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How to Make a Mardi Gras King Cake

If you want to celebrate Fat Tuesday with a traditional King Cake, this guide will have you whipping up your own festive treat right at home.


  • Step 1: Whisk the powdered sugar, condensed milk, and lemon juice together in a small bowl to make the icing while the cake is cooling.
  • TIP: Add a tiny bit of water if the icing is too thick and won't spread.
  • Step 2: Spread the icing on the cake and then sprinkle purple, green, and gold decorative sugar in sections over the top. Tuck the pecan, bean, or baby into the cake. Cut and serve, and hope you get the baby -- you'll be king or queen for the day and have good luck all year long.
  • FACT: Mardi Gras is always 47 days before Easter Sunday.
  • Step 3: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, place the braided dough on a cookie sheet, and allow it to rise for another 30 minutes. Then put the braided circle into the oven and bake it for 30 minutes, or until it's golden brown.
  • Step 4: Punch down the dough and then divide it into three ropes of equal length. Braid the strands and then form them into a circle, pinching the ends together.
  • Step 5: Wait for tiny bubbles to form in the yeast mixture. When it's frothy, whisk in the butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon zest, and then fold in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and remaining flour.
  • Step 6: Knead and stretch the dough until it is smooth and shows elasticity. Then cover it with plastic wrap and set it aside, letting it rise in a draft-free location for 90 minutes.
  • TIP: Use extra flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the table or bowl.
  • Step 7: Combine the warm milk, granulated sugar, yeast, and one tablespoon flour in a large bowl and whisk until the sugar and yeast dissolve.

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