Celebrate Mardi Gras By Making Your Own King Cake

King Cake

King Cake

If you’ve never experienced the colorful, sugar-sprinkled Mardi Gras delight known as King Cake, you’re going to be thrilled that you came across this post. For some people, King Cake is the best part of the whole Mardi Gras season. You don’t want to depend on store-bought for something so important. With this recipe on hand, you can whip up this ring of pastry perfection in your very own kitchen. The best part? You don’t have to wait for Fat Tuesday – you can enjoy this King Cake any time of year.

Mardi Gras King Cake

The developer of this recipe, Jo, notes: “The King Cake is a New Orleans tradition that involves a pastry, a small plastic baby, and a party. The King Cake is baked with a small plastic baby hidden inside. The person who gets the slice with the baby in it has to host the next party.” Sprinkle the cake with purple, green, and gold sugar for the full effect.


1 cup milk

1/4 cup butter

2 (.25-ounce) packages active dry yeast

2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F)

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


1 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2/3 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup melted butter


1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon water


  1. Scald milk, remove from heat, and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  5. To Make Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour, and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
  6. Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10 x 16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors, make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1-inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm with the confectioners’ sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

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