Mardi Gras King Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18-24
I used natural food dyes {spinach green, blueberry purple and pineapple gold} to decorate my cinnamon-roll Mardi Gras King Cake.
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ¾ cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, white reserved
  • 3½ cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup nonfat dried milk powder
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 2½ teaspoons yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon lemon oil or 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, optional
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp milk or water, to consistency
Naturally-Dyed Mardi Gras Sprinkles
  • Sugar (or superfine sugar)
  • Spinach leaves
  • Frozen blackberries or blueberries
  • Frozen pineapple chunks blended with a dash of orange juice
  1. Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients together to form a smooth, silky dough. (The dough will be very sticky and soft.)
  2. Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour until puffy, though it probably won't double in size.
  3. Transfer the soft dough to a lightly greased work surface.
  4. Pat and stretch it into a 24" x 6" rectangle. (Or you can roll it into a 24" rectangle that is wider than 6" if you want to roll the dough up like a cinnamon roll and have more layers of filling.)
  5. Let the dough rest while you prepare the filling of your choice.
  6. Spread the softened butter over the dough.
  7. Sprinkle with brown sugar and then cinnamon, smoothing with your hand or the back of a spoon to evenly coat the dough with the cinnamon-sugar.
  8. Roll the dough up into a 24-inch long log and pinch the edges together, to seal the filling inside as much as possible. Don't worry about making the seal look perfect; it'll eventually be hidden by the icing and/or sugar.
  9. Place the log of dough into the prepared ring mold, seam down or to the side (just not on top), or position into a ring on a greased baking sheet.
  10. The dough will stretch as you handle it so work quickly and gently to transfer it to the pan and position it in a circle.
  11. Pinch the ends together.
  12. Cover the ring of dough and let it rise for about an hour, until it's puffy.
  13. Just before baking, whisk the reserved egg white with 1 tablespoon water and brush it over the risen ring or dough.
  14. Bake the cake for 20 minutes, then tent it lightly with aluminum foil and bake it for an additional 5-10 minutes, until it's golden brown.
  15. Remove the cake from the oven, and after 5 minutes gently loosen its edges from the pan, if you've baked it in a ring mold. After an additional 10 minutes, turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool (or transfer it from the baking sheet to a rack to cool).
  16. Once cooled, decorate the cake with icing and/or sprinkles.
  1. Mix the ingredients together to form a smooth, runny glaze.
  2. If desired, you can omit the sugar sprinkles and use the natural food dyes to color your powdered sugar icing (substituting the respective natural food dyes for some of the milk in the glaze).
Naturally-Dyed Mardi Gras Sprinkles
  1. Juice the spinach leaves for a natural green dye.
  2. Place the frozen berries in the microwave and cook for about 30 minutes until the berries begin to pop, using the berry juice for a natural purple dye.
  3. Blend frozen pineapple with a dash of orange juice and use the resulting juice as a natural yellow/gold dye.
  4. Place ½ cup portions of sugar into three bowls.
  5. Adding little drops of dye at a time, color the sugar purple, green and gold.
Recipe by Itsy Bitsy Foodies at