Boudin King Cake

Cheese-stuffed boudin regally encased in crusty pepper jelly-glazed bread -- the king of all cakes.

Cheese-stuffed boudin regally encased in crusty, pepper jelly-glazed bread — the king of all cakes. (All photos credit: George Graham)

There are many great reasons to live in Louisiana, but Mardi Gras has to be near the top of the list. And king cake – the most regal cake of all – makes the carnival season even more special. This sugary confection comes out of hiding about three weeks before Mardi Gras day and is obsessed over by legions of passionate pastry aficionados who devour and debate their way through every king cake. And then it’s gone in a flash – into sweet hibernation.

But does king cake have to be sweet? Why not a savory and spicy version featuring boudin? That’s the very question my friend Bob Carriker asked himself. Dr. Robert Carriker has a Ph.D. in boudin – well, actually history – and he heads up the Cajun Boudin Trail as well as the history department at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. But his mad genius of an idea — Boudin King Cake — has raised the king cake obsession to new levels. He debuted his boudin king cake – made from a boxed bread mix, Steen’s cane syrup and topped with cracklins – a year ago. Well, not to be outdone, I have a version, too.  And it’s as simple as it gets — less than ten minutes to assemble.

Remove the casing from the boudin and stuff with cheese and wrap in a dough sheet -- couldn't be simpler.

Remove the casing from the boudin, stuff with cheese and wrap in a dough sheet — couldn’t be simpler.

After a few rounds of trial and error, I found the perfect balance – tasty and easy – for my boudin king cake. There are only six key ingredients: Start with your favorite boudin or make your own; you’ll need a block of pepper jack cheese; pick up a couple packages of Crescent dinner roll sheets (not the rolls), open up a jar of red pepper jelly; chop some green onion tops; and fry up some crispy bacon. Once you gather all your ingredients, the assembly is easy, and it all bakes up golden brown and spicy delicious in less than an hour.

Crispy bacon-topped crusty bread filled with spicy boudin oozing with pepper jack and glazed with a fiery sweet pepper jelly – reason enough for Mardi Gras to last year round.

4.8 from 15 reviews
Boudin King Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe by:
Serves: 4 to 6
  • ½ cup red pepper jelly, such as Tabasco
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 pound boudin links
  • 1 (8-ounce) package pepper jack cheese, cut into planks
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans Pillsbury Crescent dough sheets, 1 sheet per can
  • 1 large egg, beaten, for brushing
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup crumbled bacon
  • ½ cup diced green onion tops
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. For the glaze, in a saucepan over medium heat, add the red pepper jelly and let cook until it softens and begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Add the water and stir until it thins out. Turn off the heat and keep warm.
  3. Lay out 2 links of boudin, and with a sharp paring knife, slice down the length of the boudin casing. Peel off the casing and discard. Slice halfway into the boudin the full length of the link. Wedge a plank of cheese into the opening at intervals along the boudin. Push down and close up the boudin around the cheese.
  4. Open a dough sheet package and unroll the sheet. Place the cylinder of cheese-stuffed boudin on the sheet and roll the dough around. Cut off the excess and pinch the ends closed. Repeat with the second link of boudin.
  5. On a metal baking tray sprayed with non-stick spray, place the 2 dough-wrapped boudin cylinders and join them together at the ends to form a circle. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven.
  7. With a spoon or brush, drizzle and paint the pepper jelly over the top of the hot pastry. Sprinkle the top with crumbled bacon and diced green onion tops.
  8. Serve on the baking tray by slicing the boudin king cake into portions and calling your guests while it’s piping hot.
In Louisiana, freshly made boudin is sold most everywhere (even gas stations), but if you want to make your own, follow my Cajun boudin recipe here. Bring your boudin to room temperature before wrapping in the cold dough. The Crescent dough sheets are a relatively new product (at least, for me) and I find them in most supermarkets (Albertson’s and Rouses in Lafayette). Boudin links (casing removed) make this easy and are the perfect size for rolling in one sheet of dough. Scale up this recipe by matching each link of boudin with a dough sheet (and more cheese, of course). For the inside dough to cook, and the cheese to melt, it is essential to let the bread bake until golden brown. To reheat, place the baking tray back into the oven set on 200ºF until just warmed through.

Melted cheese and spicy boudin royally redefines the Mardi Gras king cake.

Melted cheese and spicy boudin royally redefines the Mardi Gras king cake.

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  1. Marsha M. - SOCAL says

    I am very interested in making a King Cake that isn’t sweet. This looks fabulous! Someone here in the Los Angeles area must sell Boudin. I will start hunting for it now.

  2. Robert says

    Looks good and Family is from Lafayette & Broussard. Thanks and can’t wait for more recipes and to try the Boudin King Cake. Happy Mardi Gras.

    • says

      Hey Bob-
      Yes. Where I live in Lafayette, Louisiana, excellent boudin is just a 3 minute drive away, and within 15 minutes are dozens of different choices with varying flavor profiles. It’s not difficult to find a favorite to match your taste. If you do not have access to superior store-bought boudin, I urge you to go online and buy it, or follow my recipe on the story “On The Trail of the Perfect Boudin” and make your own. It is worth the effort. Best, George

  3. Sherrie says

    I have been making boudin pepper jack filled King cakes for over 2 years …we use a local cane syrup and our own pepper jelly to make a glaze and top it off with spicy crackling crumbs..,our bread is homemade every day and we also stuff it with crawfish etoufee and jambalaya.

  4. Erica Schmidt says

    Tried it tonight and it was delicious!!!! Thanks for the receipe. It won’t let me give a 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating but that’s what it deserves

  5. Dorothy Matthews says

    Hi, I’m from La. But now live in Arkansas and don’t get Boudin very much because it’s just about unheard around here. Your recipe sounds delious and I’m going to get the makings to make it. Thank you very much and looking forward to other recipes.

    • says

      Hey Mike- No, that’s the ease of this recipe: There’s nothing to precook. When you purchase boudin, it is already cooked. If you make your own boudin following my recipe, it will be cooked as well. Baking the stuffed dough will heat the boudin and melt the cheese to perfection. Best, George

  6. JMC says

    Hey George – made this today and followed your recipe exactly with Poche’s boudin. Really, really good, so easy to make, and great presentation with the killer final touches of pepper jelly, crumbled bacon, and green onion. My wife & I loved it and will definitely be making this again soon. Cheers, much obliged.

    • says

      Thanks so much for letting us know. It’s great hearing all the success stories with this recipe. While it’s a great combination of flavors, it is the ease of preparation that makes it work so well. Long after Mardi Gras, I’m thinking this “boudin bread” has a place on my table year round. All the best, George

  7. Barbara Cleland says

    Can’t wait to try this boudin king cake. Bought the boudin today, and will get the rest tomorrow and make tomorrow night. I often stop on the way to work to buy boudin to my work mates….we call it the breakfast of champions! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Louise says

    I made this recipe. It is very good! My family, from our 2-year-old grandson to the grandparents, and everybody in between, really liked it! Like a previous comment from the author, you pick your favorite boudin and go from there. The pepper jelly glaze really sets it off.

  9. Molly Richard says

    Mardi Gras breakfast hit! It was easy and came out perfect, except that I used a baking pan that was too thin, and the bottom overcooked. I suggest you use a thick or double-walled pan for baking this. Otherwise everyone loved it!

  10. Sandy LeBlanc says

    A gem! Made this for yesterday’s SuperBowl and most of the men missed the first 10 minutes of the game because they couldn’t stop eating!! I’m not really a boudin fan but I loved the special flavors and the fun.

  11. Jennifer Guidry says

    My hubby made this tonight & all I can say is Wow! Seems as though we have a new Mardi Gras tradition in our house!

    • says

      Jennifer- Hang on to that husband, he’s a keeper. And hang on to this recipe for making year-round boudin-stuffed French bread. Who says it’s just for Mardi Gras? Instead of joining the two loaves into a king cake-like circle, just leave them in two straight loaves…voila…Boudin-Stuffed French Bread loaf. And you have the option of brushing them with garlic butter (along with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese) rather than the sweeter pepper jelly glaze. Best to you (and your husband), George

  12. Kristine says

    I’ve made 4 of your boudin cakes since finding the recipe. Needless to say, it was out of this world. I used the Tabasco brand jelly but I prefer the green jalapeño jelly from a local specialty shop, much hotter. Thanks for posting this wonderful treat. Your recipe is now being shared at my husbands workplace.

    • says

      Kristine- Thanks for sharing your success story. And you are correct, there are many great pepper jelly options if you look for them. Or even better, make your own. Best to you, George

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