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  • Writer's pictureAlana Wynn

A Big-Easy (to make) Mardi Gras King Cake

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

Simple recipe without yeast or butter to save you time for celebrating!

Nothing can quite compare to the festivals, parades and plain ole good vibes that is New Orleans. If you have never been, please book a trip as soon as it's safe to travel! I have been 4 times, once for Mardi Gras, but honestly anytime of year is a party. Parades are canceled this year of course, so no fomo by having your own celebration at home.

I have always found that King cakes look kinda weird. Oozing frosting. Half hazardly thrown on sprinkles... Something you wouldn't think would taste good. But obviously, what's not to like about cake 🥳. Traditional King Cakes are yeast risen and sort of like a large cinnamon roll ring.

Mardi Gras King cake with swirls of yellow, purple and green in every slice, topped with vanilla glaze.

This year I wanted to celebrate with a cake, but did not want to wait for dough to rise. This is a King Cake recipe without yeast AND quick to throw together. It is a strong vanilla and cinnamon cake, light and fluffy texture, with your traditional white vanilla glaze. One of the best things about using a glaze instead of frosting is you can put it on while the cake is still warm, meaning you can have yourself a hot slice of cake!

I love that this is a cake recipe without butter. The cake uses oil instead of butter to create a moist texture. It is a very simple cake recipe that doesn't require any equipment either, just a whisk and some bowls.


Mardi Gras King Cake

Cook Time: 1 Hour

Makes 8 Servings

Cake Ingredients

9 inch Cake Pan

1¼ Cup Flour

1 Cup Sugar

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

½ Tsp Kosher Salt

1 Tbsp. Cinnamon

1 Cup Milk

¼ Cup Oil

1 Tbsp. Vanilla

1 Egg

Purple, Green and Yellow Food Coloring

(or the red, blue, yellow, green box you find at the grocery store)

Vanilla Glaze

1 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 Tbsp. Milk

½ Tsp. Vanilla Extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉

  2. Line the baking pan with parchment paper, spray with non-stick spray and set aside.

  3. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon), mix until incorporated .

  4. In a separate bowl combine all wet ingredients (milk, oil, vanilla, egg), mix until incorporated.

  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together and mix until fully incorporated.

  6. Evenly separate your cake batter into 3 bowls and dye one bowl purple, one bowl green and one bowl yellow.

  7. Using one color at a time, take heaping spoon fulls of each batter and add them to your cake pan, adding to varying sections of the pan. No need to be accurate! The batter will spread out on it's own.

  8. Once all the batter is in the pan, take a spoon and do a big spiral in the batter for good measure. Do not over stir or your colors will mix too much!

  9. Bake cake for 25-30min. Begin testing at 25 minutes to ensure not to over bake.

  10. While cake bakes make your glaze: In a separate bowl add powdered sugar, milk and Vanilla extract. If glaze is too thick (depends on type of milk used), add 1 Tbsp at a time, mixing until incorporated.

  11. Once cake is baked through remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.

  12. Top with glaze and enjoy!

Coloring tips if using primary colors:

- Purple: 6 drop blue, 2 drops red

- Green: 6 drops green, 1 drop yellow

- Yellow: 2 drops yellow

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