Happy Mardi Gras! King Cake and other New Orleans Recipes #MardiGras

Happy Mardi Gras! We celebrated 5 years of Mardi Gras when we lived in New Orleans. People celebrate it all over the place but honestly there is nothing like the parties in The Big Easy. Have you ever been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras?

We lived in New Orleans only for 5 short years but in those years I ---

  • Made life-long friends
  • Met my ya-ya sisters
  • Learned to really cook tasty food
  • Learned about good coffee
  • Figured out it isn't worth cleaning the house before a potential hurricane (Katrina lesson)
  • Learned that beads grow on trees in New Orleans
  • Found out that there is a party season for everything
  • and so much more! 

Here is one of my newest King Cake recipes. I have another one on my blog but we like this one better. Not sure why but this one reminds us most of New Orleans. 

If you have ever baked bread, these steps will seem familiar. If you are new to baking, DON'T FREAK OUT at all the steps. Just get your ingredients and supplies ready and take it one step at a time. You can do it. 

King Cake - Cinnamon Nut filled and Cream Cheese Filled 

Recipe for 2 medium cakes or 1 extremely large cake

Dough Ingredients:

2 packages active dry yeast
2/3 cup water - warm for yeast
1 teaspoon honey or sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Dough Instructions:

1-Add yeast, warm water and honey/sugar to a large measuring cup and let it get bubbly and creamy.

2-Bring milk just to a boil (scald) and stir in 1/4 cup butter. Remove from heat and let butter milk and mixture cool.

3-After about 10 minutes of when the milk is cool add to yeast and then whisk in eggs.

4- Stir in sugar, salt and nutmeg.

5-Add this to a Kitchen aid or do the next step by hand (for this I prefer by hand) Add 1 cup of flour and stir in. Keep doing this until all is added which will require your hands after the 3 cup.

6-Add dough to a lightly flour surface and knead until smooth and elastic - about 10 minutes. If you do this with the Kitchen Aid it will be half the time. Again, I prefer to do this dough by hand.

7- In a large bowl, add a tad bit of oil. Add dough and turn to cover.

8- Set is a warm place to rise for 2 hours. I cover mine with a damp, warm cloth. I wet again with warm water after 1 hour. 

9-Preheat oven to 350 degrees at the 2 hour mark. Then punch down the dough and split in half if you are making 2 cakes. I do recommend it for this recipe.

10- Line cookie sheets with parchment. 

11- Make toppings (see below)

11- Add dough to a very lightly sprinkle with flour surface. Roll out into a large rectangle - shoot for 10x16 inches. 

12- Spread out cinnamon topping and/or cream cheese topping over entire dough...leaving about a 1 inch edge (I forget this and often take it to the edge) for best results.

13 - Roll up dough beginning at the wide side. 

14- Once rolled up join ends together to form an oval. If you are going to add in a king baby, lift up one end and stick it into the cake. 

15- Add to your cookie sheet. The cinnamon cake I take my sharp knife and make about 6-8 slits on top of the dough. The cream cheese I don't. This is up to you. 

16- Let rise in a warm spot for 30-45 minutes. I cover with a warm, wet cloth.

17- Bake for 30 minutes.

18- Let cake sit for 5 minutes and add on a thin layer of frosting (recipe below). Once added, give the cake another layer of frosting and sprinkle with purple, green and yellow sugar crystals. Eat! 

19- This cake will dry out fast. So once cool, cover for the day with foil. If it will be uneaten for over 24 hours, add to a plastic bag. Best bet is to make, eat and share!

Cinnamon Nut Filling


1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup melted butter


Add all dry ingredients to a bowl, mix until combined and then add melted butter. Mix until just combined- it will be in crumbles.

Cream Cheese Filling


1 package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


Mix all together until it is a soft paste.

King Cake Frosting - lemon based


4 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


Mix together all ingredients except powdered sugar.
Slowly, with the mixer add in 1 cup of sugar at a time until all added and combined. 

More New Orleans Recipes - just a few of our favorites. I have at least 20 different New Orleans recipes to add to my blog. Follow to be updated when I add them. My newsletter is at the top of my blog. 

Another King Cake Recipe
New Orleans Beignets - just like Cafe DuMonde 
Red Beans and Rice
Quick Jambalaya
Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya
Parmesan Grilled Oysters
Mardi Gras Printables
Red Beans and Rice for those with braces!
Bamboola - Frozen Drink

Last but not least, follow my New Orleans Pinterest Board for more party action!

1 comment:

  1. Mardi Grass looks like so much fun..I really wish I had went there when I was younger...not so sure my older self would fit so well....lol..Im thinking of trying the cake though


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