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Mardi Gras King Cake

Niky @ The House on Silverado
A fabulous yeasted pastry with a cinnamon pecan filling. Traditionally served during Mardis Gras, but delicious anytime!
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 12 slices


  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg ground/grated
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon ground
  • 2/3 cup pecans finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter melted


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract (I used almond)


  • Scald milk, remove from heat and stir in 1/8 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1/2 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  • When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat the flour 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 elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.
  • To Make Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
  • Roll dough halves out into a large rectangle (approximately 10x16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of the roll together to form a circular shaped ring. Place ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the ring at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm with the confectioners' sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. You can also use a whole pecan hidden in the ring before baking. Plastic baby should only be inserted AFTER baking.
Keyword cake, Mardis Gras, pastry
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