Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mardi Gras "King Cake Inspired" Layer Cake

Mardi Gras has been in full swing here in Mobile for the past few weeks now! I have been to parades, caught strands of beads, nibbled on Moon Pies and even gone to a Mardi Gras Ball. So what better way to add to this celebration than with a "King Cake Inspired" layer cake! I can't believe the carnival season is almost over and I have only eaten one king cake so far this year. In years past it wasn't unlikely for me to devour an entire cake myself in only a few days and run right back out and buy another one. They are just that amazing!

King Cakes are truly one of my favorite indulgences during the year! Last year I even made one from scratch. There is nothing quite like a piece of flaky king cake with a cinnamon and pecan filling covered in an icing glaze and garnished with tri-colored purple, green and gold sprinkles.

A traditional king cake has a cinnamon center, but they also come in a variety of other flavor combinations including apple, strawberry, raspberry, pecan and cream cheese fillings. My all time favorite is the cinnamon pecan. It almost reminds me of a cinnamon roll or a piece of coffee cake! So this weekend as I was happily eating my king cake, the idea popped into my head to create a king cake inspired layer cake. Taking a standard from scratch yellow cake mix I incorporated my favorite cinnamon and pecan flavor into the batter. I created a cinnamon cream cheese filling for inbetween the layers and then frosted the outside with a vanilla buttercream. I am thrilled with how all the components of the cake came together to create a very moist, flavorful and cinnamony (is this a word?) cake! If you like king cakes, you have got to try this recipe!

Mardi Gras "King Cake Inspired" Layer Cake

makes a 3-layer 8-inch round cake

-2 cups sugar
-2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 1/2 cups cake flour
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 cup milk
-4 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Mixture:
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling:
-8 oz cream cheese, softened
-2 cups confectioners' sugar
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 cup milk

Vanilla Buttercream:
-2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
-5 cups confectioners' sugar
-1/4 cup milk
-1/2 tsp vanilla

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
2.In bowl combine all dry ingredients: cake flour, all purpose flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
3.In large bowl of electric mixer beat butter and sugar until combined.
4.Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
5.Gradually add flour mixture and milk alternating between dry and wet ingredients and scraping down blow in between additions.
6.Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans into a small bowl for Brown Sugar Cinnamon mixture. Fold in mixture to cake batter.
7.Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until cakes test done. Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes in pans. Remove cakes from pans and place on wire racks to cool completely.
8.For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling, combine cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, cinnamon and milk in bowl and beat with mixer until smooth and creamy. Once cake is cool, assemble the cake and spread the mixture inbetween the layers.
9.For the Vanilla Buttercream, beat butter with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add in confectioners' sugar and milk and continue to mix well. Mix in vanilla. Reserve 1 cup icing to tint desired colors for decorating. Using remaining white icing cover the outside of the cake using an offset spatula.
10.To pipe vertical stripes on the cake use piping bags and small round tips (#3, 5 or 7). Fill bags with desired icing colors and pipe vertical stripes up the sides of the cake starting at the bottom and going to the top edge. Once all vertical stripes have been piped, using the same tip, go around the bottom and top edge of the cake piping round balls to form a strand of beads around the cake.

I hope you will try this King Cake inspired Mardi Gras Cake! You can't go wrong with the cinnamon and cream cheese hidden between each layer!

Happy Mardi Gras!


  1. What a great looking cake and I love that square cake stand!

  2. Oh wow your Mardi Gras cake looks delicious, all your layers are perfect too!

  3. It's absolutely beautiful!!!!!! You did a wonderful job, and I'm sure it tastes divine!! Wish I could have a bite! :)

  4. super cool! i've never had a king cake... but have heard about them... great job of incorporating the colourful stripes and flavours! love the look of your blog redesign too! ^__^

  5. A very yummy looking cake! I enjoy looking at all your cute sweets...


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