It’s Mardi Gras ~ Time for Gluten-Free King Cake

When you mention the words “Mardi Gras” most people instantly think of New Orleans. Although I have never traveled to New Orleans, it is a place that I think many people, myself included, have dreamed of visiting. Although the thought of the overcrowding on Bourbon Street, at night, during Mardi Gras is enough to put me in a cold sweat, being able to visit the culturally rich area is something I would still love to do one day.

There are many culturally rich foods associated with Mardi Gras, and one of those is the King Cake. Having lived in southern Manitoba my whole life, there have not been a lot of Mardi Gras celebrations, and I had never heard of a King Cake until a few years ago. From my reading and research, it appears to be a bread dough that is rolled around a filling and formed into a ring before baking. It seems that everyone has their own idea of what the filling for a King Cake should be. Raisins. Cream Cheese. Spices. Strawberries. Chocolate. It seems there is a wide variety of fillings for different regions or time of year. I am going to be showing you how to make a gluten-free King cake with a cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon & pecan filling, but you are free to use your favorite filling in place of it.

And whether or not you place a baby figurine in or under the cake (after baking) is totally up to you. I’ve also read of people using dried beans, an orange slice, or a few whole pecans in place of the baby figurine. Whatever you use, make sure it is not something that someone can choke on while eating this delicious cake.



For more gluten-free Mardi Gras recipes, check the following links, and have your own Mardi Gras celebration:

17 Responses to It’s Mardi Gras ~ Time for Gluten-Free King Cake

  1. Carolyn - What Life Dishes Out February 20, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    I’m so excited to try this! We often have Mardi Gras parties and I was wondering how I was going to pull off the King Cake gluten free. I didn’t even plan a party this year, but I will be up baking late tonight I’m sure, so I can be ready for a little family celebration tomorrow! :-) Thanks so much for posting this recipe!!!

    • Jeanine February 20, 2012 at 9:46 am #

      Glad that I could help, Carolyn! What type of filling did you traditionally use? Have fun baking!

  2. Beth February 20, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    I was just thinking about trying to make one of these yesterday with your cinnamon roll dough! Can’t wait to try it out!

    • Jeanine February 20, 2012 at 10:10 am #

      Beth, this recipe uses my cinnamon bun recipe as the base, so you were on the right track! :)

  3. Shirley @ gfe February 20, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Oh, Jeanine, what a beautiful King Cake! Love the side view of the goodness inside, too. 😉 Last, thanks so much for sharing my Crockpot Jambalaya! I had forgotten that tomorrow was Mardi Gras when I scheduled my support group meeting for then, can you believe it? So crockpot jambalaya is going on the menu. Maybe your cake, too? No yeast, but I may be able to pick some up today and squeeze in time … hmmm. I always have to much on my “to do” list! LOL

    Happy Family Day in Canada, dear!

    • Jeanine February 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

      You’re very welcome, Shirley! Happy to include your dish, it looks like it would be perfect for Mardi Gras. :) And those “to do” lists never shrink, do they??

  4. Marisa February 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Yummers Jeanine

    • Jeanine February 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

      Thank you, Marisa! :)

  5. Terris @ Free Eats February 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    I LOVE this King Cake. You did a fabulous job with it and the filling looks just right in my book.

    • Jeanine February 26, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      Thanks, Terris. It is (or rather, was) one yummy cake!

  6. Melissa Blickem March 23, 2012 at 9:58 pm #


    We corresponded through email and it just occurred to me while I was pursuing your site that I never “publicly” sang your praises. I lived in Louisiana for 6 years and became gluten free after leaving the state. I have tried for years to make a king cake in February because they are so yummy and remind me of happy Loisiana times. Finally, this year, thanks to you I had my first king cake in 6 years and it was so good I almost cried. I was so proud of myself! I wanted to share it with everyone AND eat it all myself 😉

    Thank you so very much!

  7. Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts January 31, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    Hey Jeanine–I’ve included your gorgeous King Cake in a roundup on All Gluten-Free Desserts. I even mentioned your other Mardi Gras recipes at the bottom of this post, but had forgotten that you’d linked to my jambalaya. 😉 Mardi Gras is in March this year, which means that Easter is in April. All that means being a little bit closer to warm weather, right? I will be ready! :-)


    • Jeanine Friesen February 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

      Haha, one can HOPE that would mean warm weather sooner, but I have my doubts! Thanks so much for including the links Shirley, I really appreciate it! As soon as this super bowl is out of the way, I’ll share the round-up with my readers. :)

  8. Joyce February 28, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    I made this last year and my family loved it! Just wanted to give you kudos! I’ll be making it again this weekend!

  9. Mary February 17, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    This recipe was amazing. We have been gluten free for about 6 months since my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I was hoping to carry on our traditions such as a king cake but wasn’t sure I would be able to. I made one today with your recipe and it was amazing. My daughter was so excited to try it. We all agreed it was better than any store bought one. Thank you so much for this recipe. It means so much to me and my family. I can’t wait to try your other recipes. Thank you!

    • Jeanine February 18, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

      Yeah! so happy to hear that, Mary! That’s what it’s about – keeping traditions alive, even without gluten. :)


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