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Delicious Recipe for Low-Fat King Cake


The King Cake is a treat traditional for the Christmas season in many European countries, but has later come to be associated with Mardi Gras (also known as "Fat Tuesday") and Carnival in the United States and elsewhere. This low-fat version of the New Orleans sweet bread will help you celebrate without worry.

Often, a small trinket such as a plastic baby is hidden in a twist of the cake after baking, before icing, and the lucky person who finds this trinket in his or her piece may wear a crown or tiara, and be responsible for making the next king cake... so save the recipe. You might need to pass it along!

Low-Fat Southern Cookbooks



  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 packet yeast
  • ½ cup +2 tsp sugar
  • 3 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup warm skim milk
  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters or similar egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp butter, softened


  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites beaten
  • 1 Tbsp skim milk


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • colored sugar or sprinkles (yellow, green, and purple traditionally)


In small bowl, sprinkle yeast and 2 Tbsp sugar over warm water. Let sit 4-5 minutes, then mix well and set aside until yeast bubbles and mixture about doubles in volume (around 10 minutes). While waiting for yeast to bubble, in separate mixing bowl, combine flour, remaining sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda, then add lemon zest. When yeast mixture is ready, combine with warm milk and egg substitute. Gradually add flour mixture, butter, and applesauce, stirring thoroughly. If needed, add up to ½ cup additional flour until dough reaches a soft consistency conducive to kneading. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (around 10 minutes). Spray a clean, dry bowl with nonstick cooking spray, place dough in bowl, cover, and let sit until doubled (about 90 minutes).

When dough has risen, turn out dough and punch down. Form dough into a cylinder shape and sprinkle with the 2 tsp of cinnamon listed under "Glaze." Twist dough, form into a circle and pinch ends together. Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until roughly doubled.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set it aside. Beat together egg whites and skim milk to form glaze, then brush top and sides of cake ring with the mixture. Bake 30-32 minutes or until golden brown, and cool completely on wire rack before decorating.

To make icing, combine sugar, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons water until smooth, adding more water if necessary to bring mixture to a spreadable thickness. Spread over cooled cake and sprinkle with alternating rows of brightly colored sugar.


Maddie Ruud (author) from Oakland, CA on February 06, 2012:

Hi Jess,

I've never tried it, but I'm a huge fan of experimental baking, so give it a try! You're going to want to reduce the baking time significantly and watch them carefully so they don't get dried out, though!

JessH on February 05, 2012:

This looks great- do you think it will work if I make mini kingcakes in muffin tins?

Whitney from Georgia on February 12, 2008:

Yes it was definately personal tastes, not your recipe. I was expecting more of a cake dessert. It is definately more of a spice bread.

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Maddie Ruud (author) from Oakland, CA on February 09, 2008:


Ah, well. Chalk it up to personal taste. It's true that King Cake isn't much like a traditional "cake" at all, so if that's what you were expecting, I'm sure it was quite a shock! It's more like a sweet, spiced bread.

Hope your family enjoys it, anyhow. Have them cook you something YOU like for dinner. You may not quite be even, but it would be a start ;)

Whitney from Georgia on February 09, 2008:

Alright... I finally finished making the cake, and my parents, brother, and I tried it... It really wasn't my cup of tea, but they all liked it. So, I spent all day making a cake, that I won't eat. Ha. Oh well, at least my parents like it, so it won't go to waste. I think it was the mix of the nutmeg and applesauce that I didn't really care for in a cake. I don't know. My mom said it tasted like a spice cake, but I've never had one of those either.

Although, I wasn't a big fan of it I apprecieate the recipe.

Whitney from Georgia on February 03, 2008:

Ah. Makes sense. Ok I didn't read it right.

I will. I hope to make it this weekend.

Maddie Ruud (author) from Oakland, CA on January 29, 2008:


The 1/2 tsp reflects the additional 2 tsp used to sprinkle before twisting, and is a conservative amount for those who prefer less spice in their cake. When I make it myself, I use about 2 tsp of cinnamon in the mix and 1/2 Tbsp to sprinkle, and add 1/2 tsp ground cloves as well.

Try it out and tell me how your personal taste runs!

Thanks for reading,


Whitney from Georgia on January 29, 2008:

This sounds great. A friend of mine told me to search recipes and to make one. He's from Louisianna, so he knows the good stuff. HA. He wanted me to send him any recipes I found so he could approve them, and he said this one sounded ok to make.

He suggested more cinnamon. Is the 1/2 tsp have anything to do with the cake recipe being low fat?

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