The King Cake, which takes its name from the biblical kings, is a Mardi Gras tradition served throughout the carnival season.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. With a dough hook, mix on low for 3 minutes then turn the mixer to medium high for an additional 5 minutes. Dough should feel smooth and elastic.
Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and allow to rest an hour.
Portion dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each into a strand about 18 inches long.
Braid the four pieces together and connect the ends to form a circle. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Cover lightly with a damp towel and allow to proof in a warm location about 2-3 hours or until doubled in size and dough no longer springs back when lightly pressed with a finger.
Pre-heat oven to 350°F then bake dough for 10-15 minutes, rotating halfway through.
Allow to cool completely on baking rack.
Cream butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth.
Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy and bright white.
Once the cake is cooled, hide the plastic baby by inserting through the bottom of the cake.
Liberally apply cream cheese frosting to the top and alternately sprinkle the colourful sanding sugars in sections.