Mama Rock’s Mardi Gras King Cake recipe

Mardi Gras may not be as big of a deal here in the Cape Fear region as it is in other parts of the country, but for Michelle Rock of Mama Rock’s Dessert Truck it may just be her favorite time of the year.

Mardi Gras may not be as big of a deal here in the Cape Fear region as it is in other parts of the country, but for Michelle Rock of Mama Rock’s Dessert Truck it may just be her favorite time of the year.

The New Orleans native likes to bring all aspects of the holiday to the Port City to remember the good times back in her home town.

Every year during the Mardi Gras season, Rock makes special orders of her traditional New Orleans King Cake.

Here’s how they’re made:


1 kingcake Baby
1/2 stick butter or margarine
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
3/4-1 cup hot water
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2-3 Tsp Vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup Brown Sugar plus 1-2 Tsp cinnamon mixed for dough braiding

  1. Heat water to almost a boil
  2. In a large bowl, Mix flour, yeast and salt together,  once mixed well, add sugar and cinnamon
  3. Add egg and vanilla in a separate bowl, beat together
  4. Add butter to hot water
    5. In flour mixture, add egg mixture on one side, add hot water, butter mixture on separate side. Do not pour hot water directly onto the egg.
  5. Mix with rubber spatula the ingredients, folding the sides into the middle. This will be sticky.
  6. Once mixed well, sprinkle a little flour onto the mixture and start to knead. Flour can be added if it is too sticky if needed.
  7. Knead the dough by folding over the sides to the middle. This will activate the yeast and the dough will become hot. Use flour to keep from sticking to bowl and hands.
  8. Knead for about 5 minutes to well blended.
  9. Separate int 3 balls, keep in floured bowl, sprinkle flour on top of the balls and lightly cover with Wax Paper, then a lightweight kitchen towel.
  10. The mixture will need to be keep where it can stay warm and continue to rise. Rise time could take up to 30-45 minutes for it to double in size.
  11. Once doubled, beat dough down on a floured surface, take 1 ball at a time and roll between hands into a long piece for a braid, keep it floured so it will not stick to itself. Do this for each ball so the 3 pieces Bacon be braided.
  12. Once braided, put onto a baking sheet. I like to use the Reynolds nonstick aluminum foil.
  13. Then take the brown sugar mixture and tuck about a teaspoon in the crevices of the braids. Cover again with the Wax Paper and towel. It will need to return to a warm place to rise again until it doubles in size again. If you do not have a warm room or a sunny spot, put it into your oven as it will help, retain the heat, do not turn your oven on for this process.
  14. Once the braid has doubled in size, take it out of the oven for preheating. Preheat to at least 350 degrees (325 for convection oven) Bake on center rack until light golden brown. This could be between 15-30 minutes depending on your oven.

Let cool while making icing.


2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/2- 1 stick butter or margarine
1-2 Tsp Vanilla extract
Purple, Green and Gold colored sugars

1. In a double boiler, one pot on top of a pot filled with water, melt butter on medium heat, add powdered sugar and vanilla. You want a pasty mixture, almost like play dough.

2. Add 1-2 teaspoons of water to loosen the icing to a heavy syrup consistency. Add water and small amounts of butter as it thickens.

3. Place the king cake baby in a braid crevice where it can be concealed by icing. Baby’s can be found at Arts and Crafts stores. Do not bake the baby inside of the cake.

4. Glaze the completely cooled King cake a section at a time so you can sprinkle the colored sugars on top for each section. This icing will dry fast as it runs down the cake towards the center.

Other notes:

Your King cake can be stored lightly covered in the oven for 3-4 days, if it last that long. King cake is great for dessert but wonderful for breakfast with coffee. I suggest Community Coffee from New Orleans. You can find it at Harris Teeter and Lowe’s Foods.

Traditionally, King Cake parties are on Fridays, but a King Cake party is always good at anytime. Whoever the lucky person is to get the baby, is the Queen or King of the party and is to host the next weeks King Cake party.


Laissez les bon temps rouler! Happy Mardi Gras from Momma Rock and the T’Geaux Boys Krewe