King Cake Recipe -
King Cake Recipe
  • READY IN hrs

King Cake

Recipe by  

"This a sweet bread that is made during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It has a cream cheese filling and a simple glaze. A tiny plastic baby baked into the bread and will bring good luck to whoever finds it."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 ring shaped loaf Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    30 mins

    2 hrs 45 mins


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and white sugar in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir the egg yolks and melted butter into the milk mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg and lemon zest. Beat the flour mixture into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Mix well. In another small bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 6x30 inch rectangle. Spread the cream cheese filling across the center of the dough. Bring the two long edges together and seal completely. Using your hands shape the dough into a long cylinder and place on a greased baking sheet, seam-side down. Shape the dough into a ring press the baby into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Place a well-greased 2 pound metal coffee can the center of the ring to maintain the shape during baking. Cover the ring with a towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  5. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the coffee can and allow the bread to cool. Drizzle cooled cake with lemon/sugar glaze and decorate with candy sprinkles.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Mar 21, 2006

Thanks Arvilla for a delicious recipe, I simplified the process by using frozen bread dough, thaw per directions, knead, roll out flat to a 6 x 10" rectangle, let rise, prepare filling, I also used canned lemon pie filling, spread it along side cream cheese then wrapped dough over filling forming a ring, topped with lemon glaze and sprinkles, the best and easy too!!!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Mar 03, 2010

Would be better if the recipe included braiding instructions. More authentic & worth the effort. The "frosting" came out so thin it was literally watery. Ran right off of the COMPLETELY cooled cake and pooled in the middle. Not pretty & left virtually nothing for any sprinkles to stick to. Taste of the cake was good, but will look for another frosting recipe.

Sep 23, 2003

This is a wonderful King's Cake. I thought the glaze was a little to lemony, but, when on top of the wonderful King's Cake with the filling, it is perfect! I did have a little trouble getting the dough to remain closed after putting in the filling. I think next time I will roll the dough out a little larger so I have more to work with on the closing. The filling is wonderfully creamy and sweet, very easy to make. This cake was easy and pretty fast. It is very kid friendly, both in the making and eatting! Give it a try you'll like it!!

Apr 14, 2003

Very good. I would reduce the amount of liquids in the icing. It was very thin, most of it ran off the cake. When I made it again I used the juice from a lemon and powder sugar, it was perfect. I also doubled the cream cheese filling and it came of delish!!!

Apr 14, 2003

i have been looking for the cream cheese filling used in nola king cakes this is it thanks

May 22, 2008

According to my tasters, this is the best King Cake outside of New Orleans! Excellent recipe, nice and rich with all the egg yolks. Perfect amount of filling, according to the experts. Thanks for a winner!

Apr 10, 2003

I have never had king cake before, so I don't know what to compare this to.The dough is very easy to work with and had a nice flavor. I doubled my filling. I added 1/2 cup more of confectioners sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. I thought filling needed these additions. Was rather blande without these things. I just used the lemon juice with my glaze ing. and not the milk. I didn't have a coffee can,so I used my small stainless mixing bowl in center circle. It worked out good. My cake ring did crack in about 4 places(maybe too much filling.) I don't think I would double that next time. I thought the lemon juice was too strong in the glaze. Next time I will use a cheese mixture I use in my other kuchens and cut way back on the lemon juice in the glaze, or use my regular glaze or canned frosting. We did like this. I hope to try the real thing next month. Thanks so much for sharing Arvilla!

Jan 21, 2011

This was delicious and easy enough to make. My husband doesn't like cakes that are too sweet and so he loved this, as well did our children. It was yummy as is or you could definitely double the filling or add a fruity filling for something a little different


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  • Calories
  • 462 kcal
  • 23%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 69.5 g
  • 22%
  • Cholesterol
  • 128 mg
  • 43%
  • Fat
  • 17.3 g
  • 27%
  • Fiber
  • 1.5 g
  • 6%
  • Protein
  • 8.1 g
  • 16%
  • Sodium
  • 512 mg
  • 20%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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