Mardi Gras King Cake


It’s the best time of the year! It’s Mardi Gras Season!!

To most of the country, Mardi Gras is just some odd Louisiana holiday with lots of drinking and beads and costumes.

I mean, that’s all true, but there’s so much more to it!


Mardi Gras is a whole month of togetherness with parades, parties, and the best cooking you can imagine.

My mom grew up in a Mardi Gras loving family and they were royalty one year in the Lockport parade. Look at this awesome picture!! She’s the tiny one.

Mardi Gras

That’s right! Mardi Gras isn’t just in New Orleans. Most towns in Louisiana have their own Mardi Gras celebrations that involve the whole community.

My town has two big parades where everyone lines the streets to catch beer soaked beads and watch high school marching bands.

Then we all make our way downtown to grub on the famous Goose burger (this is not actually goose, but from a bar named The Goose) Mmmm so yummy and so much fun.

Buttttt back to the cake

So everyone has heard of Mardi Gras, but very few people outside of the southern states have heard of the official dessert of the season, King Cake. I KNOW, LOUISIANA PEOPLE, IT’S CRAZY.

I was so shocked to learn that most of our friends here in Denver had never heard of such a staple dessert in Louisiana. So of course I had to make one, and then make more and more because I wanted it to be *PERFECT*

hi buddy!

King Cake is very similar to a cinnamon roll, but less dense and may have a flavorful filling. It is decorated with the colors of Mardi Gras – purple, green, and gold which symbolize justice, faith, and power.

There’s also a surprise in one of the slices! A tiny plastic baby is hidden in the cake, and it’s a symbol of luck and prosperity. In Louisiana, the lucky person who grabs the slice with the baby gets to host the next party and provide the King Cake!

I wanted to find a recipe to share that was both easy and resembled the same cakes I had growing up. Traditional King Cakes aren’t the easiest. And I didn’t want to start from scratch, so I improvised.

This cake is a combination of 4 recipes and took 3 times to get it right! It’s straightforward and the filling is a super popular one, Bavarian Cream!

So give it a try, and let me know what you think!



Mardi Gras King Cake

For the cake –

  • 2 rolls crescent dough sheet
  • 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon

For the Bavarian cream (this recipe only calls for 1/2 of this prepared amount) –

  • 1 small box (3.4 oz) vanilla pudding package
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the icing and sugar-

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tablespoon milk
  • Sanding sugars in purple, green, and yellow
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Prepare Bavarian cream by combining all ingredients and whisking for 1-2 minutes or until cream has thickened. (It’s basically pudding, ok). Chill in fridge while completing steps 3 and 4
  3. Roll out both dough sheets and lay side by side, longways (looking at the sheet should be wide and short, makes sense?)
  4. Brush melted butter on the dough and then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon evenly throughout
  5. Add HALF of the Bavarian cream to the dough and spread into a long line that is not quite in the middle of the dough, a little more towards you (see Instagram video for reference) **You will only use half of the cream, save the other half for another cake or desserts!
  6. Now start rolling your King Cake, started with the side closest to you, roll away from you.
  7. Shape into a long oval and place seam side down on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cake has slightly browned. My cake went for the full 25 minutes.
  9. Scoop any escaping cream back into the cake and let cool for 10 minutes
  10. Mix icing ingredients (powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk) and then pour over the cake.
  11. Working quickly, sprinkle the sugars, purple, green, then yellow, repeating once or twice depending on your preference
  12. Hide a little plastic baby in your cake and serve to your friends and family!

*I have a step by step video on my Instagram! Go to @kaitkitchen to check it out!

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