Mardi Gras King Cake

With 3 of the girls being born in Louisiana we're very familiar with Mardi Gras and king cake.  For as long as we have lived here (in Arkansas) we have not been able to find a good one to purchase so when Dev's french class had a party a couple of years ago, we attempted to make our own since she so kindly volunteered to bring them.

After much, much searching we found this recipe and changed it up a teeny tiny bit- they used colored icings, we NEVER got a cake with colored icing in LA, just the white icing with colored sugars so that's what we did.

It's a very basic recipe, but delicious and like we remembered from when we lived in Louisiana, and it was a huge hit with her class.

You can read about the history of the King Cake here:  Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez.

King Cake
(From Southern Living 1990 Annual Recipes)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 (16-oz.) carton sour cream
1/3 c. sugar
1 t. salt
1 pkg. dry yeast
1 T. sugar
1/2 c. warm water (105 º to 115 º)
2 eggs
6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
White frosting
Colored Sugars (we use glitter sprinkles)

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan; heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Let mixture cool to 105 º to 115 º.
Dissolve yeast and 1 T. sugar in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add butter mixture, eggs, and 2 cups of flour; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or by hand until smooth. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place free from drafts, for 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
Pinch dough down and it divide in half. Turn one portion of dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll to a 28" X 10" rectangle. Spread half of the butter and half of the cinnamon mixture on the rolled out dough. Roll dough, jelly roll fashion, starting at the long side. Gently place dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of dough together and form an oval ring. If you have access to a tiny plastic baby, tuck it into the seam before you seal it. If not, use a large, dried bean. Moisten and pinch the edges together to seal.
Repeat this procedure with the second half of the dough.
Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 375 º for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Decorate each cake with frosting and sprinkle with alternating bands of colored sugars.

Colored Sugars
1 -1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 to 2 drops each of green, yellow, red and blue food coloring
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and a drop of green coloring in a jar. Place lid on jar, and shake vigorously to evenly mix the color with sugar. Repeat with each color, combining red and blue for purple.
(Again, we just use use glitter sprinkles, but if you can't find them then this works just as well)

3 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 T. butter of margarine, melted
3 to 5 T. milk
1/4 t. vanilla extract
Combine powdered sugar and melted butter. Add milk (room temperature) to reach desired consistency for drizzling; stir in vanilla. Makes about 1 - 1/2 cups.

Do you do anything special to celebrate Mardi Gras?  Even if you don't, this is an awesome recipe and we hope you'll try it-  if you do come back and let us know how you liked it.  

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  1. Yummy! I so need to try this recipe :) I've pinned this to my Mardi Gras Pinterest Board.

    Thanks for joining in the Pin-n-Tell #PinUP Pin Party, we hope to see you again. We have a new theme every Friday :)