My Favorite KING CAKE recipe

Joanna Gotwald


I started makeing KING CAKE about 10 years ago and every year my husbands office requests one. It is a very easy recipe and will gather many compliments. The use of nutmeg in the dough gives it the traditional flavor and the filling of raisins, brown sugar and pecans melts into the dough. You press a plastic baby into the bottom of the cake after it is baked. The person who gets the baby will have good luck and has the honor of hosting the next years Mardi Gras and providing the King cake. You can find the plastic baby at most cake supply stores.


★★★★★ 1 vote

5 Hr 30 Min
30 Min


Add to Grocery List


1 c
1/4 c
1/2 oz
active dry yeast (2 - .25 oz pkgs)
2/3 c
water, warm (110 degrees)
1/2 c
white sugar
2 c
1 1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp
5 1/2 c
all purpose flour


1 c
brown sugar, firmly packed
1 Tbsp
cinnamon, ground
2/3 c
pecans, chopped
1/2 c
all purpose flour
1/2 c
raisins, light or dark or a mix of both
1/2 c
butter, melted


1 c
confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
1 Tbsp


1 pkg
green colored decorating sugar
1 pkg
gold/yellow colored decorating sugar
1 pkg
purple colored decorating sugar
small plastic baby (available at cake supply stores)

How to Make My Favorite KING CAKE recipe


  • 1Scald milk, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of butter, allow mixture to cool to room temp. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar, Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  • 2when yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • 3Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap (I prefer plastic wrap) and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide the dough in half.
  • 4Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 2 cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.
  • 5TO MAKE THE FILLING: Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
  • 6Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approx. 10x16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the two halves of dough leaving about 1/2 inch boarder all around. Roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll starting at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form two oval shaped rings.
  • 7Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With a clean pair of scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings and 1 inch intervals. Let the rings rest and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  • 8Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Allow to cool a bit and FROST the cake while still warm with the confectioners' sugar blended with 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. Sprinkle the colored sugars on the cake in sections of Green, Gold and purple around the rings.

Printable Recipe Card

About My Favorite KING CAKE recipe

Show 9 Comments & Reviews

14 Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipes

14 Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipes

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Mmm, there’s just something magical about a tasty chocolate cupcake that just makes our mouths water. We searched high and low on Pinterest for some seriously awesome chocolate cupcake recipes...

Flavorful Blueberry Recipes To Brighten Your Day

Flavorful Blueberry Recipes to Brighten Your Day

Kitchen Crew

The markets are bursting with blueberries these days! That makes me very happy because not only are they yummy, they're super healthy. Packed with antioxidants, research shows blueberries can help...

17 Easy Bundt Pan Recipes

17 Easy Bundt Pan Recipes

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

From breakfast to dinner to dessert, there’s a delicious bundt pan recipe for you! We promise, there’s nothing bundt yummy recipes for you below. Great Grandma's Best Banana Bread “One...