Traditional King Cake

King Cake is a soft and delicious Mardi Gras tradition that takes minimal ingredients and time to put together. We’ve included 3 different shape options as well as instructions for adding in a plastic baby.
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• 1 cup warm milk, 105-110 degrees F
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
• 3-4 cups all purpose flour
• 1 cup salted butter, melted
• 5 large egg yolks
• 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg


• 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
• ⅓ cup granulated sugar
• 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon


• 2 cups powdered sugar
• 3-4 tablespoons milk
• gold, green, and purple sprinkles, for decorating


1️⃣ Pour warm milk into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk in your sugar and yeast and let proof 10 minutes. Whisk in your butter, egg yolks, vanilla and lemon zest, cinnamon and nutmeg. Use a dough hook or wooden spoon to mix in flour and knead until it forms a dough ball. The dough should be greasy and solid, but not sticky, and should naturally pull away from the sides of the bowl.

2️⃣ Transfer to a large un-greased mixing bowl. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.

3️⃣ Once dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 10″x20″ rectangle. Cut the dough lengthwise into 3 roughly equal long strips.

4️⃣ For your filling, mix together your sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Spread your butter over each of the dough strips and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

5️⃣ Roll each strip up lengthwise and seal the edges to create three long ropes. Don’t forget to place a plastic baby somewhere in one of the ropes (if using). Braid your strips together and bring ends together to create a circle or oval. Place on large parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise again for about 30 minutes.

6️⃣ Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

7️⃣ Once dough has risen, bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is slightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

8️⃣ To make the icing, add powdered sugar to a mixing bowl. Whisk in milk until icing can be easily drizzled on the cake. Pour the icing over the cooled cake and immediately add your sprinkles over the top in any colorful design you’d like.

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