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King Cake

Rated as 4.15 out of 5 Stars

"This a sweet bread that is made during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It has a cream cheese filling and a simple glaze. A tiny plastic baby baked into the bread and will bring good luck to whoever finds it."
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2 h 45 m servings 462
Original recipe yields 12 servings (1 ring shaped loaf)


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  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and white sugar in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir the egg yolks and melted butter into the milk mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg and lemon zest. Beat the flour mixture into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Mix well. In another small bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 6x30 inch rectangle. Spread the cream cheese filling across the center of the dough. Bring the two long edges together and seal completely. Using your hands shape the dough into a long cylinder and place on a greased baking sheet, seam-side down. Shape the dough into a ring press the baby into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Place a well-greased 2 pound metal coffee can the center of the ring to maintain the shape during baking. Cover the ring with a towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  5. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the coffee can and allow the bread to cool. Drizzle cooled cake with lemon/sugar glaze and decorate with candy sprinkles.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 462 calories; 17.3 69.5 8.1 128 512 Full nutrition

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  1. 96 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

Thanks Arvilla for a delicious recipe, I simplified the process by using frozen bread dough, thaw per directions, knead, roll out flat to a 6 x 10" rectangle, let rise, prepare filling, I also u...

Most helpful critical review

Would be better if the recipe included braiding instructions. More authentic & worth the effort. The "frosting" came out so thin it was literally watery. Ran right off of the COMPLETELY coole...

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Thanks Arvilla for a delicious recipe, I simplified the process by using frozen bread dough, thaw per directions, knead, roll out flat to a 6 x 10" rectangle, let rise, prepare filling, I also u...

This is a wonderful King's Cake. I thought the glaze was a little to lemony, but, when on top of the wonderful King's Cake with the filling, it is perfect! I did have a little trouble getting t...

Very good. I would reduce the amount of liquids in the icing. It was very thin, most of it ran off the cake. When I made it again I used the juice from a lemon and powder sugar, it was perfec...

i have been looking for the cream cheese filling used in nola king cakes this is it thanks

According to my tasters, this is the best King Cake outside of New Orleans! Excellent recipe, nice and rich with all the egg yolks. Perfect amount of filling, according to the experts. Thanks fo...

I have never had king cake before, so I don't know what to compare this to.The dough is very easy to work with and had a nice flavor. I doubled my filling. I added 1/2 cup more of confectioners ...

This was delicious and easy enough to make. My husband doesn't like cakes that are too sweet and so he loved this, as well did our children. It was yummy as is or you could definitely double...

This got amazing reviews from the Mardi Gras party I made it for. I had not made a cake or bread before this so I found the recipe VERY easy to understand and was much easier than I thought it w...

The dough is easy to work with and the outcome was great! We tucked in a plastic baby prior to icing, then sprinkled purple, gold and green edible confetti on the top to add to the Mardi Gras s...