A King Cake is traditionally served on January 6th also known as Epiphany or the “Twelfth Night.” It celebrates 3 Kings day and signifies the start of Mardi Gras Season. King Cakes are made and purchased throughout the Carnival Season (Mardi Gras). The flavor and texture is a cross between coffee cake and cinnamon roles in my experience. It’s decorated in royal colors of PURPLE which signifies “Justice,” GREEN for “Faith,” and GOLD for “Power.” In the past such things as coins, beans, pecans, or peas were also hidden in each King Cake. Whoever gets the “prize” is supposed to bring the next King Cake or hold the next party.
I made the recipe a lot easier by using frozen ready-to-bake dough instead of crafting my own. Enjoy and Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the Good Times Roll! A traditional Mardi Gras expression). Mardi Gras is this Tuesday, February, 28, 2017! Use this recipe and celebrate!
King Cake Ingredients:
1 package (3 loaves) frozen ready to bake white bread (I used Rhodes Bake N Serv)
1/2 cup cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup flour for spreading over the surface as needed
1 small plastic baby (I got one at a cupcake shop) if you can’t find one use a large dry bean
King Cake Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup lemon juice
Purple, Yellow and Green colored sugar for decoration
King Cake Instructions:
- Follow the directions on the bread package for defrosting and preparing bread on a cookie sheet.
- When the bread loaves are completely defrosted, mix cinnamon and sugar in bowl for coating bread.
- Flour large work area and hands to work with bread dough
- Stretch bread dough until you have 3 long pieces (about 2 feet each) using flour and your work area
- Generously sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on dough as you work with it.
- Braid the three strands of dough together and join the ends to form a circle or “crown” look
- Sprinkle more or the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture as you see fit on top of the crown.
- Prepare a large baking sheet with either non-stick cooking spray or wax paper
- Place crown on prepared cooking sheet and cook at directed on original bread dough packaging.
- Check the King Cake to be sure it is completely cooked. It does expand and might not be the perfect circle you started with but it is still great.
- Allow to cool while you mix the sugar, milk, and vanilla for the frosting. Whisk well and add lemon juice to mixture to your taste.
- Lift up one corner of the baked King Cake and place the baby/bean inside by using a finger to make a small hole in the cake. Make sure no one can see where the prize is located.
- Place the cake on a large serving platter or a new baking sheet if needed
- Pour or scoop frosting over cake similar to a giant cinnamon roll
- Use purple, green and gold (yellow) sprinkles to decorate different sections of the cake where it is frosted. Make each section a single color. A heavy pout might be required to get nice coloring.
- Serve to guest by cutting a section at a time.
- Whoever gets the baby/bean “wins” and get to host the next party and/or provide the next King Cake.