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Mardi Gras King Cake



  • 1 cup warm milk (about 110°F.)
  • 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons bread machine yeast


  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water


  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • Green, purple and gold sprinkles


  1. Place all ingredients for dough in the breadmaker pan in order listed.
  2. Choose the Dough Cycle. Press Start.
  3. At the end of the Dough cycle, remove the dough from the breadmaker. Press and hold the START/STOP button for several seconds to end the cycle.
  4. Place on floured counter and let the dough rest for 10 minutes
  5. Roll dough to a large rectangle about 12"x24". Cut dough down center to form 2 long strips.
  6. Spread with softened butter, leaving 1/2-inch edge around edges of strips.
  7. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over butter. Mix remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush edge of strips.
  8. Roll up each strip of dough from the longest side. Press edge with egg wash to roll to seal. Twist rolls together.
  9. Place on greased cookie sheet. Form into a circle and pinch ends together.
  10. Cover with parchment paper and let rise until almost doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  11. Heat oven to 350°F.
  12. Brush ring with egg wash.
  13. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or light golden brown.
  14. Let cool.
  15. For icing, beat cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Spread over top of slightly warm cake. Sprinkle with colored sprinkles.

Serves: 16

Test Kitchen Tip: To follow tradition for a King Cake, hide a plastic baby doll in the ring after baking. Make sure to buy a new small plastic baby and large enough for no one to swallow. Or, caution everyone to look for the baby before eating. Another option is to hide something edible like a pecan or cherry and decorate with the baby on the outside of the cake. Traditions vary, for some finding the trinket means luck. For others, the winner is named King or Queen for the the festivities or is given special honors such as hosting the next party.




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