King Cake Traditional New Orleans Recipe

Recipe by Steven L.
READY IN: 3hrs 35mins
SERVES: 10-12




  • Pour the warm water into a small shallow bowl, and sprinkle yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar into it.
  • Allow the yeast and sugar to rest for three minutes then mix thoroughly.
  • Set bowl in a warm place, for ten minutes or until yeast bubbles up and mixture almost doubles up in volume.
  • Combine 3 1/2 cups of flour, remaining sugar, nutmeg and salt, and sift into a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir in lemon zest.
  • Separate center of mixture to form a hole and pour in yeast mixture and milk.
  • Add egg yolks and using a wooden spoon slowly combine dry ingredients into the yeast/milk mixture.
  • When mixture is smooth, beat in 8 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time and continue to beat 2 minutes or until dough can be formed into a medium soft ball.
  • Place ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and knead like bread.
  • During this kneading, add up to 1 cup more of flour (1 tablespoon at a time) sprinkled over the dough.
  • When dough is no longer sticky, knead 10 minutes more until shiny and elastic.
  • Using a pastry brush, coat the inside of a large bowl evenly with one tablespoon softened butter.
  • Place dough ball in the bowl and rotate until the entire surface is buttered.
  • Cover bowl with a moderately thick kitchen towel and place in a draft free spot for about 1-½ hours, or until the dough doubles in volume.
  • Using a pastry brush, coat a large baking sheet with one tablespoon of butter and set aside.
  • Remove dough from bowl and place on lightly floured surface.
  • Using you fist, punch dough down with a heavy blow.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon over the top, pat and shake dough into a cylinder.
  • Twist dough to form a curled cylinder and loop cylinder onto the buttered baking sheet.
  • Pinch the ends together to complete the circle.
  • Cover dough with towel and set it in draft free spot for 45 minutes until the circle of dough doubles in volume.
  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Brush top and sides of cake with egg wash and bake on middle rack of oven for 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown.
  • Place cake on wire rack to cool.
  • If desired, at this time, you can"hide" the plastic baby in the cake.
  • Colored sugars------------------.
  • Squeeze a dot of green paste in palm of hand.
  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over the paste and rub together quickly.
  • Place this mixture on wax paper and wash hands to remove color.
  • Repeat process for other two colors.
  • Place aside.
  • Icing------------------.
  • Combine sugar, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons water until smooth.
  • If icing is too stiff, add more water until spreadable.
  • Spread icing over top of cake.
  • Immediately sprinkle the colored sugars in individual rows consisting of about two rows of green, purple and yellow.
  • Cake is served in 2"- 3" pieces.