Have a marijuana Mardi Gras with this infused King Cake recipe

cannabis king cake

Mardi Gras is French for “fat Tuesday.” The celebration signifies the last day before Ash Wednesday. It is the final hurrah of Carnival season before a period of religious fasting known as Lent. To celebrate, people take to the streets in Louisiana to dance and witness a spectacle of floats and metallic beads.

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Eating rich, fatty foods like King Cake on Mardi Gras is also customary. The regional treat is a filled bread with decadent icing and festive decorations. They can be filled with cinnamon sugar or fruit and cream, but imagine if it also had cannabis inside.

I did just that and then tried it out myself. Before sharing more, let’s explore where Mardi Gras and cannabis can intersect.

Cannabis and Mardi Gras

Celebrating Mardi Gras includes outrageous costumes, decadent foods, decorative masks often made by skilled Louisiana artisans, and more. There are a few ways that pot can make an appearance at the festivities.

Dressing in a cannabis costume for the parade is one way to show love for the plant this Fat Tuesday. Those who don’t want to draw too much attention may consider wearing or bringing green beads with cannabis fan leaves rather than the traditional ones that are only round. Designing a cannabis mask can also bring weed into the picture. Imagine a cannabis Green Man mask–that would be sick.

Of course, one of the most logical ways for cannabis to be involved is to infuse the divine foods found at Mardi Gras celebrations. Beignets, crawfish boils, Po’boys, and other Louisiana fare are common on Fat Tuesday, but the treat that screams Mardi Gras is King Cake. And we made it into a weed cake.

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What is King Cake?

King Cakes are traditionally made for a celebration called Epiphany on January 6th. You can find them in bakery cases through Spring. Many associate the pastry with Mardi Gras. However, it gets its name from Epiphany, or Twelfth Night, when the three wise men (also called kings of Bethlehem) are said to have delivered gifts to the baby Jesus.

This origin story is precisely why bakers often place a plastic baby inside of the yeasted cinnamon roll-style cake. Those who get the baby become royalty for the rest of the gathering—it also signifies luck and prosperity in the coming year. Unlike getting the plastic baby in a Rosca de Reyes, which many avoid since it means you’re making tamales for everyone on Dia de Candelaria a month later.

Making of a cannabis King Cake

Over the years, people have modified or changed up the traditional King Cake, but there are locally beloved Bayou classics that are standing the test of time. Traditionally, a King Cake consists of a yeasted dough filled with cinnamon sugar or cream cheese and fruit. The bready cake is formed into a ring and topped with cream cheese frosting along with green, yellow, and purple sprinkles, baubles, and even edible glitter.

I adapted a recipe from Murmurs of Ricotta, a culinary blog written by Maria Do, who grew up in New Orleans before settling in Southern California. Do based the recipe on a famous New Orleans King Cake from Duong Phong Bakery, so there are some differences from a traditional one.

This King Cake isn’t braided; instead, slits are cut into the sides to prioritize even baking. There is also a smaller hole in the middle for the same reason. She also uses a folding method rather than kneading, which can make a fluffier texture–but it takes a long time.

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As for changes that I made, I removed dairy from the equation and added premium CBD-rich hemp flower. Since there are two entry points for butter, this is an easy recipe to infuse. Here are the ingredients for a cannabis King Cake recipe.

Dairy-free Cannabis King Cake ingredients based on Murmurs of Ricotta renowned recipe:


  • ¾ cup warm coconut milk from a can (100-110 degrees F)
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 2 ¼ tsp instant yeast (or one packet)
  • 4 large eggs, room temp
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 10 TB infused vegan butter

Cinnamon filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TB ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 TB vegan butter, melted


  • 6 TB vegan butter
  • 4 oz vegan cream cheese
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp whole milk
  • ¼ cup canned coconut milk for brushing
  • Sprinkles or chosen decor

For detailed directions, visit the Murmurs of Ricotta recipe. We’ve also got you covered on how to infuse canna butter and the top cannabis infusions machines. As for converting the recipe to vegan, there are easy 1:1 switches with milk, butter, and cream cheese. I use Tofutti vegan cream cheese and Earth Balance butter when baking, preferably unsalted if I can find it. When replacing milk in baked goods, canned coconut works wonders for matching the viscosity of cow’s milk–but remember to mix it up before pouring it into the bowl.

Making a King Cake is a noteworthy way to say goodbye to decadence before Lent; including cannabis in the recipe only adds to the luxury and decadence of the occasion. This cannabis King Cake turned out wonderfully thanks to big help from Maria Do, and some relevant experience from yours truly. Whether weed is a part of the celebration or not, be safe this Mardi Gras and, of course, have fun.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of GreenState.com and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.