Sugar Free Recipe for King Cake

King Cake

Check out the reduced sugar version of this classic New Orleans ring-shaped pastry with a signature creamy frosting and colorful glitter sprinkled all over. This iconic Mardi Gras dessert is served yearly in honor of the Catholic holiday “3 Kings Day”. If you’re looking to add a little luck to this reduced-sugar festive cake, add a small plastic baby as a fun surprise for those enjoying this tasty dessert! (It’s said to bring good luck to the person who finds the baby). We interpreted the All Recipes version of the cake, but made it with Zero-Calorie Purecane sugar substitutes for a healthier spin on a timeless recipe. 

Prep Time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 4 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 16 servings


Pastry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup warm water 
  • ½ cup Purecane™ zero-calorie Baking Sweetener, divided
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly nutmeg, grated
  • 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Filing Ingredients:

Frosting Ingredients:

King Cake - Sugar Free Recipe


Make the Pastry

  1. Bring milk to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Set aside, and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. 
  2. Stir together warm water, 1 tablespoon Baking Sweetener and yeast in a large bowl. Let stand until creamy in texture, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add cooled milk mixture to yeast mixture and whisk in eggs. Stir in remaining Baking Sweetener, salt, and nutmeg. Combine flour, 1 cup at a time, into milk and egg mixture beating until a dough starts to form. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead with clean hands until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  4. Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap; let dough rise in a room temperature/warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. Once dough has risen, punch down and divide into 2 halves.
  5. Next, preheat the oven to 375°F and grease 2 cookie sheets with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.

Make the Filling

  1. Combine Brown Sweetener, pecans, flour, raisins, and cinnamon in a bowl. Pour melted butter on top and mix until crumbly in texture.
  2. Take dough and roll out each half into a rectangle shape, sprinkle the Brown Sweetener mixture evenly over both dough rectangles, roll up tightly like a cinnamon roll, starting at a wide side. Connect each dough roll together at ends to create 2 oval-shaped rings.
  3. Place each dough ring on a separate prepared baking sheet. Then with scissors, make cuts ⅓ of the way through the rings at 1-inch apart. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  4. Bake in the oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Check frequently for rise on bake to ensure it doesn’t over bake.

Make the Glaze 

  1. Stir together Confectioners Sweetener and water in a bowl until smooth.
  2. Optional step: Add the baby doll into the bottom of the cake, by pushing into dough
  3. Drizzle glaze over both warm cakes, sprinkle with edible glitter, and enjoy!