Let the good times roll with these festive little cakes! Surprisingly, even with the Acadian blood I have running through my veins, I have never made a king cake! The cakes have a rich, interesting history: a combination of French, Spanish, and Catholic traditions dating back centuries, they are inarguably a very New Orleans tradition now. I did not include a plastic baby in my recipe, but feel free to add one (or eight) to yours. Click this link to learn more on the tradition.
The photos from this recipe are so colorful, and perfect for the Be Funky photo editing app! Check out my article on Creating Instagram Graphics for your Recipes to see some really fun, creative collages and graphics of my photos, and grab the recipe for these bold little cakes below.
I made my dough from scratch, but this could easily be, and often is, made with store bought, frozen bread dough. (I have some in my freezer right now—you will get no judgment from me). This is a great dough recipe though, very easy to work with.
And, If you want something savory to enjoy for your Mardi Gras celebration, give my Dad’s Chicken and Sausage Gumbo a try!
Mini King Cakes
or use two large loaves of store-bought yeast bread dough, follow thawing instructions on package
- 4 tbs soft butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Glaze and topping:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- Juice of one lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
- tiny pinch of salt, about 1/8 tsp
- Purple, green, and gold/yellow sprinkles
Cook first 4 dough ingredients in small saucepan over low heat until butter melts and ingredients are combined. Set aside and cool slightly.
Stir together yeast, 1/4 cup warm water, and 1 tsp sugar in a glass measuring cup or bowl; let stand 5 minutes until yeast foams.
Beat cooled sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, egg, and 1 cup flour in stand mixer with paddle attachment until smooth. Reduce speed to low, add the rest of the flour, and once combined, switch to a dough hook and beat on medium low speed for 10 minutes.
Spray the dough with non-stick spray in the same mixer bowl, turning to coat the bowl and dough. Place bowl in a warm place covered loosely with a clean towel or plastic wrap. Let rise 90 minutes or until dough is doubled in bulk.
Combine all 3 filling ingredients and stir to make a smooth mixture.
Turn dough onto a clean surface, and flatten into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle into 4 even rectangles, about 6 inches by 12 inches each, Spread 1/4 of the butter mixture onto each rectangle in a thin, even layer.
Starting at the wide end, roll the dough toward yourself until you have a long thin log like a jelly roll. Repeat this with the remaining dough. When you have 4 long rolls, cut each on in half and pinch the seams and the ends together to form an oval ring, somewhere between a doughnut and a bagel sized ring. Do this with all 8 pieces of dough and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick spray and let rise for about an hour in a warm place. The best way to check that they are done rising is to give the dough a light poke with your index finger. If the dough springs back, they are not ready. If your finger leaves an indentation that remains, they are ready to bake!
Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Let cool on wire racks while you prepare the glaze. Combine all glaze ingredients in a large measuring cup or bowl. Once cakes have cooled for about 15 minutes, pour glaze over and quickly sprinkle to make a yellow, purple, green pattern. Allow to set and enjoy!