Mardi Gras Truffles


Inspired by the book, Happy Mardi Gras
by Cornell Landry • Illustrated by Sean Gautreaux

Inspired by the giant plastic beads on the prized throws we catch at parades during Carnival, these lemony truffles bring the love and spirit of Mardi Gras straight to your table. After experimenting with lemon cake, I just couldn’t top Sally’s version with fresh lemon juice, zest and buttermilk. Getting the cake just right is key to “laissez le bon temps rouler!” 

Which if you didn’t already know, that means, “Let the Good Times Roll!” in Margi Gras lingo.

Nutrition Nibble:

These single serving truffles are like the parades of Carnival Season, they are decadent and only roll through once a year. Eat one (or one of each color) and give some to all your friends. Indulge in more than three and you’ll feel the fat of Fat Tuesday!

Makes: 48 Truffles
Contains: Milk, Egg, Wheat

Challenge Level: So Worth the Effort
Active Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours plus (some parts are make ahead for your convenience)


For the Cake:

For the Lemon Curd:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

For the Lemon Buttercream: 

  • 1 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ packet cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

For the Truffles:

  • 1lb white chocolate, divided
  • Purple, green and yellow food coloring
  • Sprinkles

Kids Can

  • Sift dry ingredients
  • Roll the dough
  • Choose and stamp the cookie cutters
  • Decorate

Watch Out For

  • Over or under-chilling cookie dough
  • Raw dough isn’t safe to eat, no matter how tempting!


For the Cake:

  1. Bake cake according to Sally’s instructions (include link)

For the Lemon Curd:

  1. While cake bakes, make the lemon curd. 
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended.  
  3. Add butter and whisk constantly, until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. You’ll know curd is ready when it passes the “Spoon Test.” (Tip: Curd continues to thicken as it cools.) 
  4. Set a mesh colander over a small bowl. Pass hot lemon curd through the strainer to remove any lumps. 
  5. Allow curd to cool to room temperature while you make the lemon buttercream.  

For the Lemon Buttercream:

  1. Add butter and cream cheese to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. 
  2. Whisk on high until creamy and pale in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl at regular intervals. 
  3. Add the extracts and whisk again. 
  4. Pour powdered sugar into the bowl 1 cup at a time and stir in by hand. (This prevents a powdered sugar explosion on your countertops!) Once incorporated, whisk on high speed until smooth and fluffy. 

Make the Truffles: 

  1. Stir in ½ cup lemon curd into the icing. 
  2. Crumble cool lemon cake into the lemony mix. Stir by hand to incorporate. Taste and adjust lemon curd content as needed. Refrigerate one hour. 
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With a tablespoon, scoop out balls of cake dough and roll between palms to form a ball. Set on parchment paper.


    Note: Cake dough should stick to itself but not to your hands when cold. If it is too sticky, here’s how to “fix it” without baking more cake – put some lemon or vanilla flavored cookies in your food processor and pulse into cookie crumbs. Stir crumbs into cake dough. The dry cookie crumbs will absorb some extra moisture. Chill again, maybe 15 minutes, then roll out the truffles. 

  4. Once you have rolled all the truffles, put them in the freezer for 30 minutes or up to 2 days. 
  5. When you are ready to work fast and concentrate, melt ⅓ of the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. This is best accomplished in 30 second increments, stirring between each. 
  6. Once melted, drop in some food coloring – purple, green or yellow – and stir to create your ideal color. 
  7. Working with 2 forks, submerge each truffle into colored chocolate and return to the baking sheet for sprinkles. Repeat until you have made all 3 colors of Mardi Gras Truffles.
  8. Refrigerate until chocolate hardens and sprinkles set. 
  9. Gently remove truffles from parchment paper and serve. You can also bag truffles in cellophane bags and distribute to friends.


Note: Truffles are best cold and must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Frozen truffles will keep their moist and delicious flavor for up to 3 months when stored in a sealed container in the freezer.

Cookie notice

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site, we will assume that you are happy with it.