King Cake

Ooey Gooey Warm King Cake

Don't eat the baby!
Eater rating: 4.5 / 5  4.475

Christmas is over and Twelfth Night has past. That means it must be Mardi Gras season! King Cake is an integral part of every good Mardi Gras celebration and even if we can’t be in Louisiana for the festivities we can certainly eat like it! Our king cake was filled with a layer of cream cheese and a mixed berry jam made from strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Like any traditional king cake, it was iced and then coated in purple, gold and green sugar. My was it delicious.

naked king cake
Our King Cake, naked for the world to see
A: ho, ho, ho! haaaappy mardi gras season! 😛 you’re from louisiana, T. what does one say when celebrating mardi gras?
T: Well, you can start by screaming loudly. No words are necessary in this case. If you’re at a parade somewhere in Louisiana or perhaps elsewhere on the gulf coast you might scream “Throw me something, mister!” And, everybody’s favorite, if you’re on Bourbon Street, it is customary to yell, “show us your tits!”
A: hmmm… what if i yell, “show us your king cake!!!” instead? think that’ll work. after attending the Zulu parade i got scared to scream “throw me something, mister” due to the real coconuts they were chucking into the crowd.
New Orleans King Cake
Dripping with goodness
T: yeah, flying coconuts are dangerous…. but hey- survival of the fittest. If you can’t dodge large flying objects you’re going to have a tough life. Ahhhh… seriously, though. It’s a great idea to yell “Show us your king cake!” Have you had king cake this year? Email us at with a link or a photo and we will include it on the site :-)
A: that’s a great idea! for some reason i feel like king cake is a very regional food, but i’m definitely interested in seeing what’s out there.
T: most people in the food blog world don’t even know what king cake is, which is strange to me having grown up with it. If you don’t know what it is, here’s how I would describe King Cake: it’s a big cinnamon roll, optionally filled with fruit and/or cream cheese, and coated with brightly colored (purple, gold, and green) icing. It’s always made in the shape of a ring. Amanda, would you say that’s about right?
A: yup, except the filled king cakes don’t always have cinnamon. generally all of the unfilled ones are like big cinnamon rolls and the filled ones are like huge ass danishes. this one was particularly danish-like.
Mardi Gras King Cake
Mardi Gras in your mouth
T: yes it was. So, King Cakes are served between Christmas and the start of Lent (aka Mardi Gras season). Inside each king cake is a little plastic baby, about the size of a lima bean. If you’re lucky enough to get the baby in your piece, you’re expected to supply the next cake. You may also need expensive dental work, depending on how you discover that you actually have the baby.
A: ha! lucky enough! i definitely think it’s unlucky! a poor girl can’t always afford to buy a cake. out here i get particularly screwed on this end of the bargain because you can’t go to any old grocery store or bakery and pick on up on the way home! thus if we want another one, i get to make it again!
T: is that why this king cake didn’t have a baby? 😉 You gave it a hysterectomy so you wouldn’t have to make another one?
A: 😛 nope, no hysterectomies here! i just didn’t have a baby! and i only had small dried beans. for some reason it didn’t really seem like a good idea to put a lentil in the cake and hope someone found it before digesting it raw!
T: yeah, that wouldn’t be good. I thought maybe it would be a good idea to put a penny in the king cake, but then I thought, no, not a good idea. Oh well, king cakes without babies are still king cakes.
A: so, what’d you think of this particular king cake?
T: I thought it was great. I really loved the fruit and cream cheese filling, and I thought there was a good ratio of filling to bread (which seems to not always be the case with King Cakes). It was moist, delicious. I give it a 4.7/5. Compared to all the other King Cakes I’ve had, it was very very good. Waaay better than 99% of the grocery store king cakes that I’ve had. I thought it was comparable to some of the better ones that I’ve had from actual bakeries in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and New Orleans.
A: I know some new orleanian is going to roll up on to this site and say something about how it can’t possibly be as good as Mckenzie’s king cakes. they’re renowned for being the best. I thought this one was pretty good too. I give it a 4.25/5. I was a little disappointed that it didn’t turn out as good as the one i made last year, but thems the breaks, kid. it was still damn good.
T: for someone who doesn’t love sweets as much as the average joe, and for someone who didn’t live in Louisiana for too long, you make an excellent King Cake. Now if you can just impregnate the next one it will be perfect. :)
A: heheh thanks, T! hmmm, i’ll agree to impregnate the next one on one condition: you have to make the one after that if you get the baby!
T: ok but you might regret that!

33 comments so far:

  1. rachel says:

    This so festive looking!

  2. Ros says:

    I have no idea what King Cake is…. but it looks pretty cool!

  3. DENISE says:

    Looks like you guys are still in the After-Happy-New-Year mood. Well, it’s okie. I LOVE it (:

  4. Bobby says:

    There are other styles of King cake, made of puff pastry and filed with almond paste, but that’s more of a French style, and not saying any one is better than the other, but I am a bit more skewed towards anything with almond paste in it.

  5. Bobby says:

    It even has a fancy name, galette des rois. They are known to make your eyes roll to the back of oyur head.

  6. DENISE says:

    Amanda, I really go respect you for giving so much effort into putting the recipe to the entire blog world to see and try (: THANK YOU !

  7. I don’t know if this one TASTES better than the one from last year (since you never let me taste nothin) but it LOOKS better than the one from last year…maybe I’m just not as scared of green and yellow pastries as I was before!

  8. Julian Riley says:

    What a great thing you guys are doing I really enjoy your blog.

  9. JD says:

    I think it’s time to visit SD!! Man, that cake looks soooo yummy. Ooey, Gooey Heaven.

  10. chase says:

    Hello guys! Looks fab! Anyway, I am launching an online fashion magazine this coming summer and I was wondering if you guys would contribute for food and wine?

  11. Tyler says:

    Chase, We’ll be emailing you.

  12. Marianne says:

    Sweet girl (and Tyler, too), I’m back. At least I’m trying. And also, damn if King Cake isn’t one of my very favorites! Come visit me!

  13. Blog Diego Editor says:

    Well, if it worked for Chase…
    I edit Blog Diego, a column in the San Diego Reader that features local blogs. I’d like to feature your post on orgasmic mac n cheese. Could you please contact me asap if you’re interested? We pay $50 for published entries. Besides permission, I need to know what neighborhood you blog from and when you started. Thanks!

  14. aria says:

    hi amanda, count me in with the group who never herd of a king cake but think it sounds delcious. yours especially filled with fruit and cream cheese! (one of my all time favorite combinations) YUM. i’d easily show you my tits for a slice.

  15. Bobby says:

    I mentioned the other king cake, hoping you would make one yourself, including puff pastry from scratch. I guess your not that crazy, yet.

  16. maia says:

    Hi Amanda! Thanks for stopping by :)

    I’m from Chapel Hill but grew up in Raleigh. My parents have friends from graduate school who live in Williamsburg, and my sister went to W&M for college, so I’ve been to Virginia plenty!

    I’ve seen the polenta at lots of places out here, but hadn’t noticed it in the bulk bins a Henry’s yet. That’s great! But.. it’s still yellow.. somehow it’s just not the same if it’s yellow! Call me old-fashioned, but I like my grits white! I do use polenta for lots of stuff, though, so it’s good to know that they have it in bulk at Henry’s.

    p.s. that king cake looks yum!

  17. Amanda says:

    Thanks rachel!

    thanks Ros! you know me and decadent things! what’s not to like with a fruity cream cheesy filled pastry. 😛

    Denise, your welcome! and thank you! it really was quite a lengthy process typing this particular recipe up! soooo many parts to it! :-)

    Bobby, you know, i actually ate a galette des rois before i ever ate a lousiana king cake… at a church in maryland. and yes. i believe there was at least near eye rolling and much mmmming. yeah, you know, for some reason i was just feeling like a big puss and didn’t attempt the real one… that and i had two louisiana boys in the house who would have protest quite loudly, methinks!

    thanks michelle! :-) i think it must be you getting used to the freaky colors, because i think the one from last year looks better. now i don’t necessarily think it tastes better… i happened to really like the berry goodness this one offered that the other one didn’t!

    Thanks Julian!

    Come on over JD! there will certianly be more king cakes before this mardi gras season is through! i can’t guarantee it’ll be the exact same, but close!

    thanks chase! we’re excited about you new venture!

    marianne! girl! you’re online again! woah. that was a ton of exclaiming! we we are certainly happy to see you reappear in the foodblogosphere!

    heheh aria, maybe we’ll even get some beads to throw at you, along with the king cake, if you show us your tits! then it would be like real mardi gras…. think i can throw all the way to santa monica from ocean beach? 😛

    yeah yeah yeah bobby! i’ve seen some fairly easy looking puff pastry recipes that i might take my hand at… uh… sometime! 😛 maybe next twelvth night i’ll attempt a galette des rois for real, yo!

    maia, i don’t know why, by for me i can’t really eat the white grits! i mean, i grew up surrounded by white grits… i just never really liked them all that much! but the yellow grits…. now i can dig gruppy little paws into some cheesy buttery yellow corn grits… and yes. i do call them polenta if i’m trying to appear fancy smancy 😉

  18. Laura says:

    Amanda, I want a King Cake; please.

  19. Amanda says:

    Yes ma’am! :-) you know, i’ve been pushing for another dinner/idol-fest but you damn son has been so busy with work! he’s working all weekend too! :-( maybe next week?!?

  20. MeltingWok says:

    hehe, the cake is very colorful, just like the Madrigras beadssss, give me some cake..cream cheese and berries, yummy looking :)

  21. Marchbanks says:

    Cher, that the most beautimous king cake ever I DO see before, me! It’d even tempt me, who don’t like the huge majority of king cakes very much (and just about ALL of them grocery-store cakes, which are cooked much too dry), to eat some.

  22. Darlene says:

    Ah! I should have visited here before attempting to make my first king cake.

    I could only imagine that the dough with the addition of sour cream made it incredibly moist. And any pastry with cream cheese is okay in my book. In addition, I couldn’t make the colored sugars stick on my cake!

    Looks fantastic as usual!

  23. Mary says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, but somehow didn’t see this post earlier. Love your site.

    I made King cake for the first time this year. It was so good I made it twice. I also made a galette des rois using my own puff pastry. Both were really easy and the puff pastry wasn’t as time consuming and scary as everyone always says.

  24. angel van says:

    OMG! i cant believe that king cake. it looks so good. but nothing can ever beat a king cake from mckenzie. too bad they went out of business a long long time ago. might have to get my mom to try to recreate a mckenzie king cake one day. since she worked at the big company for like 10 years.

  25. April says:


  26. virginia says:

    the only way 2 get TRUE king cake GO 2 CAJUN COUNTRY– NEW ORLEANS. they r the best. trying 2 make homemade 1 isn’t the same

  27. Christina says:

    Your King Cake looks AMAZING!

  28. Carlotta says:

    Well, you certainly can tell you two are into Mardi Gras.

    Here’s a tip — I use the small food processor to color my sugars. Make at least 1 cup of each — you WILL be making another king cake.

    When using the super rapid rising yeast — cut back (my recipe called for two packets). My cake rose 15 min., then I punched down, divided into two balls and rolled, then filled and shaped and let rise for 30 min. In the oven the cake actually rose much, much more and closed up the “crown” — the hole in the middle. Next time (tomorrow!!) I’ll use only 1 packet of yeast.

    I really miss Mardi Gras — we’ve always lived where its been celebrated. Now we live in Tennessee — they just don’t get it.

    “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”

  29. Ally says:

    I just made this the other day! Delicious, thanks for the great recipe!


  30. Rachael says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! I’ve been too scared to try my own ’til now. King Cake was my first love in college and responsible for most of my college pounds. I can’t wait to introduce my Indiana coworkers to this calorific treat.

  31. Prochef65 says:

    Excellent! I usually make my king cake from Mam Papaul’s mix (which is excellent for a mix). I may actually try one from scratch this year. BTW, try heading to St. Louis for Mardi Gras somtime. It’s 2nd largest after N.O. in the USA. It’s lots of fun & you do get the bonus of the Mystic Krewe of Barkus parade where everyone dresses their pets up for a pet parade.

  32. Leigh says:

    Just finished making this – can’t wait to serve it tomorrow!

  33. Safia m says:

    The cake looks so festive and colorful. I just tried this recipe, your recipe was really easy to follow and the cake was really tasty, though I heard it nothing like having one during Mardi Gras. @Carlotta thank you for your tips, you were a great deal of help.