King Cake

This a gluten-free version of the New Orleans style yeast cake that is traditionally decorated with yellow (or gold), purple and green, and colored glazes or sugar sprinkles. Often served for Mardi Gras, the colors symbolize power, justice and faith. These cakes are served for other occasions; at Christmas the cake is said to symbolize the three Wise Men, hence the King Cake name. Made with our Bread Mix.



    • 3½ cups Pamela’s Bread Mix
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 2 tsp. lemon zest
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • ¾ tsp salt
    • ¾ cup hot water
    • ¾ cup milk
    • 2 ¼ tsp yeast
    • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled
    • 2 eggs plus one yolk
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 egg
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • ½ tsp lemon zest
    • ¼ cup powdered sugar
    • 1 TBSP cinnamon
    • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped (optional)
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 1 TBSP cinnamon
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 TBSP milk
    • ½ tsp lemon zest


    Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer. In a separate bowl, combine hot water, milk and yeast. Let proof for 5 minutes. Add other liquid ingredients and yeast mixture to dry ingredients and mix on medium/high for three minutes. Turn into a greased bowl, covered in plastic and let rise in warm location for 1 to 2 hours or until about doubled in volume. Make filling while dough is rising.


    Cream granulated sugar and cream cheese together. Add egg, extract and zest and mix well. Add powdered sugar, cinnamon and pecans and mix well again. Cover and refrigerate to firm slightly before baking.


    Spray parchment with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop half the dough onto parchment, and using wet or lightly oiled hands, pat the dough into a large rectangle. Leaving 1” borders, lay half the sprinkle on the dough. Spread half the FILLING evenly over the dough, leaving the top 3 inches of dough clear and keeping the other edges clear with a 1 inch border.

    Pulling up on the parchment, roll the front edge into itself as tightly as you can and continue rolling dough into a log (like a jelly roll). The dough will be very loose; carefully seal the ends and seam by gently pressing the edges together. If too much filling is pushed out while you are rolling the dough, simply scrape it off carefully with a small rubber spatula. Use the parchment to lift the cake onto a sprayed parchment lined baking sheet.

    Gently form into a half circle. Use a small metal bowl or can to help keep a round hole in the center during baking. Repeat with second roll, placing on baking sheet to complete the circle or oval shape, gently pinching ends together. The dough is fragile; if it splits open a little when forming the circle just smooth it back together.

    Let rise a second time in warm draft free spot while you preheat the oven to 350°.

    Bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes. Check after 40 minutes and use a piece of foil if it is getting too brown. Let cool completely before glazing and decorating with sugar sprinkles.


    Mix all ingredients, adding more milk if necessary to make a pourable consistency. Pour over the cake set on a rack over waxed paper. Immediately sprinkle colored sugars over glaze in alternating pattern.

    Chef's Note: The cake is baked with a bean, or a plastic baby inserted through the bottom of the cake after baking, and whoever gets the piece with the prize is king or queen for the day. Consequently the king or queen is responsible to present a King Cake to everyone the following week or workday (or the following year)!

    © Pamela's Products, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Based on 14 reviews
First king cake gluten free

I followed the directions exactly and it turned out awesome. Added some food coloring to sugar to make my sprinkles. Took it to a biweekly band meeting, everyone was raving about it, and it is gluten free.


I halved the entire recipe for one cake. When proofing, I also added 1 tsp of sugar to the water/milk/yeast mixture and proofed for 10 min instead of 5.

This was my first time working with gluten free bread dough - it was very wet, sticky, and fragile. During assembly, someone mentioned flattening out the dough between two pieces of lightly oiled parchment paper. This was great advise.

Used oven in convection mode for 40 min at 325 with a pan of water at the bottom.

Cake tasted great! Kids were thrilled. Would make it again.


I need to make a gluten-free, DAIRY-FREE King cake. I prefer to use coconut milk in place of milk in most recipes, but wonder what to do about replacing the butter in the recipe. Comsidering using a dairy-free margarine or possibly ghee. Has anyone tried making this Gluten and dairy free? Could use some tips, please!

Marcia Barton

Hi, Pamela! I'd recommend pressing the baby or bean into the bottom of the cake AFTER it is baked!

Andrea Galliano

I am from Louisiana, and I have made my own King Cakes for 40 years. . I make a brioche dough and this one is very similar. My goal this Mardi Gras season was to try different gluten free recipes.. I see where a few changes may need to be made, but I am shocked at how similar it is to the one I have always made. I will let you know how it turns out. :)).