Mini King Cakes in a Muffin Pan

Mini King Cakes in a Muffin Pan

These mini king cakes are the perfect treat for the carnival season in New Orleans. They look and taste exactly like a miniature versions of the authentic king cake. For those of who are not familiar with that dessert I’ll explain. King cake is the most loved pastry in Louisiana. To prepare a king cake you make this enriched yeasted dough. Then you stuff it with brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. You roll it and shape it into a circle. Once it is baked and cooled off you ice the king cake and sprinkle with the colorful sugar on top. It is so yummy.

Mini King Cakes in a Muffin Pan

Why should you make mini king cakes?

I live in Louisiana for more than thirteen years and I love the local food and the traditions. I prepare king cake every year for Mardi Gras and I usually bake several versions for friends and family. This year I decided to make mini king cakes because they are easier to serve for a party and you can eat them with your hands. They turned out so good.

Mini king cake close up

Helpful Tips About Making The Mini King Cakes

Before You Start.

Warm the whole milk to 120F. This will help the with the yeast activation.

Melt your butter in the microwave or on the stove.

Measure your ingredients. Getting organized and ready for the process will help you achieving best results.

Mini King Cakes tearing one apart

Helpful Tips About Making The Dough

How to measure flour? Always scoop more flour than you need in your cup and use a knife to level it off. If you have a scale, use it, because measuring ingredients by weight is always more accurate. One cup of flour contains exactly 4 oz or 120 grams of all-purpose flour.

Use slightly warm milk for the dough. I warm mine in the microwave for a minute before I add it to the rest of the ingredients. This will help with yeast activation and proofing.

When you make the dough, you might need more or less flour. It depends on the type and the brand of flour that you use. I recommend using bread flour for this recipe since it is higher on gluten.

It is very important to add the flour gradually until you have soft and stretchy dough. If it is sticking to your hands and you cannot form it to a ball, then you need more flour.

Keep the salt away from the yeast! I always add the salt after I added at least one cup of flour. I never sprinkle salt directly over the yeast. This is very important because salt kills yeast, which can stop the fermentation process and the dough won’t rise.

Mini King Cakes in a Muffin Pan

Helpful tips about proofing the dough

In this recipe you have to proof two times. The first time is longer, and it is right after you prepare the dough. I usually proof the dough in the mixing bowl. I cover it with a towel or a plastic wrap and proof for one hour.

The second proof is after you shape the dough. You can do it at room temperature or in the oven. If you proof in the oven at preheat it to 110F. This will keep the shaped dough away from drafts and keep the temperature constant. The oven method is my preferred method.

Mini King Cakes in a Muffin Pan

Different brands of flour may create different results. The amount of the flour may differ depending on the brand. Your goal is to produce soft and elastic dough that is not sticky. You may need more or less flour depending on how big are your eggs. The more liquid you have the more flour you will need.

Baking time may vary depending on the type of pan you use. Also, every oven is different, so please use your own judgment when baking.

Cool off the mini king cakes completely before icing them.

If you can’t find colorful sugar you can make it yourself. In a bowl add a quarter cup of sugar and add 1-2 drops of liquid food color of your choice (I used plant based food coloring). Stir well until the color looks even and there are no lumps.

Store leftover mini king cakes covered on the counter top for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 5-6 days.

Mini King Cakes

Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Proof time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours 40 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: butter, dough, king cake, mardi gras, mini, muffin pan, sugar
Servings: 16
Author: The Food Kooky


For the dough

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup whole milk lukewarm
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2½ – 3 cups flour I used organic all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp melted unsalted butter

For the filling

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

For the icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 Tbsp whole milk

Other ingredients

  • nonstick cooking spray I used avocado oil
  • yellow, purple and green colored sugars


To prepare the dough

  • Start by warming up the milk and melting the butter. I do that in the microwave, but you can do it on the stovetop.
  • Add one egg to a large mixing bowl. To the same bowl add the milk (120F), yeast and the sugar. Then add one cup of the flour and the salt. Use the dough hook attachment to mix all the ingredients together (on low speed). When you get a wet dough gradually add the rest of the flour (one cup at a time) and continue mixing on low until you have soft dough.
  • Once the flour is incorporated add the melted butter one tablespoon at a time while mixing. Save some butter to apply on the dough and prevent it from sticking to the sides of the bowl during proofing.
  • The dough is ready when it is no longer sticking to your hands. If it is still sticking add some more flour. Once the dough is ready add some melted butter in the bowl and oil the dough well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel proof for an hour.

To prepare the filling

  • Combine the brown sugar, melted butter and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir well until it looks like a sticky paste.

To shape the mini king cakes

  • Place the dough on a flat surface. Add flour if it is sticky. Roll it to a rectangle (about 20 inches long and 10 inches wide).
  • Spread the filling on the dough and press it down so it sticks to the dough.
    Starting at the long side, roll the dough up to form a long thin log. Cut 1 inch wide rolls off the dough log. I ended up with 16 rolls.
  • Spray two muffin tins with a nonstick spray. Place the rolls in the muffin tins with the spiral facing up.
    Mini king cakes before baking
  • Proof for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 355F
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool off in the muffin tins for at least 15 minutes. Take them out on a cooling rack and cool off completely.
    Mini king cakes cooling on a rack

To prepare the icing

  • Prepare the icing by adding the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a bowl and stir until there are no lumps left.
  • Spoon the icing on top of the mini king cakes and sprinkle on the colored sugars (alternating between the three colors).
    Applying icing on the mini king cakes
Mini King Cakes in a Muffin Pan

Other Recipes King Cake recipes you might like

Authentic King Cake

King Cake with Cream Cheese and Strawberry Jam Filling

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