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King Cake Season

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King Cake Season… Let The Party Begin!  

decorated king cake King Cake season has officially started! The beginning of Carnival season can only mean one thing…KING CAKE parties!

Every office, no matter how small, will start the time honored tradition of the office King Cake party. Someone brings the first King Cake, everyone enjoys a slice (or two) and whomever gets the little baby, brings the next King Cake. Oh, yeah, it’s that time of year again.

Mardi Gras Mask decoration

Everyone and their brother will be selling King Cakes. Every bakery, every grocery store, every donut shop and big box store will have their version of the sweet delectable cake. In some eyes, if it’s dripping with white icing and covered in purple, green and gold sugars, it’s considered a King Cake and most people will eat a slice of King Cake, even if it’s purchased from a 7-11.  Not me – I’m very particular when it comes to my King Cake, I like the old traditional brioche King Cake and not many people make them.

Mardi Gras mask decorations

Yes, there are still some bakeries that shy away from the more readily found sweet roll version, but more often than not the current King Cake is way too sweet for my taste. I’m a purist, give me my brioche King Cake or don’t give me anything.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The recipe I am sharing is a brioche dough and really not difficult to make at all. Just remember to give the dough at least an hour in the fridge or it will be a nightmare to roll out.

Mardi Gras hat decoration

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Chefs Sidebar:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         As you can see in one of the photos, my King Cake had a blow-out! How does a King Cake have a blow-out? By stuffing them with too much goodness! I didn’t follow my own instructions, filled it with way too much “pecan pie” filling and there you have it – blow out! It was still delicious and even though it looked a little deformed, it still looked kind of cute. Oh a mothers love! So, I’m going to give you the recipe minus the “pecan pie” filling. There is lots of time to share other filled King Cake recipes.

Have a fab-u-licious day


Laisser les bons temps rouler!




New Orleans King Cake

New Orleans King Cake



3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) Rapid Rise yeast or bread yeast

1 cup milk (120º to 130º)

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 stick of butter, room temperature

Cinnamon Filling:

1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened


1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar, divided

3 teaspoons milk, divided

3/4 teaspoon vanilla, divided


Purple, green and yellow gel food colorings or dark green, purple, and yellow or gold sugars

miniature plastic baby


  • Mix 3 cups flour and yeast in mixing bowl, using the paddle attachment, on low for about 30 seconds.
  • Heat milk, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and milk is between 120º to 130º. Don’t get it too hot or your yeast will die!
  • Using the paddle attachment and with mixer on low, pour in liquids and mix until incorporated. Add eggs one at a time. Continue mixing until a shaggy dough forms.
  • Clean off paddle and switch to dough hook.
  • Mix in the remaining ½ cup flour a little at a time, adding more as needed to make a soft dough.
  • Add the softened butter, a piece at a time, kneading until each piece of butter is absorbed.
  • Knead for eight minutes on low. The dough should completely clear the sides of the bowl. If it is too sticky, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing in thoroughly before determining if more flour is needed.
  • Every couple of minutes, stop the machine, scrape the dough off the hook, and then continue kneading.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times by hand to be sure it’s smooth and elastic.
  • Form the dough into a ball. Place dough into a greased bowl, turning once so greased surface is on top.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • While the dough is chilling make the cinnamon filling and icing and set aside.
    When dough is chilled:
  • Roll the chilled dough into a 10 x 20 inch rectangle.
  • Spread the filling over the dough leaving an inch border all the way.
  • Fold left side to center then right side to center (think folding a letter).
  • Once it is folded, elongate it using your hands to form a tube and then form a ring, tucking one end under the other.
  • Using a couple of spatulas (if you have one that is used for moving large pieces of fish, that works perfect) transfer the ring to a parchment lined or greased baking sheet.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350º.
  • Bake the cake until it is golden brown, 20 – 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes on baking sheet and then place it on a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
  • Now for the fun stuff! When your King Cake is completely cool start decorating! Using the colored icings you made, spoon, fork or spread the icing over your cake. There is no right way or wrong way – be creative!
  • If you choose to do just white icing, spread it over the entire surface of the top of your King Cake and then decorate with the purple, green and gold (yellow) sugars. In this case you would want to work in sections in alternating colors.
  • Blow-out and all, I think she came out pretty awesome!
    Make the cinnamon filling:
    Combine the brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Combine butter with cinnamon mixture and mix well.
    And The Icing:
    Divide the powdered sugar into three small bowls. Add milk and vanilla and one small drop of gel (add additional milk if mixture is too thick or powdered sugar if too thin) into each bowl and stir until smooth . Spoon icing over top of the cake. Alternate method: make one batch of icing and spoon over King Cake. Immediately sprinkle on colored sugar, alternating between the three colors
  • Hide baby or dried under your King Cake before slicing.
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5 Responses to King Cake Season

  1. Mary January 15, 2014 at 11:05 am #


    • tina January 15, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

      Good to meet a NOLA gal! I had a couple of dear friends over for the first King Cake decorating party of 2014! I think they did an awesome job also.

  2. Miz Helen February 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    What a beautiful post and presentation for your very special King Cake. I love a King Cake with all of its history and traditions. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
    Miz Helen

  3. Miz Helen February 6, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you are having a great week and enjoy your new Red Plate.
    Miz Helen

    • tina February 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

      Thank you Miz Helen! I am honored to be featured on Full Plate Thursday… Have a fab-u-licious day!!!!

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