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Mardi Gras King Cake

King cake season is here and we all have a craving for that purple, green and gold sweet treat! This classic authentic Mardi Gras King Cake recipe delivers that traditional taste we can’t get enough of. Laissez les bons temps rouler!




  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm milk (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 plastic baby charm


  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon


  • 1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • Colored Sprinkling Sugar (green, gold and purple)


Place warm water in a large warm bowl.

Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved.

Add warm milk, softened butter, sugar, nutmeg and salt; then add 1 cup flour; blend well.

Stir in eggs and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease surface of dough.

Cover; let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, (about 1 hour).

Punch down dough.

Remove to lightly floured surface; roll to 30- by 9-inch rectangle.

Brush with melted butter; then sprinkle to within half-inch of edges with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Beginning at the long end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll; pinch seam to seal.

With a sharp knife, cut roll in half lengthwise; carefully turn halves so that the cut sides face up. Twist halves together, keeping cut sides up so filling is visible.

As you are twisting, place the baby charm somewhere in the center of the dough.

Transfer dough to a greased baking sheet.

Shape into a ring; pinch ends together to seal.

Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size (about 20 to 40 minutes)

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until done.

Remove from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.

Mix all icing ingredients together until smooth;

Divide into three small bowls and tint purple, green and gold.

Drizzle over the top of the cake, add colored sprinkling sugar (coarse grain sugar) as desired.


About Us

Market UmbrellaMarket Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.

Crescent City Farmers MarketThe Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round throughout New Orleans. The CCFM hosts nearly 60 local small farmers, fishers, and food producers, and more than 150,000 shoppers annually.