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In the Kitchen

Mardi Gras King Cake

March 04, 2019

King Cake is a delicious Mardi Gras tradition, often served with a plastic baby hidden somewhere in the cake after it’s baked. Whoever gets the slice with the baby in it is next year’s Mardi Gras party host! This recipe is made the traditional way, with a yeast-raised dough. For a shortcut, try making it with canned crescent dough.

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In a small pot over medium-high heat, bring milk just to a boil. Remove from heat, and stir in butter until melted. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

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In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 ½ teaspoons of the sugar in the warm water. Let it stand until frothy, about 10 minutes. Stir the cooled milk mixture into the yeast mixture.

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Add the eggs, remaining ¼ cup sugar, salt and nutmeg; stir to combine. Stir in the flour.

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Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper that measures at least 10 inches by 16 inches. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet, and press or roll out into a 10-inch by 16-inch rectangle. Crumble the filling over the top, then roll up tightly into a 16-inch log.

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Gently bring the ends together to form a circle, pinching the ends together. Use scissors to make shallow cuts every two inches around the outside edge of the circle. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap, then let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

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Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until puffed and golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and water together until smooth. Pour over the top of the cake, then immediately sprinkle sections of alternating green, purple, and gold sprinkles. Enjoy!

 

Mardi Gras King Cake

Serves 12-14

 

Dough:

½ cup milk

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1 package (.25 ounce) active dry yeast

1 ½ teaspoons plus ¼ cup sugar

1/3 cup warm (110°F) water

1 egg, lightly beaten

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

2 ¾ cups flour

 

Filling:

½ cup brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

1/3 cup chopped pecans

¼ cup flour

¼ cup raisins

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

 

Icing:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon water

 

Purple, green, and gold sprinkles, for decoration

 

Directions:

In a small pot over medium-high heat, bring milk just to a boil. Remove from heat, and stir in butter until melted. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

 

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 ½ teaspoons of the sugar in the warm water. Let it stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.

 

Stir the cooled milk mixture into the yeast, then add the eggs, remaining ¼ cup sugar, salt and nutmeg; stir to combine. Stir in the flour. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

 

Lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

 

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans, flour, raisins, and melted butter until combined and crumbly.

 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper that measures at least 10 inches by 16 inches. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet, and press or roll out into a 10-inch by 16-inch rectangle. Crumble the filling over the top, then roll up tightly into a 16-inch log. Gently bring the ends together to form a circle, pinching the ends together. Use scissors to make shallow cuts every two inches around the outside edge of the circle. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap, then let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

 

Remove plastic wrap, then bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until puffed and golden brown on top.

 

Remove from oven and let cool on the pan for 15 minutes.

 

In a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and water together until smooth. Pour over the top of the cake, then immediately sprinkle sections of alternating green, purple, and gold sprinkles.

 

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