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Savory King Cake with Zatarain’s

  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours



For the Dough:

  • 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup whole milk, heated gently
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the Filling:

  • 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion (about 1 cup) coarsely chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper (about 1 cup) coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package (14 ounces) Cajun Style or Andouille Zatarain’s Smoked Sausage
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • yellow, green and purple food coloring


  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 3 1/2 cups of flour along with the rest of the ingredients and mix with a spatula into a shaggy dough. Mix on the dough hook for 7 to 8 minutes, until a relatively smooth ball forms. Add a bit more flour if the dough is feeling overly sticky.
  2. Remove the dough from the mixer onto a lightly floured surface,. Knead by hand for 2 minutes until soft and shaped into a ball. Lightly grease the mixing bowl and place the dough ball in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. While the dough rises, make the filling.
  4. Place coarsely chopped celery, onion, bell pepper, parsley, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse for about 1 minute until the mixture is evenly chopped, into an almost fine mixture. I got my chunks to be about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch in size. Not completely pulverized – a small dice.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and warm. Add the chopped vegetables to the skillet and allow to cook, releasing some of the water in the vegetables, for 5 minutes or so. Stir occasionally as the vegetables cook.
  6. Slice the smoked sausage into 1-inch rounds. Place the sausage in the bowl of the food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse the sausage slices until they’re evenly fine – again about 1/2-inch bits is about right. Add the sausage to the skillet to cook along with the vegetables. Stir to combine evenly. Allow the mixture to cook for about 4 minutes more. Remove from heat and allow to cool while the dough finishes its rise.
  7. After the dough has doubled in size, scoop it out of the mixing bowl on to a lightly floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an approximately 12 x 16-inch rectangle.
  8. Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across the dough. Spread the cooled meat and vegetable mixture across the dough into an even layer, leaving about 1/2-inch border around each side of the dough.
  9. Starting from the long end, gently but firmly roll the dough into a log, seam side down. Swoop the two ends together, tucking one end of the cake into the other.
  10. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. With confidence (you can do this!), lift and transfer the round cake to the center of the prepared baking sheet.
  11. Use a serrated knife to slice into the dough round. Slice about 3/4 the way into the dough, around the circle about 2-inches apart. Carefully twist each attached roll onto its side, revealing the sausage swirl.
  12. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest and rise while the oven preheats.
  13. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the wreath for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.
  14. While the cake bakes, dye the cheese in three separate bowls. Divide the cheese between three bowls, and add a few drops of dye to each bowl. Use a spoon to distribute the dye around the cheese or use a pair of latex gloves to mix by hand.
  15. Remove the cake from the oven. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before sprinkling with colored frosting and topping with a king cake baby.
  16. I think this cake is most delicious the day it is baked but store any leftover cake in the refrigerator overnight and heat gently in foil before serving leftovers.