Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras King Cake

Jo 0

"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."

Ingredients 4 h 30 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 418 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 16 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 418 kcal
  • 21%
  • Fat:
  • 13.4 g
  • 21%
  • Carbs:
  • 68.7g
  • 22%
  • Protein:
  • 7.2 g
  • 14%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 51 mg
  • 17%
  • Sodium:
  • 300 mg
  • 12%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

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  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 (190 degrees C). 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 10x16 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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  • Cook's Note:
  • Make sure to buy a new small plastic baby so you can get the full effect from this cake! Sprinkle with purple, green and gold sugar, or decorate with whole pecans and candied cherries. Note: Be sure to tell everyone to inspect their piece of cake before they begin eating it. To be extra careful, use a plastic toy baby that is too large to swallow, or hide an orange wedge or 3-4 pecan halves inside the cake (avoid items that may hurt someone's teeth) and then simply place the honorable toy baby outside on the top of the cake for all to see and adore!
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Reviews 230

  1. 277 Ratings


Absolutely incredible. I have made the cake twice and both times I cut the recipe in half. I also substitute applesauce for the butter in the dough and add lots of raisins and prepare the dough using a bread maker (use extra milk instead of the water and just throw the ingredients in the bread maker according to its directions - I do liquids, then dry ingredients, and yeast last). For the filling I also use applesauce instead of butter but add a little at a time to get a nice pasty filling that I can spread. Before I bake the bread, I add an egg white wash so that it comes out golden brown. I can not believe how delicious this cake is without using any butter. No one believes me that it isn't full of oil and butter. My favorite recipe!!!


I am from New Orleans and find this to be a very authentic tasting recipe. I use my bread machine on the dough cycle thru step 3 and find it makes the recipe even easier. It can also be filled with ready made pie fillings ie. lemon,cherry,apple which is another thing that is being done in New Orleans. Plastic babies can be gotten from party stores in the baby shower area. thanks Jo!


I made this for a Mardi Gras Party in French class, and everyone loved it! If you leave out the plastic baby, it also makes a great breakfast bread! I get requests for it all the time. Tip: If making it for breakfast, make most of the roll the night before, and let it rise the second time overnight. Then simply pop it in the oven the next morning, glaze, and Voila! A delicious breakfast bread. :-)