras party festive.
Now these masks cookies are certainly elaborate and made by professionals. There’s even a jazz one, too. Nevertheless, the ribbons aren’t edible but they do add some sense of artistry to them.
49. For favors, you can’t go wrong with these Mardi Gras pretzels.
Now these are covered with either white chocolate or icing and decked with sugar. Maybe it would be easier to add food coloring but I didn’t make these.
50. Start your Mardi Gras morning with some Mardi Gras pancakes.
Of course, these pancakes are yellow, purple, and green for Mardi Gras. Perhaps they should add green eggs and ham to it as well, but I’m not Dr. Seuss.
51. For the vegetable in your Mardi Gras dinner go with this festive salad.
Contains quinoa, broccoli, nuts, and cauliflower dyed purple and yellow as if it’s from the Green Eggs and Ham world of Dr. Seuss. Seriously, I don’t know what to make about food coloring. I know it’s safe but it sometimes gives the wrong impression.
52. Now there’s nothing more festive on Mardi Gras than this lovely 2 tiered cake.
I do like the nice prop usage on this cake such as the mask, crown, Doubloons, and beads. Yet, I wonder if this cake is chocolate underneath the icing. But I don’t want to destroy it for now.
53. For you theater geeks out there, I think these cupcakes would be quite appropriate for your Mardi Gras celebration.
Not only do some of these cupcakes carry the traditional feathery Mardi Gras mask, they also have the tragedy and comedy masks as well. And it seems like they’re edible but I can be wrong.
54. Then again, you can always buy Mardi Gras cake toppers in New Orleans.
Yet, I’m not sure whether the cupcake toppers on these are edible or not. However, I do love the purple icing on them though. Hey, I love purple. I can’t help it.
55. For your Mardi Gras party, you can’t go wrong with icing covered star pretzels.
I’m not sure about the significance of stars on Mardi Gras but I think these pretzels are quite clever. Now where can I get pretzel stars in PA?
56. Feast your eyes on this Mardi Gras pizza for lunch.
Now these seem to contain, cheese, meat, and red onions. Yet, I’m sure the little leaf provides the green, whatever that is.
57. Hope your kids will love these king cake donuts.
I’m not sure about the little face in the donuts are about. Yet, these are sure cute that your kids will certainly enjoy them, even though they may be too young to take part in the other festivities.
58. Now this cookie set will sure make your Mardi Gras worthwhile.
Now this includes cake pops with white icing and sprinkles, coins with a Fleur de Lis, and butterfly masks each unique in their own way.
59. Now I’ve never seen a Mardi Gras mask cake like this before.
I’m not sure if that mask is made from confection or plastic. Either way, it looks very cool and quite intimidating.
60. With Mardi Gras cakes, you can’t have too many tiers.
Now I love how these tiers don’t seem to look the same. I especially like the mask on top with the feathers and stickers. So pretty.
61. For party favors, I can’t see anything wrong with Mardi Gras chocolate candies.
Well, except for the person being allergic to chocolate of course. Nevertheless, these look so good enough to eat and those you know me know how I like candy.
62. Celebrate Mardi Gras with these multicolored cake pops.
Now unlike the previous cake pops these were placed face down. I’ll take a purple one though, especially if it has chocolate inside.
63. Wake up this Mardi Gras morning with these specially made cinnamon rolls.
This person didn’t have any purple sugar for the cinnabuns so he or she used black instead. I don’t think it turned out very well.
64. Nothing brings the festive spirit on Fat Tuesday than this jester cake.
For a jester cake, this one seems quite sad and has a lot of stuff that isn’t edible. Yet, it looks pretty cool though.
65. Of course, there’s nothing remarkable about these Mardi Gras cupcakes or is there?
Outside they may just be regular cupcakes with chocolate icing. Inside they have yellow, green, and purple interiors. So they’re certainly festive underneath the wrapper and frosting.
66. These Fleur de Lis cookies will certainly make your Mardi Gras party memorable.
Unlike the other treats, they’re composed with black, white, and possibly blue. Also, they are quite nice to eat. Hope they weren’t made by Saints fans. Probably were.
67. Nothing makes a great Mardi Gras party without covering pretzels and cookies in chocolate.
I know these are Mardi Gras treats since they all have yellow, green and purple stripes on them. And that they have a mask chocolate with them.
68. With Mardi Gras, you can’t add too many accessories.
I like the gold party strings and the feather mask. I also like the stars on the cake as well as the yellow diamonds.
69. These Mardi Gras cake balls are good enough to pop in your mouth.
I also like how they have green and yellow drizzle as well as have purple wrappers on them. Still, I hope these have chocolate filling in them or I won’t be happy.
70. For Mardi Gras, mask cupcakes are a festive sight, especially with decorations.
They may not be for children under 3 years old. Yet, they certainly look great for a party on Mardi Gras.