Mardis Gras King Cake Donuts for Fat Tuesday

Mardis Gras King Cake Donuts for Fat Tuesday

mardi gras king cake donuts

Need a Mardi Gras party food idea? Make Fat Tuesday delicious with this twist on traditional King Cake, from Jorj’s kitchen to yours!

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Twelve short days after Christmas is Three Kings Day (also known as the Epiphany).

This date marks the official beginning of Mardi Gras which last until the first day of Lent. Most of us don’t celebrate the entire season, after all, there are other holidays in-between!

So many Mardi Gras celebrations are left for the two weeks before Ash Wednesday.

My Mardi Gras memories settle themselves in my Grammy’s kitchen on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, known as Fat Tuesday.

My sweet, itty bitty Polish grandmother would create the most delicious pillowy donuts that day. Hot from the frying oil they were doused in powdered sugar and lasted just moments before we popped them into our mouth.

Traditional Polish donuts known as packzki are rich and filled with cream or fruit. My Gram filled hers with grape jelly. But she saved the unfilled donuts for us to gobble up. 😋 

I’ve made jelly-filled donuts before.

I’ve even made pumpkin spice donuts with maple glaze.

This year, I’ve decided to make King Cake donuts to celebrate the season.

These are big, fluffy, light-as-air donuts doused in a sugar glaze and sprinkled with traditional colors of the season, purple, yellow, green, and gold sprinkles.

Want some?

Tried it? Tag it!

I would love to see what you did with this recipe.  Share your creation by tagging #inthekitchenwithjorj and with Scrumptious Possibilities With Jorj, my free private home cooking group.

Jorj’s Mardis Gras King Cake Donuts


Makes about 9 large donuts plus holes

Ready In:

15 minutes for dough
15 minutes to cut out
2 hours to rise

Good For:



For Donuts

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (you can substitute with instant)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For Glaze:
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons half and half or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprinkles (green, yellow purple and gold!)

Jorj’s Mardi Gras King Cake Donuts

Place the flour, granulated sugar, yeast, salt, and nutmeg into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Whisk the milk, butter, egg, and vanilla together in a bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together. Stop the mixer, cover the bowl with a clean towel, and rest for 5 minutes. Change the paddle attachment to a dough hook and beat until the dough begins to pull away from the bowl, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Dump the dough into a bowl sprayed with vegetable oil spray. Turn the dough to coat on all sides. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. The dough is doubled in size when you stick your finger into the dough and the indentation stays.

Roll out the dough and use a donut cutter (or round biscuit cutters) to cut out the doughnuts and holes. Place these onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place into the warm place and let rise until doubled in size again, about another 30 minutes.
Heat oil to 350° in a deep pot or Dutch oven. Only let the oil fill the pot one third up the sides so that when it bubbles up it won’t overflow.

Fry the donuts in batches. Don’t overcrowd the oil. We want them to swim in the oil… not drown! Fry until they are golden on one side and then carefully flip so that they are golden on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the donuts to a rack set over paper toweling to drain.

Whisk together the sifted confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and cream. Dip one side of the donuts into the glaze. Return to the rack and douse with sprinkles.

Fall Cooking Mag Features My Advice!

Fall Cooking Mag Features My Advice!

I made it into the pages of this glossy cooking magazine. I LOVE that. Here’s my quote — hope you’ll download the PDF and cook away the Autumn days!

“Hosting a party with family friends is a most wonderful opportunity for children to interact with others. They learn social skills, etiquette skills, are inspired to taste new foods, dress up and, more importantly, to know how they fit into the world around them.”

Here’s a link to the cooking mag!

Chow-Chow: Simple Down Home Goodness You Can Make Tonight

Chow-Chow: Simple Down Home Goodness You Can Make Tonight

Traditional stew meal with a floral handmade embroidery

An earthenware pot, Granny would have loved…

In the Deep South, “Chow-Chow” is a well-known decoration on sandwiches and plates of BBQ. One of my readers, Martha McCray Wallace, is on a mission to recreate her Grandma’s Chow-Chow, so it lives up to the version in the food memoir she seeks to publish. My assistant, Jen Russon, is editing Martha’s book, and I have to tell you, the passages she’s shared with me about Martha’s grandparents and their downhome country cookin’, had my mouth watering! I look forward to this poet and journalist’s narrative cookbook gracing bookstands – the memoir has so many recipes that are just a thing of beauty, in terms of simplicity and tastiness. I can’t wait to make them all!

When you make Chow-Chow, your home fills with a savory aroma that doesn’t seem possible, considering how few ingredients are involved. Beyond the vegetables called for, I used only butter, salt and pepper to flavor this dish. True, when I served it, I added a dollop of sour cream, but I would have been pretty happy with or without that.


I think the next time I make kielbasa, Chow-Chow is going right on top.


Other than lots of chopping, it’s easy to make. So, if that’s so, then why is it hard to find or duplicate in one’s own kitchen, a faithful rendering of Granny’s Chow-Chow? Well, it could be that Martha’s grandparents, born of Alabama sharecroppers, grew nearly everything they ate in their own backyard. These Chow-Chow experts also used top secret recipes: special pickling spice and vinegars they shared with no one – not even Martha. When I told her my own version of Chow-Chow contained butter, she was quick to point out her Grandma skipped that ingredient, altogether. Whoops…well, it was still darn good!  

Country Cookin’ back in the day: How Granny Made Chow-Chow


“The chopped veggies were placed in an earthenware crock, with kosher salt, for about 12 hours. Then the spices got mixed in. The following day, Grandma drained the veggies with cheesecloth, then placed them in a large pot and put the water, seasonings, sugar, vinegar, pickling spice…letting them cook about 5 minutes. While they were cooking she prepared the mason jars for canning it.”


I’ve seen Chow-Chow at farmers markets, but it’s just not the same. Those vendors average short spans from field to table, too, but it’s still hard to get that recipe exactly right. I will have to see if my Watauga County Farmers Market in North Carolina carries it, and does an honest job. As to Martha’s search, LaGrange, Georgia had something almost akin, but it lacked the amazing earthy flavors of her Granny’s version.   

Why don’t you take a stab at it, and let us know how your Chow-Chow turned out?

A Quicker but Still Pretty Savory Version of Chow-Chow

Prep Time: About 15 minutes, and an hour to cook

Serves 8


·         1 large head green cabbage, chopped, about 6 cups

·         2 large red bell peppers, seeded and diced, about 4 cups

·         2 large green bell peppers, seeded and diced, about 4 cups

·         5 green tomatoes, diced, about 4 cups

·         1 large white onion, diced, about 2 cups

·         1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pats

·         1 teaspoon each, sugar, sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Place chopped vegetables into a Dutch Oven or large stock pot, and mix in pats of butter, sugar, salt and pepper. Adjust the stove to medium high heat. The butter will melt over the vegetables, and help mingle and marry their flavors. Stir often, so that none of the veggies stick to the pot. After the first 8 to 10 minutes, lower stove temperature to low, and let cook for 30 minutes and up to an hour. Serve as a garnish for meats, on top of any sandwich, or enjoy as a stand-alone dish.  

Isn’t the aroma divine?