Mardi-Gras King Cake - Traditional and Bread Machine Versions

Mardi-Gras King Cake - Traditional  and Bread Machine Versions
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Recipe for Mardi Gras King Cake, Traditional and Bread Machine Versions. King Cakes are a huge part of Mardi Gras traditions throughout the South. The cake's origins date back to the Feast of the Epiphany.


  • Cake:
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100-115 F)
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 teaspoons
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash
  • Icing:
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3-6 tablespoons water
  • additional sugar & food coloring for decoration (follow link for tinted sugar directions)
  • 1 tiny 1" baby doll (see notes above)


  1. Bread Machine Version
  2. Just put the ingredients in the machine, as per manufacturer instructions, set it to the dough setting, and in a few hours you're ready to pick up the instructions from the rolling out point.
  3. Sprinkle yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar over warm water in a small, shallow bowl. Allow to rest for 3-5 minutes, then mix thoroughly. Set bowl in a warm, draft-free place until yeast starts to bubble up and mixture almost doubles in volume, about 10 minutes.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 1/2 C flour, 1/2 cup sugar, nutmeg, lemon zest and salt. In mixing bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer or food processor, combine yeast , milk and egg yolks. Gradually add dry ingredients, and softened butter, adding additional flour, as necessary to achieve a medium-soft ball. Knead dough, again adding flour if necessary, until smooth, shiny and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  5. Place dough in a covered, buttered bowl , in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. In the meantime, butter a large baking sheet and set aside.
  7. When dough has risen, remove and punch down. Sprinkle with cinnamon and form into a cylinder, then twist this cylinder into a circle. Pinch the ends together to complete the circle. Once again, cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  8. Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Brush top and sides of cake with egg wash and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack completely before hiding baby doll inside or icing and decorating.
  9. Icing: Mix sugar, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of water until mixture is smooth, adding more water as necessary to achieve a smooth, spreadable consistency. Spread icing over cake and immediately sprinkle colored sugar in alternating color rows.
  10. I have made the dough with great success in a Bread Machine - Dress up with Beads and masks for Mardi Gras.
  11. -- Crafts and Activities for Mardi Gras
  12. Mardi Gras at