RECIPE – Mardi Gras King Cake

An authentic, New Orleans staple of Mardi Gras is the tradition of the King Cake. Every year, friends and family gather around to serve up slices of a simple, yet beautiful King Cake decorated with purple, yellow, and green sugar sprinkled over the icing.

Baked inside this cake is a tiny plastic or porcelain figurine of a baby. (A lot of people elect to place the “baby” on the side and insert it into the cake after baking for fear of choking hazard, if that sort of thing freaks you out.) The rule of the King Cake is that whomever receives the slice with the baby purchases (or makes) a King Cake the next year for Fat Tuesday!

You can easily make your own cake with storebought mix, adding some delicious embelishments to it and making it (almost) as good as the real thing in good ol’ New Orleans!


1. Storebought Cinnamon Streusel Cake Mix

2. 3 Eggs

3. Canola oil

4. 1 cup chopped pecans


1. Can of cream cheese frosting


2. 2 8oz. packages of cream cheese

3. 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

4. 1/2 stick of margerine

5. 1 tsp. vanilla extract

6. Bottles of multi-colored sugar (purple, yellow, and green) (RESERVED)


1. Prepare the cake mixture according to the box with the eggs and canola oil. Stir the pecans (more or less than 1 cup, according to your preferred texture) into the batter before baking.

2. You can add the baby figurine to the cake or leave it on the side to insert into the cake later after it bakes.

3. Pour the mixture into a bundt cake pan so that it is round with a hole in the middle like a traditional King Cake.

4. Bake according to directions on the box.

5. While the cake is baking, prepare your cream cheese icing for the top of the cake. You can use pre-made stuff, or combine cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and margerine to make a great tasting icing. Stir the ingredients together with a mixer and leave it unrefrigerated until your cake cools.

6. OPTIONAL: Depending on your preference, once your cake cools, you can just ice the top of it, or slice it crosswise into two even halves and add a layer of frosting, pecans, and cinnamon streusel in the middle. Many King Cakes have filling in the middle. This is also a great way to sneak the baby into the cake wedged between a layer of filling.

7. Ice the top of your cake with your cream cheese frosting.

8. Sprinkle thick stripes of purple, green, and yellow sugar over the top of your cream cheese icing.

9. Voila! A Fat Tuesday King Cake everyone can appreciate!

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