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King Cake

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a delicious King Cake!
Prep Time2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time3 hours 5 minutes
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: cake, Mardi Gras
Servings: 12
Calories: 383kcal
Author: Cindy Hopper



  • 1 pckg package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened, cut into pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg


  • 2/3 cup packed light brown suga
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. About 2 tablespoons.
  • sanding sugar green, purple, and yellow for decorations on top of the glaze


  • Combine yeast, warm milk, and sugar. Let stand five minutes.
  • Combine yeast mixture, butter, egg, salt, and half the flour: beat with mixer or food processor just until mixed and smooth. Gradually add in flour to make a soft dough. I use a food processor and mix for 45 seconds until a soft ball is formed.
  • Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, turn to grease the top of the dough. Cover in a warm area for about an hour until dough rises and almost doubles in size.
    TIP: You can also at this point put the dough in an oiled zip-loc bag and keep it in the refrigerator for at least an hour up to four days. I put the dough in the refrigerator because I like to roll the dough out while it is cold.
  • While the dough is rising make the cinnamon-sugar filling Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small dish and stir well.
  • If not refrigerating the dough and dough has doubled, punch dough down, turn it out onto the floured surface, and kneed a couple of times.
  • Divide dough in half. Roll out each half into about 7 by 15-inch rectangles
  • Brush each rectangle with half of the melted butter and then sprinkle each rectangle with half of the cinnamon-sugar filling mixture. Starting with long side roll-up dough (link when rolling for cinnamon rolls). Press the roll together at the seam.
  • Wind the two rolls together, forming one thick rope. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Form rope into a ring pinching ends together to seal.
  • Cover the dough loosley with plastic wrap (sprayed with cooking spray so it doesn't stick) and let it rise until doubled, about 1 hour
  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the cake until it is golden brown, 20 – 35 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool about 15 minutes before icing.
  • If hiding a plastic baby poke it inside the cooled cake before icing.
  • Spoon icing over the top of the cake. Immediately sprinkle on colored sugar, alternating between the three colors.


Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 369IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg