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Mardi Gras King Cake

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This easy Mardi Gras King Cake is a perfect dessert for the Mardi Gras season. If you are looking for a fun way to celebrate the season, let me tell you that this spring dessert is a fun way to go.

This easy King cake recipe is so delicious and in my opinion, should be made year-round LOL! This Mardi Gras cake can be a dessert, coffee cake or afternoon snack. It is decorated in the traditional colors of Mardi Gras. 

Mardi Gras King Cake


As we move through the month, it will soon be Mardi Gras as we count down to Easter. A few years back a friend of ours had a Mardi Gras party and it was such a fun way to enjoy the flavors of New Orleans and the traditions that surround the excitement of the holiday.

Today’s Mardi Gras cake recipe is an easy one when you are looking for a fun and festive dessert. I love simple recipes like this one, because I can use ingredients I already have on hand and the amount of clean up is minimal.

Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras season is all about fun and celebrating before lent and while you may or may not follow the Lenton traditions, this is a fun way to enjoy the day!

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

Mardi Gras Recipes

For more great recipe ideas:

King Cake Recipe ingredients

Mardi Gras King Cake Main Ingredients:

Flour – All-purpose flour works well for this recipe. You do not need to use bread flour. 

Pecans– I love the taste of pecans and use them in this recipe, but walnuts may be substituted for pecans. 

Sprinkles – You will want to use the traditional colors purple, green, and gold–which represent justice, faith, and power. You can purchase these or make them yourself. They also have some fun Mardi Gras Sprinkles available. 

The Baby – Tradition states that a small plastic baby or other trinket is hidden in the cake, and whoever finds the baby is granted prosperity and good luck. The person that finds it is also supposed to host the next Mardi Gras party. If you are going to include this, use a big baby that cannot be eaten by mistake. 

How to Make a Mardi Gras King Cake

The full recipe is below, but the basic steps are:

  1. Combine yeast and water.
  2. Add butter and eggs.
  3. Add flour.
  4. Mix dough
  5. Roll into a ball, and cover.
  6. Allow dough to rise.
  7. Roll out dough and prepare spread.
  8. Top with filling.

How to make a Mardi Gras King Cake

How to make a Mardi Gras King Cake

Then, roll dough from one end to another.

King Cake Recipe Roll dough

Then attach at ends into a circle, like a large donut. Then bake. 

King Cake Recipe Roll dough

And once the cake is baked, you add the icing and sprinkles and voilá! Don’t forget to bookmark this recipe.

Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Mardi Gras King Cake

This easy Mardi Gras King Cake is a perfect dessert for the Mardi Gras season. If you are looking for a fun way to celebrate the season, let me tell you that this spring dessert is a fun way to go.
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 14



  • 1 packet .25 ounce active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water 110-115 degrees F
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3 ½-4 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk warm 110-115 degrees F
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened


  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup pecans chopped
  • ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, melted


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon clear vanilla


  • mini plastic baby
  • Colored sugar - purple yellow and green


  • Heat ¼ cup water to 100-110 degrees F
  • Add yeast and sugar to a medium sized bowl.
  • Stir gently just to coat yeast Let set to proof for 5-10 minutes or until bubbly
  • Add ¼ cup sugar, butter, milk, eggs, salt and 2 cups flour and beat until smooth.
  • Gradually add more flour until dough forms soft ball, it will be sticky
  • Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic
  • Form into ball and place in greased bowl, turn dough over to coat other side
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 45-60 minutes until dough is doubled in size.
  • Punch dough down and turn onto lightly floured surface.
  • Roll into rectangle 10x20 inches.
  • Now prepare the filling. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans
  • Melt butter and add to filling mixture and stir until well combined.
  • Sprinkle evenly over the dough leaving ½ inch around the edges.
  • Prepare a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper
  • Roll dough beginning on the long side, jelly-roll style, pinch seam to seal
  • Place on a baking sheet and form a circle, pinching the edges together tightly.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 45-60 minutes or until almost double in size. About 20 minutes before rise is done, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bake 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack. Top with glaze after cake has cooled.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together all glaze ingredients until smooth and desired consistency Spoon glaze onto cooled cake and add colored sugar for decoration
  • Don’t forget to add the baby inside.


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Mardi Gras King Cake

Recipe Rating

Rainbow Donuts - Organized Island

Wednesday 30th of June 2021

[…] Mardi Gras King Cake – This festive cinnamon cake is always a fun treat. […]

Donna @ Modern on Monticello

Wednesday 24th of February 2021

I was first introduced to King Cake by a former coworker and loved it. So glad you shared an easy recipe that I can easily make at any time. I agree, King Cakes are good for any time of the year. Thanks so much for sharing with us this week at #HomeMattersParty. Pinned!

Busy Monday 457 | | A Pinch of Joy

Sunday 21st of February 2021

[…] It’s My Sustainable Life – Top Beginner Gardening Mistakes  Organized Island – Mardi Gras King Cake  Photo Jeepers – Spring Packing List for National Parks  Must Have Mom – […]

Liz Berg

Saturday 13th of February 2021

This is like cinnamon rolls on steroids!! My mom used to make a king cake for Epiphany, but now that I have your recipe, I'm making it for Mardi Gras instead!


Saturday 13th of February 2021

Thanks Liz! It's s great way to celebrate!


Thursday 11th of February 2021

I'm so in. We're going crazy for every holiday and even those pretend ones (like National Pizza Day) because it doesn't get warm here until around June and we really need to cheer ourselves up.