Earlier this week I made a King Cake (well actually two) in honor of Mardi Gras, and they turned out delicious! If you have never heard of a Mardi Gras King Cake, you can find more information on this tasty New Orleans tradition here.
These are easy and fun to make, and everyone enjoys trying to find the tiny plastic baby (or other item, added after baking) that is hidden somewhere inside the cake!
The following recipe will make two cakes, one for your family and one to give away! Or just cut the recipe in half or….enjoy them both yourself! They go great with coffee!
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter
water, enough to make a glaze
colored sugar in green, yellow and purple
Scald milk, (yes, do this step anyway as it does make a difference) remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Beat eggs slightly and add to the yeast/milk mixture. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
To Make Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and 1/2 cup flour. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until smooth.
Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10×16 inches or so). Spread the filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the plastic baby doll or other item into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm with the confectioners’ sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.
Sprinkle with the colored sugar and enjoy!
Look who found the plastic baby!