This amazing Mardi Gras King Cake is full of flavor and perfect for Fat Tuesday and other Mardi Gras celebrations! Decorated with green, purple and gold sugars, you will love it!
You all know that I am a life long New Yorker and am proud of it. However, I have been researching recipes from all over the country and even internationally since it seems like my full time job is cooking these days
I have always heard about beignets and King Cake especially around my birthday because it was Mardi Gras time. Although I have never officially attended a Mardi Gras, It is SO on my bucket list for when the world opens back up.
What exactly is a King Cake anyway?
It’s a brioche or sweet roll dough that is is braided, baked in a circle and decorated with yummy icing and purple, green and gold sugars. Similar to a cinnamon roll, but way more dressed up and fancy!
“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 baby in it has to host the next party.”
This recipe doesn’t have a plastic baby inside but it has everything else including the delicious flavors and of course the colors!
Although tradition says that finding the baby in your cake symbolizes luck and prosperity, and the finder becomes the ‘king’ or ‘queen’ of the evening. That is just so awesome!
When should I make and serve this amazing King Cake?
You can have it on Fat Tuesday, or anytime around Mardi Gras. But if you are feeling extra nostalgic feel free to make this king cake anytime.
What ingredients are in this Mardi Gras King Cake?
For the dough:
1 cup warm milk
1 packet instant rise yeast
1⁄4 cup melted butter
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar + 1tbsp separated 2 large eggs
1⁄2 tsp salt
4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp olive oil
For the filling:
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter 1⁄2 cup chopped pecans
For the icing:
1.5 cup powdered sugar 1.5 tablespoons milk
1⁄2 tsp vanilla
What do I need to make this Mardi Gras King Cake?
How long will this King Cake Take me?
At least 2.5 hours but man is it worth every second! There are some parts of the recipe where you need time to let the yeast rise so it can be perfectly soft for baking.
This amazing Mardi Gras king cake is full of flavor and perfect for Fat Tuesday and other Mardi Gras celebrations!
- For the dough:
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1 packet instant rise yeast
- 1⁄4 cup melted butter
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar + 1tbsp separated 2 large eggs
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp olive oil
- For the filling:
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter 1⁄2 cup chopped pecans
- For the icing:
- 1.5 cup powdered sugar 1.5 tablespoons milk
- 1⁄2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
- Remove egg from fridge and place into a bowl of warm water for 5 mins to bring it up to room temperature.
- Add warm milk, yeast and sugar to a bowl and stir with a fork or whisk. Let sit for 5-10 mins.
- *If the yeast does not begin to bubble or grow in size, throw it out and start over*
- After 10 mins, pour yeast mixture, eggs, melted butter into bottom of stand mixer or whisk by hand.
- Mix until combined, then add flour, sugar, salt, and flour.
- Mix until well incorporated.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead* for 5-7 mins.
- After dough ball is nice and smooth, place 2 tbsp olive oil in the bottom of a large bowl and place dough on top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (preferably near the oven) for 60 mins.
- After 60 mins, punch dough down to release the air.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead once again for 1-2 mins.
- Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 20 inch long.
- *Brush on softened butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Cover the entire dough.
- Sprinkle on pecans (this is optional)
- Tightly roll the dough long ways.
- If you need to use a bench scraper because your dough is sticking, use one.
- Roll the dough similarly to a jelly roll.
- Transfer to a parchment lined baking dish. Bring the two ends together in a circle or oval shape and seal with water or milk.
- Cover and let rise for an additional 60 mins. Brush with milk before baking. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 mins or until golden brown.
- Let the cake cool for 15-20 mins.
- To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk or water and vanilla in a bowl. Stir until smooth. Icing should be thick but pourable.
- Traditionally a plastic baby is added to the cake at this point. Cut a small slit into the inside or outer side of the dough and slide in the plastic baby.
- Drizzle or pour glaze over the King cake. Sprinkle with green, yellow and purple sanding sugar.
- Serve and enjoy.
If you enjoyed this King Cake Recipe be sure to check out these cakes too!