• Donald Link’s “Elvis” King Cake


Peanut Butter & Banana King Cake with Candied Bacon

By Executive Pastry Chef Rhonda Ruckman, Link Restaurant Group

Much of this King Cake recipe can be prepared a day ahead. The recipe is broken down into three parts, dough, filling and icing.

Elvis King Cake



  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1   1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (King Arthur’s flour Sir Galahad)
  • 1 teaspoon Instant yeast (SAF yeast does not need to be dissolved)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Peanut Butter & Banana Filling

  • 2  bananas
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 5 yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter

Marshmallow Icing

  • 1 cup pre-cooked chopped bacon
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 4   1/2 sheets gelatin or 2 heaping teaspoon of powdered gelatin
  • Mardi Gras sprinkles or Purple, Green and Gold colored sugars
  • Traditional King Cake baby


Servings: Makes one large 10″ king cake


  1.  In the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, mix ingredients on medium speed.
  2. Scrape down the bowl and continue mixing for at least 15 minutes. The dough should be silky and supple and tacky. You may need to sprinkle in a little more flour while mixing to achieve this texture.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, rolling it around to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Proof at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size. Or, skip the proof, press dough into a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap. Chill overnight or for at least 2 hours.*
  5. Prepare the filling.
  6. Transfer the dough to the counter. Divide chilled dough into 2 equal pieces.
  7. Using a little bit of extra flour, lightly dust the top of the dough and the counter.  Roll each piece into a rectangle about 8 to 10 inches long using a rolling pin. Use the extra flour to keep the dough from sticking to the pin or the counter.
  8. Spread a layer of filling.
  9. Cut the two rectangles lengthwise and roll each strip into a rope. Braid the two strips together end over end. Do the same with the others. Bring the braids together attaching the ends and forming a circle.
  10. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a tea towel. Allow to rise in a warm spot in the kitchen, about 80F.  If the dough was not retarded overnight, this will only take about 90 minutes. If the dough was chilled, this may take up to 2 or 3 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen. Your King Cake will double in size.
  11. Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare the icing.
  12. Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes until light golden in color. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature preferably on a wire rack.

*It’s definitely easier to work with this dough when it has been chilled, even for a short period of time (2 hours).

Peanut Butter & Banana Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Peel two bananas and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with light brown sugar and place the sheet into the oven to roast for 20 minutes.  Remove bananas from oven and allow to cool, bananas should be darker in color and softer. Set aside.
  3. Combine 3/4 cup milk and half of the sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch with the remaining sugar. Stirring with a whisk, add the remaining milk. Add the yolks and vanilla extract, stirring until the mixture is completely smooth.
  5. Temper the egg mixture by adding about 1/3 of the hot milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return the mixture to the remaining hot milk in the sauce pan. Continue cooking, stirring vigorously with the whisk until the pastry cream comes to a boil.
  6. Pour the pastry cream into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill.
  7. In the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the bananas until it is broken up but still chunky. Add the pastry cream and peanut butter and mix until all is incorporated. Set aside and reserve for King Cake filling. If preparing a day ahead, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Marshmallow Icing

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare bacon by tossing in light brown sugar and spreading on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until sugar is melted. Turn bacon out onto paper towel to remove excess bacon fat and allow to cool. Set aside.
  2. Bloom gelatin in cold water and melt. To use sheet gelatin, soak sheets of gelatin in a bowl of cold ice water for 5 to 10 minutes. Once soft, wring gently to remove excess water. To bloom the powdered gelatin, sprinkle the granules of gelatin over the surface of 1/4 cup cold water. Allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes. Melt over a hot water bath or in the microwave, heating seconds at a time. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepot and using a candy thermometer, cook water, sugar and corn syrup to 242F. Turn off heat, allow the sugar to cool to 210F.  Pour into stand mixer and whisk for a few minutes until foamy. Add the melted bloomed gelatin. Whip for about 10 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy and the marshmallow is cool to the touch. With a spatula, spread onto the cooled King Cake and using a kitchen torch, brown the topping until golden, sprinkle with Mardi Gras sprinkles or colored sugars. Finish by lifting the King Cake and hiding the King Cake baby under a random portion of dough. Top with candied bacon.
  4. Place on your most festive platter and have a King Cake party.  Laissez le bon temp roule!

NOTE Filling and dough can be prepared one day ahead.

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