Prep Time
30 Mins
Cook Time
10 Mins
Stand Time
5 Mins
Rise Time
1 Hour 30 Mins
Bake Time
16 Mins
Makes 2 cakes (about 18 servings each)

This traditional Mardi Gras dessert makes two king cakes each topped with a creamy glaze and festive gold, purple, and yellow sugar sprinkles.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Set aside, and cool mixture to 100° to 110°.

Step 2

Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

Step 3

Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4 to 4 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms.

Step 4

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.

Step 5

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.

Step 6

Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup softened butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter on each rectangle.

Step 7

Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.

Step 8

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Step 9

Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes). Drizzle Creamy Glaze evenly over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely.

Step 10

Cream Cheese-Filled King Cake: Prepare each 22- x 12-inch dough rectangle as directed. Omit 1/3 cup softened butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Increase 1/2 cup sugar to 3/4 cup sugar. Beat 3/4 cup sugar; 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened; 1 large egg; and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on each dough rectangle, leaving 1-inch borders. Proceed with recipe as directed.

Step 11

*6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour may be substituted.

Chef's Notes

This recipe uses bread flour, which makes for a light, airy cake. You still get tasty results with all-purpose flour--the cake will just be more dense.

Ratings & Reviews

LMPShreveport's Review

March 01, 2014
I have made this recipe twice and really love the cake and the filling. I did substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream because I did not have enough sour cream and an abundance of the yogurt! Both times I have had trouble with the sugar weeping or melting overnight, which makes a very messy eating situation. I am making my sanding sugar with Wilton gel colors. I let the cakes cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap. I hope someone can tell my why my sugar is weeping and what I can do to stop that.

BonnieFogger's Review

February 22, 2012
I made this for the first time last year and this year I made it twice. Each time the reviews were excellent. I made them without a heavy duty mixer so it was a lot of trouble (but worth it!). However, I think next year I will tell my husband "no new mixer, no King Cake." LOL

Rajiv Kumar

September 18, 2017
Yesterday there was a party in my family, we made this cake. It was very awesome!!!! Everobody praised of this cake. Same Cake is also given on :

MelindaOliver's Review

February 19, 2009
I made this recipe yesterday alongside my traditional king cake recipe and I have to admit, this one is lighter and easier to work with. The frosting is also very good. The dough rises quick too. This is a great recipe.

Rouxqueen's Review

April 01, 2012
I've been making this recipe for years for our Mardi Gras party and people always rave about it!

HennyPenny's Review

March 03, 2011
I made this two years ago and it was wonderful. Didn't change a thing. Ate myself stupid with it! :)

glorybees7's Review

February 16, 2010
Fabulous!! I made 5 of these cakes for church and work and everyone loved them!! I will make these every year, whether or not I get the nut. I used regular flour and diluted canned white icing. The result was a very moist, cinnamon bun like cake.

the1dukegirl's Review

February 04, 2013

rachelevemeyer's Review

March 04, 2014

ebf9qq's Review

February 08, 2015
I followed the recipe to the letter but the taste was king of dough-y. Maybe it needs to bake longer at a lower temperature?