Mardis Gras King Cake

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Mardis Gras King Cake Mardis Gras King Cake Recipe Courtesy of

Servings: 24 thin slices
Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients Add to grocery list

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup evaporated milk
3/4 plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 envelopes active dry yeast, regular or rapid rise
3 eggs
Grated zest of 1 lemon
6 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 egg white, for glazing

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

White Icing:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk

Colored Sugar:
3/4 cups granulated sugar
Yellow, green, red, and blue food coloring





1. Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium mixing bowl. Add the evaporated milk, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and the salt. Stir so that the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.

2. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water and stir in the remaining teaspoon sugar. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, until foamy. If the yeast does not foam up, it is no good, so you’ll have to start over with new yeast and sugar.

3. Add the yeast mixture to the butter and milk mixture. Add the eggs and lemon zest and whisk together vigorously, until well blended.

4. Whisk in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until you have a thick paste- about 3 cups flour. Then switch to a wooden spoon and continue adding flour and mixing well. Do not add more than 6 cups flour, or your cake will be too dense. When you have added all the flour, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured wooden board and knead it with your hands, which you have dusted with flour, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about a dozen turns.

5. Place the dough into a large clean bowl that you have sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Turn the dough to coat all sides with spray. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

6. Make the cinnamon-sugar filling: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small dish and stir well.

7. Punch the dough down and divide the dough in two. Roll out each half into a 10 by 15-inch rectangle. Brush each rectangle with half of the melted butter and then sprinkle each rectangle with half of the cinnamon-sugar filling mixture. Roll up along the long end like a jelly roll. Press the roll together at the seam, sealing with water if necessary. Wind the two rolls together, forming one thick piece. On a baking sheet sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray, form the dough into a circle and seal the ends together.

8. Cover with a tea towel and allow the cake to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour (when it rises, the center will close up and it will look like a bumpy “cake”), until it almost doubles in size.

9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk the egg white with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the top of the cake with the egg white. Bake the cake for 35 minutes, until it is browned and sounds hollow when tapped.

10. Make the white icing: Combine the sugar and milk in a small dish and whisk until smooth. If the mixture seems too thin, add a little more sugar. If it won’t drizzle, and a little more milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time.

11. Make the colored sugar: Place 1/4 cup sugar in each of three custard cups. Put 1 drop of yellow food coloring into one, then, using your fingers, grind the color into the sugar until all of the granules are colored. Do the same using green food coloring, and in the third cup, blend 1 drop of red coloring and 1 drop of blue coloring to make purple.

12. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack. Drizzle with icing and sprinkle the colored sugar in random patterns over the white icing. Slice across the width of the cake into think slices to serve.

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Publication: Paula Deen Celebrates!

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Reader Comments:


i love king cake so much its so good like omg omg omg!!

By nadashia cole on April 08, 2014


I am from upstate ny just few hrs short from Canada. My point is that my hubbie of 36 yrs. ( and not for nothin but he's a man of color ) got me watch'n the cook' g shows ( he's from s. carolina) I started gettn into paula's show and am a huge fan. I never in a million yrs thought I would be cooking/ baking. He' been the chef since day one. Cleani.g was my professional business and his was cooking. He raised my son since he was 4 and my son bakes alzo... he's 40 and lives in Georgia. I am Italian and that's the main dish up here. I want something different and Paula y'all answered my prayers! I can finally see beyond ...

By marie dyer on April 06, 2014


glad you're back

By barbrara mockel on February 26, 2014


The icing on this cake is terrible. Absolutely terrible.

By S Becks on February 16, 2013


Wonnnnnnnnnnnnnderful!!! Paula Deen. You are so creative. If people would only be patient enough to follow these recipes they would enjoy the hard work and love that goes into the art of cooking. Thankyou for your love and dedicated services to such a fast moving world. We need always to remember cooking brings families and friends together in a very special way more than take out food or a drive thru meal. Thankyou!!! Paula Deen for keeping us at the table from time to time. Somebody needs to remind us.

By Stephanie Alcorn on February 12, 2013


king cake recipe

By rebecca rossi on January 28, 2013


I followed the recipe to the hilt. My cake turned out very nasty. It was certainly beautiful but it tasted awful!! What did I do wrong?

By Cyndi Comeaux on January 09, 2013


Bought a King Cake for an occasion at my home last night. Maybe I'll try Paula's recipe next year. Have a blessed Lent everyone.

By Karen on February 22, 2012


The cake looks so good Paula. I also want to say to u, that although there are folks out there who have nothing nice to say to you or about u...I adore u and I think that ur a great woman, mother, friend, chef, grandmother, personality....don't let the bad outshine the good that God put in u. Stay original. Chosen

By Chosen Dyson on February 21, 2012


thank for your version of the King Cake. I have misplaced mine, and I do love that cake. I learned to like it when my Daughter and her family were living in Louisanna, if I could not be there during the season of the cake she would mail me several. MMMMgood Daughter and mmmmmgood cake. Betty

By Betty Turner on March 10, 2011


what no baby in the cake???

By Anonymous on March 08, 2011


Sounds wonderful, but like a lot of work.

By Gretchen on March 08, 2011


Love, Love ur show, products, 2 have U in our living room everyday....U put a big simile on my face....Love ya!

By Lee on March 08, 2011


I would like to see a picture of the cake

By Susan Hart on March 08, 2011

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