Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Mardi Gras!

My favorite part of Mardi Gras would definitely be the excuse to eat king cake. This year I decided to bake my own, and I'll have to be honest with you, it was hard work but really fun!

furiously kneading the huge lump of dough
I took the dough and cut in into 3 strips, rolling it out to about 2 feet long

   Then braided those pieces together (I wanted a different shape for my king cake instead of a jelly roll)

If you follow me on twitter you know I was ecstatic to finally find these! I stuck a little plastic baby in between the braids for the full effect.

 I made sure to fully coat the 3 strips with butter and cinnamon sugar so the sweetness would be throughout the whole cake

Here's the finished sweet product. I could not find purple sprinkles for a traditional colored cake, so I chose my favorite colors, pink and green

In honor of Fat Tuesday, I'm sharing the recipe I found from Southern Living magazine. I put my own suggestions in pink italics:

Prep: 30 min.; Cook: 10 min.; Stand: 5 min.; Rise: 1 hr., 30 min.; Bake: 16 min. This recipe uses bread flour, which makes for a light, airy cake. You still get tasty results with all-purpose flour-the cake will just be more dense. (I highly suggest buying a bag of bread flour, and I found mine at a local Memphis grocery store.)
Yield: Makes 2 cakes (about 18 servings each)


  • 1  (16-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/3  cup  sugar
  • 1/4  cup  butter
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/2  cup  warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1  tablespoon  sugar
  • 2  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6  to 6 1/2 cups bread flour*
  • 1/3  cup  butter, softened
  • 1/2  cup  sugar
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon
  • Creamy Glaze
  • Purple-, green-, and gold-tinted sparkling sugar sprinkles


Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Set aside, and cool mixture to 100° to 110°.
Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4 to 4 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms. (I had just a hand mixer for mine, so kudos to anyone who owns a stand mixer, but it still can be done by hand!)
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.
Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup softened butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter on each rectangle. This is where I did mine a little differently. After dividing the portions in half, I took one half and divided it into three equal strips of dough and braided my king cake instead of having a jelly roll.
Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.
Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes). Drizzle Creamy Glaze evenly over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely.

*6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour may be substituted.

Creamy Glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice This is can be subtracted if you don't want a very tangy glaze.
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
Mix together the first 4 ingredients, then stir in 2 tablespoons milk, adding additional milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach spreading consistency.
Happy Baking,


Elizabeth said...

Oh my gosh your cake turned out so well! It looks awesome! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

tickledpink said...

You are quite the baker! Your king cake looks delish and beauitful!