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.  




  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1 (1/4 oz) envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100 °F to 110 °F)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Praline- Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 beaten egg
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Vanilla Glaze

  • 11/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 11/2 tbsp butter melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 tbsp milk


  1. Combine sour cream, butter, salt, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan.  Heat over low heat until the butter melts.  Remove from heat and let it cool to 100° F to 110° F. 
    sour cream, butter, salt, and  sugar in a sauce pan with a white and metal spatula
  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, 
    Sugar, water and yeast in a glass bowl with a metal spoon.  Yeast is foamy.
  3. Combine sour cream and yeast mixture, 1 egg, and 1 cup of the flour.  Beat this with an electric mixture until it is smooth.  
    sour cream, yeast, egg, and 1 cup of the flour in bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment
  4. With the mixer on low, add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour.  Knead with a dough hook attachment or by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic.  About 8 minutes.  
    Dough in a metal bowl
  5. Place in a bowl that has been well greased with oil. Cover and place in a warm place until it has doubled about 1-1/2 hours.  
    Dough that has doubled in volume in a metal bowl
  6. 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.
    Praline filling in a metal bowl
  7. 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. 
    Nuts being toasted in a black metal frying pan
  8. Once the dough has doubled in bulk, remove from bowl and place on a surface that has been dusted with about 1/4 cup flour.  Roll the dough out to a 12″x22″ rectangle.  
    Dough rolled out into a rectangle
  9. Spread cream cheese filling over the dough.  Leave about 1″ border.
    Praline filling spread onto the dough rectaangle
  10. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the dough. 
    Toasted nuts on praline filling on dough rectangle
  11. Roll the dough tightly on the long side.  
    Dough rolled into a long rope
  12. Bring ends of the dough together to form a circle.  Pinch the ends together.  
    Dough in a ring on parchment paper on sheet pan
  13. Place the ring on a sheet pan that has been 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.  
    red and white check towel covering dough ring
  14. Remove the towel from the top of the dough.  Bake in a 350 °F oven for about 25-30 minutes until it is light brown.   Place the cake on a wire rack and let it cool completely about 1 -2 hours.  
    Baked king cake without frosting
  15. Prepare the frosting.  Combine the powdered sugar, melted butter, 1 tablespoon milk, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat until smooth and there are no lumps.  Add more milk if necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time.  
    Powdered sugar frosting in metal bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment
  16. Push the coin or baby into the bottom of the cake.  
    Coin on glass plate next to king cake
  17. Spread frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake.  
    Frosted king cake without the colored sugar
  18. I like to use these sugars.  You should be able to find them in your local grocery store.   (Note: This is not a sponsored advertisement). 
    3 shakers.  Each shaker has a different colored sugar in it.  Purple, Green and yellow
  19. Sprinkle the sugars on the cake as shown in the picture on the right.  
    Top view of finished king cake.


This recipe is from Southern Living.  I have made a few changes to the original recipe. To bake it in the morning, place the cake in the refrigerator for step 13.  In the morning, take it out of the refrigerator, let it sit for about 20 minutes and then bake it.  You might need additional baking time.  Once it is finished baking, take it out of the oven, let it cool about 30 minutes.  Frost it and sprinkle the sugars on the cake.