Experiments With King Cake

This week’s king cake recipe was more successful than the first. It is the cinnamon roll recipe from The Perfect Loaf, but I have added commercial yeast. I think I will continue to up the commercial yeast quantity. My next goal is to get the inner layers to proof and puff up some.




  • 420g AP flour

  • 165g milk

  • 40g white sugar

  • 7g salt

  • 3 eggs

  • 50g sourdough starter

  • 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

  • 4 Tbls room temperature butter


  1. Bring together all the ingredients except the butter using a stand mixer until it looks like a loosely incorporated dough. You should not be able to see any dry ingredients, but the dough will not have much, if any, gluten development or structure. The dough is extremely wet – resist the temptation to add additional flour.

  2. Drop the dough onto a generously floured work surface. Fold in thin pats of the butter. This can be done by slicing the butter into 1/2 Tbls squares, arranging on the dough, and literally folding the dough over. This process is similar to how to laminate dough for crossiants.

  3. Knead the dough. My dough was too wet to knead with my stand mixer. It is extremely wet and sticks to everything. A bench scraper is handy to help un-stick the dough from the work surface. Do not be afraid to liberally apply more flour to the work surface. As you knead the dough, it will become smoother, elastic, and less sticky as it develops structure. I kneaded for about 6-7 minutes.

  4. Form the dough into a ball and place in a oiled bowl. Cover and let rise.

  5. At the two hour mark, fold the dough in on itself. Repeat after an additional hour.

  6. After four total hours of proofing, place the dough in the refrigerator.

  7. After 24 hours, remove the dough. Liberally flour a large work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the dough until about 1/4 inch thick. It should form a rectangle around 12x18in to 18x24in.

  8. Generously coat the dough with cinnamon, any desired filling, and loosely roll up.

  9. Place the dough in a ring on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to proof for two hours.

  10. Place the king cake into a 350F oven, baking for 20-25 minutes. It should become a gold color.

  11. Allow the cake to cool. Ice and decorate using colored sugars.


  • If you don’t have a sourdough starter, make a slurry of 25g flour and 25g water and add to the recipe

  • My filling is usually cream cheese. Whip some fat free cream cheese in a mixer with powdered sugar until smooth and puffy

  • Icing can be made from powdered sugar and milk

  • Colored sugars can be made by adding a few drops of food coloring to granulated sugar. Yellow for yellow, green for green, and blue and red for purple.

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