King Cake Recipe

Louisiana King Cake Recipe

Yesterday officially began the Mardi Gras season!!  To celebrate, I’m sharing my favorite King Cake recipe.  I think I adapted it from All Recipes or something but the results are delicious and taste exactly like a bakery-made King Cake us Louisiana kids grew up having every Friday during Mardi Gras season!  My king cake is pictured below.  I make 2 small rings (one to keep at home, one to take to work!) but if you have room to roll out the dough you could make one big ring!  Oh, and don’t be afraid of using dry active yeast, it’s actually really easy.  Enjoy!

Note: I just added Weight Watchers Points Plus values at the bottom!  I assume you are using 2% milk and real, unsalted butter.  P.S. be sure to read all the instructions before you start so you know what you can be working on while you are waiting on ingredients to be ready!

king cake



  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans (crushed finely)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Purple, Green and Yellow sanding sugar (or any sprinkles you like!)


  1. Heat milk in a sauce pan until just before boiling, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Stir in lemon zest.  Beat the flour 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 elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. 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. When risen, punch down dough and divide in half.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  5. To Make Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, crushed pecans, and 1/2 cup flour. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
  6. Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10×16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts into the top of the dough ring 1/3 of the way through at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size again, about 45 minutes.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Let cool until just slightly warm.  Frost while slightly warm with the confectioners’ sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.  Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles!

Recipe makes 2 cakes (the picture above is about half of one cake).  Assuming you cut each cake into 10 slices (20 slices total), each slice is 8 Points Plus.


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