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Sunday, March 6, 2011

King Cake

First of all, I want to say thank you if you are still reading my blog - sorry for the three week interruption in posting but we've been a little busy.  Three weeks ago we welcomed our daughter, Aubrey to the world.  She was born at just over eight pounds the night before Valentine's Day.  Since then life has been an amazing mix of staring at our beautiful baby girl, family and friends visiting and a little sleep deprivation so I haven't spent much time in the kitchen.  I promise I won't turn this into a blog about Aubrey but I have to share a couple pictures to introduce my little girl. 
Photo by Dede Holman Photography

Photo by Dede Holman Photography

As for a recipe - I finally got around to making a king cake yesterday... something that's been on my list of things to make for at least two years.  I always seemed to run out of time during Mardi Gras "season" but got one made just in time this year.  We get a few king cakes delivered to the office every year at work which is where I originally discovered this treat.  It's essentially like a giant cinnamon roll but baked into a ring-shaped cake and decorated with bright purple, yellow and green sugars for festive Mardi Gras flavor.

The dough itself is an easy yeast recipe but it does take a little time.  The initial mixing is very simple but make sure to allow about three hours total for rising time.  The filling is a slightly modified cinnamon and sugar mixture spiked with a little bourbon and raisins.  The icing adds a tart lemon flavor which is a nice mix with the sweetness of the powdered sugar.

King Cake
Recipe adapted from All Recipes

1/2 cup half and half
2 T butter
1 package active dry yeast (.25 ounce)
1/3 cup warm water (approx 110 degrees F)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour plus more for rolling
Zest of 1 lemon

Scald half and half over medium heat, remove from heat and add butter.  While mixture cools, stir together warm water, yeast and 1 T of the sugar in bowl of a stand mixer and let stand until foamy.  When half and half mixture is cooled, add to yeast mixture.  Add remaining sugar and egg and beat until well incorporated.  Add salt, nutmeg and flour one cup at a time.  Stir in lemon zest and switch to dough hook attachment.  Knead with dough hook for about 5-7 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.  It will still be fairly sticky.  Oil a deep bowl and transfer dough to bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until doubled in size. 

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
2 T bourbon
1/2 cup raisins

Combine bourbon and raisins in a small bowl and set aside.  Mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and flour and then stir in melted butter. 

Punch down dough and turn out onto a heavily floured surface.  Roll dough out into a large rectangle about 12x16 inches.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread filling mixture over dough in a thin layer leaving about a one inch edge free around the whole rectangle.  Drain raisins and sprinkle over filling.  Begin rolling dough like a jelly roll from the wide edge.  Roll tightly and transfer to baking sheet.  Form dough into an oval, seam side down and pinch edges to seal.  Using a sharp knife or cooking scissors, cut slices into top of dough about every two inches approximately 1/3 of the way through dough.  Cover with a towel and let rise an additional 45 minutes in a warm place.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake approximately 30 minutes until golden brown. 

2 cups powdered sugar
2 T lemon juice
2 T half and half
3/4 cup demerara sugar
Food coloring in green, yellow and purple

Whisk together powdered sugar, lemon juice and half and half until smooth.  Pour over cooled king cake.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and a couple drops of yellow food coloring and stir together.  Transfer to a small bowl or plate.  Add 1/4 cup sugar and a couple drops of green food coloring and stir together.  Transfer to a small bowl or plate.  Add last cup of sugar and purple food coloring and stir to combine.  Sprinkle sugar over icing as desired.


  1. CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU on the birth of your beautiful baby girl!

    Any other time I'd say you made King Cake, but now I think you've made Princess Cake. ;)

  2. Congratulations on your daughter! I am waiting an arrival here myself any day now and I hope I will still have the energy to get back into my kitchen!!

  3. Yummm this looks really good! Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! She is just perfect. :)

  4. those pictures are so awesome...sorry cant pay attention to the cake with your little angel in between! Hope life it treating you well and you are getting your sleep

  5. Congratulations to you on the birth of your baby. She's a cutie! That king cake looks really good.

  6. Yours cake looks perfect, great job! COngratulations on the birth of your daughter-she's precious!

  7. Congratulations! She is beautiful!

  8. Congratulations, girl! Aubrey is absolutely beautiful!

  9. she's beautiful! congratulations!

  10. Congratulations of the beautiful baby girl!

  11. Congratulations! She is just beautiful!!!

  12. Your cake is wonderful but that baby girl of yours...too beautiful for words, truly she is.


  13. Congratulations!! Aubrey is gorgeous. God Bless!
    I'm still and will continue to be a faithful reader. I know what it is like, sleep deprivation. Been there and done that!

  14. Congratulations! Such a sweet baby and a yummy looking cake too!

  15. My name is Karen and I have made King Cakes in the past and filled them with different kinds of canned pie filling! King Cake is so awesome! This recipe reminds me I should do it again and try the cinnamon/sugar filling and also the lemon in the icing! Thanks!

    1. Pie filling would be a great shortcut, I've done it with an apple cinnamon mixture as well and it does turn out delicious. Would be a great summer recipe with a peach or cherry filling minus the traditional king cake sugar decorating!


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