< img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://ct.pinterest.com/v3/?event=init&tid=2612796620445&pd[em]=&noscript=1" /> King Cake – JoyOuce

King Cake

king cakePicture from Family Fresh Meals Publisher

This classic king cake recipe features a pillowy brioche dough filled with creamy cream cheese, baked to golden perfection, and adorned with festive purple, green, and gold sugars, hiding a surprise "king" for a delightful Mardi Gras celebration.

Prep Time Cook Time Servings
15 mins 45 mins 8-10



  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil


    • 1 cup packed cream cheese, softened
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


      • 1 cup powdered sugar
      • 2 tbsp milk
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • Purple, green, and gold sanding sugars


        • Small plastic baby figurine


        step 1: Make the dough

        In a large bowl, whisk together flour, yeast, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

        step 2: Warm the milk

        In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter over low heat until butter melts and milk reaches 105-110°F (40-43°C) using your thermometer.

        step 3: Combine wet and dry ingredients

        Add the warm milk mixture, beaten egg, honey, and oil to the dry ingredients. Mix with a dough hook or stand mixer on low speed until a shaggy dough forms. Increase speed to medium and knead for 5-7 mins until smooth and elastic.

        step 4: First rise

        Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

        step 5: Prepare the filling

        While the dough rises, cream together the softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl until smooth.

        step 6: Shape the cake

        Punch down the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.

        step 7: Roll and shape

        Starting from a long edge, roll up the dough tightly, jelly-roll style, enclosing the filling. Pinch the seam to seal. Form the dough into a ring, pinching the ends together to form a circle. Place the ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

        step 8: Second rise

        Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 45 mins, or until almost doubled in size.

        step 9: Preheat the oven

        Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

        step 10: Optional egg wash

        For a golden brown crust, brush the dough with a beaten egg.

        step 11: Bake

        Bake the cake for 25-30 mins, or until golden brown. Check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the cake. It should reach 190°F-195°F (88°C-91°C).

        step 12: Cool slightly

        Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 mins before glazing.

        step 13: Make the glaze

        While the cake cools, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth.

        step 14: Glaze and decorate

        Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake. Immediately sprinkle with purple, green, and gold sanding sugars.

        step 15: Hide the baby

        Before serving, hide the plastic baby figurine inside the cake. Whoever finds the baby in their slice is traditionally crowned the "King" or "Queen" of the celebration!

        1. Ensure your milk is warm enough to activate the yeast, but not too hot to kill it.
        2. If the dough feels sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it becomes manageable.
        3. Don't over-rise the dough, as it can become difficult to shape.
        4. Let the cake cool slightly before glazing, so the glaze doesn't melt and run off.
        5. You can substitute the cream cheese filling with other options like cinnamon sugar, chocolate ganache, or almond paste.

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