Cinnamon-Pecan King Cake

This Cinnamon-Pecan King Cake will become a Carnival time favorite.

3.3 from 3 reviews
King Cake Dough
  • 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup plus ½ teaspoon sugar, divided
  • ⅓ cup warm water (105° to 110°)
  • ½ cup plain sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine yeast, ½ teaspoon sugar, and ⅓ cup warm water. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 7 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, vanilla, eggs, and egg yolk. Add to yeast mixture. Beat at low speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  2. With mixer off, add flour, salt, and remaining ⅓ cup sugar. Beat at medium-low speed until most of dry ingredients are moistened. Increase mixer speed to medium; beat for 2 minutes. Add butter; beat until combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape out dough onto a lightly floured surface (dough will be sticky), and gently knead 4 or 5 times.
  3. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let stand in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Continue with king cake recipes that follow.
Tip: To prevent dough from spreading inward, place a ball of foil coated with baking spray with flour in the center of the dough circle before baking.

3.3 from 3 reviews
Cinnamon-Pecan King Cake
  • King Cake Dough (recipe follows)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Garnish: yellow sugar, purple sugar, green sugar
  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Punch King Cake Dough down. 
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 17x16-inch rectangle.
  3. In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Brush melted butter over dough, and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Sprinkle with pecans, gently pressing into dough.
  4. Starting with one short side, roll up dough, and pinch seams to seal. Gently place on prepared pan, seam side down. Form a ring, and pinch ends together to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 325°.
  6. Uncover cake. Using kitchen scissors, make 7 (¼-inch) deep cuts in top of dough. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes, lightly covering with foil during last 5 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Transfer to a serving platter.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, ¼ cup boiling water, butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Spoon over cake. Sprinkle with colored sugars.


  1. I tried this recipe two times, the second time because I thought I’d mismeasured something the first time. Second time, I follow the instructions to a “T,” with the same result. The dough was sticky and very thin. I had to let it rise double the time called for in both attempts, and even bought new yeast for the second time. Each time I turned the dough out on the pastry sheet, it was goopy and incredibly sticky. I even tried to knead-in I’m guesstimating another 3/4 to a full cup of flour after the rise with no change. There was no way I could roll this dough with a rolling pin and even if I could have stretch it to size, it was not going to roll up one you got the filling on. I recommend you avoid this recipe.


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