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

Description

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.


Ingredients

Cake:

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

Filling:

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

Icing:

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


Instructions

Cake:

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.

Filling: 

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.

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

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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. 

Brennan’s

Gambino’s

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

 

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Belle Omniley
Belle Omniley

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Traditional Mardi Gras King Cake

Traditional Mardi Gras King Cake

Greetings, I hope this post finds you well. I finally found some time to make a traditional king cake for everyone that requested. Just in time for Fat Tuesday…late than never right? If you want to learn more about the King Cake history click here.

Even though Mardi Gras was canceled this year you can still celebrate by eating your share of King Cake. Don’t let the weather stop you. Here’s a no fail recipe that checks all the boxes for the Louisiana style traditional King Cake.

Gather all your ingredients and let’s get started.

Add warm milk, yeast and sugar to a bowl and stir with a fork or whisk. Let sit for 5-10 mins.

After 10 mins, pour yeast mixture, eggs, melted butter into bottom of stand mixer or whisk by hand. Mix until combined, then add flour, sugar, salt, and flour. Mix until well incorporated

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead* for 5-7 mins. After dough ball is nice and smooth, place 2 tbsp olive oil in the bottom of a large bowl and place dough on top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (preferably near the oven) for 60 mins.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead once again for 1-2 mins.
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 20 inch long.

Brush on softened butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Cover the entire dough. Sprinkle on pecans at this time.

Tightly roll the dough long ways. If you need to use a bench scraper because your dough is sticking, use one. Roll the dough similarly to a jelly roll. Transfer to a parchment lined baking dish. Bring the two ends together in a circle or oval shape and seal with water or milk.

Cover and let rise for an additional 60 mins. Brush with milk before baking. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 mins or until golden brown.

Let the cake cool for 15-20 mins. To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk or water and vanilla in a bowl. Stir until smooth. Icing should be thick but pourable. Drizzle or pour glaze over the King cake. Sprinkle with green, yellow and purple sanding sugar.

Traditionally a plastic baby is added to the cake at this point. Cut a small slit into the inside or outer side of the dough and slide in the plastic baby.

Serve and enjoy.

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5 from 1 vote

Traditional Mardi Gras King Cake

If you can't get to Mardi Gras in New Orleans this King Cake recipe is a must. Make sure you don't get the baby.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Rising Time2 hours
Total Time3 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 415kcal

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Pastry brush

Ingredients

  • For the dough:
  • 1 c milk warm
  • 1 packet yeast instant rise
  • ¼ c butter melted
  • ¼ c granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs large
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 c all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • For the filling:
  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp butter softened, unsalted
  • ½ c pecans chopped
  • For the icing:
  • 1.5 c powdered sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Remove egg from fridge and place into a bowl of warm water for 5 mins to bring it up to room temperature.
  • Add warm milk, yeast and sugar to a bowl and stir with a fork or whisk. Let sit for 5-10 mins. *If the yeast does not begin to bubble or grow in size, throw it out and start over*
  • After 10 mins, pour yeast mixture, eggs, melted butter into bottom of stand mixer or whisk by hand. Mix until combined, then add flour, sugar, salt, and flour. Mix until well incorporated.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead* for 5-7 mins. After dough ball is nice and smooth, place 2 tbsp olive oil in the bottom of a large bowl and place dough on top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (preferably near the oven) for 60 mins.
  • After 60 mins, punch dough down to release the air. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead once again for 1-2 mins. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 20 inch long.
  • *Brush on softened butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Cover the entire dough. Sprinkle on pecans (this is optional)
  • Tightly roll the dough long ways. If you need to use a bench scraper because your dough is sticking, use one. Roll the dough similarly to a jelly roll.
  • Transfer to a parchment lined baking dish. Bring the two ends together in a circle or oval shape and seal with water or milk. Cover and let rise for an additional 60 mins. Brush with milk before baking.
  • Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 mins or until golden brown.
  • Let the cake cool for 15-20 mins.
  • To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk or water and vanilla in a bowl. Stir until smooth. Icing should be thick but pourable.
  • Traditionally a plastic baby is added to the cake at this point. Cut a small slit into the inside or outer side of the dough and slide in the plastic baby.
  • Drizzle or pour glaze over the King cake. Sprinkle with green, yellow and purple sanding sugar.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

To knead, use the taco method. Fold over and press together. Fold over and press together.
Butter can be brushed on melted or softened. The butter can also be mixed with the brown sugar and cinnamon as a paste and added to the dough as well.
The plastic baby is optional, but in New Orleans, the host of the party adds the baby to the cake so that as it is served, whomever gets the slice with the baby will be the following year’s host.
*I recommend researching the history of the King Cake and why it’s celebration is important.

 

 

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Belle Omniley
Belle Omniley

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