How to Bake a NOLA Mardi Gras King Cake

by Dawn Phillips Oler

This is for my Baking and Pastry class. Taught in 2 50 minute class periods plus 15 min before school on day 2.


  • 8 Ounces Sour cream
  • 36 Grams Sugar
  • 29 Grams Butter
  • 2 ½ Grams Salt
  • 14 Grams Yeast
  • 4 Ounces Water, 115-120 degrees
  • 6 Grams Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 406 Grams Bread flour
  • 39 ½ Grams Butter, softened
  • 48 Grams Sugar
  • 2 Grams Cinnamon
  • Glaze ingredients below
  • 200 Grams Powdered sugar
  • 23 Grams Butter
  • 15 Grams Lemon juice
  • 1 Gram Vanilla
  • 40 Grams Milk
  • Colored coarse sugar
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Recipe for students.

    Step 2

    Cook sour cream, 36g sugar, 29g butter, & 2.5g salt in a small saucepan, over low heat, until butter melts. Stirring often. Set aside and cool to 100-110.

    Step 3

    Stir together yeast, warm water, and 6g sugar in liquid measuring cup. Let stand 5 minutes.

    Step 4

    Yeast should foam.

    Step 5

    Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, egg, and 1/3 of flour in mixing bowl with flat paddle at medium speed until smooth.

    Step 6

    Don't forget to scrape down sides of bowl and paddle.

    Step 7

    Once smooth, switch to dough hook, and lower speed. Add enough remaining flour to create a soft dough. You may NOT have to use all the flour. Don't forget to stop and scrape sides occasionally.

    Step 8

    Not enough flour yet, close!

    Step 9

    Soft dough is formed and you can see I had flour left! Allow bread hook to knead dough 5-7 minutes, until smooth, soft and elastic.

    Step 10

    Dough pulls from side of bowl and is smooth looking.

    Step 11

    Use 1/2tsp vegetable oil or less to cover inside of bowl.

    Step 12

    Add dough and flip over so all sides have a thin layer of oil coating it. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Don't forget to come in before school!

    Step 13

    The next morning dough should have doubled in bulk. Push down and roll into 22x12" rectangle.

    Step 14

    Using a bakers ruler mark out the size with pencil or icing on your counter. Roll to that size, taking breaks as needed if dough becomes to elastic.

    Step 15

    Spread softened butter, using fingers, onto dough. Leave 1" border all the way around.

    Step 16

    Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over buttered part of dough.

    Step 17

    Roll up dough starting on one long side, keep tight as you roll.

    Step 18

    Place dough, seam side down on parchment lined pan. Form an oval as you do so. Pinch and twist ends together, use water to seal if needed. I should have stretched my oval bigger here, see baked cake.

    Step 19

    Cover and allow to rise in proofing oven about 30 minutes until double in bulk. Then bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Teacher will do this for you prior to class!

    Step 20

    Remove to wire cooling rack and cool completely. (Learn from my mistake! Make the oval bigger!) once cooled you can insert a plastic baby or other trinket into the cake.

    Step 21

    Make glaze and pour and spread over cake.

    Step 22

    Alternate coarse sugar in purple, yellow and green as desired.

    Step 23

    Baby or trinket may also be placed on top of cake.