Mardi Gras King Cake



  • 1/2 cup warm water (100-115 degrees F)
  • 2 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tsp.
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • Ad
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. milk, for egg wash


  • 3 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3-6 Tbsp. water
  • additional sugar and food coloring for decoration
  • 1 tiny 1 inch baby doll


Sprinkle yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar over warm water in a small, shallow bowl. Allow to rest for 3-5 minutes, then mix thoroughly. Set bowl in a warm, draft-free place until yeast starts to bubble up and mixture almost doubles in volume, about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, nutmeg, lemon zest, and salt.

In mixing bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer or food processor, combine yeast, milk and egg yolks. Gradually add dry ingredients, and softened butter, adding additional flour, as necessary to achieve a medium-soft ball. Knead dough, again adding flour if necessary, until smooth, shiny and elastic, about 10 minutes.


Place dough in a covered, buttered bowl in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

In the meantime, butter a large baking sheet and set aside.

When dough has risen, remove and punch down. Sprinkle with cinnamon and form into a cylinder, then twist this cylinder into a circle. Pinch the ends together to complete the circle. Once again, cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush top and sides of cake with egg wash and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack completely before hiding baby doll inside or icing and decorating.

Icing: Mix sugar, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of water until mixture is smooth, adding more water as necessary to achieve a smooth, spreadable consistency. Spread icing over cake and immediately sprinkle colored sugar in alternating color rows.


Bread Machine Version: I have made the dough with great success in a Bread Machine. The only difference is, I substitute milk for the water, making the liquid total 1 cup milk. Just put the ingredients in the machine, as per manufacturer instructions, set it to the dough setting, and in a few hours you're ready to pick up the instructions from the rolling out point.

By Jodi from Aurora, CO


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