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King Cake Recipe

User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


King Cake
Erik Rank/Photolibrary/Getty Images
A basic King cake, made with several colors and a sugar topping.


  • Brioche Dough:
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water, 110 to 115 degrees
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 dried bean, a coin, or tiny china baby doll
  • .
  • Vanilla Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • colored sugars, purple, yellow, and green
  • candied cherries and other fruits for garnish, as desired


Soften yeast in water. Combine flour, sugar, nutmeg and salt in mixing bowl. Stir in lemon peel. Make a well in center and pour into it the yeast mixture and milk. Add eggs and egg yolks, and with a large wooden spoon gradually incorporate dry ingredients into liquid ones. Beat in butter and continute beating until dough forms ball. (Mixing of the dough can be done in a food processor.) Place ball on floured board and incorporate more flour if necessary, by sprinkling it over ball by the tablespoon. Knead until smooth and elastic. Brush inside of large bowl with 1 tablespoon softened butter. Set dough in bowl and turn it so as to butter entire surface. Cover bowl and set aside for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Brush a large baking sheet with remaining butter. Punch dough down on lightly floured surface. Knead, then pat and shape dough into a long roll about 14 inches long. Place on baking sheet and form into a circle. Brush with the egg and milk mixture. Press bean or doll into dough so that it is hidden. Set aside again to rise.

Bake King's Cake in middle of oven at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown wherever the cake shows through. Parts of the cake with sugar covering should look crusty. Slide cake onto wire rack to cool.

Vanilla Glaze: In a small mixing bowl combine 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar with 2 teaspoons milk and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Stir glaze until smooth; drizzle over cake. Sprinkle cake generously with the colored sugars then embed the candied fruit "jewels" in the King's "crown."


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User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
Family Tradition, Member slbrenton

My family has used this recipe for a few years now (although we tend to make extra icing). We all love it and enjoy sharing it with friends. My kids have fun trying to find the baby in the cake!

15 out of 19 people found this helpful.

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