Mardi Gras King Cake

Make your own King Cake for Mardi Gras. Flaky and delicious with a cream cheese icing and Mardi Gras sugar crystal colors. Don't forget to hide the baby.
Cuisine: American, French
Course: Desserts, Party Perfect, Seasonal
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Prep Time 30 minutes
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Total Time 3 hours
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Servings 12



  • 1 1/4 cups pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 4 Tbsp Prairie Farms unsalted butter, at room temperature


  • 3/4 cup Prairie Farms whole milk plus 1 Tbsp
  • 1 package dry active yeast, .25oz
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup Prairie Farms unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 4 Tbsp Prairie Farms unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • sugar crystals, purple, green, gold



  • In a small bowl, stir together pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.


  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat milk until warm to the touch, about 30 seconds. Whisk in dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, salt and 1/4 cup sugar. Set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, blend yolks, butter, lemon zest, almond and vanilla extract. Stir in yeast mixture. Gradually mix in dry ingredients.
  • Change to a dough hook, and mix on low speed until smooth, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, then cover with a damp towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Place dough onto a floured surface. Roll into a 10" x 15" rectangle. Using a spatula, spread butter, then sprinkle filling mixture on top. Starting with the longer side, roll dough into a log. Spray sides of a small souffle cup with cooking spray and place in the center of a greased cookie sheet. Create "circle" by wrapping dough log around cup. Use a little water to seal ends tightly.
  • Cover dough with a damp towel. Let rise again for 1 hour.
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, whisk egg, and 1 Tbsp of milk. Brush over dough surface.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, remove souffle cup, and then continue baking for another 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Beat together cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar slowly until creamy, adding vanilla last. Before icing, using a knife, cut a small slit into cake, and "hide" the Mardi Gras baby. Replace any cake cut out.
  • Spread icing on top, then add colored sprinkles, in sections, purple, gold and green to decorate.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Hidden Baby Toy is not edible!
Be careful! Do not serve cake piece with hidden "baby" to children under 3 years of age and be sure to account for party favor after serving.

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