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How to Make Cajun Ninja King Cake Recipe

Cajun Ninja King Cake Recipe

This Cajun Ninja King Cake is a traditional dessert & staple during Mardi Gras season, with its origins dating back to medieval times. 
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Author: Lori Walker, MS, RD
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 332kcal


  • kitchen towel
  • mixing bowl
  • baking dish


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 10 cups cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 2 sticks of salted butter
  • 4 envelopes of active dry yeast
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 16 oz. block cream cheese
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 cups all-purpose flour

For The Filling & Topping

  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 10 tbsp white sugar
  • Gold sanding sugar
  • 2 cups confectioner sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • Purple sanding sugar
  • Green sanding sugar


  • Begin by preparing the dough. In a large mixing bowl, combine the traditional sweetener of sugar, along with light brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon for added depth of flavor. Incorporate 2 sticks of salted butter into the mixture, along with 2 cups of whole milk to add richness and moisture to the dough. Heat this mixture in the microwave until the butter is melted, then add in 4 envelopes of active dry yeast. Allow the mixture to sit for approximately 5 minutes or until frothy.
  • Once the dough mixture has rested, mix in eggs and continue to combine until a soft dough forms. Gradually add in 12 cups of all-purpose flour, one cup at a time while continuing to mix, until the desired consistency is achieved. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes to strengthen the gluten structure.
  • Place the kneaded dough into a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise for approximately 1 hour or until it has doubled in size. This resting period will allow the dough to develop its signature light and fluffy texture.
  • While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. In a small mixing bowl, combine 8 oz of cream cheese with a generous amount of cinnamon and 10 tbsp of white sugar. Mix well until all ingredients are fully incorporated, creating a creamy and flavorful filling for the king cake.
  • Once the dough has risen, roll it out onto a floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread the prepared filling evenly over the dough, leaving an inch of space around the edges to ensure easy rolling.
  • Roll up the dough tightly, starting at one end and rolling towards the other end. Pinch the ends together to form a ring shape, ensuring that the filling remains inside for maximum flavor.
  • Place the formed king cake onto a lined baking sheet and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Let it rise for another 30 minutes to allow the dough to expand and further enhance its delicate texture.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) while the king cake is rising. Once ready, bake the king cake for 30 minutes or until it is a beautiful golden brown color and fully cooked.
  • While the king cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, mix together 2 cups of confectioner sugar with 1/4 cup of milk and 1 stick of melted butter until you achieve a smooth and creamy consistency.
  • For the final touch, divide the glaze into three equal parts and add purple, gold, and green sanding sugar to each portion. Drizzle the colorful glaze over the cooled king cake in a traditional Mardi Gras pattern, adding an extra layer of sweetness and festive flair. To complete the presentation, sprinkle additional sanding sugar on top for an eye-catching display.


  • For a quicker rise, place the dough in a warm oven or near a heated stove.
  • To achieve uniform slices, use dental floss to cut through the rolled-up dough.
  • Add chopped nuts or raisins to the filling for added texture and flavor.
  • Make individual king cakes by dividing the dough into smaller portions and shaping them into smaller rings.
  • To make a vegan version, substitute the dairy ingredients with plant-based alternatives and use egg replacers in the dough.
Keyword: Cajun Ninja King Cake Recipe