Gluten Free King Cake Recipe

Gluten Free King Cake Recipe

A gluten free King Cake recipe should let you honor your family’s tradition, without sacrificing the texture and flavor you’re used to: things rice-based gluten free flours won’t let you do. gfJules has you covered.

But first, a little history.

Gluten free King Cake

The Story of King Cake

After the Twelfth Night of Christmas, this culinary tradition begins in the South that most folks only associate with Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans. Biblical tradition holds that kings visited the baby Jesus by traveling for 12 days to reach him on what we now call “Epiphany.”

gluten free king cake close up - gfJules

Beginning at Epiphany and lasting only until Mardi Gras day, the tradition of a King Cake in the Southern United States has evolved from what was brought by European settlers in the 1700s to what we now recognize as one of the preeminent symbols of the revelry of Mardi Gras.

gluten free king cake baby

Today, King Cakes are used to select Mardi Gras Kings and Queens as well as to celebrate the season in households and at parties across the country.

King Cakes have many looks, the most classic being a crown shaped pastry dotted with the sugared colors of Carnival: purple, gold and green. Some have fillings, others do not, though they all house a hidden trinket like a plastic (formerly porcelain) baby.

Making a Gluten Free King Cake

Watch my how-to tutorial video on making Gluten Free King Cake!


You’ll see from the video that this cake is made by spreading the yummy cinnamon and sugar mixture down the middle of the dough.

gluten free king cake with filling before rolling

Then you roll it up like a log (much like the process for making homemade gluten free cinnamon rolls).

gluten free king cake rolled up

Then take the ends and pull them together gently to make the ring, or crown. This process is made easy because of my award-winning gfJules Flour which adds stretch to doughs like these. Not only is the dough easy to work with, but the finished product is light and flaky, too!

gluten free king cake shaped

Next comes the fun part that makes this cake truly unique: the baby!

The trinket hidden inside each cake adds to its popularity, although the uninitiated often fail to recognize that finding the trinket inside your piece of cake may come not only with privileges (good fortune and/or becoming the King or Queen of the ball) but just as often with responsibilities (bringing the next cake!).

My daughter’s marraine ((mah-rehn) — her Godmother, to you non-cajun-ites!) served a King Cake at my baby shower and I served King Cake at her baby shower in return. It was quite a fun tradition to celebrate!


Until creating this recipe, I was unable to enjoy anything but the tiny plastic baby trinket I found in my King Cake, as I had never had a gluten-free version. This cinnamon-roll-like creation is fast becoming a family favorite here, as the first one I made was devoured in a single evening! You’ll love it too!

See my King Cake on the CBS-Baltimore News! (click for video here)

To see a video tutorial on how-to shape and make this delicious King Cake, hop to my YouTube video!


Gluten Free King Cake Recipe

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes + 30 minutes rise time
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cake


Filling Ingredients:

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-2 Tbs. milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1/4 tsp. pure almond extract (optional)
  • colored sugar (purple, gold and green)


Prepare the filling by tossing the chopped apples together with the gfJules™ All Purpose Flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, melt the 4 tablespoons butter, and set both bowls aside.

In a small bowl, combine the warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast; stir and set aside to proof. If the mixture is not bubbly and doubled in volume after 5-10 minutes, toss out and start again with fresh yeast.

In a large mixing bowl, blend the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add the milk and eggs and beat until well-integrated. Add only 2 cups of gfJules™ All Purpose Flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg and mix well. Stir in the proofed yeast-sugar-water mixture, then add the remaining 1 cup gfJules™ All Purpose Flour. Beat another 1-2 minutes, until the dough is clumping together and is not too sticky.

Prepare a large baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a silicone pastry mat or onto a clean counter dusted lightly with gfJules™ All Purpose Flour (be sure to have enough counter space, at least 30 inches wide).

Roll the dough out to an elongated rectangle 24-30 inches long by 9-10 inches wide. Brush on the melted butter, coating the entire rectangle.

Sprinkle the filling mixture on top of the melted butter, spreading to the ends of the rectangle, but leaving 1/2-1 inch without toppings on each of the long sides of the rectangle.

Using a bench scraper or a spatula, gently peel up one of the long sides of the rectangle and begin rolling it as you would a jelly roll. Once the entire pastry is rolled upon itself until no pastry remains unrolled, a 24-30 inch long roll will remain. Gently pull the two ends of the roll together to form a circle or oval.

Dabbing the ends of the pastry with water, join the ends together to close the circle. Gently transfer the ring to the parchment-lined baking sheet, or transfer the ring on the silicone baking mat to the baking sheet.

Brush the milk on top of the exposed pastry, then using a large sharp knife, make a cut in the top of the pastry every 2 inches to expose one layer of the roll.

Spray a sheet of wax paper with cooking oil, then cover the cake and let rise in a warm spot for 20-30 minutes like a warming drawer or an oven heated to 200º F then turned off.

Preheat oven to 350º F (static) or 325º F (convection).

Remove the wax paper from the cake and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove to a wire rack to cool.

While cooling, mix icing ingredients and drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle colored sugar on top of wet icing, alternating colors between each cut in the top of the cake.

Insert a pecan or plastic baby into the underside of the cake to hide it.

Wishing you and yours a sweet Mardi Gras!
Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Pin for later!


Gluten Free & Dairy Free King Cake for Mardi Gras gfJules

gluten free king cake pin - gfJules

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68 thoughts on “Gluten Free King Cake Recipe

  1. I am sure this recipe is wonderful – but my first time ever using gluten-free flour and I don’t think I got it so right! About to bake it now even though it looks like this! I will send another photo after I smother it with the frosting! This is for my husband’s trivia night at the bar so I don’t think the boys will care too much!

  2. We tried this with Bob’s gluten free all purpose flour and it didn’t hold together/became a blob of goodness. I was wondering if refrigerating the dough before rolling it out would help… for those using a different flour. It’s still cooling so we haven’t tried it but it smells wonderful 🤤🎉

  3. thank you for this! because of a craving I was researching king cakes and found everything I need to know here! I am sounding like a commercial review, ha! I may have to make one this year…

  4. Thank you for the detailed instructions! I have been missing king cake in my life since I have become gluten free so this is perfect!

    • Hi Tina, take a look at my vegan egg replacer recommendations in this recipe and choose one that you like that is good for breads: Let me know what you decide and how it turns out! I would lean towards a flaxseed meal replacement since this is a yeast application, but there might be another one you would prefer.

  5. Pingback: Recipes for Mardi Gras: gluten free Mardi Gras King cake

  6. I have done King Cake using the cinnamon roll recipe on the Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust/Cinnamon roll mix but I was not thrilled with the results. I would like it to come out softer.
    I am studying your recipe here but I could do with a corn free flour. A little of the starch in a mix is tolerable for me but actual corn flour would bother me. I have Bob’s baking flour but it does not say it is for bread.

    • Hi Louise, I can’t say I have worked with any of Bob’s flours – they’re not certified gluten free so I won’t risk it. If you’re looking for a corn-free blend, I have a ratio recipe you can follow in this article, or try Better Batter Flour. I hope you get to try this recipe again with a good flour blend so it comes out yummy and soft like it should!

      • Since when is Bob’s gluten-free flour not certified? They have their own separate building for gluten-free products and I’m sure they have been certified. Diane

        • Hi Diane, certified gluten free means that an independent agency certifies a company’s product by testing it and auditing and doing spot checks, etc. It also means that the independent certifier has recall authority and allows the manufacturer to display its certification on the company’s products. Bob’s Red Mill has never been independently certified and according to their QA department when I asked them on a site visit last year, they have no intentions of ever submitting to an outside certifier. Here’s more information about certifications so that you can determine the difference when you are shopping and reading labels. I hope that helps.

    • I did not rate this recipe because I have not yet tried it. Maybe in a couple months (long past Mardi Gras, but that’s OK with me. I wanted to comment on Bob’s Red Mill flours. I have used his separate flours, in the beginning of my GF journey 8 years ago. It was tough having to blend my own flours, but I survived and things have gotten a lot better/easier since learning of so many other options. I have recently used a GF muffin mix by Bob’s and found it to be very good and I did not have any reactions to anything I’ve tried that Bob’s makes. I live near there so it is easy to find his products. I also have not yet used any of Jules products (for me, it has been a matter of extremely tiny budget due to medical bills not related to GF) but I have tasted some at our annual GF Food & Allergy Expo. As soon as I get my budget arranged better, I will be ordering. In the meantime, I’ve tried some of your recipes with the ingredients I have available and have enjoyed many fine goodies. Looking forward to enjoying a lot of GF Jules in the near future.

  7. What fun it would be to have one of these for our family Fat Tuesday! I am a Celiac with Dairy, Egg, & Sugar intolerance, as well & 3 of my 6 children are Gluten & either/or Dairy & Egg intolerant, also. I have a few questions about this recipe. You show some substitutions (Dairy free “butter” etc.) but what about the eggs? Can Ener-G Egg replacement or Follow Your Heart Vegan Eggs be used? Also, can Stevia or Coconut Sugar be used in place of the Cane Sugar? Your products have been a lifesaver for us.