Even a bad King Cake is pretty good. I used a recipe from nolacuisine.com, after ascertaining that the Epicurious one was way beyond my meager baking skills. It came out (to my taste) too dry and flat, and the pecan filling leaked out all over the cookie sheet, but the simple icing was a hit (1 cup powdered sugar to 1 tablespoon bourbon plus coloring). Yet even that I had trouble with; I got food coloring all over my fingers, and the blue seemed intent on overpowering any red I added to get a good shade of purple.
They say no one in New Orleans makes a King Cake; they all buy them from bakeries there. I now know why.