Traditional King Cake

The traditional Mardi Gras treat! (Delicious any time)
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Servings 18
Author Bayou Woman


  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp . salt
  • 2 oz envelopes/packets rapid-rise yeast 1/4 .
  • 3/4 butter divided
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp . ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp . milk
  • Colored sugars green, purple, yellow


  1. Combine 1/1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and yeast in large bowl.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add 3/4 milk and 1/2 cup water, and heat until hot (120 to 130 degrees). Add milk mixture to flour mixture and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes. Add eggs, beating well. Mix in remaining 3 1/4 cups flour. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). (Or if you use a stand mixer, use a dough hook and knead until dough pulls completely away from sides and bottom of bowl.)
  3. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  4. Stir together remaining 3/4 cup sugar and cinnamon
  5. Preheat oven to 375. Punch dough down and let dough rise 6 minutes. Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 28 x 4-inch rectangle. Melt remaining 3/4 cup butter and brush down the center of each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch margin around the edges. Sprinkle the butter with 3/4 sugar mixture.
  6. Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting on the long side, pinch edges together at top to seal. Pinch 3 ropes together at one end to seal and then braid. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85), free from drafts, for 15 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  7. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Combine powdered sugar and 3 Tbsp. milk in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over cake and sprinkle with colored sugars.