Easy King Cake


Easy King Cake

Easy King Cake

Have you had this tri-colored Mardi Gras dessert? Our Easy King Cake is a super shortcut way of making a traditional Mardi Gras King Cake. It's definitely a cake worth celebrating!

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 gumdrop, any flavor (see Notes)
  • 1 (16.5-ounce) package yellow cake mix, batter prepared according to package directions
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • Red, blue, yellow and green food color

What to Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Add lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, and gumdrop to cake batter and bake according to package directions. Cool completely on wire rack.
  3. In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and water until mixture forms a creamy glaze. Spread glaze over top of cooled cake.
  4. Place 1 tablespoon granulated sugar into each of 3 small resealable plastic bags. Add 1 drop red and 1 drop blue food color to one bag to create purple sugar; mix well. Add 2 drops yellow food color to another bag; mix well. Add 2 drops green food color to remaining bag; mix well. Sprinkle colored sugars over glaze to decorate cake, as desired, for Mardi Gras or any other occasion (see Notes).


  • Instead of baking a toy king into this traditional Mardi Gras dessert, we suggest a gumdrop, since it's edible. The Mardi Gras tradition is that the person who gets the king (or, in this case, the gumdrop) in their piece of cake is supposed to host the next year's Mardi Gras party.
  • You'll often find King Cake as a braided, more yeasty type of cake. Ours is a simplified version, so it's more cakey and isn't braided, but it still has the traditional colors decorating the top. And what do they signify? Purple stands for Justice, green is for Faith, and gold is for Power! You see, King Cake is no ordinary cake!

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This is the perfect recipe for my kids and I to make together. We don't have time for fussy messy recipes with lots of expensive ingredients. Thanks!

Remember that Mr. Food recipes are modified to be easy so everyone can make them (with skill or time)! If you are up for more challenging recipes, this may not be the site you are looking for. I love love love this format as I rarely have the time to make complicated, lengthy recipes. Thanks Mr. Food kitchens!

Not even close to a real king cake! This is just a Mardi GRAS decorated cake! Real king cakes are made of sweet dough, more like a cinnamon roll consistency. As for the "baby" inside, the person that gets the piece with the baby, they are expected to provide the cake for the next party in a string of parties running from Kings Day (January 6th, which is the day the 3 wise men visited the baby Jesus bearing gifts) through Fat Tuesday (Mardi GRAS) in other words, it's an entire SEASON of sharing king cakes!

I wish the editors understood that suggesting replacing the baby with a gum drop is like telling the Jewish folks to just use the advent wreath instead of a menorah for their candle lighting. It changes the whole concept. I created and ran a Girl Scout event called "Mardi Gras Madness". We did TRADITIONAL outfits, foods, the king cakes, etc. It was one of the best events I ever did. Of course, out of the 100+ people in attendance, who do you think ended up with the baby??? :)

Sorry, it's just not a King cake, also it's a plastic baby, not a king that is put inside.

Thanks! This is just the kind of recipe I was looking for.

This might well be good, but it needs to be named something else. It is does in no way resemble a King Cake. What happened to the essential cream cheese?

Don't like when our beloved recipes are so --well-not right---

no! I want the recipe for the twisted bread like version.


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