• Bubblepop electric cupcakes (Nick Makrides)Source: Nick Makrides
Every party needs a cake, and a Mardi Gras party needs lots and lots of cake. Spatulas at the ready!
21 Feb 2020 - 1:44 PM  UPDATED 25 Feb 2020 - 10:09 PM

Nothing lights a party up quite like an extravagant cake. The colour! The engineering! The entrance!

Some cakes are simple to pull together, and others demand sweat as a hidden ingredient (calm down, we don't mean literally!). The sheer dazzle of a great rainbow-hued, towering marvel of a cake is worth every drop.

Incidentally, if you can muster the necessary courage and stamina to bake one of these beauties, you'll be in great shape for the Mardi Gras parade. Just sayin'.

Kissy cupcakes


If you wanna know, if he loves you so... make a cupcake. Nick Makrides named these cupcakes In his kiss, honouring Mardi Gras icon Cher. They bake at a lower, slower temperature, so it takes a little longer.

Tiramisu cupcakes

The combination of vanilla cake, strong coffee and rich mascarpone cream-cheese frosting with a hint of chocolate will give you some serious food-coma vibes. 

Harvey Milk-shake

All the colours of the rainbow in one easy milkshake. #Mardigras40

Somewhere over the rainbow

Rainbow cake

The 'surprise inside' rainbow cake has become a much-loved classic. When it's cutting time, it never fails to bring on OTT oohs and ahhs. It tastes like you've found the pot of gold, too.

Time to get naked

It's not always about the explosion of colour. A 'naked' celebration cake says so much while wearing very little.  It's a very easy cake to master, too...

Luscious ginger layer cake

Ginger-perfumed sponge is layered with chocolate ganache and honeycomb, and topped with crumbled meringue. 

Neapolitan cupcakes

Which Neapolitan ice-cream flavour were you? 

Sprinkle that confetti

When the inside matches the outside, you know you're onto a fine thing. This lush confetti layer cake is sprinkly-good celebration all the way through.

Paris brest cupcakes

I am ob-SESSED with French pastries. In fact, I made the decision to become a pastry chef after a two-week trip to Paris where I fell in love with all the amazing food. This French pastry filled with crème pâtissière is traditionally about the size of a dinner plate, but here it is in cupcake form!

Chocolate cupcakes with pink velvet icing

These adorable little cakes make you want to plan a party just to bake them.

Living the electric dream

A pink gelatin bubble perches atop of the brightest, most electric cupcake you can muster. To really top it off, these glossy bubblepop electric cupcakes have a surprise bubblegum gooey centre. Pop!

Glam it up

The Glamington

What do you get when a lamington dresses up for a big night out? A glamington, of course! The lamington is magicked into an elegant layered cake with this fairytale recipe. Colour the coconut for an even bigger celebration cake come Mardi Gras night.

Fairy bread cake

You’ll be delighted with this fluffier and rather less floppy version of my childhood favourite!

VoVo cakes

I debated about what to call these — a combination of the much-loved Arnott’s Iced VoVo biscuits and the iconic lamington. Such a visual treat. I hope you love these fun little cakes as much as I do.

Piñata pop

Rainbow pinata cake

Poh says her rainbow piñata cake is "sheer, unadulterated childish glee". So, perfect for a Mardi Gras party then. All the colour, all the sugar, all the sweet, sweet excess. Poh even mixes some popping candy in with her sprinkles before coating the cake... 

You glow, girl

You'll need a black light to really make these strawberry and meringue babies glow up. Hit the switch and wait for the crowd to go wild. The secret to the glow-in-the-dark magic is all in the tonic water, so splash that beverage around.

Dance the night away

Crack open the ginger and spice to get grooving and shaking with these cute tiny dancers. Precision icing will be required to make the happy faces - but wonky ones work well for capturing late-night feels.

Slice of choc-mint heaven

Mint and chocolate is a powerhouse pairing to rival cheese and biscuits, fish and chips.

Brazilian passionfruit cake (bolo de maracujá)

Considering the passionfruit originated in Brazil, it is little wonder that it features in so many of the nation’s desserts. This simple sponge cake is not only laced with passionfruit, it is then drizzled in a rich passionfruit syrup for a double dose of tangy sweetness. Some versions of this cake also include a passionfruit mousse sandwiched between layers of the sponge. It is best served the day it is made.

Solid gold

The perfect edible trophy after a night under the disco ball. Each gold-plated cupcake is also filled with gold sprinkles, to really spread the stardust around. Bling on the Mardi Gras!

Watch the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2020 parade LIVE on SBS and SBS On Demand on Saturday 29 February at 7.30pm.


Tomato and fontina tart

Bursting with Mediterranean summer flavours, this tart is perfect for whipping up for relaxed afternoon entertaining. 

'Green bits' pasta

If I have been busy at work and really want something comforting and healthy to eat, this is it. It's also a great way to use up vegetables. 

Blue pea flower dumplings

If you haven't ventured into blue pea flower territory then these dumplings are a vibrant way to jazz up your steamy offering. 

Yellow chicken rice

This dish is Thailand’s answer to biryani. The local name is khao mok gai,  meaning rice with chicken. It’s very popular among the Muslim–Thai population and has Indian and Persian influences. The rice is cooked along with the chicken and spices to produce a beautifully aromatic one-pot dish.

Orange marmalade tartlets

“These stunning little tartlets are the perfect way to celebrate orange season and make a great dessert or afternoon tea. You can make the tart bases well ahead of time and keep them in an airtight container but make sure you assemble the tarts just before serving so they stay nice and crisp.” Rachel Khoo, Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook Melbourne

Purple yam jam (ube halaya)
Beetroot dip

This popular dish is inspired by the Moroccan beetroot salad. Sydney-based Moroccan chef Hassan M’Souli, from Out of Africa restaurant, recommends using fresh baby beetroot to make the dip. Faithful to Moroccan cuisine, the recipe adds carrots and orange juice for a hint of sweetness and body to the dip.