King Cake for Mardi Gras

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For the Cake
¼ cup Water
2 tsp Active dry yeast
8 tbsp (1 stick) Unsalted butter at room temperature and very soft
¼ cup Whole milk or 2% milk
2 Large eggs lightly beaten
2 tbsp Granulated sugar
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Ground nutmeg
3-3½ cups All-purpose flour
Vegetable oil or cooking spray
For the cinnamon filling
4 tbsp Unsalted butter at room temperature
⅔ cup Brown sugar light, packed
1½ tsp Cinnamon ground
1 half Pecans a bean or a plastic baby figurine
To decorate the cake
1 cup Powdered sugar sifted
2 tbsp Whole milk or 2% milk, plus more as needed
¼ tsp Almond extract
Food coloring purple, green, and yellow or sprinkles

Nutritional information

  • For the Cake

  • For the cinnamon filling

  • To decorate the cake

King Cake for Mardi Gras


So, what goes into making a King Cake for Mardi Gras? A giant vanilla cake is with a butter, brown sugar and ground cinnamon layer filling between and topped with a colorful, Mardi Gras inspired almond frosting with purple, green and yellow food coloring and sprinkles. And don’t forget to hide a pecan half, a bean or even a baby toy in your cake. It’s a real stand-out, show-stopping cake that will guarantee to wow your crowd!

To make King Cake for Mardi Gras, you will need the following ingredients:

Ingridiens for King Cake for Mardi Gras

Steps to make King Cake for Mardi Gras


Combine water and yeast


In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine ¼ cup water and 2 teaspoons of dry-active yeast and set aside to dissolve and activate.


Add wet ingredients


Add 8 tablespoons of butter, ¼ cup milk, 2 large, lightly beaten eggs, 2 tablespoons of sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg and stir to combine.


Add flour


Add 3 cups of flour and gently mix to form a loose dough. Set remaining ½ cup flour aside for later.


Knead dough


Using your hands or the hook attachment, knead for about 5-7 minutes until the dough begins to come together and is smooth and elastic, resembling play dough. Using your hands may take a few more minutes. If the dough sticks, add some of the reserved flour.


Rise dough


Lightly coat a clean bowl with a little vegetable oil or cooking spray. Shape dough into a ball and place inside, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for about 1 hour to rise until doubled in volume.


Shape dough


Once risen, roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a rectangle about 24x10-inches.


Add butter


Spread a thin layer of butter all over the dough leaving about ½-inch border at the top end of the rectangle.


Combine cinnamon and sugar


In a small bowl, stir ⅔ cup packed brown sugar and 1½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon until mixed. Sprinkle evenly over the layer of butter and gently press so that it sticks to the butter.


Add pecan

Place dry bean or half of a pecan in the center of the rectangle.


Roll dough


Starting at the longest end, roll the dough upwards and then pinch the log closed and roll over to create a seam. Curl into a spiral shape and overlap the ends. Lightly pinch to form a seal.


Second rise


Transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for another 45-60 minutes to rise again until puffy and larger.


Preheat oven and bake


Halfway through rising, preheat oven to 350 °F. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-45 minutes until lightly browned and golden-brown. A little syrup from the filling may ooze out.




Allow cake to cool on the baking sheet before removing to cool on a wire rack to room temperature.


Prepare icing


In a small bowl, whisk 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk and ¼ teaspoon of almond extract until thick but pourable. Add some more milk as needed. Use white icing if decorating with colorful sprinkles or divide into 3 portions and add food coloring according to the Mardi Gras theme.


Decorate cake


Once cooled, drizzle prepared icing over the cake in different patches, stripes or designs of your choice. If using sprinkles, cover cake in white icing and decorate with colorful sprinkles.



Slice, serve and enjoy!

This King Cake Mardi Gras recipe has some real baking goals to help show off your skills. Almost similar to baking bread, this is a very dense cake and we just love it! Do you? Send us you Mardi Gras festival pics and tag #cookmerecipes in your own blogs online!

Lilly is an enthusiastic and cheerful young mom. She knows as well as any parent that children can be really picky when it comes to food. And she’s had plenty of experience trying to cook meals that are both tasty and nutritious, and able to satisfy the tastes of a fussy kid right away! To save you some precious time, Lilly's going to share with you all the tricks she learned the hard way, so you don’t have to! She has a wealth of recipes for quick and easy meals for kids and families on a budget.

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Recipe Reviews

Average Rating:
Total Reviews: 21
Dorothy Balbach

Once a week I make cake for everyone, last weeks cherry cheesecake they loved it, today I'm gonna be making this :D

Janiya Mettert

I do not like cinnamon so I'd rather avoid that part, other than that, it tasted good.

Sidney Doiron

It was really easy to make, I did not expect to get it to taste so well on the first try.


Good flavour but I feel like it's lacking something.

Addie Starlings

OMG it's great thank you so much for this recipe.

Maryam Tennesen

I added cherry jam in it because it felt like it was lacking something the first time, it's was better this time.

Kourtney Knox

I had to make it by hand because I don't have the hook but it was worth it.

Ayana Sadkowski

Added orange crumbs into, it was great.

Yareli Vanholland

My kids LOVED it, thank you so much!

Tiana Maschak

I really like the feeling of the texture, it was great.

Dalia Dailey

I like how you can give it crazy colors and not only does it look good, it also tastes good. It took some time but it was definitely worth it, thank you!

Aurelia Zarnowski

I made many small ones, they look so cute and ended up being very tasty!

Emilie Quinnie

You can really add lots of stuff and will be great each time. I added orange jam into it and it was perfect.

Maddie Noye

I made it today, guess what I'm making it again tomorrow, I loved it!

Shanaya Hussey

Obsessed with it loved every single bite and so did my mom will totally have this agian any day of the week!

Emmy Skorski

King cake, I can see why that's its name :P

Ivory Gupte

I was feeling creative so I looked around and found this, got it perfect on the first try!

Angelique Lien

Tastes very good, thank you!!!

Emiliana Borroel

I've been making this cake for a while now so I recomended it to my friend as well and she really liked it :D

Joslyn Whiles

A cake fit for a king indeed, tasted amazing.


Well done! Verified!

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