Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe
Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

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This frosted yeast bread is the highlight of our annual Mardi Gras party. If you want to hide a token inside, do so by cutting a small slit in the bottom of the baked cake…and remember to warn your guests! —Lisa Mouton, Orlando, Florida
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cans (12-1/2 ounces each) almond cake and pastry filling
  • GLAZE:
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons water
  • Purple, green and gold colored sugar

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 227 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 123mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, shortening, sugar, salt, egg and 2 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll one portion into a 16-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Spread almond filling to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet; pinch ends together to form a ring. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. For glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough water to achieve desired consistency. Spread over cooled cakes. Sprinkle with colored sugars. Yield: 2 cakes (12 servings each).
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested with Solo brand cake and pastry filling. Look for it in the baking aisle.
Originally published as Mardi Gras King Cake in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2007, p191

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Reviewed Feb. 13, 2015

"This King Cake is NOT Slovenian POVETICA or Croation PROSTA POTICA !In the region I grew up in, our Slovenian and Croat great-aunts and many local women made POVETICA. It is rolled out on a sheet or cloth until it is almost paper-thin and stretched to the size of the table. Then it's filled and carefully rolled up like a jellyroll. It is quite large and MUCH more time consuming than this King Cake. Although both bear strudel-like layers, they are nothing alike."

Reviewed Mar. 3, 2014

"Made this a few times and it's been devoured each time. It works with different fillings as well- apple and cherry seem to be the favorites"

Reviewed Mar. 2, 2014

"The best King Cake by far. The only change I would make is use 1 can of the almond cake filling. It is just too much with 2 cans. I would make it again!"

Reviewed Mar. 8, 2012

"This was wonderful. We normally get our king cakes from Gambino's bakery in New Orleans but this year I made them. I modified the recipe a bit by only using one can of almond paste split between the two cakes. I also added cream cheese spread over the almond paste. Excellent!"

Reviewed Feb. 22, 2012

"My granddaughter and I had fun making one very similar to this. I'll let you know how this one turns out."

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