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Finished King Cake top view

King Cake with Praline Filling for Mardi Gras

  • Author: Gitta
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 70 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Cuisine: American


This yeast coffee cake is formed into a ring, frosted and then sprinkled with purple, green, and yellow sugar.  


Units Scale


  • 1 cup regular or reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) envelope active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100 °F to 110 °F)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups (312 grams) all-purpose white flour

Praline- Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 8-ounce (225 grams) block of full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup (53 grams) brown sugar (either light or dark brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (85 grams) chopped pecans, toasted (toasting is optional)

Vanilla Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups (169 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk (any milk is fine)

Sanding Sugars

  • 1-2 tablespoons each purple, yellow. and green sanding sugar


How to make the dough 

  1. Combine sour cream, butter, salt, and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small saucepan.  Heat over low heat until the butter melts.  Remove from heat and let it cool from 100° F to 110° F.
  2. Combine 1 tablespoon sugar, yeast, and water.  Stir until the yeast is mostly dissolved.  Let sit for 5 minutes until the mixture is foamy,
  3. Combine sour cream and yeast mixture, 1 egg, and 1 cup of flour.  Beat this with an electric mixture until it is smooth. 
  4. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour with the mixer on low.  Knead with a dough hook attachment or by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic—about 8 minutes. 
  5. Place in a bowl that has been well greased with cooking oil or cooking spray. Cover and place in a warm place until it has doubled about 1-1/2 hours. 

Pecan Praline Filling Instructions

  1. While the dough is proofing, make the praline filling.  Combine the cream cheese, 1/2 egg (beat 1 egg and use about 1 Tbsp of the egg), brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and vanilla.  With an electric mixer, beat until it is smooth and there are no lumps.  Set filling aside.

Toast Pecans

  1. Place pecans in a small frying pan over medium heat.  Stir the pecans occasionally and heat until they are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

How to Fill the Cake

  1. Once the dough is double in bulk,  remove it from the bowl and place it on a dusted surface with about 1/4 cup flour.  Roll the dough out to a 12"x22" rectangle. 
  2. Spread cream cheese filling over the dough.  Leave about 1" border.
  3. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the dough.
  4. Roll the dough tightly on the long side. 
  5. Bring ends of the dough together to form a circle.  Pinch the ends together. 
  6. Place the ring on a sheet pan that is lined with parchment paper.  Cover with a clean dishtowel.  Place in a warm place to prove for about 1 hour—Preheat oven to 350 °F. 
  7. Remove the towel from the top of the dough.  Bake in a 350 °F oven for about 25-30 minutes until light brown.   Place the cake on a wire rack and let it cool completely for about 1 -2 hours.

Vanilla Glaze Instructions

  1. Prepare the frosting.  Combine the powdered sugar, melted butter, 1 tablespoon milk, and vanilla in an electric mixer bowl.  Beat until smooth, and there are no lumps.  Add more milk if necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time. 

How to Finish the King Cake

  1. Insert the coin or baby into the bottom of the cake.
  2. Spread frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake. 
  3. Quickly sprinkle the cake with sanding sugars.  

The cake is best eaten the day it is made.  Store it covered for 3 days at room temperature 7 days in the refrigerator.  The cake can be frozen unfrosted for up to 3 months.  After it has thawed, frost it with vanilla glaze and sanding sugars.  


To eat the cake for breakfast:

  1.     Place it in the refrigerator overnight after filling the cake and forming it into an oval or ring. 
  2.     The following morning, take it out of the refrigerator, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, and then bake it.   Since the dough is cold, it might need an additional 10-15 minutes to bake.
  3.   Once it is finished baking, take it out of the oven let it cool for about 10-20 minutes. 
  4.    Ice the cake with the vanilla glaze and decorate it with colored sanding sugars. 

Please note: I adapted this recipe from Southern Living. 

*Nutrition Disclaimer


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 436
  • Sugar: 32.3 g
  • Sodium: 182 mg
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 62.3 g
  • Protein: 7.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 58 mg

Keywords: #Mardi Gras #Cinnamon Roll #Pecan Praline Filling #Breakfast