Mardi Gras King Cake

Well, I have to say the king cake was my favorite part of Mardi Gras, and this is without a doubt one of the most beautiful recipes I have ever been able to replicate. I searched high and low not only for the purple, green and gold glitter sprinkles, but for the plastic baby as well. (Oh, and in case you're wondering, the baby was found but only after Chrissy ransacked the cake!). I'll admit the cake took a LONG time to make, but I couldn't have been happier with the results. Not to mention, I didn't think it was difficult, just a little time-consuming. I will definitely be making this again next year!
Modified from Coveiter


For the Cake
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
Cream-Cheese Filling:
  • 1 8-ounce pkg. cream cheese
  • 1 c. confectioner's sugar
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • a few drops of milk

White Icing:
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
Colored Sugar


1. Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium mixing bowl Add the evaporated milk, 3/4 cup of the sugar, tablespoon of ground cinnamon and the salt. Stir so that the yeast dissolves. Allow to cool.

2. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water and stir in the remaining teaspoon sugar. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, until foamy. If the yeast does not foam up it is not live so you’ll have to start over with new yeast and sugar.

3. Add the yeast mixture to the butter and milk mixture. Add the eggs and lemon zest, and whisk together vigorously, until well-blended.

4. Whisk in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until you have a thick paste–about 3 cups flour. Then switch to a wooden spoon and continue adding flour and mixing well. When you have added all the flour, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured wooden board and knead it with your hands, which you have dusted with flour, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about a dozen turns.

5. Place the dough into a large clean bowl that you have sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Turn the dough to coat all sides with spray. Cover the bowl with a thick dish towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

6. Make the cream cheese filling: Combine cream cheese, flour, sugar, vanilla and milk in a bowl and blend.

7. Punch the dough down, and divide the dough in two. Roll out each half into a 10 by 15 inch rectangle. Brush each rectangle with half of the melted butter, and then spread half of the cream cheese filling on each rectangle leaving about a 1/2 inch border all the way around. Roll up along the long end like a jelly roll. Press the roll together at the seam, sealing with water if necessary. Wind the two rolls together, forming one thick piece. On a baking sheet sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray, form the dough into a circle and seal the ends together.

8. Cover with a thick dish towel and allow the cake to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it almost doubles in size.

9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk the egg white with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the top of the cake with the egg white. Bake the cake for 35 minutes, until it is browned and sounds hollow when tapped.

10. Make the white icing: Combine the sugar and milk in a small dish and whisk until smooth.

11. Allow the cake to cool slightly then drizzle with icing (if you let it cool completely the icing dries quicker and it is harder to keep sugar sprinkles from falling off).
Sprinkle the colored sugar in striped patterns over the icing.

12. Slice across the width of the cake into thin slices to serve. Makes about 12 nice sizes slices.


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