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Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

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 YIELD: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


  • 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.

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for Mardi Gras King Cake

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peanutsnona76 User ID: 8027573 220390
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."

mbsheeron User ID: 2605841 168140
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"

Gailsings User ID: 4316278 152293
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!"

DaphneRhyneCousineau User ID: 1745138 106026
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!"

ANNMYHRE User ID: 5856929 154307
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."

sabrinann User ID: 1449683 68634
Reviewed Mar. 3, 2011

"This is also called Potica.....Slavic bread that is sweet enough to be called a cake. My aunt was always making this treat for us."

trishhicks User ID: 1918821 166527
Reviewed Feb. 26, 2011

"This recipe, though not anything like a "cake" (more like a pastry) was very good! I made one cake for a Mardi Gras themed birthday party and the other I took took work where it promptly disappeared! I was a little time consuming, but well worth it.

I would suggest letting the icing cool a bit to thicken up some before pouring (or just make it thicker). Otherwise most of it will run off the cake. The sugar coating needs to be added quickly as well so it can adhere to the icing before the icing dries.
To get the coloring in the picture, you will need a LOT of sugar."

xicota User ID: 944314 208989
Reviewed Feb. 18, 2010

"This recipe was fun to prepare, and everyone enjoyed the bread. Very rich with the almond pastry filling! I'm not sure why this is called a "cake"--it is definitely a sweet bread, but no matter the name, it is a treat!"

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