How to Bake a Mardi Gras King Cake
How did you guys spend your Sunday? Searching all over for a little plastic baby for your king cake? I didn't think so. But that's what I was doing. Ash Wednesday is this week, which means tomorrow is Fat Tuesday. Time to eat up before the Lenten season begins! And that means king cake!
The dough in this cake is so sweet and, besides the rising time, doesn't take too long to make. I love the filling combination of brown sugar, pecans and raisins. It kind of reminds me of a cinnamon bun or a sweet breakfast pastry. The cake is decorated in sugars of traditional Mardi Gras colors: yellow, purple and green. And of course, the plastic baby inside. Whoever finds it is guaranteed good luck for a year! So you bet your butt I was putting one of those things inside. My cute little niece was the recipient of this year's plastic baby, and it was so fun to watch everyone search their individual piece. I bet your family will have fun with this one too. Enjoy!
Makes 2 cakes
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 (.25 oz.) packages active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tbsp. water
- Plastic baby, for inside (optional)
- Yellow, green and purple sugar, for decorating (optional)
Scald milk, 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. Whisk in the eggs. 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, 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, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10x16 inches or so). Sprinkle 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 into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm with the confectioners' sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Sprinkle on purple, green and yellow sugar in 1-inch sections for decoration.
Source: The Savvy Kitchen