The Best Mardi Gras King Cake

The Best Mardi Gras King Cake

All About King Cake!

king cake

Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is a festive celebration that takes place before the Christian season of Lent. This annual event is a time for indulgence and revelry, and one of the most iconic treats enjoyed during Mardi Gras is the king cake.

Originating in France, the king cake is a sweet and decadent dessert that is traditionally eaten during the Mardi Gras season. It is named after the biblical three kings (or wise men) who visited baby Jesus on the 12th day of Christmas.

The king cake is typically made of a rich, brioche-like dough that is braided and shaped into a ring. It is then baked and topped with colorful icing and decorative sugar sprinkles in the signature Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold. These colors hold significant meaning – purple represents justice, green represents faith, and gold represents power.

But what truly sets the king cake apart is the hidden surprise inside. Traditionally, a small plastic baby figurine is hidden inside the cake, and whoever finds it is said to have good luck and prosperity for the coming year. This tradition has evolved over time, and now some bakeries offer a variety of fillings such as cream cheese, fruit, or chocolate, in addition to the traditional plain cake.

king cake

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try making your own king cake, here is a simple recipe to follow.

Now you have a delicious homemade king cake to enjoy with your family and friends during Mardi Gras celebrations. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the hidden surprise – who knows, you may just be the lucky one to find it!

If you aren’t in the mood for baking and aren’t local to Louisiana. Shop the best king cakes here.

Happy Mardi Gras!

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Mardi Gras King Cake-Dong Phuong Style

  • Author: Belle Omniley
  • Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 20 servings


This soft and moist king cake recipe is the perfect treat for any occasion. Made with a fluffy and tender dough, this cake is enriched with a variety of warm spices and topped with a brown butter icing. The texture of the cake is irresistibly soft, with a moist and light crumb that will melt in your mouth with every bite. The combination of flavors creates a delectable balance of sweetness and spice, making it a crowd-pleaser for any dessert lover.



3/4 cup warm milk

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1/4 cup honey

10 Tbsp softened butter

4 eggs

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 plastic baby (optional)

2 Tbsp heavy cream


4 Tbsp of brown butter, melted

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 c granulated sugar

1 c light brown sugar, packed

2 Tbsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp kosher salt


4 oz cream cheese, softened

3/4 c browned butter softened

2 c confectioners sugar

1 Tbsp heavy cream

Decorative sugar sprinkles in purple, green, and gold



In a large mixing bowl, combine warm milk (110-115 degrees) yeast, and 1/4 c honey. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the mixture becomes foamy.

Add eggs to yeast mixture. Mix well.

In blender bowl add flour and salt whisk together; then add egg/yeast mixture on low.

Add softened butter; one tablespoon at a time. When all has been added mix for an additional minute.

Scoop wet/sticky mixture into a greased bowl. Allow to proof on counter for 2 hours folding dough gently every 30 minutes. Keep covered with plastic or tea towel while proofing. Once proof is complete. Move to refrigerator for at least 12 hours or overnight.

Prepare your browned butter and cover and let cool in a container.


In a medium bowl whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

Fold together 4 oz of cream cheese and 1/4 c of sugar on day of baking.

Remove dough and punch down. Knead to wake dough. Work fast as dough will get sticky.

On a floured surface place dough and roll out to 18”x 14”

Brush dough with cooled browned butter, then cinnamon mixture and press down.

Pipe cream cheese mixture down the long side of prepared dough.

Roll tightly to center from left to right and right to left.

Quickly place dough seam side down. Place in u-shape or oval if you like.

Cut 1” slits with scissors are outside perimeter of cake and 2 slit on inside.

Poke holes throughout top of dough.

Place in oven and allow to proof at 100 degrees for 1 hour 30 minutes or on countertop in draft free zone.

Preheat your oven to 350°F .

Bake the king cake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Rotating constantly while baking.

Once cooking is complete immediately brush with 2 Tbsp of heavy cream.

Move to cooling rack.

Allow cake to completely cool before icing.


Mix butter and cream cheese well then and powdered sugar and heavy and mix an additional 3 minutes or until fluffy.

Spread the icing over the cake

Sprinkle decorative sugar in the over the icing.

Place the plastic baby in the cake through the bottom (so it is hidden) before serving.

  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: Creole

Keywords: Mardi Gras, king cake, Louisiana food





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Belle Omniley
Belle Omniley

Find me on: Web | Instagram


Mardi Gras Decor & All

Mardi Gras Decor & All

Greetings. I hope this post finds you well. A good friend once told me” a second on the lips and a lifetime on the hips”.  I definitely find this true for traditional king cake for myself! I usually make a keto version, but this year has already been in full swing for me. I love that my local Oak Point offers all its flavors in a petite version and they bake them in-house daily. I’m not sure if the ship yet, but I have listed below some local bakeries that definitely ship. 



Manny Randazzo

If you love Mardi Gras, I heard it’s on for 2022 in New Orleans! So enjoy and be safe my friends. Omniley


The post contains affiliate links.
Belle Omniley
Belle Omniley

Find me on: Web | Instagram

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