king cake

Traditional King Cake Recipe


1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups flour unsifted
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup warm milk
5 egg yolks
1 stick butter cut into slices and softened,
plus 2 tablespoons more softened butter
1 egg slightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1" plastic baby doll


Pour the warm water into a small shallow bowl,
and sprinkle yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar into it.

Allow the yeast and sugar to rest for three
minutes then mix thoroughly.

Set bowl in a warm place, for ten minutes
or until yeast bubbles up and mixture
almost doubles up in volume.

Combine 3 1/2 cups of flour, remaining sugar,
nutmeg and salt, and sift into a large mixing bowl.

Stir in lemon zest.

Separate center of mixture to form a hole
and pour in yeast mixture and milk.

Add egg yolks and using a wooden spoon
slowly combine dry ingredients into the yeast/milk mixture.

When mixture is smooth, beat in 8 tablespoons butter,
1 tablespoon at a time and continue to beat 2 minutes
or until dough can be formed into a medium soft ball.

Place ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and knead like bread.

During this kneading, add up to 1 cup more of flour
(1 tablespoon at a time) sprinkled over the dough.

When dough is no longer sticky,
knead 10 minutes more until shiny and elastic.

Using a pastry brush, coat the inside of a large
bowl evenly with one tablespoon softened butter.

Place dough ball in the bowl and rotate
until the entire surface is buttered.

Cover bowl with a moderately thick kitchen
towel and place in a draft free spot for about
1 1/2 hours, or until the dough doubles in volume.

Using a pastry brush, coat a large baking sheet
with one tablespoon of butter and set aside.

Remove dough from bowl and place on lightly floured surface.

Using your fist, punch dough down with a heavy blow.

Sprinkle cinnamon over the top,
pat and shake dough into a cylinder.

Twist dough to form a curled cylinder and
loop cylinder onto the buttered baking sheet.
Pinch the ends together to complete the circle.

Cover dough with towel and set it in draft free spot for
45 minutes until the circle of dough doubles in volume.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Brush top and sides of cake with egg wash and bake on
middle rack of oven for 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown.

Place cake on wire rack to cool.
If desired, at this time, you can "hide" the plastic baby in the cake.

Colored sugars

Green, purple, & yellow paste
12 tablespoons sugar
Squeeze a dot of green paste in palm of hand.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over the paste and rub together quickly.
Place this mixture on wax paper and wash hands to remove color.
Repeat process for other 2 colors. Place aside.


3 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 - 6 tablespoons water

Combine sugar, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons water until smooth.
If icing is too stiff, add more water until spreadable.
Spread icing over top of cake.
Immediately sprinkle the colored sugars in individual rows
consisting of about 2 rows of green, purple and yellow.

Cake is served in 2" - 3" pieces.

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