Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras King Cake

Happy Mardi Gras! No carnival celebration is complete without a big bowl of New Orleans Gumbo and a colorful King Cake!

Make your own braided King Cake for Mardi Gras, complete with brown sugar pecan filling, icing, festive colors and one plastic baby. #mardigras #kingcake #fattuesday www.savoryexperiments.com

Make your own braided King Cake for Mardi Gras, complete with brown sugar pecan filling, icing, festive colors and one plastic baby.

King Cake is a traditional Mardi Gras sweet bread that symbolizes a crown, specifically one that the three kings who visited Christ on the day of his birth wore. Sparkling sugar colors represent purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power and prosperity.

How to make a mardi gras king cake.

A tiny plastic baby, baby Jesus, is inserted into each cake after baking. The individual who gets the slice with the baby will have good fortune for the upcoming year. They are also obliged to host the next year’s King Cake party.

However, if you are slicing and happen to slice that poor little plastic baby, you will have bad luck for the upcoming year.

What is a king cake?

Although King Cake is called “cake” is more of a cross between a Danish pastry and French brioche. The sweet and buttery bread is stuffed with a raisin, brown sugar and pecan filling and then topped with a powdered sugar glaze and bright sparkling sugar.

To learn more about Mardi Gras, visit my post about Red Beans and Rice and enjoy the holiday!!

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe - A giant sweet roll stuffed with brown sugar, raisins and pecans and decorated with icing and purple, green and gold sparkling sugar. Perfect for breakfast or dessert during carnival or on Fat Tuesday!

Check out these other Creole inspired dishes:

Make your own braided King Cake for Mardi Gras, complete with brown sugar pecan filling, icing, festive colors and one plastic baby. #mardigras #kingcake #fattuesday www.savoryexperiments.com

If you are looking for even more dessert recipes, snag a copy of my Easy Dessert Recipes Mini-Cookbook. Available here for only $0.99, these easy dessert recipes are ready with less than 30 minutes hands-on time and are sure to please all your family friends. From no-bake to make-ahead, you are sure to find something you love!

Overhead view of Mardi Gras King Cake
Print Recipe
4.89 from 9 votes

Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe - A giant sweet roll stuffed with brown sugar, raisins and pecans and decorated with icing and purple, green and gold sparkling sugar. Perfect for breakfast or dessert during carnival or on Fat Tuesday!
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Creole
Keyword: king cake, mardi gras food
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 505kcal

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1/2 cup scalded milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter , melted
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water , no hotter than 110 degrees
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar , divided
  • 1 egg , room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 3/4 cups flour

Filling:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup pecans , finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup butter , melted

Glaze:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • Purple, Gold and Green Sparkling Sugar
  • 1 Plastic Baby

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a which attachment, combine 1 package of dry active yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar and warm water. Take care that water is not too hot or it will kill the yeast and prevent it from blooming. Allow to set until frothy and fragrant, approximately 10-15 minutes.
  • Whisk in scalded milk, melted butter and egg. When combined add remaining sugar (1 cup), nutmeg and salt, whisk again.
  • Change attachment to the bread hook (or beaters). Combine flour into wet mixture 1/2 cup at a time. Dough should start to pull away from the sides, if not, add small (1-2 teaspoons) of flour until it does.
  • Knead dough on low-medium speed (or with your hands on a floured surface) for 10 minutes.
  • Lightly grease a large mixing bowl, turning dough over once to evenly oil and prevent from drying. Dampen a tea towel, cover and set in a draft free place. Allow to rise until doubled in size, approximately 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine all filling ingredients and toss until uniformly damp from melted butter.
  • Turn dough on a lightly floured surface and using a rolling pin, create a rectangle about 18x8 inches. Cut in half length wise with a knife.
  • Spread filling mixture evenly over both sections of dough, leaving a 1/2 inch at each edge.
  • Roll, lengthwise and jelly roll style, into a rope. Carefully, twist together the two ropes and form into a circle, pinch the two ends together to make a wreath.
  • Carefully transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover with damp tea towel and allow to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. King Cake should be lightly browned.
  • Remove and allow to cool fully. Whisk together glaze ingredients and drizzle over King Cake. Sprinkle alternating gold, purple and green sparkling sugar while glaze is still tacky.
  • You are ready to serve!
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was! 

Nutrition

Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 335IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2.1mg

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