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Playing How To Make a King Cake for Mardi Gras

You can't have a Mardi Gras feast without a King Cake, and it's hard to find a better one than this sugary, colorful, delicious confection from Camila Alves.

To decorate, we recommend using edible glitter in purple, yellow and green.


For the dough:
  • ⅔ cup whole milk, warm
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature, plus ½ tablespoon, melted, to grease the bowl the dough will rise in
For the filling:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
To decorate:
  • Edible glitter in purple, yellow and green


Serves: Makes one cake


Combine flour, sugar, salt, yeast and milk in a mixing bowl and mix on low speed till it comes together. As dough comes together, add 1 egg at a time then add butter gradually. Continue to mix at medium speed till smooth and elastic. Do not over mix.

Place in a clean bowl and wrap with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator and allow to double in size. Letting the dough rest overnight is best. When doubled, “punch down” to deflate, and wrap again to allow to rise again.

At this point, make the cream cheese filling: Combine all ingredients and mix till smooth.

Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and mix to combine; reserve.

Roll dough to an even rectangle about ¼-inch thick. Cut lengthwise into 2 pieces and pipe or spoon the cream cheese filling on the upper ⅓ of each piece. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Roll each piece into a log and twist the two together to form a braid. Shape into a ring, sealing the ends well.

Proof to double in size. Bake in a 350°F preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. If top is golden brown and bottom is still not baked, cover the top with foil and turn oven down to 325°F. Allow to cool before glazing.

For the glaze, mix all ingredients together until smooth. When cake has cooled slightly, coat the top. Once the glaze has started setting but has not completely hardened yet (so it will still stick), add the edible glitter. Allow glaze to dry before serving.