The kind of king cake we have today is sort of like a big, oval-shaped cinnamon roll. It’s usually covered with green, gold, and purple sprinkles. The first king cakes were made in Europe to celebrate the Catholic Epiphany, and the French folks brought this tradition to Louisiana in the 1870s.

Some versions of king cake have things like pecan praline or cream cheese inside, and sometimes they use cream cheese frosting instead of regular icing.

Now, there’s a special kind of king cake called Dong Phuong King Cake, which is a blend of New Orleans tradition and Vietnamese flavors. It has soft, fluffy dough filled with sweetened condensed milk, coconut, peanuts, and dried fruits. It’s baked to a golden perfection and drizzled with a coconut glaze. This cake combines the best of both worlds, and it’s super tasty!

By the way, the colors on king cakes carry special meanings: purple represents justice, green is for faith, and gold symbolizes power and prosperity.

The Story Behind The Recipe

The name “king cake” comes from a Bible story about three kings who brought gifts to Baby Jesus. King cakes are often decorated with the Mardi Gras colors of yellow, green, and purple, and they can have fruit fillings and rich cream cheese. As a fun surprise, they sometimes contain a tiny plastic baby hidden within.

The Dong Phuong King Cake recipe comes from the Dong Phuong Bakery in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. This bakery is famous for its delicious Vietnamese pastries, and its take on the King Cake has become a hit during Mardi Gras.

The Le family, who moved to the US from Vietnam in the 1970s, founded the Dong Phuong Bakery. They brought their Vietnamese baking skills and culinary know-how with them, and these traditions shine through in their bakery’s delectable offerings. Over time, they became well-known for their top-notch pastries, including their unique King Cakes.

How To Make Dong Phuong King Cake

Treat yourself to the wonderful Dong Phuong King Cake recipe, which blends Vietnamese flavors with a New Orleans favorite. It’s a unique and delicious treat to share with your loved ones!


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped roasted peanuts

For filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water

For glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food color (if you want)

Step-by-step instructions for making dong phuong king cake

  1. In a big bowl, mix warm milk and sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the milk and wait for about 5 minutes until it’s frothy.
  2. Add melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt to the yeast mixture. Stir it all together.
  3. Slowly add the flour, one cup at a time, and mix it well after each. Knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes until it’s smooth.
  4. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it sit in a warm place for around 1 hour until it gets twice as big.
  5. While the dough rises, make the filling. In a saucepan, mix shredded coconut, sugar, water, butter, and vanilla extract. Cook on medium heat while stirring, until it thickens and the sugar dissolves. Remove it from the heat and let it cool.
  6. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and split it into two equal parts. Roll out each part into a rectangular shape, about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Spread sweetened condensed milk over each rectangle. Then, spread the coconut filling evenly, and sprinkle chopped peanuts on top.
  8. Roll up each rectangle tightly, starting from the longer side, to make a log. Pinch the ends to seal.
  9. Put the two logs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and shape them into a circle by connecting the ends. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  10. Heat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  11. Brush the risen dough with a beaten egg and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  12. Bake the king cake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until it’s golden brown.
  13. While the king cake bakes, make the glaze by mixing powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a bowl. You can divide the glaze into separate bowls and add food coloring if you want different colors.
  14. Once the king cake cools down, drizzle the glaze over it in a pretty pattern.

Tips For Making Dong Phuong King Cak

  • Don’t make the milk too hot. It should be warm, like bathwater, between 100ºF and 110ºF. If it’s too hot, it’ll harm the yeast.
  • Use butter that’s soft at room temperature in the dough, not melted.
  • You can use any milk or non-dairy milk you like.
  • Wait for the yeast to get foamy when mixed with warm milk and honey. If it doesn’t foam, the yeast might be dead, so use fresh yeast.
  • Roll out the dough when it’s cold. It’s less sticky and easier to handle.
  • Brush the rolled-out dough with melted butter instead of oil for extra flavor.
  • You can use food-grade coloring spray to add the purple, yellow, and green colors.
  • Your king cake can stay fresh at room temperature for up to 4 days if you wrap it tightly with plastic. After the second day, you can warm it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to freshen it up.
  • You can add your favorite fruit filling inside the king cake.
  • You can use lemon juice instead of milk for tangy icing

Serving Suggestions

  • Breakfast: Start your day with a slice of Dong Phuong King Cake, making your morning a bit sweeter.
  • Coffee or Tea: Enjoy a slice of Dong Phuong King Cake with a cup of coffee or tea. The flavors pair wonderfully with a warm beverage.
  • Pair with Ice Cream: For an extra indulgent treat, serve a slice of king cake with a scoop of vanilla or coconut ice cream.
  • Celebrations: Dong Phuong King Cake is perfect for celebrating special occasions, so consider it for birthdays, anniversaries, or any festive event.
  • Toast to Tradition: If you love combining traditions, enjoy Dong Phuong King Cake during Mardi Gras or other celebrations that call for king cake.


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