Christen’s King Cake

Did you know that in Louisiana, the seasons are sometimes counted by food?  Sure!  We have crawfish season, crab season, shrimp season, deer season, alligator season and of course king cake season!  Right after Christmas, you start seeing the boxes of colorfully decorated king cakes show up in the supermarket (even though they aren’t supposed to until Jan. 6 – Epiphany).  I think it’s more fun to make your own.

I have several posts about king cakes because last year I was trying to figure this recipe out and get it just right.  I think I’ve finally succeeded so I’ll call this one “my” king cake recipe and I’ll have to put some notes on the others to come check this one out. 

Christen’s King Cake

3.5 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 pkg rapid-rise yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
powdered sugar
milk for the icing
juice of 1/2 lemon
sprinkles (purple, gold and green)


Preheat oven to 150.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1.5 cup flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, yeast and salt.  Heat milk and butter to warm.  Add to dry ingredients and mix using the dough hook.

Add the four eggs (one at a time) and mix in well.  Add in the vanilla.  Add 1 cup flour, mix until smooth, then mix in the rest of the flour.  Spoon dough into a greased glass bowl.  Turn OFF the oven and place the bowl of dough inside, covering with a towel.  Allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.  

Punch the dough down (yes it’s a sticky mess!), clean your hand and cover the bowl.  Place in the refrigerator a couple of hours, or until once again doubled in size.  Remove and empty onto a floured surface. 

Preheat oven to 350.

Add more flour and knead until not as sticky.  Using your hands, form it into a long rectangle.  Spread the filling along the middle of the rectangle.  Gently fold the top half over the bottom and seal the ends together, making a long tube.  Form into a circle and place on a cookie sheet with a silicone mat on top.  Brush the top of the dough lightly with milk and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.  Allow to cool completely.

While its cooling, make the icing.  Mix powdered sugar with just a tiny bit of milk and lemon juice until a very thick but spreadable consistency.  Once cake is cooled, spread the icing over, allowing it to drip down the sides.  Top with purple, gold and green sprinkles.

Filling Options

You can really fill it with anything, be creative!  But here are some of my favorite fillings:

Original/Cinnamon Roll Filling:
Mix 1 cup packed brown sugar in a bowl with 1 tbsp ground cinnamon, a pinch of salt and 1.5 tbsp melted butter.

Cream Cheese Filling:
Mix 1 pkg. softened cream cheese with 1/2 cup powdered sugar.

King Cake with Cream Cheese Filling


2 responses to “Christen’s King Cake

  1. brannyboilsover

    I’m glad you’ve developed your own king cake recipe.

  2. I’m so jealous of your awesome King cake skills! I attempted one last year and it ended up in the trash! A total disaster! Maybe I’ll try again this year with your recipe! 🙂

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