King Cake Recipe

King Cake Recipes

  • PREP 30 mins
  • COOK 30 mins
  • READY IN 2 hrs 45 mins 


Original recipe makes 1 ring shaped loaf

  •  2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  •  1/2 cup white sugar
  •  1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  •  1/2 cup butter, melted
  •  5 egg yolks
  •  4 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2 teaspoons salt
  •  1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  •  1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  •  1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  •  2 cups confectioners' sugar
  •  1/4 cup lemon juice
  •  2 tablespoons milk
  •  1 tablespoon multicolored candy sprinkles


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and white sugar in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir the egg yolks and melted butter into the milk mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg and lemon zest. Beat the flour mixture into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Mix well. In another small bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 6x30 inch rectangle. Spread the cream cheese filling across the center of the dough. Bring the two long edges together and seal completely. Using your hands shape the dough into a long cylinder and place on a greased baking sheet, seam-side down. Shape the dough into a ring press the baby into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Place a well-greased 2 pound metal coffee can the center of the ring to maintain the shape during baking. Cover the ring with a towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  5. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the coffee can and allow the bread to cool. Drizzle cooled cake with lemon/sugar glaze and decorate with candy sprinkles
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