King Cake Recipe

February 20, 2012 9:42:17 AM PST
Chef Toni Marie Cox from Toni Patisserie & Cafe makes a traditional King Cake just in time for Mardi Gras.

The King Cake is a New Orleans tradition that's baked with a small plastic baby or trinket hidden inside. The rule is that the person who gets the slice with the trinket needs to has to host next year's party and gets good luck for a year! Toni's King Cakes are light, buttery coffee cake that are accented with right colored cinnamon-sugar and includes a paper crown and beads.


This traditional Mardi Gras cake makes (1 ) 9 inch Kings cake to serve 8 to 10 people. It is topped with a powdered sugar glaze and festive yellow, green and purple sanding sugar. You will need a plastic baby, Mardi Gras beads and a paper crown. The baby will be hidden in the bottom of the baked and decorated cake. You should warn your guests that it is hidden in the cake and that the person who finds it in their slice, is the King for the day. They will wear the crown and beads. The winner is obligated to bring the Kings cake to the next Mardi Gras celebration.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit

  • 1/4 Cup warm milk (not hot)
  • 1 package dry active yeast
  • 2 TBS sour cream
  • 2/3 Cup Bread Flour

Combine in the mixing bowl. Use the dough attachment of an electric mixer and mix on low for 3 minutes. Let mixture rest for 30 minutes in a warm area it should double in size.

    Stir in:
  • 3 TBS Granulated Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Cardamon

Mix well using mixer, until sugar is completely dissolved.

  • 1 Lg. Egg
  • 1 Lg. Egg Yolk
  • 1/4 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 Cup Bread Flour

Combine eggs and vanilla and add to sponge mixture by alternating with flour in two separate portions.

  • 4 Tablespoons and 1 1/2 teaspoons Melted Unsalted Butter

With mixer on low speed pour butter into dough mixture in a steady stream. Mix until dough is a smooth consistency, scrape bowl 1/2 way through. Let dough rest covered for 1/2 an hour.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12" by 7".

  • 1 Tablespoon Melted Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup of granulated sugar
  • 9 inch cake pan lightly buttered and dusted with flour.

Combine sugar and cinnamon, set aside.

Brush the melted butter onto the dough rectangle and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, don't go quite to the edges of the rectangle. Roll up the dough into a log shape, starting from the bottom of the longer side toward the top of the longer side. Place the log into the prepared cake pan so it is a donut shape, tuck one end of the log into the other end of the log. Lightly cover with a towel and place in a warm place to proof for about 30 to 40 minutes. It should double in size. Bake in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely and gently remove from pan.

  • 1 1/2 Cups of Powder Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons of milk or water.

Add the vanilla to the powder sugar stir in the milk one tablespoon at a time adding just enough so that the icing is spreadable. Pour the icing onto the cooled cake and spread to cover. Some of the icing will come down the sides. While the icing is still sticky put the different colored sanding sugar in three distinct blocks of color on the ring completely cover the icing with the sugars.

Lift up the cake and tuck the baby into the bottom of the cake in a way that it can't be seen from the top or sides.


1)For the final proofing the ring should double in size. The best way to tell if the cake has been proofed enough is to touch it on the top it should feel light and spongy.

2)It is important not to over bake the cake or it will be dry. It should be golden all over, you can check the center of the cake to make sure it is not doughy in the center.

3)The cake should be completely cooled before you ice it, otherwise the icing will melt and just run off.

4)When decorating with the sugars you want to make sure that different colors do not over lap each other, you also want to make sure you use enough sugar so that the colors are very intense. If you sprinkle the sugar on lightly it will look washed out.

5)The baby should not actually be baked into the cake because now a days they are usually plastic not ceramic as they were in the past. After the cake is baked and decorated you can lift a part of the cake with a spatula enough that you can slip the baby into the bottom of the cake where no one can see it.


At Toni Patisserie & Café, patrons can enjoy house made sweets and savories every day. Just steps off Michigan Avenue, this European styled, "from scratch" café and patisserie is headed up by renowned Pastry Chef Toni Marie Cox, who notably honed her artistry as Executive Pastry Chef at Chicago's Mayfair Regent Hotel and Le Ciel Bleu, then recruited by Disney to be the Executive Pastry Chef of The Disneyland Hotel, Paris, France, before opening her original pastry shop, Toni Sweets in Hinsdale. Toni Patisserie & Café serves breakfast, lunch and a light dinner along with the shop's signature pastries and sweets. Patrons can enjoy their meal in the thirty-seat, French-inspired Café complete with an open kitchen and art deco style architecture or to go. Toni Patisserie is a full line Patisserie offering a large array of pastries, cakes and savories for celebrations, home entertaining and office needs.

Toni Patisserie and Cafe now offers catering in the downtown area. King Cakes are now available at Toni Patisserie and Cafe through February 22nd.

Toni Patisserie & Cafe 65 E Washington Chicago, IL 60601