King Cake Recipe

king cake recipe
king cake recipe

Enjoy the Mardi Gras season with this delightful homemade King Cake recipe. Let the good times roll as you indulge in a sweet brioche dough filled with cinnamon or cream cheese. This recipe guarantees a king cake that is a thousand times better than anything you’ll find in a store or bakery.

A homemade king cake covered with colored sugar in front of glasses of milk and plates.

What is King Cake?

If you’ve never had King Cake before, imagine a Danish pastry and a giant cinnamon roll shaped like a wreath covered in colored sugar sprinkles. It can be unfilled or filled with various options such as cream cheese, fruit filling, almond paste, or chopped nuts. The cake is shaped like a crown, symbolizing the three kings or wise men who visited Christ after his birth. The colors of the cake, green, purple, and gold, represent faith, justice, and power/prosperity, respectively.

One quirky tradition associated with the cake is hiding a tiny baby figurine inside, symbolizing luck and prosperity. The person who finds the baby in their slice is deemed the King or Queen for the day and is expected to provide the King Cake the following year. However, be careful not to slice the baby, as that’s considered bad luck!

A sliced king cake with swirls of cinnamon filling.

Why this Recipe Works

  • The dough can be made in advance and refrigerated overnight, making it convenient for fresh baking.
  • You can customize the flavor by choosing different fillings.
  • This recipe ensures a soft and tender king cake, avoiding the disappointment of a dry one.

A homemade king cake with jars of colored sugar in the background.

Ingredient Notes

  • Colored sugar or sprinkles: Green, purple, and gold sanding sugar/sprinkles for the traditional King Cake look.
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour provides a chewy and soft texture.
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted butter can be used for a rich flavor.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar for the bread and powdered sugar for the icing. Brown sugar is optional for the cinnamon filling.
  • Plastic baby: Symbolic, not edible, and available on Amazon.

Ingredients for making homemade king cake.

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Heat milk and butter, set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Proof the yeast by combining it with warm water and sugar, letting it sit until foamy.
  3. Add the milk and butter mixture, along with sugar, beaten eggs, vanilla, and salt to the yeast mixture. Mix well.
  4. Gradually add flour, mixing until a sticky soft dough forms. Knead for 5 minutes.
  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise until doubled in size.
  6. Punch down the dough and divide it in half.
  7. Roll out each half into a rectangle, cut in half lengthwise.
  8. Sprinkle the filling of your choice over the dough and roll it up from the long edges.
  9. Twist the two lengths of dough together and shape them into an oval.
  10. Let the dough rise until puffy.
  11. Bake until golden brown.
  12. Allow the cake to cool before frosting.
  13. Drizzle the frosting over the cake, sprinkle with colored sugar.
  14. Slice and enjoy!

A homemade King Cake surrounded by Mardi Gras beads in front of glasses of milk and jars of colored sugar.

Recipe Tips

  • Storage: Best served fresh, but can be kept for 2-3 days at room temperature or 1 week in the fridge.
  • Freezing: You can freeze a finished King Cake for up to 2-3 months.
  • Helpful tools: Pizza cutter for cutting the dough, rolling pin for rolling it out.
  • Instant Yeast: Adjust the steps if using instant yeast.
  • Refrigerating the dough: Refrigerate it overnight for a fresh bake the next day.
  • Easy clean-up: Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats to avoid filling leakage.

FAQs

1. Can I freeze the King Cake?

Absolutely! You can freeze a finished King Cake for up to 2-3 months. Wrap it well with plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container. Thaw it on the counter for 2-3 hours before serving.

2. How should I store the King Cake?

The King Cake is best served fresh on the day it’s made. However, you can store it for 2-3 days at room temperature or up to 1 week in the fridge. Keep it covered in an airtight container or with plastic wrap.

As they say in New Orleans, laissez le bon temps rouler! Let the good times roll!

Conclusion

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a homemade King Cake that surpasses store-bought ones in both flavor and joy. This King Cake recipe offers the perfect combination of soft brioche dough, delicious fillings, and vibrant colored sugars. Get ready to savor the taste of this festive treat and experience the excitement of finding the baby figurine! For more delectable recipes and culinary inspiration, visit Takeout Food.

FAQs

1. Can I freeze the King Cake?

Absolutely! You can freeze a finished King Cake for up to 2-3 months. Wrap it well with plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container. Thaw it on the counter for 2-3 hours before serving.

2. How should I store the King Cake?

The King Cake is best served fresh on the day it’s made. However, you can store it for 2-3 days at room temperature or up to 1 week in the fridge. Keep it covered in an airtight container or with plastic wrap.

As they say in New Orleans, laissez le bon temps rouler! Let the good times roll!

Article by Takeout Food

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