BAKES/ SWEETS

Mardi Gras King Cake

Hello and welcome! It’s Mardi Gras season and what better way to celebrate than with a King Cake? King Cake is a cross between a cinnamon coffee cake and a French pastry. It’s thought to have been brought to New Orleans around 1870. The oval shape and jewel-toned decoration resembles a bejeweled crown, honoring the three Wise Men who visited the baby Jesus on Epiphany. This recipe is pretty straight forward, so let’s get right to it!

Easy Bake, King Cake, Mardi Gras, Simple Cake, Coffee Cake, Brioche, Brioche Dough, How to Make a King Cake,

Brioche Dough

King Cake is less of a cake and more of a sweet, filled bread; frosted with a simple powdered sugar icing. I always felt intimidated by brioche dough, but it’s actually really simple. And the best confidence builder in the kitchen is tackling an intimidating recipe! First things first: cut the 8 tablespoons of butter into 12 pieces and let it sit at room temp to soften. Take out an additional 4 tablespoons of butter to soften for the cinnamon sugar filling. Once the butter is soft, proceed with the recipe.

Easy Bake, King Cake, Mardi Gras, Simple Cake, Coffee Cake, Brioche, Brioche Dough, How to Make a King Cake,

Then we have, rapid rise yeast, salt, sugar, eggs, milk and flour. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast with all but 1 cup of the flour. Give it about 30 seconds on low to combine, then let that be.

Next, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the sugar, salt, and milk. gently warm the milk to 120-130 degrees F. Stir to dissolve the sugar and the salt.

Easy Bake, King Cake, Mardi Gras, Simple Cake, Coffee Cake, Brioche, Brioche Dough, How to Make a King Cake,

With the mixer on low, pour the warm milk into the flour and yeast. Then add each egg, one at a time, mixing to combine between each egg. The mixture will look like lumpy porridge.

Easy Bake, King Cake, Mardi Gras, Simple Cake, Coffee Cake, Brioche, Brioche Dough, How to Make a King Cake,

Now, switch out the paddle attachment for the dough hook. Scrape off any dough stuck to the paddle and add it to the mixture. With the dough hook attached, turn the mixer to low and add the remaining flour a little at a time and mix until a soft dough forms.

Easy Bake, King Cake, Mardi Gras, Simple Cake, Coffee Cake, Brioche, Brioche Dough, How to Make a King Cake,

With the mixer still on low, drop in one piece of softened butter at a time, letting the individual pieces of butter get mixed and absorbed into the dough before adding the next piece of butter. When the butter is all mixed in, let the mixer knead the dough on low, for 8 minutes. If the dough is super sticky after this 8 minute knead, add flour one tablespoon at a time and mix until the dough is smooth and soft.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times to get a smooth, elastic dough and shape it into a ball. Lightly oil a large bowl with a neutral-tasting oil, like grapeseed oil. Place the dough ball in the bowl and turn it over to coat the dough ball in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and the light brown sugar. Mix together well, then add the softened butter. Use a firm silicone spatula to smash the butter into the sugar and cinnamon until the butter is totally incorporated.

Assembling the Mardi Gras King Cake

After an hour in the fridge, the dough should be roughly double in size. We want to roll the dough out to a 10 x 20-inch rectangle. Don’t worry if it’s not rolled into a perfect rectangle, we can stretch the dough once it’s filled to be more rectangular. I used 8 little strips of masking tape to mask out the 10 x 20 measurements on my work surface.

Easy Bake, King Cake, Mardi Gras, Simple Cake, Coffee Cake, Brioche, Brioche Dough, How to Make a King Cake,

Spread the cinnamon sugar filling on one half of a long side of the rolled dough. Use your fingers and hands if you want to, it makes spreading an even layer easier!

Then fold the naked side of the dough over the filling. Press down firmly to release any trapped air and to seal the dough.

Braid the Filled Brioche

Once it’s folded, we can reshape the ends into more of a rectangle. Use a roller cutter to cut the rectangle into three long strips. Press the tops of the strips together, then braid the strips.

Once the length is braided, press the bottoms together to seal the braid. Gently stretch the braid back out to 20-inches long. Line a sheet tray with sheet of parchment. Shape the dough into a circle or oval and place the braided oval on the parchment-line sheet tray. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

After its one-hour second rise, bake the King Cake for 20-30 minutes. It should read about 190 degrees on a probe thermometer and feel firm to the touch. Let it cool slightly on the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Easy Bake, King Cake, Mardi Gras, Simple Cake, Coffee Cake, Brioche, Brioche Dough, How to Make a King Cake,

Frosting the King Cake

When the cake is cooled, mix together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Add more milk as needed to get a pourable consistency. Then drizzle the icing over the cake.

Easy Bake, King Cake, Mardi Gras, Simple Cake, Coffee Cake, Brioche, Brioche Dough, How to Make a King Cake,

Decorate with purple, gold (or yellow) and green sprinkles.

Easy Bake, King Cake, Mardi Gras, Simple Cake, Coffee Cake, Brioche, Brioche Dough, How to Make a King Cake,

Mardi Gras King Cake

Modern King Cakes have a plastic baby hidden inside and the tradition is that the person who gets the baby in their slice is declared King for the day and is responsible for hosting next year’s Mardi Gras party and providing the King Cake. To carry on the Mardi Gras King Cake tradition, before frosting the cake, you can cut a small slit on the underside of the cake and hide a plastic baby inside. While making the King Cake will take a few hours, most of the time is passive; so I hope you will give this recipe a try. It is pretty darn easy!

Easy Bake, King Cake, Mardi Gras, Simple Cake, Coffee Cake, Brioche, Brioche Dough, How to Make a King Cake,

Thank you all so much for joining me today for Mardi Gras King Cake! If you want to try another recipe perfect for Mardi Gras Season, try King Cake Beignets. Remember you can follow me on Pinterest, where you can pin and keep all the Djalali Cooks recipes in one handy location. Take care and be well everyone! xo Kelly

Easy Bake, King Cake, Mardi Gras, Simple Cake, Coffee Cake, Brioche, Brioche Dough, How to Make a King Cake,

Mardi Gras King Cake

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
Dessert American
By Original Recipe by Barbara Bakes Serves: 10-12
Prep Time: ~2.5 Hours Cooking Time: 20-25 Minutes Total Time: ~3 Hours

Slightly sweet brioche; filled with cinnamon sugar, braided, baked, frosted and decorated with Mardi Gras colored sprinkles, It's a King Cake!

Ingredients

  • 3.5 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 1 Package Quick Rise Yeast (2.25 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, cut into 12 pieces, softened
  • Cinnamon Sugar Filling
  • 2/3 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1.5 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, softened
  • Icing and Decoration
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp. Milk, plus more to thin icing
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • Green, Purple, and Yellow or Gold Sugars
  • Miniature Plastic Baby

Instructions

1

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast and all but 1 cup of the flour. Give it about 30 seconds on low to combine.

2

Next, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the sugar, salt, and milk. gently warm the milk to 120-130 degrees F. Stir to dissolve the sugar and the salt.

3

With the mixer on low, pour the warm milk into the flour and yeast. Then add each egg, one at a time, mixing to combine between each egg.

4

Now, switch out the paddle attachment for the dough hook. Scrape off any dough stuck to the paddle and add it to the mixture. With the dough hook attached, turn the mixer to low and add the remaining flour a little at a time and mix until a soft dough forms.

5

With the mixer still on low, drop in one pice of softened butter at a time, letting the individual pieces of butter get mixed and absorbed into the dough before adding the next piece of butter. When the butter is all mixed in, let the mixer knead the dough on low, for 8 minutes. If the dough is super sticky after this 8 minute knead, add flour one tablespoon at a time and mix until the dough is smooth and soft.

6

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times to get a smooth, elastic dough and shape it into a ball. Lightly oil a large bowl with a neutral-tasting oil, like grapeseed oil. Place the dough ball in the bowl and turn it over to coat the dough ball in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

7

In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and the light brown sugar. Mix together well, then add the softened butter. Use a firm silicone spatula to smash the butter into the sugar and cinnamon until the butter is totally incorporated.

Assembling the King Cake

8

Roll the dough into a 10x20-inch rectangle.

9

Spread the cinnamon sugar filling on one half of a long side of the rolled dough.

10

Then fold the naked side of the dough over the filling. press down firmly to release any trapped air and to seal the dough.

11

Once it's folded, reshape the ends into more of a rectangle.

12

Use a roller cutter to cut the rectangle into three long strips. Press the tops of the strips together, then braid the strips.

13

Once the length is braided, press the bottoms together to seal the braid. Gently stretch the braid back out to 20-inches long. Line a sheet tray with sheet of parchment. Shape the dough into a circle or oval and place the braided oval on the parchment-line sheet tray. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.

14

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

15

After its one-hour second rise, bake the King Cake for 20-30 minutes. It should read about 190 degrees on a probe thermometer and feel firm to the touch. Let it cool slightly on the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

16

When the cake is cooled mix together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Add more milk as needed to get a pourable consistency. Then drizzle the icing over the cake and decorate with purple, gold (or yellow) and green sugars.

Kitchen Items Found in Today’s Recipe

Click on the image to be directed to the product.

You Might Also Like

  • Terry
    February 10, 2022 at 10:32 am

    This looks really good. You were right it looks really easy as well. Can’t wait to give this a shot I’ll keep you posted have a great day ?❤️ Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      February 10, 2022 at 10:57 am

      It’s a fun recipe and I am sure you will enjoy it, Mom. xo Kelly

  • Sally Burke
    February 11, 2022 at 12:10 am

    Hi Kelly, you have had a great week cooking, we have been away as you would have seen and our internet was not the greatest so kept off most things until our return. Your chicken looked delicious and the breakfast tacos so simple. This brioche filled with sweetness looks quite decadent, I know my husband would love it. We occasionally buy something similar but it is topped with coffee icing, hence the name ‘Coffee Scroll’, not many places make a really good one these days, and they definitely have to be eaten on the day they are baked! Keep up your great work. Happy cooking ?‍?
    Until next time
    Sally ?

    • Kelly Djalali
      February 11, 2022 at 8:24 am

      Hi Sally, Your trip looked beautiful, I am happy you were able to get away and enjoy yourselves! We have had a good week on the blog, and that King Cake was a real treat. You’re right though, it’s best on the day it’s baked! Have a wonderful weekend, xo Kelly