Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Carnival Time

Mardi Gras is around the corner so between that and the Saints going to the Super Bowl Louisiana is looking extra festive these days. King Cakes are no longer decorated only in purple, gold and green but some are donning black and gold instead. If you don't live in the area, OR if just want to try your hand at making your yumminess check out my King Cake recipe below. The photos are from my first attempt last year. It was so tasty and easy too. You truly can revel in the holiday no matter where you are!


For the Cake
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg white
Cinnamon-Sugar Filling:
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
White Icing:
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
Colored Sugar


1. Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium mixing bowl Add the evaporated milk, 3/4 cup of the sugar, tablespoon of ground cinnamon and the salt. Stir so that the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.
2. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water and stir in the remaining teaspoon sugar. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, until foamy. If the yeast does not foam up it is not live so you’ll have to start over with new yeast and sugar.
3. Add the yeast mixture to the butter and milk mixture. Add the eggs and lemon zest and whisk together vigorously, until well blended.
4. Whisk in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until you have a thick paste–about 3 cups flour. Then switch to a wooden spoon and continue adding flour and mixing well. (I used my kitchenaid bread attachment) When you have added all the flour, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured wooden board and knead it with your hands, which you have dusted with flour, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about a dozen turns.
5. Place the dough into a large clean bowl that you have sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Turn the dough to coat all sides with spray. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. (I heat the oven for 1 minute,then turn off oven before putting dough in overnight)
6. Make the cinnamon-sugar filling: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small dish and stir well.
7. Punch the dough down and divide the dough in two. Roll out each half into a 10 by 15 inch rectangle. Brush each rectangle with half of the melted butter and then sprinkle each rectangle with half of the cinnamon-sugar filling mixture. Roll up along the long end like a jelly roll. Press the roll together at the seam, sealing with water if necessary. Wind the two rolls together, forming one thick piece. On a baking sheet sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray, form the dough into a circle and seal the ends together.
8. Cover with a tea towel and allow the cake to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it almost doubles in size.
9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk the egg white with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the top of the cake with the egg white. Bake the cake for 35 minutes, until it is browned and sounds hollow when tapped.
10. Make the white icing: Combine the sugar and milk in a small dish and whisk until smooth.
11. Allow the cake to cool slightly then drizzle with icing (if you let it cool completely the icing dries quicker and it is harder to keep sugar sprinkles from falling off) Sprinkle the colored sugar in striped patterns over the icing.
12. Slice across the width of the cake into thin slices to serve. Makes about 12 nice sizes slices.


  1. Great job, Lindsey! It looks fantastic :) Beautiful photographs too, as usual.

  2. Wow! I must admit that I have never made my own King Cake. That looks wonderful! My mother shipped a few cakes to me last year for myself and friends. It looks like that will be our plan this year considering that I am not the best cook. (My neighbors would not take kindly to my burning down our building I am sure.) In any case, that looks delicious and I cannot wait to have one of my own! WHO DAT!?

  3. Looks awesome! I wish I could be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras...
    Thanks for the recipe. Maybe I'll try it some time :)

  4. Where's the little king you hide inside ? I taught school in Gretna in the 70's and my kindergarten students brought in king ckaes. I thought there was always a little king in the cake and whoever got him brought the next cake.
    Your recipe looks scrumptous! Happy Super Bowl and Mardi Gras-go Saints!

  5. Oooooh, that looks absolutely delicious!

  6. I have to say, that's one of the prettiest King's cakes I have ever seen. The ones I have seen are mass produced and, well, bordering on fugly

  7. Of course, I'm sure in Louisiana there is one King's cake prettier than the next. I'm in CA, so you can imagine what I see in the stores. :)

  8. Jules, I can only imagine. I am actually surprised they have King Cakes in CA! The ones found in chain grocers here are not too pretty either. But bakeries of course produce lovely and yummy versions.

    Thanks for the compliment!

    { Lindsey }

  9. Chris: The "king" inside is actually a represent the infant Jesus. They are usually put inside of the cake but now days they usually include them and you have to put it in your cake yourself...lawsuits I'm sure. :-/

    Glad to see Saints fans here. :-)

    { Lindsey }

  10. Why must you do this to me! I have always wanted to participate in a real mardi gras like in the olden days (thank you count of monte cristo)

    I even bought a super pretty mask!


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