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Friday, February 24, 2012

Foody Friday: FINALLY a tasty homemade king cake!

I have spent years trying my hand at king cakes, only to be continually disappointed in the results. Usually the cake part is too dry or too bread-like. Finally this year I made one that is really delicious! So here's the recipe, just in time for lent.
Sorry about that. I guess you can make it next year.

For cake:

2 packages active dry yeast (or 2 Tbs bulk)
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 cup butter
1/8 cup sour cream

1 cup skim milk

2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
5  to 6 cups flour

For filling:

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
zest of one lemon or orange
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1 or 2 Tbs milk or juice from orange or lemon used for zest

For frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 - 2 teaspoons water, milk, or juice from orange or lemon used for zest
If you like more frosting, double this recipe. 

For decorations:
Colored sugar or sprinkles
For baby:
One plastic baby
I decorated my cakes with mauve, green, and gold - the traditional Mardi Gras colors. Sort of. So sue me, it's hard to make purple using liquid food coloring. 

Dissolve yeast, butter, and sugar in hot water. When foamed, add remaining ingredients except flour and mix well. Add flour in increments until dough forms. It should be thick, hard-to-stir dough but a little too moist and sticky to knead. Stir 100 times. Let rise in bowl (covered with damp towel, in a warm place) until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
Meanwhile, prepare filling: mix dry ingredients; add melted butter and mix. Should be crumbly. Add milk until it's thick but slightly spreadable.
Divide dough in half and flatten each half into a rectangle. Spread each piece of dough with filling, roll it up, then flatten it a little. Twist a few times and form into an oval, sealing ends.
Allow to rise for 45 minutes, then bake in 375 F oven for 35 minutes.
While still warm, drizzle with glaze and decorate if desired. Hide the baby. The person who gets the baby in their piece has to buy (or make!) the next king cake. Or they just choke to death.

Note: If using colored sugar, it will adhere better and the color will be richer if it becomes slightly damp. The best way to do this is decorate while still warm, then transfer to an airtight container like a cake carrier. The heat will create just enough steam and condensation to do the trick - you can, and should, uncover the cake after just a minute or two. In the pictures above I skipped this step, which is why the colors are a little on the pastel side. 


  1. I wish I liked baking. You know, you could probably use little chunks of this for fuel for your runs too Gracie! ;)

  2. Yum. I've never eaten King Cake - it looks kind of like a sweet bread or roll vs a traditional cake. Is that right?

  3. I had every intention of making a King Cake to take to work but when I walked into the grocery store to buy ingredients there was a whole display of king cakes. For $7.99. So I bought one and called it a day. It was mediocre. Apparently we should stick to Derby Pie in Kentucky.

  4. i've only ever had store-bought king cake. things could get dangerous if i sample "real" king cake. the sugar / coloring may not look ideal, but i am sure it tasted just fine. (can you really screw up icing?) :)

    A) your running does not suck mrs. i just shaved 3 hours off my marathon time and am running the 2016 trials.
    2) i would never not-read you. you're too entertaining.
    d) i thought of you as i rushed over to walgreens to ask the pharmacist what i should get for my exploding lips. all i could think of was that stuff will smith 'drank' in Hitch but i couldn't remember what it was called.

    1. Haha this is so funny because someone once DID ask me for "the medicine from Hitch" when their houseguest had an allergic reaction!

  5. I saw the title for this post and thought she better have included a recipe!! Thank you for sharing the love! I am definitely going to try this one... :-)