Behind the Scenes: How to Make a Haydel’s King Cake

Go behind the scenes of king cake magic at Haydel's Bakery.

During Carnival, Haydel’s Bakery in New Orleans can crank out as many as 60,000 king cakes, and the process to get them on shelves is no easy task. Co-owner David Haydel, Jr. takes us behind the scenes of king cake magic. Check out the video. Then, if you want to try making one at home, see the official recipe below.

Haydel’s Bakery Official King Cake Recipe

Cream well:

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose shortening

Add and continue creaming:

2 large eggs

Dissolve and add:

1  cup liquid milk (at room temperature)
2 packs active dry yeast
1 teaspoon flavor ( lemon, orange, vanilla or butter)

Add and mix until smooth:

4 cups all-purpose flour

Knead by hand until dough is smooth and pliable.

Dough temperature out of the mixer should be 80 degrees F.

Allow dough to rest for approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Roll out in an oblong piece. Paint with vegetable oil. Add heavy cinnamon sugar; fold to hold sugar in.

Cut into three strips; plait (braid). Let rest until it can be stretch easily and made into a circle.

All 3/4 proof. (TO DOUBLE IN SIZE)

Mix colored sugar (purple, gold and green) using granulated sugar and paste color. Put on cake just before it goes into oven.

Bake at 370 degrees F for approximately 12 – 15 minutes.

Happy Mardi Gras!

Recipe courtesy of Haydel’s Bakery