How to Bake King Cake Muffins

Whip up a batch of king cake muffins to celebrate Mardi Gras right!

Laissez les bons temps rouler! Let the good times roll! If you’re looking for an easy, colorful dessert to serve during your Mardi Gras party, look no further than these yummy king cake muffins, crowned with green, purple and yellow sanding sugar.

Makes: 12 muffins 
Prep time: 3 hours (includes rise time) 
Bake time: 45 minutes 
Difficulty: Easy 
You’ll need: 1 heat-safe baby figurine 

Tip: A traditional Mardi Gras dessert, king cake has a baby trinket baked inside. Legend has it that the person who finds it is granted prosperity and luck – and also has to bake the cake next year. Look for heat-safe baby figurines at party stores, often found in the favors section. 


1 cup milk
¼ cup butter
2 (0.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water (110 F)
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
5½ cups all-purpose flour
Cooking oil to grease the dough bowl

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped pecans
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup raisins
½ cup melted butter


1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon water
Sanding sugar in green, purple and yellow

Tip: Instead of making the dough and frosting, buy a tube of cinnamon rolls, break them apart and place in muffin tins. Bake according to package directions (don’t forget to add the baby trinket!), and then top with the provided icing and decorate with sprinkles or sugar.


  1. Heat milk to 180 F. Take off heat, add butter and stir until melted. Let cool
  2. Combine yeast, water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. After yeast seems bubbly, add cooled milk mixture and stir
  3. Add remaining dough ingredients except the flour. Once all are combined, add flour 1 cup at a time, until the dough forms a ball
  4. Oil a large bowl, place dough ball in it and cover. Let rise for two hours, until doubled in size. Punch down the ball, and divide it into two
  5. Preheat oven to 375 F, and grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin
  6. Combine all ingredients for filling except butter. Pour melted butter over filling and combine until crumbly
  7. Using a pastry roller or rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into rectangles of 1/8-inch thickness. Divide filling in half and spread over each dough rectangle. Roll up dough. Slice into 2-inch pieces and place in muffin tins. Let rise for 45 minutes
  8. Bake for 30 minutes. Add the baby figurine by pushing it down into the dough of one of the muffins and bake for 15 more minutes
  9. In the meantime, combine all ingredients for icing. Let muffins cool slightly, and then top with icing
  10. Decorate with sanding sugar, place each one on a Bounty napkin and serve

Tip: Don’t let a dirty kitchen ruin your Fat Tuesday fun. Clean up quickly by wiping down countertops with a dampened Bounty paper towel. Then use Dawn dish soap to clean the mixing bowl and muffin tin – with three times more grease-cleaning power,* a few drops go a long way.

*vs. the leading competitor’s nonconcentrated brand.

Do you have a recipe that you use to celebrate Mardi Gras? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!


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