How to Make Sourdough King Cake – Easy to Follow Recipe

Published Categorized as Sourdough Discard Recipes

This scrumptious sourdough king cake is super easy to make, especially if you follow my step-by-step recipe! You’ll need an active sourdough starter, for that utterly unique, but incredibly addicting sourdough taste.

Sourdough king cake

Table of Contents

What is a King Cake?

A king cake is a traditional New Orleans dessert and very similar to a cinnamon roll, though shaped and decorated differently. A brioche is braided, baked in a circle, and decorated with colorful icing, often splashed in purple, green, and gold.

A traditional king cake is flavored with cinnamon, though you can customize the flavor according to whatever you like.

King Cake Tradition

The French introduced the king cake to New Orleans from France in 1870. A slice is given to everyone at a party, and whoever has the piece of king cake that contains the “baby” is crowned “king” for the night. In the past coins, beans, pecans, or peas were hidden in the king cake to represent the “baby”.

Sourdough king cake

Sourdough King Cake Recipe

This super easy sourdough king cake recipe is the perfect way to celebrate Mardi gras. Making king cake with a sourdough starter produces a moist and flavorful cake that’ll delight your taste buds!

  • Type: Cake
  • Cuisine: French/American
  • Recipe yield: 2 cakes, 8 servings
  • Calories: 367kcal
  • Preparation time: 2 hours
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

Sourdough King Cake Ingredients

  • ¾ cup active sourdough starter
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 ice cubes

Sourdough King Cake Instructions

  1. Put the butter, sour cream, sugar, and salt into a skillet, over medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted.
  2. Remove from the heat and toss in two ice cubes, then stir and let this cool to 100 degrees F. The ice cubes will help the mixture cool, and add a little moisture to the cake.
  3. Put the starter into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Crack the two eggs and start the mixer. Add two cups of flour, followed by the cooled butter mixture. Mix well, then add 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time. Knead the dough for 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and use your hands to knead the dough for 10 minutes. Add more flour when needed.
  5. Shape the smooth dough into a ball, and place it into an oiled bowl. Cover the dough and let it rise until doubled. This may take longer depending on the overall temperature of your kitchen.
  6. Meanwhile, combine ½ cup of sugar and 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon in a smaller bowl. Set this aside.
  7. Once the dough has doubled, punch down the dough and divide it in half. Place one portion of the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, rolling it out gently until it’s about 28 inches by 10.
  8. Spread ½ of the butter on the rectangle dough, and smother this with the saved cinnamon-sugar mix.
  9. Put a plastic baby, a large dried bead, or even a plastic coin, into the rectangular dough. Roll the 28-inch side of the soft dough into a jelly roll. Form it into a ring, making sure the edges are down, and around the center of the roll. The seam shouldn’t be on display. Moisten and pinch the edges to seal. Repeat the process with the other dough.
  10. Cover the king cakes and allow them to rise until they’ve doubled in volume. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 375 degrees F oven, until the cake, is nice and golden,
  11. In a separate bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and lemon extract. Drizzle this sweet mixture over the warm king cakes.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 367kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 53g
  • Protein: 5.8g
  • Fat: 14.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.9g

Award Winning King Cake

New Orleans king cake might just be the perfect cake for king cake season. So grab your apron and get baking!

FAQs

What Flavor is a Traditional King Cake?

King cakes come in a variety of flavors, but traditionally the king cake is cinnamon-flavored.

What is The Most Popular King Cake Filling?

The cream cheese filling is a very popular king cake filling.

Should King Cake be Refrigerated?

Yes. King cake will remain edible for longer if refrigerated. It can be kept refrigerated for up tp a week, or frozen for 3 months.

How to Make Sourdough King Cake - Easy to Follow Recipe
How to make sourdough king cake - easy to follow recipe

This super easy sourdough king cake recipe is the perfect way to celebrate Mardi gras.

Type: cake

Cuisine: French-American

Recipe Yield: 2 cakes, 8 servings

Calories: 367kcal

Preparation Time: 2 hours

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

Recipe Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup active sourdough starter
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 ice cubes

Recipe Instructions:

Combine and Melt:

Put the butter, sour cream, sugar, and salt into a skillet, over medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted.

How to make sourdough king cake - easy to follow recipe

Chill:

Remove from the heat and toss in two ice cubes, then stir and let this cool to 100 degrees F. The ice cubes will help the mixture cool, and add a little moisture to the cake.

How to make sourdough king cake - easy to follow recipe

Use Mixer:

Put the starter into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Crack the two eggs and start the mixer. Add two cups of flour, followed by the cooled butter mixture. Mix well, then add 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time. Knead the dough for 2 minutes.

How to make sourdough king cake - easy to follow recipe

Knead and Shape:

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and use your hands to knead the dough for 10 minutes. Add more flour when needed. Shape the smooth dough into a ball, and place it into an oiled bowl. Cover the dough and let it rise until doubled. This may take longer depending on the overall temperature of your kitchen.

How to make sourdough king cake - easy to follow recipe

Make Coating:

Meanwhile, combine ½ cup of sugar and 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon in a smaller bowl. Set this aside.

How to make sourdough king cake - easy to follow recipe

Roll Out Dough:

Once the dough has doubled, punch down the dough and divide it in half. Place one portion of the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, rolling it out gently until it’s about 28 inches by 10.

How to make sourdough king cake - easy to follow recipe

Toppings:

Spread ½ of the butter on the rectangle dough, and smother this with the saved cinnamon-sugar mix.

How to make sourdough king cake - easy to follow recipe

Decorate:

Put a plastic baby, a large dried bead, or even a plastic coin, into the rectangular dough. Roll the 28-inch side of the soft dough into a jelly roll. Form it into a ring, making sure the edges are down, and around the center of the roll. The seam shouldn’t be on display. Moisten and pinch the edges to seal. Repeat the process with the other dough.

How to make sourdough king cake - easy to follow recipe

Rise and Bake:

Cover the king cakes and allow them to rise until they’ve doubled in volume. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 375 degrees F oven, until the cake, is nice and golden,

How to make sourdough king cake - easy to follow recipe

Make Drizzle:

In a separate bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and lemon extract. Drizzle this sweet mixture over the warm king cakes.

How to make sourdough king cake - easy to follow recipe

By Natasha Krajnc

Hi! My name is Natasha and I'm specialized in home sourdough bread baking and currently based in Slovakia - a very small country in Central Europe. My bread baking story began in 2011 when I decided to give up commercial yeast. I felt tired all the time (especially after eating bread and other foods made with yeast), I wasn’t motivated to do anything, had trouble concentrating throughout the day, my abdomen was bloated and I was like a trumpet on steroids – basically, I was quite a wreck. I was a big bread lover (and still am) and having to stop eating bread was quite hard at that time but I felt I was on a right way to give my body a chance to heal itself.

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