King Bundt Cake

http://www.browneyedbaker.com/king-bundt-cake/
A festive King Cake for Mardi Gras – filled with a pecan, brown sugar and cinnamon swirl – baked into a Bundt pan and decorated with colored sanding sugars.

A festive King Cake for Mardi Gras - filled with a pecan, brown sugar and cinnamon swirl - baked into a Bundt pan and decorated with colored sanding sugars.

Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday, which means it’s time for a festive Mardi Gras recipe! I made king cake for the first time five years ago and while it was amazing, I have been drooling over this Bundt cake version for well over a year now. Joseph woke up incredibly early on Saturday morning, so I decided it was a perfect opportunity to finally make it happen. Although it’s a little time consuming, most of the time is inactive rising and baking time; it’s actually a fairly simple recipe to put together and one that is absolutely, positively worth your time.

I ate a piece for breakfast yesterday morning aaaaaaaand I pretty much died and went to heaven.

A festive King Cake for Mardi Gras - filled with a pecan, brown sugar and cinnamon swirl - baked into a Bundt pan and decorated with colored sanding sugars.

Traditional king cakes are baked with a plastic baby inside, and it’s said that whoever gets the piece with the baby in it will have good luck. I didn’t use one, but if you do, just pop it right onto the dough before you roll it up and seal it shut.

If you’re not celebrating Mardi Gras, skip the colored sanding sugars and serve this for your next brunch or book club… the sweet, buttery brioche dough combined with the pecan/brown sugar/cinnamon swirl makes a perfect breakfast pastry; very reminiscent  of a cinnamon roll or danish pastry.

A festive King Cake for Mardi Gras - filled with a pecan, brown sugar and cinnamon swirl - baked into a Bundt pan and decorated with colored sanding sugars.

Of the two kings cakes that I’ve made, I believe that this one is far and away the better recipe.

Make it today, tomorrow, next week… really, it’s a perfect cake absolutely any occasion!

A festive King Cake for Mardi Gras - filled with a pecan, brown sugar and cinnamon swirl - baked into a Bundt pan and decorated with colored sanding sugars.

Four years ago: Red Velvet Cheesecake

King Bundt Cake

Yield: 12 to 16 servings

Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 30 to 35 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes

A festive King Cake for Mardi Gras - filled with a pecan, brown sugar and cinnamon swirl - baked into a Bundt pan and decorated with sanding sugars.

Ingredients:

For the Dough:
1 cup whole milk
3 eggs
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
2¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt

For the Filling:
1¼ cups pecans, toasted and ground fine
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the Topping:
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon each yellow, green, and purple colored decorating sugars

Special Equipment:
12-cup Bundt Pan
Colored Sanding Sugars

Directions:

1. Make the Dough: Whisk the milk, eggs, and melted butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour, granulated sugar, yeast and salt until just combined (the mixture will be fairly dry and shaggy). Attach the bowl to a stand mixer and fit with the dough hook. Mix on medium-low speed for 10 minutes (the dough will be soft and slightly tacky). Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.

2. Assemble the Cake: Grease a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan. In a medium bowl, combine the pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Roll out the dough into an 18 by 14-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface, with the long side parallel to the counter edge. Spray lightly with water (or sprinkle with water and lightly spread it around with your fingers), and sprinkle evenly with the pecan mixture. Roll the dough away from you into a log and pinch along seam to seal. Form into a ring and seal the ends together. Place seam side up into the prepared Bundt pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Bake until deep golden brown and cake registers 190 degrees in the center on an instant read digital thermometer, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack, seam side down, and let cool completely, about 2 hours.

Make the Topping: Whisk the powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons milk together in a bowl until smooth. Pour over the top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle one-sixth of the top with half of the yellow sugar, then repeat on opposite side. Repeat with green and purple sugars to form alternating bands of color. Serve at room temperature. Leftovers should be wrapped tightly or stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

(Recipe from Cook's Country)

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20 Responses to “King Bundt Cake”

  1. AR on February 8, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Cake for breakfast?! 7 days after you finished a Whole30??

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 8th, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Yes, cake for breakfast 7 days after I finished a Whole30! We celebrated my husband’s birthday yesterday and I was going to try this cake anyway because I wanted to share it here, so we split a piece for breakfast.

      Reply

  2. Trish on February 8, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Making this today!
    Question–the directions say to put the dough seam side up in the pan but the picture looks like it is seam side down. Which is the correct way or does it matter?
    Thank you! Love your blog.

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 8th, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Hi Trish, It is seam side up, but the seam is kind of on the side, so you can’t see it well in that particular photo. Either way would work, but if you do it seam side up then when you turn it out, the seam ends up on the bottom and your top is smooth.

      Reply

  3. MsMgget on February 8, 2016 at 9:30 am

    That dough looks gorgeous. I haven’t seen a King cake recipe I wanted to make until this one, so thanks for posting. Why use water to stick the filling to the dough instead of butter?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 8th, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      The dough is already pretty buttery, which is why I assume the recipe uses butter to adhere the filling.

      Reply

  4. Tricia on February 8, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Hi Michelle. As someone said above, this is the first King Cake recipe that I have wanted to make until this one. My family and I are getting together this weekend to celebrate birthdays for my daughter and myself and I am definitely going to make this cake. BTW, this is my first post on your website. I’ve been readying your blog for about a year and enjoy your posts about your son and your recipes.

    Reply

  5. Catherine on February 8, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Hi! This looks gorgeous! I’ve never used yeast in a cake before! Would you consider this a moist cake? Or more bread like? I’m absolutely making it this weekend!

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 8th, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Catherine, This is a bit more like a sweet bread. Enjoy!! 🙂

      Reply

  6. Kari on February 8, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    What a fun and festive cake for a great celebration!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

    Reply

  7. Laura Dembowski on February 8, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Cake for breakfast is my fave … plus then I have all day to burn off the calories 🙂 This is gorgeous and is definitely going to be in my oven soon.

    Reply

  8. Bakergirl on February 8, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    MMMMM! This looks so good, I’m totally going to bake it!

    Reply

  9. Rebecca on February 8, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Looks great! My mom always has issues with filling blowout so I am going to pass this along to her. Also, it is my understanding that the baby has to be added after it is fully baked so the plastic doesn’t melt in the oven. You just pop it through the bottom of the cake before it is flipped over.

    Reply

  10. Cindy on February 9, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I made this yesterday and it came out beautifully! I don’t always have the best of luck with yeast and bread, but this buttery dough was very forgiving and easy to roll out. The kids were excited for a Mardi Gras treat this morning! Love ATK’s recipes; thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  11. Lisa on February 9, 2016 at 10:54 am

    I’m praying that I can pull this one off! Please… it’s the perfect party cake!!!

    Reply

  12. Laurel on February 10, 2016 at 12:03 am

    I made this cake today for Mardi Gras, and it was a huge hit! I found my dough to be a bit too sticky, but I didn’t want to add flour incase i made it too rough. It worked out in the end, and tasted delicious! My new favorite king cake recipe (and really, it could be used anytime). Thank you!

    Reply

  13. MK on February 11, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Your timing is amazing! I had to make a King Cake (plastic baby and all) on Monday so that my child could take it to school on Tuesday for the class Mardi Gras celebration. I was thrilled to see your recipe pop up in my email that morning and I got to work right away. I stuck to your recipe exactly except that I had to omit the nuts, since all food for school must be nut free. Instead, I increased the brown sugar and cinnamon and also threw some regular sugar in the middle. The children, teachers, and room volunteers all loved it! Thank you VERY much! I use your recipes all the time!

    Reply

  14. Paula on February 12, 2016 at 1:04 am

    I made this recipe this past Tuesday and it was a hit! I wanted to bake it early Tuesday morning so I assembled the cake and stuck it in the fridge to bake the next day. I also made a runnier version of your cream cheese frosting and tinted that to decorate the cake. It turned out amazing! Definitely my go to recipe from now on.

    Reply

  15. Kathryn on February 16, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Oh my! This looks delicious! This is definitely the kind of cake I want for breakfast, will definitely have to give this a go! 🙂

    Reply

  16. Carsie on February 16, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    My spouse volunteered me at his office for their Mardi Gras lunch king cake, and I had never made one. I had just seen this recipe, so that evening made two, one for my office and the other his. I got absolutely rave reviews from both groups, and am forever grateful. You are the best!

    Reply

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