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Looking for the perfect recipe to celebrate Mardi Gras? Why not try your hand at a King Cake? This delicious crown-shaped pastry has a doughy, bread-like consistency and is decorated with colored icing and sprinkles. Not only is it delicious, but it contains a surprise inside! Every King Cake contains one plastic figure of a baby. Whoever finds the baby in their slice hosts next year’s Mardi Gras celebrations!
Our Mardi Gras King Cake recipe will create 12 servings and will take roughly three and a half hours to make.
For the Cake
3 ½ cups of all purpose flour
2 ¼ tsp of yeast
1 cup of milk
¼ cup of sugar
1 tsp of salt
6 tbsp of butter
For the Cinnamon Filling
⅔ of a cup of light brown sugar
1 ½ tsp of ground cinnamon
4 tbsp of butter
For the Icing
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tbsp of milk
½ tsp of vanilla extract
Edible glitter or sugar (dark green, purple, yellow and gold are the most traditional colors used)
1 plastic baby figure (make sure that this is specially designed for baking into a King Cake and is big enough that it doesn’t pose a choking hazard).
1. Mix two and a half cups of flour and your yeast in a mixing bowl for roughly thirty seconds.
2. Heat your milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan over a medium heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve.
3. Allow your milk, sugar and salt to cool. Next, pour the mixture from the saucepan into your mixing bowl.
4. Add an egg and mix. Repeat until all six eggs have been added to the mixture, forming a rough dough.
5. Slowly add your remaining cup of flour, mixing as you go.
6. Knead your soft butter into the dough. You should knead your dough for roughly eight minutes on a lightly floured surface.
7. Place your dough in a greased bowl, then cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill for one hour.
8. While your dough is chilling, you can start to make your cinnamon filling. Combine your brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the sugar for your cinnamon filling and stir well.
9. Remove your dough from the refrigerator and roll it out into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread your cinnamon filling over the dough and fold the dough in half so that the filling is in the middle.
10. Cut the dough into three long strips and braid them. Next, draw the two ends of the braid together to form a circular or “crown” shape. Press the edges together.
11. Place the crown on a greased baking sheet. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for one hour.
12. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Once it is heated, place your crown inside and bake for 20 to 35 minutes. It should become a golden brown color.
13. Remove your cake from the oven and allow it cool on a cooling rack. Once it is cool, make a small slit in the bottom and insert your baby figure.
14. Now it’s time to make your icing. Mix your powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract until you have smooth icing.
15. Spoon the icing over your cake and decorate with your edible glitter or sugar. This will allow your decorations to stick to the cake!