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Pull-Apart Mardi Gras King Cake

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 32 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 10-inch cake serves 6 1x


A yeasted King Cake baked as sheets of dough with sugar and spice. 



For the Dough:

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoon warm water
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 4 1/25 (571 – 635 grams) cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, lightly warmed
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten to combine
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground nutmeg
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

For the Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) powdered sugar
  • 23 tablespoons whole milk plus a dash of lemon juice if you’d like
  • Pinch of salt
  • Splash of pure vanilla extract
  • yellow, green, and purple sprinkles
  • A little plastic baby or your favorite feve


  1. In a small bowl whisk together yeast, warm water, and a pinch of sugar. Allow the mixture to foam to life, about 5 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine 4 cups flour, sugar, salt, softened butter, warm milk and water, eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the yeast mixture.
  4. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula until it combines into a shaggy dough.
  5. Place a dough hook on the stand mixer and mix the dough on low speed until it begins to combine. Gradually add the remaining cup of flour until the dough forms a cohesive ball around the dough hook. The dough should have enough flour to pull away from the sides of the bowl and have enough liquid to feel moist but not sticky.
  6. Knead the dough on a clean counter for 10 turns to ensure the dough is well combined and springs back to the touch.
  7. Place the dough is a large, lightly greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel.  Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  
  8. While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling.  Set aside.  Melt butter.  Set aside.  Lightly grease and flour a 10-inch cast iron skillet and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  9. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out.  The dough should be 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long.  If you can’t get the dough to 20-inches long… that’s okay.  Just roll so that it’s less than 1/2-inch thick.  Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough.  Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  It might seem like a lot of sugar but you’re doing it right. You’ll lose some sugar to the countertop.
  10. Slice the dough into squares about 2 1/2-inches each. Carefully stack 5 or 6 of the sugar squares on top of one another.
  11. Place a 1-cup ramekin in the center of the greased cast iron.
  12. Carefully place stacks of dough around the ramekin so they stand up but loosely fan. Continue placing each stack around the ramekin until the entire ring is stacked with dough.
  13. Place a clean kitchen towel over the pan and allow to rest for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven. Place racks in the upper third and center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  14. Place the parchment lined baking sheet on the center rack. Remove the towel from the cake and place in the oven above the baking sheet to catch any sugary drips that might come from the cast iron. Allow to bake for 26 to 32 minutes until golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to rest until the cake is cool enough to remove the center ramekin.
  15. Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and lemon (if using), salt and vanilla to a pourable stream. Drizzle over cooled cake and top with yellow, green, and purple sprinkles. Add a baby and share with many.