Tuesday, March 8, 2011

King Cake: A Fat Tuesday Must!

Every year (barring last year), I always make a big pot of Seafood Gumbo or Crawfish Ettouffe and King Cake for dessert to celebrate Mardi Gras. New Orleans holds a special place in my heart...the music, culture, and of course the food!!!

This year to make ammends to my family for skipping out last year, I made our beloved King Cake with a  recipe from Emeril Lagasse.  The only change I made was to refrigerate the dough after it rose the first time.  This was mostly due to me trying to multi-task and not being able to roll out the dough right away.  Actually it worked in my favor...the dough seemed even more flaky, light and tender.

After baking, you can insert a plastic baby or a pecan in the cake.  Tradition goes, if you find the baby, next year you host the next Mardi Gras party {or bring the cake the following year!}.  Just be sure to let your guests know to look for the plastic baby so they don't crack a tooth or choke on it- a true party killer.

Luisa, one of the three bakers on this blog, also made the same recipe. Please see her step by step photos below :-)

And Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

King Cake Recipe

  • 1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 2 packages dry yeast 
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 to 5 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped candied citron
  • 1 pecan half, uncooked dried bean or King Cake Baby
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Purple, green and yellow food coloring 
  • Purple, green and gold sugar crystals


Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Combine the warm water, yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside to a warm place for about 10 minutes. Combine the 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, nutmet, lemon rind and add warm milk, melted butter, egg yolks and yeast mixture. Beat until smooth. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place the dough in a well-greased bowl. Turn once so greased surface is on top.

Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). Punch the dough down and place on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with the citron and knead until the citron is evenly distributed. Shape the dough into a cylinder, about 30 inches long. Place the cylinder on a buttered baking sheet. Shape into a ring, pinching ends together to seal. Place a well-greased 2-pound coffee can or shortening can in the center of the ring to maintain shape during baking (I usually don't use, but you can). Press the King Cake Baby, pecan half or dried bean into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Cover the ring with a towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the coffee can immediately. Allow the cake to cool. For the glaze: Combine the ingredients and beat until smooth. To assemble, drizzle cake with the glaze. Sprinkle with sugar crystals, alternating colors.

Posted by Dawn

1 comment:

  1. Wow! this King´s cake looks absolutely delicious, I make something similar and we enjoy it the 5th of January, thanks for sharing Luisa!